Santee Alley, Los Angeles
This busy street in the heart of the Fashion District downtown is like a third-world open air market, and unlike anything you'll see anyplace else in America. Go on a Saturday, and it will be packed with so many people there won't be room to walk. Great deals on cheap, wholesale clothes. Also bootleg CD/DVD central. Filthy, dirty, hectic, awesome!
A word of advice...rather than drive to this area, it makes more sense to take public transit (shocking!). Take the Metro Red Line subway to the 7th Street/Metro Center station downtown, then hop on the appropriate DASH bus.
A second word of advice...the smells of the enticing hot dogs wrapped in bacon are tempting, but those without a strong stomach might find themselves sick the next day. Be forewarned.
Santee Alley or simply the "Alley" is where Angeleno locals and true bargain hunters shop for cheap buys and designer impostors. Needing a Gucci knock-off or a Prada phony? How 'bout really cheap packs of tube socks or five shirts for $10? Or perhaps I can interest you in CK's, Nikes, Addidas, or luggage??? Just come to this bazaar, which is a several-block section of downtown L.A. located on Midway between Santee St. and Maple Ave. from 12th St. to Olympic Blvd.
Oh yeah, before I forget, another shopping area that's Alley-like can be found in Chinatown. Whereas Santee Alley is predominantly patronized by Latinos/as, Chinatown's version is primarily Vietnamese and Chinese operated.