In celebration of the Lunar New Year, this year's 110th Golden Dragon Parade will be this Saturday, January 31, starting at 2 pm in Chinatown. Of all the parades in Los Angeles (Rose, Hollywood Christmas, Doo-Dah, etc.) the Golden Dragon Parade is my particular favorite to attend.
If crowds aren't to your liking, then this parade (and logically all others) should best be avoided and watched on TV. But if you don't mind the smell of a little sweat and shoving combined with amazing dragons in formation and smoky fireworks, this parade is for you. After you get your fill of pageant floats, confetti, and snacks from nearby vendors, shops and art galleries are all within walking distance.
One of the highlights of my trek to Chinatown is taking the LA Metro. Depending on where you're coming from, getting off at Union Station or the Chinatown stop on the Gold line is best to reach the parade. Plus, you can look at all the public art while waiting. My local stop is at Hollywood and Vine, where I can admire some of the work designed by Gilbert "Maju" Luján.
Luján, whose work was featured recently in LACMA's Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A. over the summer, has made an underground stop come alive with bright palm trees and low-rider benches. These, along with a ceiling of film reels, represent a fitting reflection of its title "Hooray for Hollywood."
With the economy's current condition and the passing of Measure R, time will only tell when we will have our "Subway to the Sea." But for now, public events are still accessible via public transportation and despite the subterranean location, art still flourishes below.