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Parking & Driving Tips for the Fabric District

There may be shorter routes to get into the LA garment district, but this method works well for getting in and out.  This page is written for when I run tours.. so it's got my favorite starting place listed.  I like to park where there's great shopping, a safe building, safe parking, restrooms and food.  You may find another place you like better, this is mine...

Parking Quick-Jump Index

bulletInto Los Angeles
bulletFrom the 10 west, San Gabriel Valley
bulletOnce you're on the 110 freeway
bulletStopping at FIDM
bulletParking in the Fabric District
bulletLeaving the District
bulletDinner Options
bulletGolden Coast Buffet

Into Los Angeles

For the most part... I'm just going to say... take your favorite freeway to the 110.  To start... more freeway tips into LA will be added as I get them. (Please send your version.)

From the 10 West - San Gabriel Valley

bulletFrom San Gabriel Valley, 10 freeway....
bulletMove to the center, lane 3
bulletFollow signs for 101 into Los Angeles
bulletTake 110 south into downtown LA

Once you're on the 110 freeway....

bulletHeading south...
bulletthe tough part is getting over to the middle to get past the Wilshire Blvd. 3rd lane from the center. 
bulletAs soon as you pass Wilshire, start moving to the right as soon as you get new lanes...
bulletMove two lanes to the right 
bulletTake 9th street off ramp
bullet9th goes one way... stay to the middle.
bulletNote: getting back on at the end of the day... go south one street, to Olympic.  Head west.  You turn right 2 blocks before the freeway.  The sign is a bit hidden but it's there.

Stopping at FIDM Museum & Gallery

This is on the way to the fabric district.  The scholarship store has absolutely killer prices and is worth a quick stop to check out what's been donated lately.  Great place to pick up $1 a yard fabric.

bullet919 South Grand Avenue (9th and Grand)
bulletOn the right side of the street.  Only 4 blocks off the freeway. (the same ramp you just got off.)
bulletIf you just go into the scholarship store, park on the street.  Just watch the time so you don't get a ticket.  If going to the exhibits, park under the building.  Costs about $5.

Parking in the Fabric District

bulletKeep going down Ninth, middle of the street.
bulletPass Los Angeles Street
bulletThe street becomes 2 way one street before Maple Ave
bulletGet in the left turn lane,
bulletTurn left (north) up Maple
bulletGo 1/2 block, turn left into the parking garage
bulletOften there is a flagman there the help with the turn, folks are courteous. Watch for kids on the sidewalk.
bulletTo mapquest it, use Em-Be's address, 305 E. 9th St, #135, LA
bulletGo up the ramp, pay in advance
bulletParking prices vary by day and by time... $6-$9 (all the places vary)
bulletYou can find cheaper but they may close ultra early (and you can't get it until the next day) or the lot will not be as safe or you'll get someplace they like to play bumper cars.
bulletYou've got your option if they're not too crowded.
bulletParking around the side, it's tight spots, but you can park your own car.
bulletSurrender your keys.  These guys are great.... so no worries
bullet Take the elevators down to the 1st floor.
bulletYou're inside the "L" of the fabric mart on the NW corner of 9th and Maple.
bulletThe inside corner is Em-Be's Fabrics
bulletThis is where we meet for tours.
bulletShop here first and last.
bulletThe proprietor will even help you with burn tests
bulletThis is one of the few shops downtown where you can really trust that silk is silk.

Short version:
bulletContinue east down 9th, turn right on Maple, right into the parking structure.
bulletMeet at the building on 9th and Maple. The northwest corner.  Inside corner store... Em Be's

Leaving the Garment District

bulletLeave before dusk
bulletIn the winter, a number of places close at 3PM, get closer to your parking as you finish shopping.
bulletTurn right, (south) out of the parking garage onto Maple
bulletGo down 1 1/2 blocks to Olympic
bulletBe patient, watch for J walkers
bulletTurn right on Olympic, go about 1 1/2 miles to the 110 freeway
bulletNorth, turn right 2 blocks before the 110 freeway.  (The sign is slightly hidden by the trees.)
bulletSouth, stay in the left lane, follow signs.

Yes, there are other ways to get out of Los Angeles, they look more direct on the map.  They may or may not be faster.

bulletNow... if  you decide to take the short cut and just head north out of the garment district  you're heading into skid row, the LA Mission area etc.  (This will freak out folks not ready for reality... so when in doubt... take the other route
bulletI heavily suggest if you don't know the area, don't try these.
bulletleft at the parking lot and right on Los Angeles
bulletAt the 101 freeway south (10 east San Bernardino), you make a right onto the freeway...  (depending on exactly where you the freeway labeling can be weird... and with construction... incomplete.)
bulletBe careful, stuff is under construction, the normal ramp is missing, it will dump you on fast and you've got to get over to the 2nd lane from the left fast.  (If you try to get on towards the east... those ramps are closed right now.)

Going to Dinner

We've yet to find an nice inexpensive place to gather for dinner downtown... so we run out just a few miles.

Alhambra - Golden Coast Buffet

Our current stopping point after shopping.  Note, if in the San Gabriel Valley, we sometimes carpool... parking directly across the street from the restaurant sign in the lot of PetCo, Party City, Albertsons.

bulletGold Coast Buffet
bullet2223 W. Commonwealth Ave., Alhambra 626-576-7688
bulletFood is Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and American
bulletYou can get everything from sushi, to a large array of Chinese, dumplings, noodles, salads, fresh seafood, chicken nuggets and pizza.
bulletFrom the garment district, take 110 freeway north to the 10 east (San Bernardino)
bulletOn the freeway feeder roads, get all the way to the left, 2 lanes. 
bulletYou will be in the lane for the 10 freeway east
bulletOnce you take the 10/5 ramp, stay to the left.
bulletOn the freeway, move to the left right away, 2nd from the center.
bulletStay in that lane until after you pass the 710 freeway.
bulletGet off the 10 East onto Freemont Avenue (one off ramp after the 710 freeway) - this is less than 5 miles away... it's just right after all the freeway merges, just past east LA.
bulletStay to the right, turn right , spinning  under the freeway onto Freemont, north.
bulletGo under the freeway and go straight up Fremont up a mile 1 1/2.
bulletYou'll pass over a rail road bridge & a bit later a 10 story glass building.... you're close
bulletYou will pass a big lot with block stores of Pet Co, Party City and Albertson.
bulletTurn right at the light on Commonwealth Ave.
bulletYou'll pass and tiny street almost immediately.
bulletTurn right on the 2nd driveway after the sign Freemont Inn & just before the Golden Coast Buffet sign.
bulletYou're there!
bulletOn the weekends, dinner is $11.99 so $16 will cover food, soda, tax and tip.

Short version:

bulletLeave the garment district, right down Maple, right on Olympic, right onto 110 freeway to 10 east.
bulletOff on Freemont Ave (right past the 710 junction), 2 rights to swing under the freeway going north on Freemont
bullet6-7 light, Right on Commonwealth
bulletLeft into Golden Coast Buffet parking lot.

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This page last updated: 07/27/09