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View Poll Results: Better Downtown
Detroit 50 28.74%
Los Angeles 124 71.26%
Voters: 174. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 07-17-2014, 10:21 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 1,906,247 times
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If Detroit doesn't scare the believin' Jesus outta you, then you're on crack.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,561 posts, read 4,867,738 times
Reputation: 2219
Yes. I would absolutely love to hear the bulls hit reason from any jackwagon. WHY Detroit is even relevant next to LA..sheesh..now I have finally seen it all
.I'm over this site. Love to see someone with any credentials what so ever keep a straight face arguing for Detroit over LA.
There is more money, power ect. On certain blocks even in DTLA than there is in the entire state of Michigan..end of story kids. This comes from someone who more or less hates LA.

Last edited by Scott5280; 07-17-2014 at 11:11 PM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:24 AM
 
2,045 posts, read 2,490,043 times
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Neither of them appeals much. For a city its size, LA has the most underwhelming downtown I've ever experienced. Of all the major cities I have visited, LA probably is the most depressing downtown (brown, little activty, few real attractions). There's just this overwhelming flee response the moment I arrive. Not a blow to LA posters, but this is all I have to say on it. No real positives.

Detroit, on the other hand, is a mere ghost of its once glorious self. You have to go back to the early 70s to revisit any semblance of Detroit's heyday. Even by the late 70s, Detroit's downtown had begun its decline. There are pockets (Corktown, Greektown, Campus Martius) that still have life, but inner Detroit is ga shadow.

That said, Detroit has (somewhat of) a blank slate moving forward, and IMHO, it will regain life. There is far too much talent and educated populace in Michigan for it to remain where it is in perpetuity (notably tech incubators in Ann Arbor, and in around Rochester and Troy).

Further, Detroit has fantastic bones. Some of the most impressive beaux-arts and PoMo highrise architecture in the country. Simply stunning. Also, the hub and wheel layout of the city is unique. If a latter day Burnham somehow sets their sites on Detorit, imagine what they could do with the grand avenues, boulevards and architecture. The pallete is amazing. It will be at least a decade (if then) before Detroit gets the momentum back but when it does...

Last edited by BigLake; 07-18-2014 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Downtown LA
1,192 posts, read 1,225,996 times
Reputation: 847
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
For a city its size, LA has the most underwhelming downtown I've ever experienced.
Then you haven't travelled much.

I need to clear something up here though, not for your sake as there is little in your post of enough merit that its worth debating, but because I've heard this argument several times on CityData now. The argument that "Downtown Los Angeles is too small and/or underwhelming given the size of Los Angeles."

It..doesn't...work that way. LA is a polycentric city, not monocentric like Philadelphia, Manhattan, or Detroit. DTLA is not Center City, Manhattan, or the Loop. LA has many centers like London, Paris, or Tokyo. Its a legacy of the fact that the LA basin was once composed of dozens of individual cities, all connected by the Pacific Electric red car system - at one time the largest municipal rail system on the planet.

Would you visit the historic square-mile City of London and complain that "its an underwhelming downtown for a city of London's size" while ignoring the rest of the city? No. Likewise, it makes no sense to judge DTLA size compared to Los Angeles as a whole. Not unless you plan on combining DTLA, Koreatown, Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Glendale, and Burbank into one aggregate 'downtown' first and then comparing that to greater LA. Those places are all central business districts just like DTLA, with their own skylines. sub neighborhoods, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
Of all the major cities I have visited, LA probably is the most depressing downtown (brown, little activty, few real attractions).
Brown as in...bricks? Or brown people? Because sure, we have both in spades. Just trying to figure out what you have a problem with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
There's just this overwhelming flee response the moment I arrive.
Says more about your taste than it does about DTLA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
Not a blow to LA posters, but this is all I have to say on it. No real positives.
No offense taken. The fact you see 'no real positives' about DTLA while the NY Times just ranked it the neighborhood #4 on its list of 52 places to visit in 2014 and GQ just called DTLA 'the next great American city' speaks more to your worth as a critic or neighborhoods than it does to the neighborhood itself. Criticize away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
Further, Detroit has fantastic bones. Some of the most impressive beaux-arts and PoMo highrise architecture in the country. Simply stunning.
No argument here. Detroit does have fantastic bones. But so does DTLA. You will not fine a finer collection of prewar buildings in the western half of the US. They've been cataloged extensively, and provided endless fuel for photographers and building enthusiasts. The fact that you spend several paragraphs espousing Detroit's downtown architecture and don't even mention DTLA's in a post where you're comparing the 2 places strains your credibility just a bit.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,561,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
No argument here. Detroit does have fantastic bones. But so does DTLA. You will not fine a finer collection of prewar buildings in the western half of the US. They've been cataloged extensively, and provided endless fuel for photographers and building enthusiasts. The fact that you spend several paragraphs espousing Detroit's downtown architecture and don't even mention DTLA's in a post where you're comparing the 2 places strains your credibility just a bit.
San Francisco perhaps?

