I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.
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Tuesday, March 3
WE DON'T HAVE A TIMES SQUARE, WE'LL NEVER HAVE A TIMES SQUARE, AND WE DON'T WANT A TIMES SQUARE: A TRIBUTE TO DRIVING
As much of a fan I am of the new Nokia venues right by the Staples Center, I'm not big on this whole L.A. Live/Downtown L.A. revitalization project.
For those not aware of what's been happening in Downtown L.A., the story's simple: Downtown L.A. has been a corporate wasteland that had very little artistic culture and community up until recently, and the city's been building a massive complex strictly for entertainment/tourism purposes. Known as L.A. Live, the complex highlights recreation in surrounding huge entertainment venues to boost up foot traffic and, well, any non-corporate human traffic in Downtown L.A.
For some reason, city government has been calling it a sort of incentive to "centralize" Angelenos. But I've never seen the worth of centralizing us.
It's almost an attempt to be like New York City. But, honestly, the reason I love Los Angeles is because it's not New York City.
New York City is such a centralized region, to the point of being homogenous. Y'ever notice that people in their burroughs stay exclusive to their neighborhoods?
In Los Angeles, you're almost forced to mix with most everybody. With the exception of few neighborhoods limited for a very few, if you want to go out, you've got to trudge the same potholes and same traffic to get to wherever you have to go. More importantly, you have to drive, which, if you're calloused to traffic like me, you end up liking because of the scenery. Albeit broken scenery, but scenery enough.
L.A. culture is about getting around, and not living by the block. Living by the freeway and living by the neighborhood is just so much more interesting than being "centralized." It never surprises me when native Angelenos come back from visiting most any metropolitan city and say, "Y'know what? I don't mind traffic as much."
L.A. Live can stick around, but only if it promises not to Walmart us into being like the rest of country's major cities. I like taking 25 minutes to hit Venice. I like that, hell, I'll be a little late to a show because of a police chase. I like that my car takes a hell of a beating, only because I know I'm seeing more of my culture than most other city folk see their own environment.
More importantly, I like that it's almost impossible to shoot a film about gritty romance reflected by a location's uniformed gritty romance in LA. Leave boy-meets-girl-in-a-shitty-laundromat-by-a-Thai-place in the east coast. We just don't do that.