Our family (my husband James, my son Nathan and I) moved to DTLA in 2008, one of the first middle class families to live in downtown (I make a point of saying middle class because if you look at Skid Row, there have always been families downtown). These were the days before Syrup Desserts, before Spring for Coffee, before the Nickle Diner—hell, before much of anything besides Pete’s Cafe and a lot of art galleries. Of course, there were the stores on Broadway, which mostly catered to people visiting from East LA to shop. And the homeless hotels and shelters on Skid Row.
Feeling a little bit like the Swiss Family Robinson and hoping to connect with someone, anyone, who also had kids downtown, I started our first blog, Under the Alexandria. The blog attracted some attention because while downtown was rated the 3rd bloggiest neighborhood in the U.S., blogging about raising a kid downtown was something different.
Under the Alexandria went on hiatus in 2010, partly because life got in the way and partly because living in Downtown LA stopped being a project and became simply the thing we did, day in and day out. But over the past year I began to notice an explosion of baby carriages. Yes, we are having a baby boom in DTLA, something I could only dream of back in 2008. But it’s one thing to have a baby downtown. It’s another to commit to raising your kid here.
So I decided to revive the blog but with a broader focus. Instead of simply documenting our family’s experiences, I want to share the tools, tips and resources that we’ve gleaned over the years. Where do I buy wipies at 5 pm on a Sunday when I don’t want to get in my car? What restaurants can I bring my kid to without getting the stink-eye from skinny hipsters? Will we ever have a park with a playground in the Historic Core? And what the hell do I do about getting my kid into a decent school?
There’s an active and growing Downtown LA Parents Facebook group you should also check out. And if you have questions, comments or just want to connect to other families downtown, get in touch—we’d love to hear from you!