Christmas in colorful Chinatown is a Los Angeles tradition

Main plaza L.A. Chinatown 2015
Quite a few of the buildings in the heart of old Chinatown have been painted colorfully for decades. This photo was taken in 2015..  The “After” photo, taken in 2017,is below.

In the melting pot that is Los Angeles two local holiday food traditions stand out.  One is eating tamales during the Christmas season which obviously is inspired by Mexico and the many Mexican restaurants around the city.  Even one of the local fast-food hot dog chains offers tamales during the holidays.

The second tradition is going to Chinatown to have dim sum (Chinese bite-size noodle/pastries) for mid-day dinner on Christmas Day which seems to have originated in the Jewish community.

Blossom apartments chinatown (
This new apartment complex called Blossom seems to have inspired other building owners in the area to paint bolder and bolder!

Other people, including my non-Jewish family, have begun doing Christmas-in-Chinatown, too.  No long hours in the kitchen and no leftover turkey for us!

So if you decide to visit Chinatown for dim sum (or any other reason) and haven’t been there recently, you will see color gone wild on buildings around the area.  I think that the new Blossom Apartments next to the Metro station instigated the painting craze.

See more photos of Chinatown here.

repainted building chinatown
This is the “After” version of the photo at the top of this post. I loved the many shades of green that it had originally, but this color combination of yellow and deep blue-ish purple is interesting, too.
Hot yellow building chinatown
The bright yellow color on this brand new apartment building located on an alley hurts your eyes it is so garish. It is the latest addition to colorful buildings in Chinatown,
Building in Chinatown 201
Tucked back in an alley, the colors on this building are favorites of mine. I’ve always loved Chinese red. And those fake palm trees are a perfect L.A. touch.


This building painted mustard gold with red pillars has been around for a while.
Pink building on plaza chinatown
Another building  has colors inspired by Mexico, rather than China.  Located on the main plaza it has been the brightest, most colorful building in Chinatown until recently.
Woman and god in Chinatown
If you go to Chinatown on Christmas day you may not be able to find this altar which is hidden inside the Swap Meet building– which really isn’t a Swap Meet, BTW.  All the little shops carry new  and very inexpensisve merchandise from China.



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