A Walk Through History – Taking a Brady Westwater Tour of Los Angeles
So yesterday I was telling you about this awesome bookstore I found in downtown Los Angeles. Well, today I’m going to tell you how I happened upon it. On Saturday, I was specifically in downtown to take a walking tour which happened to meet at The Last Bookstore.
Now, I love walking tours. They give you great overviews of the areas you stroll through, often offer access to places not normally open to the general public, and provide a good workout! I have taken several in the downtown area through the Los Angeles Conservancy and have always enjoyed them. When I learned about the tour “Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101” I just knew I had to try it.
So bright and not too early Saturday morning my sister and I found ourselves at The Last Bookstore waiting to meet one Brady Westwater. He soon arrived to take us (and a handful of other folks) on a journey through the distant and recent past of downtown Los Angeles.
Mr. Westwater puts on the tours, but prior to meeting him on Saturday I had no idea what an apt tour guide he is. As it turns out, he is one of the people instrumental to the recent revitalization of downtown. Armed with first hand insight into the recent changes in the area as well as a vast knowledge of it’s history, we were in care of a most worthy guide.
Now, when I take tours with the Conservancy (I’ll be sure to write about those at some point) I learn much about the architectural history of the area. Mr. Westwater’s tours concentrate more on the historical significance – whether it be political, anthropological, or cultural. While gawking at the beauty that surrounded me, I learned much about downtown’s rural past, it’s link to the early days of cinema (always a favorite topic for me), it’s recent problems with the drug trade (thankfully over), and a few pop culture tidbits (hint: they have to do with Babe Ruth and Ryan Gosling).
It was fast paced and in depth and it was fun and fascinating. And at only $15, it’s one of the best deals in town. Mr. Westwater also offers another tour entitled “How Downtown Los Angeles Invented the Wild West.” I think I’m gonna have to take that one, too.
For more info on the tours, check out this blog.
Oh! And here’s some pics of the amazing places we strolled through.