Tuesday, January 03, 2006

monday media: tues edition

the first post of 2006 - welcome back. and after a really great trip to new york for the holidays, transit strike and all, I'm so happy to be back in LA. I just need to re-adjust to some semblance of a work routine - its been a long time since I've turned on the computer to work on a project and deadlines are looming. so let's take a look of what's new in the world of LA architecture and urbanism:

  • the washington post looks at downtown. and rather than adopting a lot of the booster-ish rhetoric you find in the local press (I'm talking to you, latimes), the article recounts some of the serious obstacles downtown faces in its ongoing revitalization:

The area has 6,000 homeless people, the most concentrated population of the destitute in the western United States. More pets than children live downtown, and no schools serve the area. Because much of downtown was rebuilt at the height of the automobile age, at some intersections its impossible to walk across the street. At night, the area is desolate and its nightlife is more like a dusk life. The kitchen at the swankiest restaurant, Pinot, closes at 9. It is impossible to hail a cab because the police department refuses to allow random stops, but even if it did, most Los Angeles cabbies would not take short fares. Local redevelopment boards have hired their own security services and trash collection services because city services are stretched too thin. And the only way the city could persuade a supermarket chain to open a store downtown was to give it a $7 million subsidy; even so, it will not open until late 2007.

  • LAist has an interesting interview with eric lynxwiler, self-proclaimed "urban athropologist" and tour operator for the museum of neon art's neon cruises.
  • james kunstler in his clusterfuck nation chronicle explains why our dependence on oil has us all fucked, and why the housing bubble is about to pop. his predictions for 2006 are pretty dire, and sort of dense, and make me want to stick my head in an oven. happy new year!


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