I agree the post you responded to is incredibly one-sided and overly (and vaguely) negative about DTLA. Though that is to be expected given the poster's history of overly (and vaguely) negative posts about Los Angeles in general.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Downtown LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
San Francisco perhaps?
I would bet San Francisco has more intact prewar buildings on a per capita basis but LA has more in absolute number.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:27 AM
 
2,045 posts, read 2,490,043 times
Reputation: 2416
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
Then you haven't travelled much.

I need to clear something up here though, not for your sake as there is little in your post of enough merit that its worth debating, but because I've heard this argument several times on CityData now. The argument that "Downtown Los Angeles is too small and/or underwhelming given the size of Los Angeles."

It..doesn't...work that way. LA is a polycentric city, not monocentric like Philadelphia, Manhattan, or Detroit. DTLA is not Center City, Manhattan, or the Loop. LA has many centers like London, Paris, or Tokyo. Its a legacy of the fact that the LA basin was once composed of dozens of individual cities, all connected by the Pacific Electric red car system - at one time the largest municipal rail system on the planet.

Would you visit the historic square-mile City of London and complain that "its an underwhelming downtown for a city of London's size" while ignoring the rest of the city? No. Likewise, it makes no sense to judge DTLA size compared to Los Angeles as a whole. Not unless you plan on combining DTLA, Koreatown, Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Glendale, and Burbank into one aggregate 'downtown' first and then comparing that to greater LA. Those places are all central business districts just like DTLA, with their own skylines. sub neighborhoods, etc.



Brown as in...bricks? Or brown people? Because sure, we have both in spades. Just trying to figure out what you have a problem with.



Says more about your taste than it does about DTLA.



No offense taken. The fact you see 'no real positives' about DTLA while the NY Times just ranked it the neighborhood #4 on its list of 52 places to visit in 2014 and GQ just called DTLA 'the next great American city' speaks more to your worth as a critic or neighborhoods than it does to the neighborhood itself. Criticize away.




No argument here. Detroit does have fantastic bones. But so does DTLA. You will not fine a finer collection of prewar buildings in the western half of the US. They've been cataloged extensively, and provided endless fuel for photographers and building enthusiasts. The fact that you spend several paragraphs espousing Detroit's downtown architecture and don't even mention DTLA's in a post where you're comparing the 2 places strains your credibility just a bit.
I am sorry you are so butthurt about my opinion. (Actually, I'm not sorry... this is an opinion posted on a public message board. You don't like, ignore or move along. Don't take it as a personal affront. It is not meant as one.). Quite frankly, I have travelled extensively to Los Angeles and it is my least favorite American city, by far. Smallish downtown, not walkable, not vibrant, panhandlers, not many great beer bars (although props to Library Bar), limited amount of downtown restaurants, highways crossing to and fro and above. Your city planners realize all this, hence LA Live! Unfortunately, it's nearly a mile away from downtown, is generally a glorified suburban plaza. And just to clarify what I meant by "brown" ... I mean dirty, smoggy, messy, sprawly, unattractive, with a lack of real tree cover (palm trees are awful). I can't see how you would ignore this, much less argue it.

