Downtown LA: Reveling In Potentiality


Downtown LA is the place I go for creative solitude, soul stimulation, an inconspicuous underground night out; to uncover dope photographic opportunities and admire old school architecture; to discover something new and to “get out” of Hollywood to feast on my senses… It’s the melting pot of potentiality.

I love visual and cultural dichotomy’s. I love witnessing the processes of evolution. I love that in one of the most innovative cities in the world, a multi-dimensional, old school “town” exists as modern day business, lives and industries thrive in and around it. Downtown LA (DTLA) visually tantalizes me; the art deco buildings styling high amidst architectural development; the poverty of surrounding strips, such as skid row; the emergence of some of LA’s best bars and restaurants; the old school hotels, such as the Millennium Biltmore; the underground-ness of the Arts District; the pop up culture of independent designers, mini movie studios… The list goes on. Old school Hollywood is having a resurgence (especially with our thriving television industry) and who says LA is history-less? DTLA is such a raw landscape of potentiality and with potentiality comes opportunity, growth and creative evolution. But the process of gentrification is always a sensitive one. There are many lives to consider and opinions to nurture. The future of areas like skid row and the lives within it is up for debate. And in any state of change, there will always be duality in voice. Just as I personally see incredible opportunity, hope, beauty and potential, others may view this change with fear in their eyes, just as San Fran locals have been impacted and pushed out by the rapid dominance of corporatization via Silicon Valley. Arguably, the prosperity of Silicon Beach has injected higher income levels into additional jobs, and is not limited to Playa or Venice, but extends itself into DTLA and beyond. That’s got to be a positive amidst other developments right? I want to take this opportunity to elevate DTLA’s raw beauty. To me, the city is inspirational, providing multidimensional visual settings. As a foreigner, we have nothing of its reflection in Australia. As a fairly new resident of the USA and LA California, my keen and eager eyes yearn to understand its history, its plan and goal setting to preserve it’s strongest renown features and credible elements. This melting pot of discovery currently nurtures different cultural subsets and embraces the bustling districts (Arts, Fashion, Jewelry and more); emulating pockets of Brooklyn or Queens New York, meeting the likes of the Meat Packing District in NYC 10 + years ago. I’d say more would agree than not that the process of gentrification is an unavoidable one (in all pockets of the globe) and so let us get behind the body of people who are supporting the cities mission in a creatively sensitive and visionary way. As a local, awareness is key, coupled with the opportunity to get involved if the motivation to extend a voice is there. Here are some bodies that support locals involvement and are serving as instruments of change with the astute awareness that community advocation is at the heart of creating a positive and harmonious future: | | | | | | | | | | Audrey Bellis | Startup DTLA

The DTLA Visual Examples

Main and Spring Streets DTLA


The Grand Central Market



The Lash, Winston Street


Arts District




Millennium Biltmore



Backstreets, DTLA



Views of DTLA, Perch




7th Street



Skid Row



Old School, DTLA





Photo Credits: | bloomberg.com | | | | | | | | | | | | | 

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1 Comment

  • Craig F. Thompson says:

    Yes, it is great to document the progress of this “city”; however, one thing must be understood about this area’s history, especially its TRANSPORTATION history. Los Angeles once possessed one of the greatest public transportation systems in the world, extending out to Santa Ana and San Bernardino, down to Huntington Beach, covering the entire coast from Long Beach to Malibu, into the San Fernando valley and, of course, blanketing the downtown area of the city with an efficient system which was augmented by the local streetcar system, known as the Los Angeles Railway (the yellow cars). The Pacific Electric ” red cars” went up to Pasadena where one could transfer to a tourist line operated by Pacific Electric (including a funicular railway which would EASILY put Angels’ Flight to shame) and travel to a small resort hotel hidden deep within the San Gabriel mountains. Unfortunately, all this was destroyed by fire and flood, and was never reconstructed; however, several images in stills and videos exist.

    Even barring the loss of such an attraction, the rail systems which built in he southland could have been retained had it not been for the automotive and oil companies, along with either evil, stupid, or deceived politicians, forcing the automobile down everyone’s collective throat. Several things are NEVER mentioned; one of this being that General Motors, the largest player in the automotive arena, purchased stock in several rail-based transit systems until a certain level of control was reached, then removed the rail vehicles in favor of the public automobile, a.k.a. BUS. General Motors was also responsible for assisting Hitler during WW2 by providing the German war machine with advanced technology, such as the jet aircraft engine. (In turn, Hitler gave the United States its first paved highway network, the freeways of Southern California, which preceded the nationally-based Interstate Highway System).

    Just imagine—-had Southern California been smart enough to retain the rail system which served the public so beautifully for so many years, humanity in this area would be all the better for itself, instead of the subhumanized, automobiliated hell hole it has become, all because of political and corporate greed and evil.

    There was a mention of the cities of Australia; in all actuality, a city such as Adelaide has something that Los Angeles is just barely starting to build for itself: a rapid transit system! It seems that those “down under” know what it takes to turn a metropolis into a city, and not just another “extermination camp with traffic lights”, which is what Southern California has become, all due to the excessive love of a dead dictator!!

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