Local Gems: South LA

Join us for the last event of the 2023 season, CicLAvia—South LA (Leimert Park <—> Historic South Central) on Sunday, December 3rd, from 9am - 3pm as we transform the streets of Leimert Park, King Estates, Exposition Park, and Historic South Central into a public park for the day.

The South LA area is rich with African American culture, especially in its food, art, and architecture. Here are some of the MANY local gems that will be along the route.

And our friends at Los Angeles Conservancy have designed an interactive scavenger hunt for CicLAvia participants to explore the history surrounding your ride, walk, run, or stroll through historic South L.A. neighborhoods. Stop by any CicLAvia info booth for more information on how to participate. Local Gems marked with an asterisk (*) are part of the challenge and are also open to all visitors throughout the day.

Check out:

Places To Eat + Shop

4330 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Open from 12pm - 6pm on CicLAvia Sunday is the art gallery Sika. For over 30 years, Sika has specialized in custom jewelry, African art, clothing, and other goods. Sika Dwimfo moved to L.A. in the ‘70s and started selling handmade jewelry at local street fairs. After his products gained popularity, Sika opened his namesake shop in 1992.


South LA Cafe
1700 Browning Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90062

Located on the corner of MLK and Western Ave is South LA Cafe. They pride themselves on being “Black-Owned, Family-Owned & Community-Owned.” South LA Cafe also strives to provide fresh and affordable food for the community.


*27th St Bakery
2700 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

27th Street Bakery Shop is a third-generation family business founded in South Los Angeles and built on a family heirloom recipe of sweet potato pie. The shop began as a restaurant in the 1930s but later transitioned to serving sweets in the late 1950s.


Cafe Calle
3310 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

A cozy coffee shop that is also a vibrant meeting place for the community, offering arts and other programming.



Things To Do + See

Museum of African American Art - Here: Arts & Culture Along the K exhibition
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Level 2, Suite 283
3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Bl
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Here: Arts & Culture Along the K is a multimedia art exhibition showcasing the Metro Art K Line art program at the Museum of African American Art at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

Here honors what has been, what is present and what is possible. Along with the exhibition, a companion publication has been developed to celebrate arts and culture along the K Line through Metro Art commissions and collaborations shaped by over 150 arts and cultural organizations, artists and creatives responding to distinct neighborhoods with bold imagination. The publication is available for free at the museum, while supplies last.

The exhibition is a celebration of artists, cultural producers and culture bearers connected by the K Line and marks the first anniversary of Metro ‘s K Line service through the neighborhoods of Crenshaw, West Adams, Jefferson Park, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, Hyde Park, Inglewood, Westchester and more.


*Leimert Park Station
4330 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

This station is home to one of LA Metro’s newest lines, the K Line, which opened last fall and aims to better connect South LA to the wider LA region. Inside this station -- and all K Line stations -- you will also see many forms of public art by stellar artists including:


Untitled by Mickalene Thomas

This mosaic was inspired by the quality of light, cultural and visual richness, and iconic structures in the surrounding neighborhood. Before translating the work into a mosaic, the artist used photo collage techniques to create the layered composition, which integrates many of the natural and architectural elements characterizing the community. The Leimert Park Fountain, Vision Theatre, and Japanese-inspired home garden designs are among the featured motifs.


Talking Drums by Ingrid Calame

This work is inspired by the streetscape surrounding Leimert Park Station. Calame collaborated with youth through the RightWay Foundation to create rubbings of the physical environment—from furniture and instruments to architectural elements such as doorways and signs, all found in the neighborhood. The resulting textural abstractions appearing in the subtly hued compositions on the glass panels of the station’s entrance pavilion evoke a sense of familiarity and imbue value on objects that are often overlooked or taken for granted.


Untitled by Dean Erdmann

Dean Erdmann’s fourteen porcelain enamel art panels on the platform at Leimert Park Station depict double-exposed photographs of natural elements in Leimert Park interspersed with images of the transit environment. The vivid, poetic dreamscapes are inspired by the act of viewing the passing landscape through a train or bus window overlaid with images reflected on the glass. Highlighting movement, these scenes emphasize the role of transit in linking the larger county with the Leimert Park neighborhood.


