Downtown LA

After our lunch at Engine Company 28 yesterday, we went shopping in what is known as the fashion district.  You probably have a vision in your mind of the garment district in New York, with people pushing carts of couture clothing around, models dashing from one photo shoot to a fitting to another shoot, big time designers arriving in their limos.

The “fashion district” of LA is nothing like that, but we were reading a great article on where to buy the best watches and the fashion district ended up being one of them.

What we saw was an endless string of tiny cubbyhole stores, all selling cheap merchandise.  Lots of knockoffs, lots of gaudy trashy clothes.  Everything for sale cheap, and available to bargain for even cheaper.

Mostly, we went down Santee Alley, which seems to be the headquarters for tacky in Southern California.

As you might expect, there were plenty of kids around.

Not everything there was clothing, there were accessories for many popular hobbies, too.

Leaving the “fashion district”, we drove through an area which was all yardage stores, dozens of them cheek-by-jowl.  A business that was once mostly Jewish is now Hispanic and Asian and Indian.  Then a few blocks further on, we passed the stores selling trim of all varieties.

There is clearly a great deal of clothing manufacture going on, as we found at our next stop: American Apparel.  They have an enormous factory, where their sign proudly says they manufacture 1,000,000 articles a week.  We arrived right after 3:00, when the day’s work is evidently done, as hundreds of Mexican and Asian women, and a very few men, streamed out of the building and into their cars.  The granddaughters were shopping at the factory outlet, of course.  They have some men’s clothes, but not in my size or for anyone over 22 years old anyway.

Then it was back on the freeway and our little rental by the ocean.  More about our dinner next time.


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