Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Angels Flight

I think I deserve some kind of loooovvvee award.

Because this weekend Stefanie and I found the most romantic night time date spot in Los Angeles. Besides the slight smell of urine and the always present threat of a pick-pocketing, Angels Flight is hands down the greatest spot I have discovered for fanciful making-out, or perhaps some sexy Magnificent Ambersons' style historical role play, if that's your thing.

Cause Angels Flight is historic, baby. "The shortest incorporated railway in the world" is only 350 feet long. It was built in 1901 to transport Victorian elites (oh I've just been waiting for a chance to use that buzzword) up to their posh homes on Bunker Hill and down to the business district below. Although the neighborhood is long gone and the railway was moved 1/2 a block from its original locale, the two bright orange funicular cars, Olivet and Sinai, are originals. After a fatal accident in 2001 the railway was closed and reopened this March. It costs 25 cents per ride- how's that for historic?

Stef and I parked in one of the pay lots nearby and walked over to the Angels Flight archway, which sits grandly in a steep little park. It was around 9pm and the area was pretty much deserted except for parking attendants and the occasional homeless/hip folk that make up downtown. The railway literally goes straight up and down (about the incline and length of the Santa Monica steps) and one of the cars rumbled down the hill. A hipster stepped off to meet a friend and we stepped on, slightly confused b.c. we didn't have to pay.

The empty car had been beautifully restored, all shining wood and metal, and we were still trying to figure out where to sit when it began lurching up the steep hill. The car rides like an old beachside roller coaster (it's very jerky-not for the easily motion sick) and you feel like you are going to hit the other car as it runs in the opposite direction. This is prime "Oh, I'm scared, hold me time" which leads to our *make out opportunity #1.*

Once the car jerks to a halt you pay the friendly attendant sitting in an elegant historic kiosk at the top of the hill your hard earned quarter and step into *make out opportunity # 2.* A beautiful, almost totally deserted, fountain filled, misty courtyard with a twinkling view of the city and many cement sitting areas. In the daytime it is just a busy outdoor mall and eating area for lawyers and annoyed jurors (I have eaten many a dry sandwich there) but at night it is quiet and kind of magical- the only sound we heard was a wedding party posing outside at a nearby hotel.

After our trip back down we rediscovered *make out opportunity #3,* the atmospheric bar La Cita which sits directly across from Angels Flight. The interior is cool Mexican, the bartenders are tattooed and the patio is awesome. It was pretty empty when we were there (save a sad looking high school reunion) and there is a well stacked jukebox, always perfect for the first few dates. And to all of our future dates- please be kind. If we take you on this little adventure, act like you haven't read about it here first. Let us think we surprised you!

Travel: B-
Ease: B
Content: A
Subjective coolness: A
Overall: A-

Directions: Take the 110-S and exit at Downtown/4th Street. Merge onto W. 4th Street. Turn left at South Hill Street. Park in one of the pay lots. Address is: 351 South Hill, 90013.
Hours: 6:45am to 10pm daily.
Price: 25 cents(my computer doesn't even have a button for that!) plus parking(around $5.00).


  1. I just wanted to add that another romantic thing about the Angels Flight is that the hill it goes over is the hill from "500 Days of Summer." You can even sit on the same bench that they sit on in the movie :).

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