Santee Alley- LA's Hidden Market
Santee Alley.... no where in LA can you get a more not-LA experience. I love this place for so many reasons- you can get ANYTHING if you know how to ask and speak a little Spanish, and the prices are usually pretty good. Santee Alley might be a little hard to find at first, it's the alley just EAST of Santee Street, but it's about a half mile of little stores selling everything from knock-off watches to contact lenses that make your eyes look like a cat. I can't tell you how many times I've gone down there to find a leather jacket, shoes, or even electronics. I REALLY don't think this could be stolen items, it's more like things fresh off the boat from China, or Taiwan or somewhere that are slightly off and can't be sold at a department store. Like an outlet center, really. Except that it's also full of people shouting "Five Dalla, Five Dalla!" It's safe as long as you don't flash too much money around, but still be aware of your surroundings. The vendors are there on Sundays too, but Saturdays before noon are the best time.