DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Grand Central Market is vibrant, always busy and buzzing with noise in the heart of Los Angeles. As city leaders celebrated the market's 100th anniversary Friday, they stressed its integral role in the city's history.
"Gone through the depression, gone through WWII and even a few years ago no one believed that downtown Los Angeles would be this thriving neighborhood," said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.
"This institution here was one of these anchor institutions that helped us to develop downtown Los Angeles," he added.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shared some of his memories at the iconic location, like taking his wife out on dates there. "I met her father for the first time here. My father got lost here with my 'bisabuela,' my grandmother."
The market has evolved over the years. You can buy something as a simple as a taco or as fancy as a glass of wine.
"Sometimes you feel like Mexican, sometimes you feel like Thai food, sometimes you feel like Chinese food, it's just great," said Annie Chao, who works nearby.
Valerie Confections made an enormous cake with 390 pounds of butter, 325 pounds of sugar and more than 1,700 eggs. An installation of 13,000 balloons by artist Jihan Zencirli of Geronimo Balloons framed the Hill Street entrance.
Here's a photo of the original facade decades ago:
Adele Yellin and her late husband, Ira Yellin, purchased the market in 1984. "Ira, I think he's smiling right now. He's smiling on us," she told us.
Yellin said picking a favorite vendor is like choosing a favorite child -- you can't do it.
But she did tell us something she loves is the civility and unity you feel when stepping inside. "It's like when you eat good food, people come together."
"All walks of life, all kinds of people and it's just a satisfying place to be."