Flowers, Art, and Comfort Food in Los Angeles

Posted February 9, 2009 by Kate Hamman

UnionStation Los Angeles may be home to the stars, but visitors can still discover the beauty in public transportation, find firehouse comfort foods, and walk in a flower garden in the city here on earth.

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Metro Art Tours: L.A.'s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has seamlessly incorporated art into people's everyday commute. The Metro has commissioned more than 250 artists since 1989 to create art for rail and bus travel. Free tours of these works, found on streetscapes, bus interiors, and stations, are available the first Saturday and Sunday of every month. Each two-hour tour is led by a trained Metro Docent Council volunteer, who provides insight into the art and artists featured within the transit system.

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L.A. Flower District: Come smell the azaleas, lilies, tulips, and orchids at the largest flower district in the U.S. Floral designers, growers, and wholesalers bring nearly every type of flower and potted plant to the market, making "America's Flower Garden" grow. The public is welcome to walk among the daisies on weekdays for $2, and for $1 on Saturdays. Photo opportunities abound, with a rainbow of colors and exotic varieties, so don't forget your camera.

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Engine Co. No. 28: By combining a historic-cultural landmark and comfort food at its best, Engine Co. No. 28 has achieved a four-alarm success. The once-active firehouse built in 1912 now serves classic American fare, inspired by many of the dishes firemen crave during duty, including meatloaf, chicken fried steak, and apple pie. Most items cost under $20 such as the turkey burger for $12.50.

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(Photo: Metro @ 2007 LACMTA)

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Reader Comments

If I can afford to go to LA, these are some good tips! LOL!

Posted on February 09, 2009 at 04:34 PM by pentium3at600

I can vouch for Engine Company No. 28 as being a great place with excellent food that won't break the bank.

Posted on February 09, 2009 at 05:02 PM by Wilfred Hood

Dude, Los Angeles is just a dirty dirty DIRTY place. I'm not sure a few nice places around LA can make up for the overall feel of the city.

Posted on February 09, 2009 at 05:13 PM by Red Hood

Red Hood, you're absolutely right. But, at least LA has In-And-Out Burgers!

Posted on February 09, 2009 at 05:27 PM by Sinestro

To say that L.A. is a "dirty dirty DIRTY place" is a gross generalization. There are well-maintained neighborhoods and then there are those that need TLC, just like in *every* major city. Anyway, the grittiness of L.A. is what has raised some bad-a*%es and why so many flock there.

Posted on February 10, 2009 at 09:07 AM by luluus

I think the Metro Art Tours sound really interesting. What a great way to truly get a sense of what the city is all about - through the eyes of local artists. If I make it to L.A. soon, I will definitely get hooked up with this tour!

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 12:58 AM by Lori

These are great alternatives for tourists. The flower market is always wonderful. Metro Art Tours is a nice way to spend an hour or so. I haven't eaten at Engine 28, but I can vouch for In-N-Out too!

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 02:23 PM by AngelaF.

I love the firehouse idea. I will definitely check this out next time I'm in the area. I wonder if they still have the fireman's pole and everything? Man meatloaf sounds good. What would be your favorite dish in the firehouse? I would hope they made a mean lasagna and garlic bread!

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 06:41 PM by KMiLL

This article outlines just a couple of the great things that are available in LA. The art in the Metro is really stunning--it really makes your commute enjoyable, and has helped the stations stay clean. I can also vouch for the flower district. It's actually romantic to walk through and see--and smell--the huge variety of flowers available. Don't miss these great (and inexpensive) neat details in LA.

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 09:02 PM by Barbara8774

LA is a great place for cultural experiences. Combine that with the warm weather and the abundance of neighborhoods, and anyone is bound to find a place where they fit in. If your looking for free culture, the Getty Art museum, perched on a hill overlooking the Pacific is great for classic and modern art. For beautiful flowers, take a drive around Beverly Hills or Pasadena in the spring, the beautifully groomed homes will make you drool. And, if you want comfort food, be sure to stop by the Apple Pan, a historical staple in LA known for its towering apple pies.

Posted on February 12, 2009 at 03:27 PM by Jordan

I didn't know there was a tour of the MetroArt around LA. I've admired the pieces I've seen going between North Hollywood and Downtown, but I know that's just scratching the surface of all the beautiful work out there. I have never eaten at Engine Co., but the next time I take in a show at the Ahmanson I will definitely check it out! Another idea for a cheap way to enjoy flowers is to check out the Rose Garden at Exposition and Figueroa. It opens up again on March 16th for the 2009 season.

Posted on February 12, 2009 at 03:51 PM by LostAngles

I've never been to LA but I love to travel. I hope, one day soon, I'll be able to go on one of those metro tours! Incorporating art in transport? Genius! Not to mention I LOVE turkey burgers so Engine Co. will definitely be on my list of places to stop. Great blog. =)

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 12:08 AM by Xombicide

Thanks for providing this information. I have never been to LA, but I plan to visit some time in the future. I have friends and relatives staying there, and when I visit I will be looking forward to take a metro tour. I love gardening, so will definitely visit LA Flower District, and hope to have a heavenly experience there. I wish to know whether they sell seeds and bulbs at this place? I grow lots of flowers and bulbs like freesias, hyacinth, daffodils and lots more, so can imagine how lovely it must be at this Flower District.

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 12:29 AM by Prachi

I like LA I wish I had more time to stay there. You wouldn' think that it is a place that is known for its cuisine. I found many nice restaurants in LA that had great food. I found this great place in Westwood can't remember the name. I missed the trip to Watts towers that would have been a great experience-maybe next time!

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 06:33 PM by ney

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