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Inner Passage

This public transit sightseeing tour is the third one that ends in downtown
Los Angeles
and just like each of the other two tours, (See LA on the MTA and Where East meets West), there is something new and exciting to see. Your tour will take place on MTA’s line #42 for a different view of LA.  Line #42 is a local line meaning it makes multiple stops along its route.  Touring on this line takes more time; however, it also gives you additional opportunities to exit the bus and experience some of the sites up close. In the case of this particular route, more equals more.  This tour will introduce you to other communities in LA and to some of LA’s and the nation’s “firsts”.

 

The beginning of this tour overlaps with portions of the other public transit tours, See LA on the MTA, The Green Machines and It’s the big one as it leaves the
Los AngelesInternationalAirport area’s public transit center. Due to the similarities in the route at the beginning, your first attraction on this tour is at the intersection of Slauson and La Tijera (

4950 W. Slauson Ave.

). Located on the southeast corner is the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church.  This is the “first” Armenian Church in LA.  St. James moved from 3200
West Adams in LA to its present location in 1965.; (Read “Seeing Stars”? for more information on the area from Slauson and La Brea to Overhill and Stocker.); As the bus descends down curvy Stocker St., take a look to the left on the northwest corner at the intersection of Stocker and Crenshaw to view the southern portion of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP).  This shopping center opened in November 1947 and is an historic “first” because it is the “oldest” regional shopping center in the
U.S.
The “first” and only three story Wal-Mart in the nation which is also said to be one of the most profitable in the nation is located here. The Macy’s Department Store is home to the “
Museum of
African Art
” located on the third level. The AMC Magic Johnson Theatre at 4020 Marlton Ave. is located outside the mall adjacent to one of its main entrances. This theater hosts the Pan African Film and Arts Festival which is reported to be the largest one in the U.S. featuring films made by people of African descent. The New Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) at Marlton and Santa Rosalia Avenues on the northwest portion of the plaza (formally located in
Culver City
) joined this community in June 2009.  Angelenos familiar with this area will recognize this address as the former location of Mattie’s Bistro.

 

As if all of the above isn’t enough to make you want to jump off this tour and explore this plaza, your tour then takes you approximately six blocks past the plaza to the area know as Leimert Park Village. As your bus turns off of Crenshaw Blvd. on to 43rd St., take a quick glance north (left) on Norton Ave.  On this street in the 3800 block of

Norton Ave.

(a then empty lot) is where the body of a young woman (later to be known as “The Black Dahlia”) was found in January 1947. If you look to the left and the right at the intersection of 43rd and
Degnan Blvd.

, you will see the heart of the
Historic
Leimert
Park
Village
.  This is another good location to exit the tour and explore much of what the village has to offer.  This area is a popular cultural mecca to the African American community.  Here you will find art, music, souvenirs, restaurants, theatre, various events, a park and a strong since of community. The
LeimertPark area was the former home to the
CrossroadsArtAcademyActingSchool owned and operated by the late actress Susie Garrett (“Punky Brewster”) and her sister Marla Gibbs.; The next stop on your tour is Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (MLK) or King Blvd., (named after the late Civil Rights leader and formerly known as Santa Barbara Ave.).
King Blvd.

is one of the main east/west streets that connects this community to the downtown LA area.; At
King Blvd.

and 2nd Ave. on the northeast corner is the former location of the Memory Lane Jazz and Supper Club. This club was once owed by Marla Gibbs (the actress who played the very funny maid on the mid 70’s to mid 80’s popular sitcom “The Jeffersons”).; At the intersection of
King Blvd.

and Vermont looking north (to the left) is the “western” side of
Exposition
Park
(known as the crossroads of the LA community) and the University of Southern California (USC). {LA is home to two of the most popular universities and one of the biggest rivalries in the nation.} (See It’s the big one!!!  and The Green Machines  for tour directions to UCLA.) Exposition Park is home to the California African American Museum (CAAM), California Science Center, the California Science Center (IMAX Theater), the Expo Center, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (host to the 1984 Olympics), the Natural History Museum, the Rose Garden and the Sports Arena.; On
King Blvd.

at
Menlo St.

(on the left) you can see the southern part of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Coliseum is currently painted with two stripes at the top. These stripes, one cardinal red and the other gold, are USC’s school colors.; On the northwest corner of
King Blvd.

and Figueroa is the Sports Arena (former home to the LA Clippers basketball team). At this same intersection looking to the left and headed north on Figueroa is the eastern side of
ExpositionPark and USC. Approximately 20 blocks further north on Figueroa is the
Los AngelesConvention Center, the
StaplesCenter (current home to the LA Clippers and the LA Lakers) and the newest downtown attraction LA Live.

Disclaimer: This information is subject to change without notice. 

Due to the number of sightseeing and exploring opportunities on this particular line, this tour is in two parts.  Subscribe by clicking on the button above to ensure you won’t miss part 2 of this rich sightseeing public transit tour. 

For more on the
HistoricLeimertParkVillage read the article by the LA Higher Consciousness Examiner.

 

 

 

Comments

  • Vernita 4 years ago

    Wonderful article! Thanks for the history info - I didn't know that the Baldwin Hills Mall opened in 1947! Learned something new today!

  • Georgia 4 years ago

    Excellent info. I'm being educated to a whole new level of L.A. by your articles. Keep up the good work.

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