I woke up this morning after unrestful sleep, still feeling depressed. I’d dreaded starting my 100 New Things in 30 Days, necessary though it was for my emotion wellbeing. Still, it was July 31st. I had exactly 30 days before school started. I dragged myself out of bed, adjusted my sleep actigraphy bracelet, and wrote up a quick schedule.

#1: Visit the Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building in central LA, and has been used in numerous films. I was awestruck by how gorgeous it was. Most websites I found hesitated to assign any particular architectural style to the building’s interior. Whatever architect is most responsible for the design– it’s between Sumner Hunt and George H. Wyman– created a truly unique work. Standing under the flood of natural light, I couldn’t believe the beauty that surrounded me.

#2: Browse stores in Chinatown LA

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I adore the Chinatowns in San Francisco, Honolulu and Boston. (Yes, in that order.) Yet I’d barely stepped foot in LA’s. After reading up about must-see plazas and boutiques, I explored Chinatown in a way I hadn’t before. There were the typical souvenirs of course, but also beautiful gold jewelry and tiny charming plants. I was surprised by how little there was to do. I’ve since learned that the neighborhood is less quiet on specific days and times. I hope to return and add to my list of things. For now, I had to hurry to my next experience:

#3: Go to a soda tasting

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I love soda so, so much. It’s rare to see me for very long before I down a Diet Coke or Perrier. One finals week, a friend sent me multiple pallets’ worth of Coke. I had just given up caffeine for Lent, so my Sundays were a very sugary affair. Of course I would jump at the chance to go to a soda tasting.

Galco’s Soda Pop Shop curated a variety of sodas and carbonated waters from the US, Australia, France and Georgia. There was not a dud to be found.

On my way back, I decided to visit a certain street sooner than I’d planned. On my first day, I’d already gone from being immobilized to excited.

#4: Visit El Pueblo De Los Ángeles

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I don’t know why I thought it was hard to get to Olvera Street, the oldest section of downtown LA. Actually, I do: the first time I thought to go here, it was for the annual Blessing of the Animals. Traveling anywhere with cats is a nightmare, so much so that I didn’t attend. In reality, it was only a few minutes’ walk from Union Station.

“Is there much to do on Olvera Street at night?” I texted a friend with more knowledge of the area. “Not that I’m aware of,” he texted after I’d walked through. But it was actually very beautiful, as was the area around it. I gazed at La Placita for some time. I don’t remember experiencing a more tranquil moment outside of the ocean. Since I’m wearing a certain bracelet, I can’t exactly dive into large bodies of water.

Sunday nights are apparently one of the most bustling times for Chinatown, and Sunday mornings the most bustling on Olvera. I think I have one of my 30 Days planned out! I was itching to do more new things, but it was getting late. I headed to Union Station for the third time today, got the obligatory Wetzel’s Pretzel, and went home.

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