My first foray into Downtown Los Angeles about 10 years ago was a shocking experience. After all I had always been told that LA was just one big sprawl with no real center. Driving through its heart on the freeways you could only see the nameless glass towers that grew out of Bunker Hill.
Taking a walking tour shattered that view of LA forever. I discovered there was actually a REAL downtown with grand ornate buildings and beautiful theaters crowded into a few square blocks - just like a major city is supposed to have.
The only problem was that it had been virtually abandoned wholesale when people and companies moved into those gleaming glass towers decades before. But it is still there, still beautiful and very slowly being brought back to life by loft dwellers. I still cannot really understand why it was ever abandoned.