As I mentioned in Part I of my recap of our weekend in Los Angeles, we were meant to end our first day with that iconic LA sunset at Griffith Observatory. It will come as a surprise to no one who has driven in LA that not allotting at least an hour to go seven miles meant that we missed the sunset - although it looked beautiful sitting in traffic on the 101. So we decided we'd hit it up first thing in the morning. But first, we made time for breakfast at Republique. Food is always an important feature of our travels, and this LA hot spot did not disappoint. Fun fact: it was built by Charlie Chaplin the the late 1920s as a mixed use space!
It was then on to Griffith Observatory. It was a misty, grey morning - the kind that is great for photos but not so great for sweeping views. We enjoyed wandering the grounds of the observatory, admiring the architecture - and my daughter absolutely loved the exhibits inside. Turns out watching Space Racers on PBS has taught her a thing or two.
We set off from Griffith to Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright's first Los Angeles design. As a native Chicagoan and architecture lover, I had to see it while we were in town. The house, so named for the benefactor's favorite flower, recently underwent an extensive restoration. I wish photos had been allowed inside because it is truly stunning. The attention to detail is typical FLW, and the style is familiar, but new, as he experimented with different designs befitting the west coast climate and lifestyle. I share with you just one exterior photo but encourage anyone who visits LA to stop by the house. The docents are incredibly knowledgeable and the house is a work of art.
We ended our day with a brief walking tour of downtown LA. Within a several block radius, you can visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Museum, eat at Grand Central Market, visit the Bradbury Building, and browse books at The Last Bookstore. Here are some highlights from that tour.
So, Los Angeles, forgive me for judging you so harshly. Turns out you are a bit of a gem, and we'll be back for more very soon.