Ah, Olvera Street. An alleyway in the birthplace of Los Angeles, and one of my favorite places in Southern California. I come here several times a month, mostly because it is right across the street from L.A. Union Station and I take the train there for meetings. I always make time to go across the street and walk this little alleyway.
Olvera Street is known for its street vendors and hole-in-the-wall restaurants and eateries. Most of the items being sold are for kids - shoes, clothes, toys, knick-knacks, etc. Some of the vendors, especially those in actual stores (not the stands in the middle of the alley), have keepsakes for adults. There's all kinds of things from religious figurines, incense, and all sorts of other goodies.
Now, while I suspect that most people come here for the shopping, there are so many other hidden gems here - The Museum of Social Justice and Sepulveda Block Museum. Both of these museums are rather small (can hardly call them a museum), but there is much local history to appreciate. In the Museum of Social Justice, you can even buy some of the artwork. I've been to Olvera Street many times, and this last trip was my first time inside both of these places! Reading about the history of the Sepulveda Block taught me how Olvera Street actually came about - history that was completely new to me. I certainly have a greater appreciation for this place.
It may sound depressing, but I actually enjoy coming here alone. I tend to reflect a lot when walking in places like this. As much as I love my husband, he just doesn't have an appreciation for history. I like to walk all the way to the end of the block and sit down on the bench surrounding the fountain and people watch. Like everywhere in California, you find some crazies and you also find some really cool, laid-back, and chill people - my kind of people. Oh, and I always stop by the Wishing Well. While I'm not much of a superstitious person, I am always sure to cast a wish and a coin to go with it. Make sure you do the same if you ever visit - hopefully your wish is granted.
Rebekah was born and raised in the small town of Wichita Falls, Texas, and moved to California over 10 years ago. This blog documents her adventures in truly seeing local Southern California and all it has to offer for the first time since moving to the state.