Tag Archives: DTLA

Tax Day Protest: April 15, 2017


Never got a chance to post these to the blog, since I left on the month-long train trip just a week after this event. (hint – I have lots of photos and video of the trip, coming in subsequent posts).

What this was: Trying to keep Trump honest. A task in and of itself, to be sure. I’m not certain that’s even possible, but we Angelenos, and thousands of our compatriots around the country, the Resistance to this Pompous Ass, tried to remind him of his promises to release tax returns. So far, bupkis. Anyway, enjoy the photos and the one video. DTLA, April 15. See me in my red ITMFA hat (Impeach the Motherfucker Already)? Normally red’s not my color but I made an exception.

Uber, revisited. . .


imgres Well, I saw this story in The New York Times and I could not stop myself from commenting once I stopped vomiting!

Am I the only who finds it really tedious that reporters such as this one think that Angelenos’ dream is to ape New York City in all respects?

Now I understand the the Times is a New York paper and would have that bias, i.e., reporting on things New Yorkers would be interested in. But. Seriously.

Until Uber turned out to be a douchebag company that exploits its workers and scoffs and sensible safety regulations for its drivers and their cars —  I thought it was a game changer myself. And the idea still is, whether it’s Uber or Lyft or some other company that finally makes this sharing a winner for both the buyer and seller. Even the guy profiled in the linked story says Uber has become a “soulless psycho monster.”

Maybe it would have made more sense to title the piece “How Car Sharing is Changing Los Angeles Nightlife,” but that would’ve been less sexy.

But New Yorkers, please, look at a fucking map. Look at distances. And learn some history. Los Angeles has a huge public transportation infrastructure: a subway, light rail and enormous bus system. The current construction of multiple light rail lines at once is the largest public works project currently underway in the United States. At least one place in the country is thinking about infrastructure. Though from this article, you wouldn’t know that the guy who takes Uber from Hollywood to DTLA could also easily have taken the subway for a fraction of the cost. He could have taken a bus. Or a cab. So it’s not like these options did not exist before.

I do applaud those who get out of their cars and actually commit to a car free life in Los Angeles; it takes some doing.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles take the Metro every day in all its permutations for every possible need; they don’t own cars. What is truly astounding is that this article seems to have discovered something when it hasn’t. It truly must be a “white girl (or guy) problem” to figure out how to drink in both Koreatown and West Hollywood on the same night without getting a DUI or calling a pesky taxi company.

Newsflash to the Times: I’ve been going out to multiple locations at night for over 30 years in Los Angeles. Often with car, often without. Whatever it is, it’s certainly not a new thing. It wasn’t new when I was in my 20s, and it’s certainly not new now.

Also – this story fails for its conflating the opening of the Ace hotel as a reason DTLA is becoming a “destination.” Just swallow the obvious Ace PR hype without question here, dear writer! DTLA has had a cultural renaissance for at least over 10 years, going on 15. The opening of the subway lines in the 90s had a lot to do with it. DTLA does continue to get more hip with each passing year; it does get more interesting as well. However, the Ace has nothing to do with it.

“Untethered from their vehicles, Angelenos are suddenly free to drink, party and walk places.” — umm, like that wasn’t done before?

Before “Uber was a thing” — there was a “thing” called taxicabs. I know, it’s hard to believe.

And for the Uber driver who says LA is almost like NY – seriously? LA, thank the goddess, is not full of Duane Reades and Citibanks on every block. There’s no snow. There are palm trees. A gazillion other differences, the key point being L.A. does not aspire to be New York.

It’s like what we used to say about the New Yorkers when they complained they couldn’t get a decent bagel or slice of pizza at 3 a.m. — if it’s that important to ya, move right on back. We don’t really care.

Those are the easy cliches – but what I would say to the newcomer who’s trying to get the best of his New York life and seamlessly transfer it to L.A. – hopefully, you’ll find that a Southern California lifestyle isn’t really about getting to and from restaurants and bars/clubs. It’s about the outdoors – from the beaches to the mountains and everything in between. That’s a big part of what being an Angeleno is. I hope he figures that part out.

OK, rant over.

Car-Free in L.A.? The list of where to live.

Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village

Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village

I was happy this piece in Metro’s The Source highlighted NoHo (specifically the NoHo Arts District) as one of the places in L.A. where it is most conducive living Car-Free or Car-Lite.

I live in Valley Village, which I guess I’d call NoHo-adjacent, and by this proximity, can also boast to be a good option for the Car-Free.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised over the (now two years, how time does fly) time I’ve lived here at how convenient the neighborhood is to my specific lifestyle – as the referenced Walkscore website puts it, “most daily errands do not require a car.” What they don’t tell you is what the criteria are for walkability distance, i.e., I know from personal experience that what I think is a reasonable walk another person might think of as a death march.

But truly, the usual places one needs: grocery, drugstore, movie theaters, restaurants, library, coffeehouse, yoga studio, park, gym, elementary, junior and senior high schools, public transit stops, farmers market, gay and other bars, etc. are all within easy walking or easy walking and biking distance.

The other neighborhoods The Source deems perfect for Car-Free living include Culver City, Koreatown, DTLA and Pasadena. I would also have included Los Feliz, my former neighborhood, which still has a huge place in my heart – and is very conveniently located to all amenities and is also a hub for Metro lines, bus and rail. And, it’s got Griffith Park. Hard to beat that.

CicLAvia 2011: Bicycles, strollers, skateboards, Occupy LA


CicLAvia October 2011:  What fun. What a beautiful day to close off streets for people, and to keep cars away! I joined the thousands of folks on bikes, skateboards, with strollers, walking, running, hanging out, etc. on routes that stretched from East Hollywood to East LA, through Downtown and Little Tokyo and even Chinatown.

It was great, as always, to take in the diversity that is LA. To see the street art and other murals. To hear the musicians. Even to witness the bafflement of residents who picked up on the idea that something out of the ordinary was going on. Smiling cops with relaxed expressions. A good event for OccupyLA to get awareness for, as the route passed right in front of the occupation encampment at City Hall. So much more, that you never would see driving down the street in your car.

The CicLAvia route ended on the east at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. I don’t think I’ve ever been there before. I went a little further south to take a couple of snaps of the Linda Vista Hospital, site of a great Ghost Adventures episode. Spooky! Even in the bright sunshine.

I’m now collapsed after riding all that way and back. Also it’s the perfect end for a carfree week, as I took the bike on the Red Line train to the Sunset/Santa Monica stop to do the CicLAvia route.

Enjoy the pix!