Come dance at free screening of ‘La Bamba’ at Union Station on June 13

Photo: LA Film Fest Official Facebook

Celebrate the classic hit movie La Bamba with Metro and Los Angeles Film Festival at Union Station on Friday, June 13. The free film screening takes place in Union Station’s old ticket concourse at 8:30 p.m. There will be a jitterbug dance lesson before the movie at 7:30 p.m. and a Q&A session with the cast and filmmakers at 8 p.m.

Metro customers who show their TAP cards at check-in will gain access to preferential seating; otherwise it is first come, first served. Guests may bring food to the event. Those with TAP cards can also receive 20% off at the Union Station Wetzel’s Pretzels! Offer available on June 13 only.

“Ritchie Valens was a native Angeleno, so it’s fitting that La Bamba should be shown at the iconic Los Angeles Union Station,” said Lou Diamond Phillips, who played the role of Ritchie Valens in the film. “I hope everyone will come out, dance in the beautiful ticket concourse and join us for a great time…leave your cars at home and experience this historic station as a transit rider.”

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Everyone* knows that coffee tastes best when served in a Metro mug

Mug_Icon_Large

This has “Father’s Day gift” written all over it, eh?

And it’s all yours for only $8.75 in Metro’s online store, which has all sorts of offerings ranging from the popular stress bus to T-shirts.

*’Everyone’ as in every single person on Earth may be an exaggeration :)

Reflections on Union Station: an essay by William D. Estrada

CW_130715_5540-squareOn the occasion of Union Station’s 75th anniversary, Metro created a special commemorative publication, Union Station: 75 Years in the Heart of LA, featuring eight written and five photographic essays that celebrate the station by authors John C. Arroyo, William D. Estrada, Stephen Fried, Rafer Guzman, David Kipen, Marisela Norte, D. J. Waldie, and Alissa Walker. The book is on sale now at the online Metro Store. All essays will also be posted on The Source in the coming weeks. The series was edited by Linda Theung, an editor and writer based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Union Station: A Portal Through Time
by William Estrada

The arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1876 ended Los Angeles’ long isolation from the rest of the country, if not the world. Since then, other gateways to the city, including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. Routes 101 and 66, U.S. Interstates 5 and 10, and, of course, Union Station, have connected Los Angeles to the nation and defined its role in the global economic and cultural marketplace. But more than a transportation hub, the Union Station site has been witness to the unfolding chapters in the city’s history. They are stories that are worth remembering, especially as the station looks back on its own history and with an eye to the future.

The Plaza in 1862 looking east. Behind the two-story Lugo adobe are the vineyards and adobes that would become the Union Station site. Courtesy of the Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

The Plaza in 1862 looking east. Behind the two-story Lugo adobe are the vineyards and adobes that would become the Union Station site. Courtesy of the Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Native American Homeland
The Union Station site is located in the oldest and most historic section of the city, adjacent to the Old Plaza and the Los Angeles River. It is also within close proximity to the site of the ancient Tongva/Gabrieleño Native American village, which informed Governor Felipe de Neve’s decision to locate the pueblo in 1781. The site was traversed by the first people of Los Angeles for food gathering and access to the river. Native Americans later worked in the adobes, horse stables, orchards, and vineyards of the pueblo residents who occupied the area.(i)

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Union Station 75th anniversary merchandise now available in Metro store

The above three items can be all yours. Please visit the online Metro Store to peruse and/or purchase.

Reflections on Union Station: an essay by Alissa Walker

Dr. Pinch & the Pinchtones performance, part of the Metro Art Presents

Dr. Pinch & the Pinchtones performance, part of the Metro Presents series.

On the occasion of Union Station’s 75th anniversary, Metro created a special commemorative publication, Union Station: 75 Years in the Heart of LA, featuring eight written and five photographic essays that celebrate the station. This is the first in a series of eight posts with the full essays by authors John C. Arroyo, William D. Estrada, Stephen Fried, Rafer Guzman, David Kipen, Marisela Norte, D. J. Waldie, and Alissa Walker. The book is on sale now at the online Metro Store. All essays will also be posted on The Source in the coming weeks. The series was edited by Linda Theung, an editor and writer based in Los Angeles.

