Last week’s re-re-opening of Angel’s Flight (let’s hope it’s for good this time!) reminded me of one of my favorite photos (above) of the mini railway. What I find remarkable about this particular picture is the vegetarian restaurant to the right of the hill. I remember looking at this photo many years ago and lamenting the fact there were so few vegetarian restaurants to fulfill my dietary needs. I was jealous of the folks who in 1907, merely had to walk down the street to find a meat-less eatery. Not too long ago, trips to vegetarian restaurants could sometimes be all day excursions seeking out word-of-mouth eateries in far-flung corners of the county. How things have changed!
Now in certain parts of town, you can’t go a few blocks without running into two or three vegan joints. Almost all the supermarkets carry vegetarian food and soy-based frozen foods. For a vegetarian like myself, I feel as if my day has come. It’s not like I had trouble finding food to eat before, but all the new attention to vegan and vegetarianism makes life more convenient.
I start to wonder though, will restaurants return to their limited meat based menus? Why did this early 1900s restaurant close in the first place? Did the diet fall out of fashion? Maybe like the operation of Angel’s Flight, vegetarian restaurants will come and go, depending on the tastes of the times. Enjoy both now, while you can!
Here’s a bit on the new opening of Angel’s Flight:
When Angels Flight closed after a fatal accident in 2001, a new generation of urban dwellers was just settling into their lofts. In the intervening years, trendy restaurants, high-rise condos, luxury loft conversions and a full-fledged art district have reshaped the neighborhoods that spread east and south of the railroad’s base.
That change is only the latest transformation in the short railroad’s long history. For much of its life, beginning in 1901, Angels Flight connected the Victorian houses and wooden bungalows that once crowned Bunker Hill with the bustling commerce at the bottom of the hill. By the late 1960s, both ends of the slope were in transition. Bunker Hill’s residential blocks had been razed to make way for high-rise office towers, and the downtown below was struggling after decades of decline.
Full story at the Los Angeles Times.