Who says L.A. is just a car town? Thursday night was the summer’s first Downtown Art Walk – and it was a smash hit. Thousands of people flocked to the art galleries, bars, and high-rises around Spring Street (between 2nd and 9th) for this pedestrian-friendly night of live music, good eats, and more art than one could possibly see.

The first stop for many visitors is the parking lot at 3rd and Spring, converted into a gastro-market of L.A.’s best food trucks. Arroyo serves a mean Thai-fusion slider – we’d recommend the sweet-and-sour pork. For desert, Chunk-n-Chip is a perennially popular choice, where you can customize your own ice-cream sandwiches.

IMG_0869Head down Spring, and on your left is the Robert Reynolds Gallery, which is not to be missed. On Thursday, it featured Reynolds’ own textured oil-on-wood prints – blue forests and black fields that leap out at you like futuristic dreams – and ethereal wooden ships that float overhead. A few blocks down, the Gloria Delson Gallery showed off some striking photographs by Charles McCauley (seen in the above photo, on the right). These close-ups of doors, window-frames, and tenement walls – mostly in downtown L.A. – turn chipped paint and fading concrete into glorious abstractions of color and imagination.

IMG_0880Pop-up fashion is also a growing part of the Art Walk. The old L.A. Theatre Center was turned Thursday night into a colorful bizarre of homegrown designs, from boutique wooden headphones (by LSTN) to an array of funky jewelry, belts, and buttons. Down the block at 634 Spring is the Art Walk Lounge, where WSS Shoes was showing off products and handing out coupons. Also at the lounge, the Coloring Revolution cart invited guests to color drawings made by Ricardo Aguilar, and there was a spread of Time Bandits Watches.

IMG_0867Finally, what would Art Walk be without a little tipple? The neighborhood bars, including the L.A. Brewing Company and Spring St.– were so full on Thursday that people were spilling out onto the street. Some visitors chose to duck into BUZZ Wine Beer Shop at 5th & Spring, which has an awesome selection of microbrews and holds wine tastings specially for the Art Walk. The fashionable crowd was dressed to impress, making for some fabulous people-watching.

All in all, the Art Walk made for a raucous, colorful night, the mood not a bit dampened by the occasional rain. The event is a free to the public and held every second Thursday evening of the month in and around the Historic Core and Gallery Row. The next Art Walk will take place Thursday, August 8.