New Downtown Los Angeles Tour w/ Brigham Yen

– A walking tour of new
Downtown Los Angeles. I’m Chris, this is Yellow Productions, I do travel guides that are
fun, informative, entertaining and on this video I’m joined
by special guest Brigham Yen he’s been involved in Downtown
Los Angeles since 2004 he blogs about Downtown LA and I have not met anybody
who loves Downtown Los Angeles more than Brigham so I’m super
excited for this walk today. – Thank you Chris, thanks
for having me on your show I’m so excited about showing
you the new Downtown LA there’s so many things that have happened if you haven’t been here
in the last five years we’re gonna see all the
new hotels, the retail, we’re gonna take a tour down Broadway, come Downtown. If you haven’t been here, you’re gonna love the new
changes that have happened. – So we’re gonna start our walking tour at the intersection of 8th and Grand at Joes Public Parking right
here it’s right next to CVS, why are we starting here well it’s because I drove to come to DT LA and Brigham said Chris
you should park there it’s six dollars all day on weekends and I’ve been to Downtown
LA a number of times but this is the first time I’ve found such a cheap parking lot. And we’re gonna go this way, because there’s a Whole Foods right here and this is why we’re starting right here this is like a great
part of LA to start in but well you’re gonna
walk with us this way over to Wholefoods and so Brigham, why are we starting here at Whole Foods? – Whole Foods is the anchor here in the Southern part of
the Financial District it’s a wonderful kind of representation of the new Downtown LA. It’s a really, obviously, great market and for the longest time, I think, we here in Downtown
thought we couldn’t get it and to get Whole Foods
to actually open up here was a huge statement and I hear right now it’s one of the highest-grossing
Whole Foods in all of LA. – Yeah, that’s really cool. – We are gonna head down to 8th Street and we’re gonna check out
one of the coolest new hotels – Alright! In Downtown LA Let’s check it out.
– Called the Free hand hotel. 8th Street is one of my
favorite streets in Downtown LA it’s got so much history
and beautiful architecture. One of my favorite
buildings in Downtown LA are some of these smaller ones here where the Hotel Bristol
is and the Golden Gopher it’s got Victorian elements to it and to me it kind of reminds me a little bit of San Francisco even. Next door is this
beautiful art deco building the Garfield building, there’s so much history on this street. – So what do we have across
from the Hotel Bristol we have this Freehand Hotel right? – We have the Freehand hotel, this is actually one of
my favorite buildings in Downtown LA, it has one of the tallest
neon signs in Los Angeles the Commercial Exchange building here. – (Chris) It’s probably no longer the Commercial Exchange building is it. – It isn’t but it was
actually an office building before it was a hotel
this was back in the day this building was built in 1926 one of the most famous tenants
here was Edgar Burroughs who’s the author of Tarzan. – Cool! And so what’s cool
about the Freehand hotel? – The Freehand is trendy, it’s a hostel for those looking
for maybe a little bit more less expensive option
to stay in Downtown LA this is an option that they can choose it’s a hostel but it
actually has hotel rooms too so it’s not all just hostels. – (Chris) An upscale
hostel, let’s check it out. – Come into the lobby and make a left, go up the historic elevators to one of the coolest
rooftop bars in Downtown LA, the Broken Shaker. And it’s got a pool and it’s got this awesome
theme going on here it’s like basically like Tiki here right? Mid-century Tiki. And people really don’t
even know that it’s here it’s one of the coolest
secrets about Downtown LA is that you can go up this elevator and be in this completely different place that, you know, really is
just awesome to be here. – So I think is most
interesting about this place is you wouldn’t know this place was here unless you knew this place was here. That’s so cool about
walking around with Brigham it’s like he knows these
things cos he lives here, but you saw the door, 8th, just come in the door,
go up that elevator, this rooftop bar is kinda like Tiki-ish and it’s like it’s this super-neat vibe cos you see the views of all
the high-rise buildings around and you can get some neat
pictures of the view down below from up here as well. So just walking out of the Freehand Hotel there’s three new eating
places around here, one that I really like is
Shake Shack on the corner, but there’s two other ones over here too. – You got Paris Baguette and Sweetgreen what’s really exciting
about all of this is less than a year ago, if you
were walking down 8th Street there would have been nothing here because this basically is brand new both of these, or actually
all three of these restaurants opened up within the last year. Just across the street from
Shake Shack at 8th and Hill is this enormous historic building once called the Hamburger Department store it’s this beautiful, terracotta structure that’s 1.1 million square
feet, it’s gimungous, this is gonna be the next
big thing in Downtown LA the developer is planning to convert it to retail, office, restaurants,
hotel, a giant rooftop park and this is gonna be finished
somewhere around like 2021/22 so when you’re in
Downtown LA in the future be sure to check this out. – So we’re just rounding the corner from the Hamburger Department store and we are on Broadway now. Brigham, tell us a little
bit about Broadway. – Broadway is pretty much
the most magnificent street in Los Angeles it’s got the most rich history
in all of Southern California I mean this was the
highstreet of Los Angeles at one point, every single major retailer had a flagship presence here on Broadway. It has the most historic movie palaces of any street in America. There are 12 historic
movie palaces on Broadway. – Yeah and speaking of these movie palaces and I’ve always thought they’re cool and if we look down
this way the Rialto here you know when I came here before a lot of these movie palaces they were just rundown
and kind of decrepit and so it’s actually
great to see a lot of them being rehabilitated, some of them as theaters, the other ones that couldn’t
be rehabilitated as theaters coming back as stores. But Brigham what’s happening
to this one back here? – So this is really really exciting this is gonna be the
new Apple flagship store for Los Angeles this is the Tower theater it’s one of those
original 12 movie palaces that are on Broadway but because of all the
disrepair that’s happened in the last several decades
before it was really used Apple has leased the entire building and it’s so exciting that it’s
gonna be the new Apple store. – Apple store is coming to Downtown LA. – Absolutely yeah, yeah. – Do we know when like
tomorrow should I get in line to get my new Iphone.