Leimert Park Plaza
4395 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Named after Walter H. Leimert, who developed the neighborhood in 1927, and designed by the Olmstead Brothers, Leimert Park is considered one of L.A.’s first planned residential communities. After restrictive housing covenants ended in 1948, Black residents moved in and created a lasting cultural legacy through businesses, art, music, and community spaces. 


*Vision Theatre
3341 W 43rd Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Currently under renovation is the Vision Theatre. This theater with its Spanish-style art-Deco design, has and will continue to serve as a performing arts center for the community. For over 90 years this performing arts space has served as a movie theater, art gallery, youth center, Jehovah’s Witness Chapel, and much more. Since the late ‘90s, the theater has been managed by the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs.


The Elixir by Patrick Henry Johnson
4209 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Nearby the Leimert Park Plaza Hub you’ll see the work of Patrick Henry Johnson. His mural, The Elixir, took him two months to complete and has been featured in many films and shows such as Creed III (2023), Insecure (2016-2021), and You People (2023).


Expo Park
700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037

Located towards the middle of the route is Exposition Park. This 160-acre location is home to a wide variety of museums, educational facilities, and stadiums. Swing by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum to learn more about nature, space, and the vital role African Americans have played in Western culture (check individual websites for schedule details.) The Natural History Museum will also be having their own Mobile Museum at the Expo Park Hub! In addition, the education staff from the California Science Center will be facilitating a hands-on activity related to the air and space exhibits within the museum. They will also provide insights about the museum's permanent exhibits, galleries, and offer a glimpse into the exciting future developments of the Science Center.


Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2025 is the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, co-founded by George Lucas and Mellody Hobson. This will be the first museum dedicated to highlighting visual storytelling through images. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will also have a booth at the Expo Park Hub, be sure to swing by.


*LA Memorial Coliseum
3911 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90037

Constructed between 1921 and 1923, the LA Memorial Coliseum proudly shows architectural elements inspired by Egyptian, Spanish, and Mediterranean designs. This outdoor arena has held national and international events, such as the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games and is currently home to the USC Trojans.


BMo Stadium
3939 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90037

BMO Stadium, formerly Banc of California Stadium, is a soccer field located in Exposition Park. Home to Major League Soccer’s LAFC and National Women’s Soccer League’s Angel City FC, this stadium is the first open air stadium in Los Angeles since the construction of Dodgers Stadium in 1962.


Second Baptist Church
2412 Griffith Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

The Second Baptist Church, located less than a block off the route, played a key role during the Civil Rights Movement and is the second oldest baptist church in Los Angeles. Home to NAACP meetings and host to speakers such as Malcolm X and MLK Jr, the history in this institution runs deep and can be seen throughout the community. 


*Lincoln Theatre
2300 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Designed in the Moorish Revival architectural style, the theater opened in 1927 for a growing Black community along Central Avenue. Lincoln Theatre is considered one of the last standing theaters which historically catered to Black communities. Though the building no longer serves as a theater, the space still addresses the needs of the community. Today, Lincoln Theatre is home to Iglesia de Jesucristo Ministerios Juda, a Spanish-speaking congregation.


Fire Station No. 14
3401 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

From 1936 to 1956, Fire Station No. 14 served as one of the two all Black segregated fire stations in Los Angeles.


Florence Mills Apartments Mural by Myisha Arellanus
3503 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

The Florence Mills Apartments, named after the prominent Black entertainer from the 1920s, currently have two large murals of her that can be seen from the street. These were done to inspire the community as well as pay homage to Mills for her contributions to entertainment and equality. 


We can't wait to see you all at CicLAvia—South LA (Leimert Park <—> Historic South Central) on December 3. Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out on updates on future events.

These events are made possible by contributions from people like you. To support more open streets, consider making a tax-deductible donation here today!

Photos courtesy of: LA Times, Daily Bruin, Tripadvisor, Postmates, Eat the World Los Angeles, LAist, Metro, Curbed LA, Wired, NBC News, DLR Group, Major League Soccer, Second Baptist Church LA, LA Conservancy, and The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition.