New York Times (and Seinfeld) visit DTLA

il-caffe-sign-lao.jpgSwedish coffee purveyor il Caffe opened last week in the Acne Studio store in the Eastern Columbia Building on Broadway.

Number 5 on the New York Times Travel section's feature on 52 places to visit this year is Downtown Los Angeles. Yes, there it is right after the North Coast of California and the coast of Albania, and just ahead of Namibia. The downtown enthusiasts in the LA webosphere are beside themselves with happy about this.

Online the feature lets the NYT show off its new, much more visual and multimedia friendly website format. Example: the image with the DTLA story in the paper is a nice, evocative Monica Almeida shot of the crowds in Grand Central Market. On the web story you actually watch them eat.

The little text blurb by Danielle Pergament is enthusiastic without being gushy. Though it includes an appreciated, but head-scratching shout out to the hockey fans of downtown.

Gone is the musty, lifeless, only-open-for-Kings-hockey-games reputation of downtown Los Angeles. While the museums in this corner of the city are thriving (the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art is nearby), the growing dynamism of downtown is the food scene. Most notable is the Grand Central Market, an arcade of over 30 of the best food vendors in the city. Originally built in 1917, the market has been redone in the past year, attracting popular purveyors like G&B Coffee and, soon, Belcampo Meat Co. Just down the street is Alma, which was named the best new restaurant in the country by Bon App├ętit magazine. And where there is good food there is good shopping. Stores will be adding cachet to the neighborhood soon; an outlet of the fashion label Acne Studios opened in December, with Aesop, a skin-care specialist, soon to follow. Diners and shoppers alike will soon have a hip place to stay: An Ace Hotel is scheduled to open nearby this month.

seinfeld-video-grab.jpgAlso making the eyes of downtown boosters shine with pride this weekend: Patton Oswalt and Jerry Seinfeld drive downtown in a Delorean, camp out at a table at Handsome Coffee Roasters and make fun of the people you see around the Arts District. It's a video for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

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