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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.  
 


Broadway 100 - Bringing Back Broadway's Centennial Events

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 2, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment



Los Angeles
' Broadway Theater and Commercial District in the downtown Historic Core is the oldest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Million Dollar Theater, Roxie Theater, Los Angeles Theater, Loew's State Theatre, Globe Theater, Tower Theater, Rialto Theater, Orpheum Theater and United Artists Theaters were mixed movie and vaudeville theaters, dedicated movie palaces and nickelodeons that became movie theaters. With twelve of them within a six-block stretch of Broadway, it is also the only large concentration of picture palaces in the US and the largest historic theater district in the county.

 


 

Broadway was originally named Fort Street when it was laid out in 1849. It was renamed Broadway in 1890 and runs from Lincoln Heights through Chinatown, the Civic Center, (Old) South Park, South Central, (New) South Park, Florence, Broadway-Manchester, Willowbrook, West Compton, to Carson where it ends. The twelve theaters were built between 1910 and 1931 with a combined filmgoing capacity of 15,000. At that time it was the entertainment hub of Los Angeles. After World War II, it began to decline as first-run moviegoers began to favor theaters in Hollywood and Westwood, and later, the suburbs. 

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Skid Row

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 25, 2010 07:00pm | Post a Comment

THE NICKEL AKA HELL'S HALF-ACRE -- LOS ANGELES'S SKID ROW 


This blog entry is about Skid Row. Joining me on the adventure were Aussie-Chinese film-producer Diana Ward and Colombian-Chinese-American designer/illustrator/downtown resident Wendy Chin -- both used to playing "traveling companions" to my Doctor.

Skid Row
is a neighborhood in Los Angeles' Central City East District. It's known to locals as "The Nickel" because it's centered on 5th. It's neighbored by the Fashion District, Little Tokyo, The Toy District, The Flower District and The Downtown Industrial District.

To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here.

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Little Tokyo

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 5, 2010 01:12pm | Post a Comment
This blog entry is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Little Tokyo. To vote for other neighborhoods to be the subject of a blog entry, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.


Little Tokyo Village Plaza

INTRODUCTION TO LITTLE TOKYO



Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Little Tokyo


Little Tokyo (or ???) is a small neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. It's generally considered to be bordered on the west by Los Angeles Street, on the east by Alameda Street, on the south by Third Street, and on the north by First Street.



Little Tokyo is bordered by the Boyle Heights to the east, Civic Center to the north, the Financial District to the west, and Skid Row, the Toy District and the Arts District to the south. As with many neighborhoods in the Los Angeles, the borders of Little Tokyo aren’t officially designated. It used to be considerably larger and there remain many vestiges of the neighborhood’s more expansive past beyond the current boundaries.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring The Arts District

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 22, 2009 09:22pm | Post a Comment

This edition of the neighborhood blog is about The Arts District... or The Artist District... or is it The Artist-In-Residence District... or perhaps The Artists' District? This, and other issues, will be sorted out by blog's end to everyone's satisfaction.

 


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Arts District

To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood to be the subject of a neighborhood blog, go here. To vote for one of the communities in Los Angeles County other than in Los Angeles, go here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.


            William Wolfskill                                                                      La Grande Station
 

The area along the western bank of Los Angeles River currently designated The Arts District in Los Angeles has gone through many changes in identity and name over the years. It passed from the hands of the Tongva to the Spaniards to the Mexicans and, most recently, to the Yankees. One of the latter, a Kentuckian named William Wolfskill, planted the land (or had it planted) with citrus trees to sell to scurvy-prone miners who swarmed the area following the California Gold Rush of 1849.

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