Anaheim Packing District & Center Street

20150131_173559I was born and raised in Anaheim and I’m just now appreciating how cool it has become. A lot of places around downtown have been renovated and look nothing like they did when I was younger. It seems like the city is trying to attract a younger crowd and trying to appeal to college-age people. I think it’s a great idea to make the city more urban with outdoor shopping, gardens, and other public gathering places.

One of the newest gathering places is a large indoor food court called the Anaheim Packing House. It’s a renovated building that has become a hipster, healthy food place with live entertainment, unique and different restaurants, and lots of art to see. The premise behind the place it to have the Packing House resemble a public market where locals can enjoy food and community. Since it’s a fairly new place, there were tons of people lined up to try all the different food places. Popbar is a popular ice cream and dessert place, while Hammer is a bar and grill with open seating. Lining the upstairs are seats to observe the entertainment below on the first floor. The whole open area vibe is nice because there is always something to look at.

I ate at the Chippy Fish & Grill and enjoyed my shimp po’boy. After dinner, I had ice cream from Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream, which was delicious. While it was crowded at the Packing House, there still seemed to be a lot of seating. Outdoor patios provided fire places and lush garden areas to sit and eat.

The Packing House is right next to Farmers Park and the Packard Building, which used to be a car manufacturer and is now a bar, Anaheim Brewery, and a restaurant, Umami Burger. These three locations make up the Anaheim Packing District, a nice little street lined with lots of fun things to do and see. Urban development has converted these areas into brand new destinations. Farmers Park is the site of a new farmers market, along with a community garden. I love seeing new community areas being developed.

While there is much to see in the Packing House, one interesting area is the secret speakeasy. You need a password to get in, and the entrance is hidden in plain sight. It’s called The Blind Rabbit and it’s now my goal to get in one day!

Walking along Center Street is a new experience as well. While it looks primarily like a business district, it has also been turned into a downtown area with a yoga studio, plenty of bars, and other little quaint shops. My favorite was the Ink & Bean, a coffee shop for writers! There are decorations lining the wall such as typewriters, antique books, and so much more. This looks like an amazing spot to sit, write, enjoy some coffee and good company.

Outside Ink & Bean is an outdoor seating area with a little bookshelf called “Park and Ride.” It’s a book exchange right on the street so guests can pull up, grab a book and hang out! This idea is amazing and I think every city needs one.

The Gypsy Den looked like another amazing place to be. It’s a bar that has a movie screen inside. So many of the people inside were working on their laptops, adding to the idea of local hang outs for young people. I wouldn’t mind spending a few hours in there, enjoying the atmosphere.

The changes made to downtown Anaheim are super exciting. I can’t wait to see what else is developed around there.

I have been reading a novel with a character who experiences memories of his past life. It’s haunting and makes for really good writing. I thought I would try that approach with this short story, the idea that someone experiences their past lives’ memories while living in the present. And I like the idea of places having histories that people can tap into. Enjoy, and check out the photos!

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