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At first glance, the Arts District and Little Tokyo would appear to share very little in common other than a border. Nestled together just east of the towering skyscrapers in Downtown Los Angeles, the two suburbs undoubtedly boast unique identities.

Filled with stores owned by Japanese expats selling merchandise from their homelands, signs in the beautiful scripts of kanji, katakana or hiragana and flowing fountains in tranquil strip malls, Little Tokyo is a place of order, peace and commerce. It’s also a home away from home for Japanese tourists and a sensory sight to behold for the just plain curious.

The Arts District, on the other hand, is a thriving – at times chaotic – hotbed of creativity. Stroll down any street in this part of town – a part of town once known as the Warehouse District for its blue collar factories – and it is almost impossible not to be bombarded from every angle by art. On street signs, lampposts, parking meters, walls and fences, if it’s a surface and it’s in the Arts District, it will be covered, plastered or painted on. There is, it appears, no order to the glorious mayhem where loft apartments in old commercial buildings now reign supreme.

But dig a little deeper into these two distinctly different neighborhoods and it won’t be long before you find the thread that binds them together. They are creative spaces. They are places on the very cutting edge in a city long known for leading the world in innovation. One is a traditional neighborhood, the other as dynamic as it gets. But together – and through their own unique methods – these two creative hubs in Los Angeles are united in the way they produce and display public art.

If that has piqued your interest,  explore our site to find out more about what makes these wonderful places tick and why you should visit them.


Aaron, Chie and Will

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