Union Station Today: Making Cultural Connections
by Alissa Walker

It is just after the flurry of rush hour, the last of the commuters’ footsteps echoing in the low-slung tunnel toward the final Metrolink train of the day. The sun has slipped behind the towers of downtown, the blanched stucco archways slowly assuming their hazy golden glow from the wrought iron lanterns above. The heavy cinnamon sugar that hangs in the air begins to dissipate as Wetzel’s Pretzels switches off its heat lamps for the evening. A swiftly darkening departures board shows only buses this time of night.

I’m sitting at Traxx Bar on this fall evening, drinking a glass of red wine, and taking in the parade of humanity. The men at the table next to me are loudly debating the merits of various downtown restaurants as they layer condiments on their burgers. Two young women scurry through the main hall, giggling and pointing dramatically at each other’s phones. A man trudges by wearing a red quilted vest, his backpack sagging with the heavy resignation of a long journey that’s nowhere near over.

He pauses right in front of me.

And begins singing.

Vibrato.

One of several performances of Invisible Cities. Courtesy of the author.

One of several performances of Invisible Cities. Courtesy of the author.

My fellow Traxx patrons are well versed in the pageantry of reality shows—they look around nervously for a camera. Instead, we see a crowd walking quickly from the waiting area—faster than commuters, yet without a commuter’s single-minded determination. It’s the singing man they’re looking for, and when they locate him, they gather quickly around him, pressing their hands to their ears, which are covered in large audio electronics.

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Union Station Tours – Art and Architecture

Metro Art tour descending Union Station stairs below the Richard Wyatt mural, City of Dreams, River of History

Metro Art tour descending Union Station stairs below the Richard Wyatt mural, City of Dreams, River of History

Special tours are offered this month in celebration of Union Station’s 75th anniversary. Led by trained Metro Art Docents, the tours cover historic Union Station architecture and spaces not generally open to the public, including the old ticket concourse and former “Fred Harvey” restaurant, which operated 1939-67. Additionally, the tours explore artworks located in the Gold Line Portal, East Portal, inside the Metro Gateway Headquarters Building, and new artworks in the passageway.

Tours are free, and reservations are not required. Meet at the information booth inside the Alameda Street entrance to historic Union Station.

Remaining tours:
Tuesdays: May 20 and 27, 5:30-7:30pm
Sunday: May 25, 10:30am-12:30pm

For more information visit metro.net/art and click on Art Tours or call 213.922.2738.

See art and architecture highlights below:

Union Station's iconic façade facing Alameda Street

Union Station’s iconic façade facing Alameda Street

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Clear view of ‘City of Angels:’ Union Station mural refreshed

Specialized Metro Art staff work on the mural from a temporary scaffolding above escalators to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Specialized Metro Art staff work on the mural from a temporary scaffolding above escalators in Union Station’s west portal to the Red/Purple Line to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Following a recent maintenance effort, the artwork LA: City of Angels, a mural by Los Angeles based artist Cynthia Carlson, has returned to its original heavenly splendor.

Located in Union Station West and facing the entrance to the Red/Purple Line, LA: City of Angels was installed in 1993 in the early years of the Metro Art program. To keep it looking bright and new, specialized Metro Art staff thoroughly cleaned the mural using wet and dry techniques.

“Metro’s art program is now in its 25th year and many of our artworks from the early years require cleaning, restoration and other maintenance,” explained Creative Services Manager Angelene Campuzano. “It’s gratifying to be able to maintain the integrity of the artwork that artists have so thoughtfully contributed to our system and make it look as vibrant as when it was first installed–in this case, 1993.”

Maintaining artwork in the heavily trafficked space of a rail station requires support from and close coordination with Metro departments. “Metro Wayside Facilities staff have been incredibly supportive to our program and our efforts to maintain the aesthetics of the transit environment for our customers,” Campuzano added.

Some before and after views of the mural are below:

Before cleaning, detail.

Before cleaning, detail. The 40 foot long mural by Cynthia Carlson is located in Union Station’s West portal to the Red/Purple Line.

After cleaning, detail.

After cleaning, detail. The mural surface, painted aluminum honeycomb panels, was thoroughly cleaned using wet and dry techniques.

LA: City of Angels before maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels before maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels after maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels after maintenance work. The project also included full replacement of all overhead entrance lighting.