– Probably next year. I mean it’s got a lot
of work that’s needed. – Yeah, and I’m glad I did
not get run over by that bus. Alright, where we heading to now Brigham? – We’re gonna head to the
Harold Examiner Building down the street here,
and while we’re walking I wanna point out some of the cool things happening on Broadway so,
– Okay! there’s been a lot of retailers that have now opened up here on Broadway such as Mykita from Germany, Theory, the global flagship
store for Acne Studios, you have Aesop and Paul Smith
just rented a space here, and what that says is Downtown
LA is really on the map now these brands are very exclusive, many of them would have opened up only on the West side of
Los Angeles at one point but now Downtown LA is a major player and it’s actually a place
people wanna do business now. – Yeah that’s pretty cool, do
business and I also see like this is new in Downtown LA and like eat outside too I mean take a look at these
like tables and chairs that are out here. How long have these things been here? – This has been here for
a while, it’s basically they’re called pedestrian plazas and it was really modeled
after New York city, yeah. – Pretty cool. So before we move on something that I find really
interesting about Downtown LA and what makes it pretty unique is that like, all these stores, and this German store Brigham
was just talking about like, it’s not in a shopping
mall, in a cheap strip mall, it’s in these like amazing grand buildings of times of old. Brigham, what is this building? – This is the Eastern Columbia Building built in 1930 it’s one of
the most beautiful buildings in Los Angeles it’s this
beautiful art deco edifice here with this amazing sun burst here you can see the gold relief here and this is one of the other reasons why I love Downtown LA it’s just filled with just
amazing architecture like this that you’re not gonna find
anywhere else in the region. And so this whole building was a department store at one point and it was converted to high-end condos and one of its most famous
residents here was Johnny Depp he owned four penthouses up
on the top of this building with amazing views. If you google Johnny
Depp in Eastern Columbia you’ll be able to see inside of what these units used to look like. – Wow that’s cool, yeah and when you said there’s no other place to
find building like this when I look at this I
think it comes from like the Wizard of Oz so if
you’re not in Downtown LA maybe check out, Oz? Alright so just down the
street from that green building is this brown building right here it’s got this sign that
says United Artists which I think is like
a movie theater chain, is there a movie theater in there Brigham? – It’s not a movie theater
it’s a movie palace and this is one of the
original movie palaces that we were talking about earlier and Ace Hotel came in and
converted it into a hotel in 2013 and it has one of the coolest
rooftop bars in Downtown LA just called Upstairs. And many people here in Los Angeles really attribute all the
exciting changes to Broadway because Ace Hotel came here
and it became the solid anchor and brought in so many new
businesses to the area. – (Chris) So when did Ace Hotel open? – (Brigham) 2013. – 2013 and so if you wanna
go into that rooftop bar there’s this little random
door that says hotel it doesn’t actually look that welcoming but you go in there and you can walk through
the hotel restaurant you take the elevator up to the roof, which is all the way up there, and then there’s this like
really neat rooftop bar, a rooftop swimming pool, and there’s some pretty epic
views of Downtown LA up there. This is another one of those places that if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know. But now you know Brigham,
and so now you know. So just a couple of blocks
from the Ace Hotel now we’re leaving what’s
known as the historic core and we’re kind of on the border between the Fashion District and South Park and so Brigham tell us
about what we see here. – Well Chris this is kind of like what you would have seen
in Downtown LA kind of all over the place this is
what most people think of when they think of Downtown LA. So at one point when we
were standing by Whole Foods this is what it would’ve
– Where we started By Whole Foods right yeah? – Yeah this is what it would’ve been like – Just like five or six years ago right? – Five or six years ago
it would’ve been dead not a single person on the
street, tumbleweeds blowing by – You missed the tumbleweed
it just flew by here. – (laughs) And then now look at it where we were standing
before, Whole Foods, the whole area is just
vibrant and reactivated and so this part of Downtown LA is kind of the next up-and-coming area
we’re standing across the street from the Herald Examiner Building designed by one of the most
famous female architects in American History, Julia Morgan, you might have known her as
the architect who designed the Hearst Castle in
San Simeon, California. And this is one of her best,
prime examples of her work it’s beautiful, I actually
think it looks like something out of Star Wars
especially from the air I mean you can’t really tell right now but the roof really looks like
