Every year on my birthday, I either visit someplace I’ve never been before, or experience something I have never done before. This year, I decided to spend my birthday enjoying some of the best local entertainment in Southern California. The day got started by experiencing a true Los Angeles treasure that first appeared back in 1901. Angels Flight Railway is a very short tram ride that whisks you from downtown LA to a little bit of heaven called California Plaza.
At the top of Bunker Hill, I was amazed to find an array of trendy restaurants, gift shops, and even an outdoor concert venue that featured ‘Rufus & Friends’. But for me, the main attraction was Angels Flight itself. The ancient tram still features the two original (and fully restored) tram cars, Sinai and Olivet. You’ve seen them in countless nostalgic films dating back to 1919. One of the final episodes of the 1950’s-1960’s Perry Mason television show was filmed on Angels Flight, with Perry himself and Della Street riding the cars. The orange and black ‘Sinai’ and ‘Olivet’ really stand out traveling up and down the tracks, as it was the only episode of the original Perry Mason ever shot in color.
Neighborhood remodeling took Angels Flight away in 1969, but it made a glorious return a block away from it’s original location, in 1996. A tragic accident closed Angel’s Flight in 2001 when ‘Sinai’ and ‘Olivet’ collided. Now fully refurbished, with safety in mind, the historic orange and black cars of Bunker Hill now proudly take you to a new height of escape at California Plaza. The best part is, the ride is still only 50 cents per trip, and you get a vintage Angels Flight Railway souvenir ticket.
Part 2 of my birthday adventure will appear soon right here on 947thewave.com.