Planning a weekend away? Or with gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon — maybe not planning one? Don’t despair. Metro can be your ticket to new countries, customs and cuisines. And the cost? Just $5 for an easy-to-use Metro Day Pass.
Like all truly international cities, Los Angeles is a rich blend of cultures that have produced variegated neighborhoods and world-class cuisines. You may have explored some neighborhoods but do you know them all?
Take Ethiopia. The Metro Local 217 Fairfax Avenue bus, which stops at the Metro Red Line Hollywood and Highland Station, cruises west on Hollywood then south on Fairfax. A few blocks beyond Wilshire Boulevard is Little Ethiopia: a neighborhood of delicious restaurants (Meals by Genet) and lovely, colorful shops selling clothing in colors as bright as the African sun.
Or how about Cambodia? Admittedly, there’s neither jungle nor Angkor Wat in Long Beach but if you close your eyes just a little you can pretend to be in the steamy Southeast Asia country tucked between Thailand and Vietnam. It’s easy if you’re dining at one of the many restaurants (Sophy’s Fine Thai and Cambodian Cuisine) in Cambodia Town. So hop on the Metro Blue Line and hop off in what could be Phnom Penh — except for the great Southern California weather — and dine on grilled fish, rice, noodles and coconut soup prepared with fresh herbs and veggies.
What about Japan? Everyone knows that Little Tokyo is in downtown L.A., just a short walk from Union Station. But does everyone know that it’s possible to reach it easily aboard the Metro Gold Line to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station? Not only are there dozens of good restaurants (Suehiro Café). There is great shopping for clothes, shoes, gifts, computer accessories and Asian foods of all kinds in one of the many markets. At night there’s karaoke for the brave of heart.
Then there’s Mexico, of course. There may well be hundreds of Mexican and Central American neighborhoods around Los Angeles and they are filled with shops and entertainment venues and supermarkets and restaurants. Along the Metro Gold Line in East L.A. there are many great places (Al & Bea’s Mexican Food for bean and cheese burritos and Cinco Puntos Mexican Foods for hand-made tamales). So find your way to Union Station and board the Metro Gold Line toward Atlantic Station. Nearly every station on the East Side Gold Line offers something delicious to eat.
Or take the Metro Purple Line to Korea Town for barbecue. (Tahoe Galbi is a few blocks west of the Wilshire/Western Station.) Think of Korean barbecue as thin strips of beef, pork, chicken and seafood grilled at the table and served with half a dozen or more vegetable side dishes. Think of it as an excellent way to overeat.
And what about Chinatown, just off the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station. There are dozens of restaurants and shops selling goods from all over Asia, often at excellent prices. The restaurants are like that too, with Chinese and Vietnamese (Via Café) standing shoulder to shoulder for our dining pleasure.
Are you adventurous? The Metro Green Line to Norwalk connects with Metro Local bus 173 south to Artesia and Little India. Along several blocks there are restaurants and shops with authentic Indian goods and foods (Surati Farsan Mart). Samosa, puri, dosa, thali. It’s worth the ride.
Have you explored Little Persia in Westwood? Don’t wait until the Metro Purple Line is completed in 2039. Hop on Metro Rapid 720 down Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood Boulevard. There are a number of shops and restaurants (Shamshiri) there to enjoy. And near the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Western Station — between Western and Normandie Avenue — there is Thai Town.
All this can be yours for the price of a $5 Metro Day Pass. And you don’t have to wait in line to clear airport security.
Photos by Anna Chen/Metro
Lots of celebration this morning at Leimert Park, which the Metro Board voted yesterday to fully fund as a station on the Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line. L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mel Wilson, all Metro Board members, joined other local dignitaries and residents of South Los Angeles to mark the occasion as singers chanted, “There’s a train a comin’. “
“It takes a village to get a train to stop in Leimert Park. We did it together and we ought to be proud of that,” Ridley-Thomas said to the gathered crowd of about 200. “And I’m delighted that the board has approved funding to make this historic community a train stop.”
As we posted yesterday the Metro Board approved a motion, co-sponsored by Ridley-Thomas, to commit $80 million for the station, which will be built in what is considered a historic enclave of black business and culture. The Board’s decision came a day after the L.A. City Council committed $40 million of the city’s share of Measure R local return funds to Leimert Park.
“This is a celebration of you,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Of a community that is vibrant, that has always been important to this town. As I ride into the sunset for a bit, I wanted to make sure we did this right … and I think we have.”
And here’s the news release from Metro:
In time for the upcoming Memorial Day travel weekend, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have officially opened an additional general purpose lane on the northbound I-405 between the I-10 and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
The new 1.7-mile lane, which opened early Friday morning, May 24, is expected to provide congestion relief benefits for motorists navigating the northbound I-405 at the I-10 interchange, one of the most congested freeway interchanges in the nation.
“This is a major milestone for transportation in Los Angeles, especially for our Westside residents and commuters,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. City Mayor and Metro Board Member. “As one of our most congested interstate freeways, the opening of this nearly two-mile lane on the I-405 is both welcome and necessary. In 2008, with the passage of Measure R, we demonstrated a shared vision to build Los Angeles a world-class transportation system. This is only one step toward the completion of significant improvements to Los Angeles’ interstate freeways and public transportation networks.”
The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements contractor has completed major structure and widening work to allow the opening of an additional lane of traffic, including paving and lane striping that required a series of recent sequential night-time freeway closures at Santa Monica Boulevard.
The project team anticipates releasing another 1.4 miles of general purpose lane to reach north of Wilshire Boulevard in a second opening phase next month, June 2013.
The No. 1 lane closest to the freeway median will later be converted into the future High Occupancy Vehicle Lane.
The fourth annual Meet Me @Metro, an event that combines public transit with theater, will be heading back to the Metro Blue Line on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Join the Watts Village Theater Company for theatrical presentations of original poetry exploring the subjective theme of “home” with musical accompaniment.
“Scattered Joy” will be performed adjacent to 103rd Street Station and “Under the 105” will be performed, appropriately, under the 105 freeway, adjacent to Willowbrook Station.
Both shows will take place simultaneously at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., allowing audiences to see both performance pieces. The shows will range in length from 25 to 30 minutes, and there will be a 30-minute window afterward to allow for travel between venues. Guests can hop on the Blue Line or walk between stations. Program organizers will have guides near exits to Metro stations directing people to the performance locations. Audio description and interpretation will be provided for the Sunday performances.
Tickets are $25 for the performances on Saturday and pay-what-you-will on Sunday. Children of all ages are welcome to attend. To find more routes and connections to the event, use Trip Planner.
There were delays on the Blue Line and Expo Line this morning when a car made a left turn directly into the path of an outbound train on Flower Street. The result?
Trains always move faster than you think. Please do not try to beat a train, whether you are on foot or in a vehicle. Obey the warning lights and signals and pay attention while driving near the tracks.
All Metro Rail, the Metro Orange Line and Metro Silver Line will run until 2 a.m. on Sunday, so it’ll be easy for you to make the most of your three-day weekend.