P!LA: By Car

P!LA: By Car

Downtown. (All photos Matt Chaban)

What better way to see LA than the way she was intended, by car. My colleague Sam Lubell was kind enough to chauffeur me around the city from time to time–when he wasn’t, the buses were surprisingly nice, far more so than in New York, I must admit. While Sam drove, I did my best to take a few pictures.

The windshield adds a nice artistic glow.

Coop Himmelb(l)au's High School for the Visual and Performing Arts.

The Standard Downtown, where the Postopolis! LA magic happens all week.

Signs of LA's past are everywhere, including theaters on nearly every street, even when they're long gone and have been taken over by vendors.

Sam says Langer's has better pastrami than Katz's. That may be true, but can it top the Downtown Deli, around the corner from the AN offices and the best in town?

Development had been so overheated that shiny new condos were being built everywhere, even atop older--and uglier--utility buildings. The result is rather interesting, though.

UPDATE: Here are some more pictures from the bus ride to Union Station, where I caught another bus to the airport. Also, I was wrong about the above building. That’s a parking garage. See the comment section below for more.

Coming to Temple Street we pass, appropriately enough, Rafael Moneo's Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, a massive Catholic church overlooking downtown.

And going down the hill: Moneo from the other side.

Another look at Coop, from the freeway--it's really amazing how many of these buildings are truly designed to be experienced from this vantage point.

The aforementioned Union Station, a splendid example of LA's baroque Deco-meets-Southwest traditions.

The much maligned LA Live.

If you don't know why, just ask Sam Hall Kaplan.

Sprawl, beautiful sprawl. That dark outcropping in the background is downtown.

The only way to truly get a handle on LA's immensity? Out an airplane porthole.