The Traveling Designer:

Leave Your Heels at Home

As an interior designer, I get the benefit of not being stuck to my office chair 24/7 — a perk I could not live without.  Earlier this week, we had to travel down to Del Mar, CA to meet a prospective client.  Not wanting to deal with traffic, we decided to hit the rails!

A little advice for anyone traveling by train: leave the heels at home (or at least in your bag until you arrive).  It must have been a sight to see me running through Union Station in 4” open toe heels, with my bright red, crocodile skinned suitcase trailing behind me.  We did manage to make it onto the train with 2 minutes to spare before pulling away from Downtown Los Angeles (not without effort, mind you).

Traveling by train is no luxurious matter.  However, it does allow you to get work done and properly prep for your meeting instead of worrying about the construction zone ahead or the unpredictable driver two lanes over that could cut you off at any minute.   Conversely, on the return trip we were able to relax, catch up on reading, and have a glass of wine…all of which is nice until you realize they don’t serve you in your seat!  I had to trek up and down 2 narrow stairwells and 3 cars of passengers before making it to the Holy Grail that was the dining car!

Arriving back at Union Station, I was able to walk a little slower, look around, and really take in the beautiful architecture and design of this 70+ year-old building.  It is amazing to me how good design really does stand the test of time.  Donald and John Parkinson, known for the design of many landmark buildings of Los Angeles, and a group of supporting architects, designed LA’s Union Station.    The architecture features a mix of Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne that really works well in the grand space.  I thoroughly enjoyed the touches of Art Deco throughout the building, such as the light fixtures and architectural details in the doorway casings.  The tile and inlaid marble floors, though worn, shone beautifully in the twilight sun that dusted through the windowpanes.  I can only imagine the movie stars and political figures that graced the presence of this amazing piece of architecture in its heyday!