Amoeblog

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring the North Industrial District, Los Angeles's Dogtown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 6, 2013 12:42pm | Post a Comment

INTRODUCTION

The North Industrial District, or Dogtown, is both one of Los Angeles’s oldest and most obscure neighborhoods. It’s also occasionally referred to as either Naud Junction or Mission Junction, after two area junctions of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the entity perhaps most instrumental in the neighborhood’s development (it’s also sometimes referred to as the River Station Area). By the way, this is not the Dogtown neighborhood in Santa Monica, of Dogtown & Z-Boys fame.


Mission Tower near downtown LA. Photo by Ted Soqui (2008)

CHARACTER


Transit-oriented development in Dogtown

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California Fool's Gold -- A Downtown Los Angeles Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 15, 2011 11:00am | Post a Comment
BEAT CITY DOWNTOWN 

As regular (and probably irregular) readers of Eric's Blog know, I'm a bit of a Southern California wonk and a big part of my focus is writing about the culture, character and history of the many diverse communities of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Although so far there have been around 800 votes from readers I thought it would be fun (and hopefully entertaining) to focus on the regions and provide a brief summary of the districts within with the hope of encouraging informed voting. First I'd like to focus on the center of the southland, Downtown Los Angeles.


DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

Before I moved to Los Angeles, a Chicagoan told me that LA had no downtown. I could see the cluster of buildings although it wasn't that much different from the many others that rise above the sprawl. Having visited it in the late '90s I disagreed with my acquaintance but could see her point. During the day the western portion was a commotion of be-suited bankers and accountants. The middle was absolutely bustling with Latino businesses and I found a great source for white denim and pupusas. The eastern portion was covered with tents and I saw people performing acts in exchange for crack that should only be done in private... and not for crack. When the sun set, metal doors and gates closed and it was desolate. I was occasionally threatened although I never was robbed or assaulted and to me it seemed that most visitors were from safe middle or upper class backgrounds who needed a bit of danger and prescribed, structured, punk rock rebellion to feel alive.