How We Roll, July 18: hey let’s stereotype Los Angeles!

From the Department of New Museums: As LAObserved notes, the Sports Museum of Los Angeles is now open and is located on Main Street just south of Washington Boulevard in DTLA. With parking limited, it’s easy to reach via the Blue Line’s Grand Avenue Station — a two block walk from the museum. It’s a four-block or about .3-mile walk from the Blue Line’s Grand Avenue Station. Metro Bus Lines 40, 45 and 745 also stop nearby at Broadway and Washington.

Los Angeles’ ‘subway to the sea’ is less about play and more about work (NYT)

Bungalows along Exposition Boulevard along the first phase of the Expo Line. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Bungalows along Exposition Boulevard along the first phase of the Expo Line. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

The gist of it in one paragraph:

The subway to the sea is a continuation of the Expo Line, which originally ran between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. Though hailed as a potential traffic reliever for the millions of people who commute from the city’s wealthy neighborhoods on the Westside to downtown, the train is much more crowded coming from the east, home to the city’s poorer residents, many of whom lack cars. They commute to jobs on the Westside as restaurant workers and babysitters, sitting next to hipsters and retirees who have chosen to move downtown and take the train to the water.

That’s a nice graph, that neatly tells the Expo story: it’s getting a wide assortment of people to where they need to go. And, yes, the story acknowledges that the Expo Line is not the same as the Purple Line Extension of the subway — the project that was labeled as ‘subway to the sea’ by former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. As many of you know, that project is funded as far as Westwood and going further west isn’t in the cards, at least for now.

There is money in Metro’s sales tax ballot measure for several other Westside projects, including most prominently the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, which in phases could be a rail line from the Orange Line to LAX with stations at the Purple Line and Expo Line.

Returning to the NYT story, the other thing that grabbed hold of my eyeballs and wouldn’t let go was this graph: “There are the riots of bougainvillea, in violet, magenta and white, reaching over the walls along the street. The crows give way to sea gulls, and the endless array of auto body shops are replaced with an endless array of yoga studios. (Pressed juices for $12 can easily be found within walking distance of either terminal.)” 

Meh. I’m not sure where there’s an “endless” line of either auto shops or yoga studios along the Expo route, although there are probably a few of each. That sentence, along with the pressed juices line, is just NYT code for the lazy stereotypes that they want to perpetuate about Los Angeles, i.e. that we’re either stuck in our cars or in downward facing dog. Overall, I’m guessing there’s a lot more wealth within proximity to the subway in Manhattan and, guess what, the juicery is not a species of store endemic to Southern California.


Quasi-related: if you want a funnier take on yoga studios in L.A., go to Netflix and watch the “Maron” yoga episode in season two. Warning: lots of hilarity involving adult situations, language and a yogi who may not have the best of intentions.

How Pokemon Go is improving your city (Curbed LA)

So says Alissa Walker, who also writes that the video game could pave the way for other apps aimed either at civic discovery and/or civic improvement:

Gaming apps are trendy by nature—remember, say, Candy Crush?—and their popularity is always fleeting. So what happens when we’ve moved onto the next Pokémon Go? I think it will only get more exciting for cities. This is the first certifiable hit in the augmented reality world and there will be many, many more apps like this on the way. There could be future games that are more about history, or food, or civic engagement; layers upon layers upon layers of urban experiences.

I’m taking the cautionary Old Goat position on this. I was walking the dog through Caltech the other night and watched a bunch of people walking around staring at their phones. I’m not sure how much they saw or cared about their surroundings. I’ll grudgingly admit that their game is probably better than going to the video arcade on Montgomery Road in the early 1980s and dumping quarters into the Asteroids and Tempest machine. But still.

Dept. of Go Metro to the Movies: Speaking of disconnecting from the Digital Age, “Captain Fantastic” is an extremely provocative and entertaining movie about modern day America and one family’s attempt to find a place in it on their terms. I’d call it the best movie of the year except it’s the only movie I’ve seen in theaters this year and represents a small kernel of hope that Hollywood hasn’t completely forgotten about adults.

Dept of Go Metro to Movies on Your Home Streaming Device: I finally caught up with “Straight Outta Compton.” Overall entertaining and probably no less true than any other film branded as “based on true events.” I liked that the film emphasized that these guys worked hard to make their music and that they were sponging up a lot of things going on around them. But I would have liked to see a lot more Compton and South L.A. and more about the conditions that gave rise to their success — i.e. the isolation of those neighborhoods from the rest of L.A., etc. The movie’s second half — about NWA’s breakup — was standard “Behind the Music” fare and, quite frankly, some of the things that the Beatles said about each other post break-up were just as nasty.

Angeles Crest: the creation of L.A.’s highway to the heavens (KCET)

1959 photo courtesy of the USC Libraries – Los Angeles Examiner Collection.

1959 photo courtesy of the USC Libraries – Los Angeles Examiner Collection.

Great article by Nathan Masters on the construction of Highway 2 between La Canada-Flintridge and the High Desert. Work began in 1929 and continued for 27 years. As noted, there’s some great hiking accessible from the Angeles Crest and even some wildlife: a couple years back I came around a curve near Dawson’s Saddle only to find a pair of bighorn sheep crossing the road.


5 replies

  1. Speaking of the Angeles Crest Highway, it would be nice if Highway 39 ever reopens and reconnects to Highway 2, so that a larger segment of the population can have access to that part of the forest. This 38 year closure has gone on far too long.

  2. I had a strong feeling prior to the opening of the Expo line that the line would attract a lot of people from the Eastside to get to the beach. Glad this line will be a great benefit to the kids on the eastside to get to the beach during the summer months..