Exploring the oldest street of Los Angeles

By Colleen Yorke
Navigational Art and Directions By Colleen Yorke, © 2015.
Olvera Street, which is named after the first Superior Court Judge of Los Angeles County, is where it all began. Connecting point, communal meeting place, starting block of a journey: The some 233 years' aged throughfare is Los Angeles' oldest street. Vintage footage can be seen in Charlie Chaplin's 1921 film “The Kid”.
Olvera Street, Scene from "The Kid"
Today Olvera Street is a tourist attraction and a living museum, paying homage to a romantic vision of old Mexico. The central plaza is decked with small vendor stands selling colorful piƱatas, puppets, Mexican pottery, mounted bull horns, and oversized sombreros. One could easily and enjoyably spend a whole day here watching the comings and goings of tourists and locals alike. Although it is not a large square, it is filled with people of all age groups. Numerous young people sit on the edges of a fountain, talking, taking pictures or texting on their cell phones, while their parents head for the stalls of the small souvenir market-alley, or the outdoor restaurants. 
Tonight the DTLA Running Group is exploring what a place can hold after the public leaves. We are running three different routes, 3, 4 and 5 miles, at a pace everyone is comfortable with. As always, the rule of thumb is: "If we can't talk, one of us is probably running too fast." See you on the road!