Week before last I went downtown to attend a meeting at City Hall. When I got there, the room was packed. It was hard to even find a seat. The zoning administrators started off with the obligatory preliminaries, which went on for quite a while. I looked around me and realized that there were dozens of people besides me who wanted to speak. I knew I was in for a long, dull morning.
So I split. They didn’t need me, and it seemed crazy to sit there waiting for a chance to talk when I knew there were other people who would cover everything I had to say, and probably say it better than I could. I decided to grab some breakfast and find a quiet place to chill. I got some food and some coffee and headed over to the plaza by the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC).
I love to hang out there. It’s spacious and usually pretty peaceful. Unless there’s an event going on, it’s unlikely you’ll find more than a handful of people on the plaza. One side is shaded by tall trees.
Opposite me I could see people coming and going at the JACCC. They do a lot of interesting programming. They even offer ukulele lessons.*
Take a look at the web site to find out about upcoming events.
I spent a while looking at the kites on the west side of the building, as they rose and fell with the breeze.
Then I was ready to go. But as I was leaving I saw a grove of trees off to one side. I’d never really noticed them before, so I walked over to take a closer look.
And as I neared the trees, I realized that they were part of a garden that rested just below the level of the plaza.
As I stood there by the locked gate, an elderly woman walked past and told me that the garden was open to the public. All I had to do was go to the JACCC and sign in. So that’s what I did.
It was so cool to discover this peaceful patch of green in the middle of downtown. I walked around snapping photos and enjoying the quiet.
I’m sure the sound of traffic was all around me, but I was more focussed on the sound of the stream that runs through the middle of the garden. I would’ve loved to spend a while just sitting on a rock and gazing into the water. Unfortunately, I had other stuff to do, so I moved on after about fifteen minutes. But I will be back.
In surfing the net, I noticed this comment by a woman who’s apparently a regular at the JACCC. “It is ukulele heaven in DTLA.” An amazing claim, which I can’t verify. You’ll have to check it out yourself.