On Saturday I went with a group of friends to the Women’s March in Downtown LA. We all met at our friend’s apartment in Santa Monica so we could get on the metro where it began, and boy, did we make the right call. Even at Santa Monica the metro platform was crowded– much like weekday mornings in DC, but without the train capacity to accommodate it.
Our group was lucky enough to get seats and were able to watch as the crowds on the platforms got bigger as we neared Downtown. I’m betting that it was the largest amount of people to ever use the metro in LA.
As the train moved along, I checked my snapchat to see the stories of all my friends still living in DC who attended the March and found myself getting emotional between the sights in the capital and those we were experiencing on the metro. It was both empowering and sad– all these people were coming together to stand for what they believed in and fight for their rights– but why in this day and age do we really still have to fight for them? Why don’t they just belong to us? Why isn’t it my right to do what I want with my own body as a living, breathing, human person?
But I digress. The crowds! Within the crowd someone from our group spotted Joshua Malina AKA David Rosen from Scandal. I am a huge Scandal fan so it was a pretty exciting celeb sighting. When we got off the train we noticed that he (sporting a Hillary hat) was there with his daughter. My friend noted that only in Hollywood do you go to a political march alongside someone who was in two political DC shows (The West Wing being the second).
When we finally made it Downtown and got off the train, we joined an even larger crowd than we had seen on the metro. We stood for an hour while people started various chants and, in true California form, someone bounced a giant globe beach ball through the crowd. As we chanted and talked to the women around us, we heard speakers in the distance. People were starting to get restless and even began to chant, “March! March! March!” and then the news came down through the crowd that the route was packed from Pershing Square (where we were) all the way to city hall– so we couldn’t actually march which felt triumphant but also anti-climactic because everyone was here to march and protest.
The crowd quickly dispersed in different directions. Everyone started flooding the streets around us wanting to keep the spirit of the march going.
Several people in our group had to relieve their bladders, and the other half of the group was starving– it was only 11:30 but it had already been a long day (we were all up at 6)– so we tapered off from the crowd and found ourselves at Clifton’s Republic.
Clifton’s it turns out, is a magical, three-story cafeteria with a whimsical forrest theme. Here I had what maybe was the best pot pie I have ever had– the chicken was shredded; the gravy was creamy, and the pastry was fluffy, crisp and light.
It seemed like a lot of people from the March had the same idea as us. The caf was very crowded so we made our way to the third floor to grab a table, and from the window we could see the crowd taking over Broadway.
After we all finished refueling, we went back out to join them. At the end of block, there was a stage set up so we walked towards it. The area in front of the stage was packed, so we stood behind it. As I listened to the speaker I thought her voice sounded familiar. When I tried to look through the screen to see who it was, I saw perfectly bobbed, curly hair and big sunglasses. It was Jane Fonda! And she was inspiring– one forgets she is no stranger to activism (P.S. watch Grace and Frankie on Netflix, it’s great). When she was done speaking she introduced… Miley Cyrus… who introduced the president of GLAD. It was surreal.
In another surreal moment, when we were by the stage, a woman walked over and asked me who was speaking. She had a baby harness strapped on her front, and I looked down to find that it was not a baby, but a pug. It looked at me in alarm as its mom inched forward to snap a photo of Jane Fonda, so I reached out and pet him to try to let him know that he was going to be okay.
We decided to walk a street over to see how far back the crowd in front of the stage went (FAR). I enjoyed just walking the streets of DTLA freely and taking in the scene of protesters milling about with their signs– some with children and/or dogs in tow.
I saw a few children on their fathers’s shoulders earlier in the day when we were waiting to march. One little girl was holding a sign that had Dora the Explorer on the front, and on the back it said “Future Explorer” with an arrow pointing down at her. It was definitely among the top 5 signs.
It was a great and satisfying day– aside from the fact that there seemed to be no police officers anywhere in the vicinity even though they were desperately needed to monitor the crowd on the metro platforms where I almost got flattened against a wall.
But, it’s fine. I live to fight another day.
For a look inside my other DTLA adventures,