Bonjour! Yesterday, I finally went on my first Artist’s Date in September. Why on earth do I procrastinate or avoid doing this on weekly basis is beyond me. The Artist’s Date is best thing any person can do for him or herself. Every time I actually put time and effort into my Artist’s Date, I come back happier and more inspired than ever. But, I digress.
My Artist’s Date (or A.D. as I sometimes call it) led me to one of my all time favorite spots in all of Los Angeles. I know, I know…I say that about every place I speak of. But, honestly, this place is just magical to me and it is among my top five favorite LA sights.
For my A.D., I went to Union Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Los_Angeles) yesterday. For those who don’t know about it, Union Station is a grand old train station built in 1939 located in downtown LA. In the old times, when train travel was prevalent, this was a busy and bustling place. Today, it’s the hub of Amtrack and other bus and light rail trains.
I walked in and sat on one of those classic brown seats, in awe of how beautiful this place is. The place just takes my breath away.
I don’t really know why I love it so much. After all, I hardly ever go there and I’ve only visited a handful of times. But, love it, I do. Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone going to Union Station and not falling instantly in love with the place.
It is old time beautiful. It is Spanish style grand and Art Deco cool. You walk in and you’re immediately transported to another era. I can see posh women in their mink stoles and stylish hats arriving from destinations unknown. I can see men in gray flannel suits and fedoras hurrying on by. I can see bygone eras coming to life (in black and white) at Union Station. When I’m there, I can’t help but think of Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. I can’t help but feel the romance and mystery of the days of Film Noir. And all I want to do is run along side a steaming train, trying to catch a last glimpse of my lost love.
At this point, my daydreaming was interrupted by the sound of the announcer who actually said: “all aboard“. What can be more fabulous than that!?
Union Station also holds very happy personal memories for me. You see, on a beautifully sunny February day about six years ago, we took our engagement pictures there. The location was my choice, of course. (My husband picked a particularly rocky beach, but I’m not bitter.) As soon as I was asked to pick a location, I knew Union Station was the right place. And, as you see, I was right.
I admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic with all these old fashion and classic ideas and aesthetics. I can’t help it- I have always loved train stations and airports. When I was a kid my parents used to take me to Mehrabad, Tehran’s international airport, quite often. We used to dine at an upscale restaurant inside the airport. I loved going to Mehrabad! It was so exciting to watch the travelers and the hustle and bustle of it all. What I really loved were the flight attendants. Back in the day, they dressed in beautifully made suits with pencil skirts and beautiful hats. I found them so glamorous and beautiful that I dreamt of growing up to become a flight attendant.
I also loved the promise and the excitement of it. Where were these people coming from? Where were they going? What beautiful destinations awaited them? The energy of it all used to make me giddy. And after all the years and the ups and downs of life, I sat there at Union Station and felt the same giddiness. I didn’t see any beautifully coiffed ladies in pencil skirts and clicking high heels, but I still felt that same promise and excitement of far away destinations.
Union Station is a grand place to see in Los Angeles, not as the smoggy busy town it is now, but as the city of dreams of yesterday. Every corner is elaborately detailed and every detail is beautifully nostalgic. And every inch of it connects the present, not to mention the future, to the past.
My A.D. rocked!! I loved it and I am so glad to have gotten over my mental block to go to this fabulous little corner of the City of Angles. I love LA.