something out of the movies. They’re, right now, currently changing it into the new Arizona
State University campus and it’s gonna be filled with students in about a couple of years. – So we’re walking our
way through South Park on the way to the Financial District and we had to get this scene for those who of you who
watch this channel a lot know I love hamburgers and Brigham do you know
anything about this place? – I don’t know much about it but this mural always stands out when I do walk past this place. – And I think like this is
just about the character of Downtown LA like graffiti
art, things like that and there’s a ton of it
throughout Downtown LA. Walking over to the financial district and what do we have here we have a Target. Brigham what is this a
Target in Downtown LA. – Yes this Target is actually
a really huge deal for us in Downtown because when it first opened back in like 2012 it was like one of the
only places we can get anything in Downtown because
prior to Target opening if you had to buy anything
you had to leave Downtown so it’s such a huge deal and it’s part of this
really cool shopping complex called FiGat7th. – So Brigham how long have
you lived here in Downtown LA? – I’ve lived here, well I
moved here first in 2005 when all of this revitalization
was first starting and I did do a little
stint in Pasadena but on and off I’ve been
here for over ten years. – Wow very cool, what do you like best about
living in Downtown LA? – I love Downtown LA for its walkability it’s like nowhere else in Los Angeles. Every else in LA you
have to get in your car to do everything to mail a letter, to go to
the store, buy something in Downtown LA I feel like
it’s so cool, so special, because our experience
living here is very much like what somebody in New York would be like, or Tokyo, you’re walking. You’re walking to your barber,
your dentist, your work, getting you chores done,
your errands and I love that. I don’t have to get in my
car for everything here. – So for people who are
planning to visit LA how long do you think they
should spend in Downtown LA compared to the rest of LA. – I would say you want to spend at least a couple of days here because we do have a bunch of museums like the Broad Museum on
Bunker Hill, the MOCA Museum, you have the Walt Disney Concert Hall so all that cultural stuff, you have like the STAPLES
Center down in South Park so you know you wanna spend
at least a couple of days here in Downtown LA to see all of that and of course being in Downtown it’s the hub of the transit system so you can take the train to the beach, the Expo Line to Santa Monica,
the Red Line to Hollywood, the Gold Line to Pasadena,
the Blue Line to Long Beach all from Downtown LA so you
don’t even have to rent a car. – And this actually, can you
take the subway from here? – Yeah, actually there’s a subway station across the street from us,
the 7th and Metro subway stop. – Alright, hey but he
said he likes walking so let’s walk over to
our last destination. Alright?
– Awesome. – Alright you go that
way I’ll go this way. Alright so we made it to
the Financial District and Brigham saved the best for last, Brigham what is this building behind us? – This is the Wilshire Grand Tower it is the new tallest
building on the West coast. Including the spire on
top it is 1100 feet tall which makes it taller than the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. – Sorry we had to pause for
the fire engine going by this is the thing about
shooting a live video in Downtown Los Angeles but
you were just telling us how this is the tallest
building on the best coast. – Yeah this is 1100 feet
tall so it’s basically taller than the Salesforce
Tower in San Francisco, it’s taller than the U.S.
Bank Tower here in LA, and on the very top of this tower is the Intercontinental Hotel so it has a really special
sky lobby on the 70th floor which makes it one of, I think the tallest hotel lobby in the U.S. – Yeah and I’ll say the view
up there, it’s totally amazing like it’s a great view and
you might be thinking hey go up to the U.S. Bank Tower
they’ve got the sky sight that costs money and
this view from this lobby is totally free and by the way – (Brigham) that’s a secret (laughs). – Yeah so we didn’t tell you,
you didn’t hear that from me, or from here, or anywhere, but also if you go up
there and if you’re a man go check out the men’s restroom it has some of the most
interesting urinals I’ve ever seen. I’ll just leave for that you have to come, and you have to see it. Hey, well Brigham I really
enjoyed this tour with you today. – Awesome thank you so much Chris. – Thanks for showing us around, hey, if people wanna follow you
and they wanna find out more about your blogging, your stuff, where should they check you out? – Check out
which you’ll find our social media on there DTLA Rising on Instagram,
Facebook and Twitter. – Alright, well we won’t say goodbye because we’re gonna see
you in the next video, one of our other LA videos, or Brigham will see you
over at you’ll find links in the
description below as well.

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