Hometown Tourist: Olvera Street, Birthplace of Los Angeles

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Olvera Street is a Mexican marketplace located in the historic El Pueblo, the birthplace of Los Angeles.  Just a few blocks from Union Station, Olvera Street offers a walk back in time with street vendors, restaurants, cafes and gift shops.

Photo by Caitlyn

The first time I visited Olvera Street was on a field trip in elementary school.  All the kids were buying Mexican jumping beans.  I felt bad for the little worms flipping over inside their shells and wanted to set them free.

With a pocket-full of jumping beans, I walked into a glass shop.  Using a torch, the glassmith melted the glass into a honey-like strand and shaped it into a long-stem rose.  Since I planned on setting my jumping beans free, I bought a tiny glass elephant charm with purple ears to keep for myself.

On my friend Caitlyn’s first visit to Los Angeles, I brought her back to the birthplace of the city.  We walked through the vibrantly-colored marketplace under a gray sky.  Since no staycation is complete without souvenirs, I bought a Lucha Libre magnet and a tequila-flavored scorpion lollipop for my coworkers.  Caitlyn and I picked out matching friendship bracelets and dropped pennies into the wishing well before heading to dinner.

I can’t tell you my wish or else it won’t come true, but if Cailtyn moves to Los Angeles one day, you can find me kissing the wishing well.  Olvera Street may turn out to be the marketplace of dreams.

Say, “Cheese”!
Photo by Caitlyn
Make a Wish
Exploring the Roots of LA
Exploring the Roots of LA

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