there’s a door that never closes

the original pantry, downtown LA

So…more travelling, this time down to Los Angeles, an overnighter for our anniversary. Wow, it’s been over three years since I was there. I like LA. In fact I hadn’t been to downtown LA before, and had a few hours to go sketching. I liked the look of the place above – the ‘Original Pantry’ – as we drove past in the cab: it was colourful, and there were lots of people queuing around the corner, mostly Trojans fans (the USC team, not the, you know). Most had gone when I went back to sketch. A sign on the door claims that The Original Pantry has been open for a very long time: “through a door which has no key you will enter a cafe that has NEVER BEEN CLOSED SINCE 1924“.  Which is pretty amazing, if it’s true. And by not closed, I mean actually not closed, like always open. That’s what I choose to believe from their claim. This is LA! Anything’s possible!

LA downtown US bank tower

Just a couple of hours before, I had flown over these very buildings on our way to LAX. Skyscrapers seen from an airplane above are quite magnificent; of course, I was mindful of the date as well. Flying above LA is pretty cool experience though – you really see the urban sprawl, seemingly endless, broken only by big dusty mansion-filled mountains poking through. You can see the Hollywood sign clearly from the air, and the foggy belt that hangs above the Ocean communities. The only thing – the only thing – I like about flying is the view from the window, if it’s something worth seeing, of course. 

I drew both of these while leaning on those flat-topped newspaper boxes you see everywhere in American cities. As I’ve mentioned before, they are perfect for urban sketchers to lean against.

2 thoughts on “there’s a door that never closes

  1. Monica Thompson says:

    Whether intentional or not, your juxtaposition of the Original Pantry with the idea of flying over the seemingly endless urban sprawl was an interesting one. We can bet that the Original Pantry was in an area with at least some degree of urban density, simply because places with character usually are. This contrasts with the sameness of sprawl, which isn’t original and sure wasn’t there to the same degree in 1924. Nice post and great sketches! Keep leaning on those newspaper boxes!

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