Is DTLA for Real?
Posted on July 5, 2015 by Lou
Downtown Los Angeles is surpassing Silverlake, West Hollywood, Echo Park, Los Feliz and all the rest as the most “hippified” neighborhood in Southern California. Now rivaling Williamsburg, Brooklyn for its bohemian urbanism, DTLA blends sights, sounds and smells of authentic city life with requisite population density and underground train stations.
The tension between wealth-driven “gentrification” and economic deprivation is right in your face when you walk downtown as canvas tents housing skid row residents collide with newly renovated lofts. The city council and mayor grapple with these competing interests, deciding what police should or shouldn’t be allowed to do to curtail proliferating homelessness.
No easy answer here.
A less life-and-death struggle but nevertheless troubling is LAPD’s insistence on pestering pedestrians downtown with jaywalking tickets. This practice is abusive and ridiculous, an outgrowth of the era of L.A. cops as occupying force, obsessed with using authority and intimidation to control behavior.
If we’re going to have a real central city neighborhood, the cops will have to stop treating us like kids in the school yard. And let’s figure out a way to deal with the disgraceful neglect of the city’s poor and build a bustling and creative neighborhood for residents and visitors.
It’s time for DTLA to grow up.