Also, if a PhD for "Absolute kKowledge on Every US city" were required to comment on a thread in City versus City, then guess what? There would be zero threads in City vs. City. Do I need to live in Los Angeles before commenting on it? Or perhaps the fact that I travelled extensively across the US -- with ample trips to Los Angeles-- might be enough. (BTW-- that's rhetorical). It's about informed opinion and offering thoughts and comments about experiences and perceptions. It's not about knowing the urban vernacular; not the architects and developers of every building. (LA actually has decent architecture from Gehry to the library to the actually wonderful pre-Depression area stories wringing the central district; again though, we're not talking architecture specifically in this thread though).

Also, aren't we talking about "downtowns" here? Isn't that the purpose of the thread-- comparing Los Angeles to Detroit? I think using the relative size of the city to make a judgment call is most certainly dead-on in rceating an overall perspective and impression on the city. Context is first and foremost the basis for forming a judgment. Don't make judgments in a vacuum. I'll give that one to you for free.

Outside of downtown Los Angeles (the subject of this thread), I am aware there are wonderful areas and attractions, nature, topography and so forth. Having mountains, oceans, deserts all within the vicinity of the metro area is pretty unique. Combine that with the weather, and I know LA/Orange County have a lot of pluses. For me, downtown Los Angeles is not one of them. Thank you again for telling me how I can and cannot post. If there is still an "ignore" function, I suggest you use it. That said, I do appreciate your passion for your city.

And BTW-- I did not vote in the poll.

Last edited by BigLake; 07-18-2014 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Downtown LA
1,192 posts, read 1,225,996 times
Reputation: 847
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
I am sorry you are so butthurt about my opinion. (Actually, I'm not sorry... this is an opinion posted on a public message board. You don't like, ignore or move along. Don't take it as a personal affront. It is not meant as one.). Quite frankly, I have travelled extensively to Los Angeles and it is my least favorite American city, by far. Smallish downtown, not walkable, not vibrant, panhandlers, not many great beer bars (although props to Library Bar), limited amount of downtown restaurants, highways crossing to and fro and above. Your city planners realize all this, hence LA Live! Unfortunately, it's nearly a mile away from downtown, is generally a glorified suburban plaza. And just to clarify what I meant by "brown" ... I mean dirty, smoggy, messy, sprawly, unattractive, with a lack of real tree cover (palm trees are awful). I can't see how you would ignore this, much less argue it.

Also, if a PhD for "Absolute kKowledge on Every US city" were required to comment on a thread in City versus City, then guess what? There would be zero threads in City vs. City. Do I need to live in Los Angeles before commenting on it? Or perhaps the fact that I travelled extensively across the US -- with ample trips to Los Angeles-- might be enough. (BTW-- that's rhetorical). It's about informed opinion and offering thoughts and comments about experiences and perceptions. It's not about knowing the urban vernacular; not the architects and developers of every building. (LA actually has decent architecture from Gehry to the library to the actually wonderful pre-Depression area stories wringing the central district; again though, we're not talking architecture specifically in this thread though).

Also, aren't we talking about "downtowns" here? Isn't that the purpose of the thread-- comparing Los Angeles to Detroit? I think using the relative size of the city to make a judgment call is most certainly dead-on in rceating an overall perspective and impression on the city. Context is first and foremost the basis for forming a judgment. Don't make judgments in a vacuum. I'll give that one to you for free.

Outside of downtown Los Angeles (the subject of this thread), I am aware there are wonderful areas and attractions, nature, topography and so forth. Having mountains, oceans, deserts all within the vicinity of the metro area is pretty unique. Combine that with the weather, and I know LA/Orange County have a lot of pluses. For me, downtown Los Angeles is not one of them. Thank you again for telling me how I can and cannot post. If there is still an "ignore" function, I suggest you use it. That said, I do appreciate your passion for your city.

And BTW-- I did not vote in the poll.
Library Bar would not even make my top 20 list of best bars in DTLA. Honestly, have you spent any time in DTLA in the past decade?

And 'palm trees'? If you spent 5 minutes here you'd know that unlike the rest of LA, downtown has mostly ficuses, not palms. With every sentence you type, you make it clearer that you're talking out of your rear.

In terms of LA Live, what did that have to do with our city planners? LA Live was a private venture on the part of AEG. Our planners had nothing do with it. And I don't think anyone here thinks its a substitute for a walkable, urban neighborhood. LA Live is a self contained entertainment and sports complex. For an authentic, walkable 24/7 neighborhood, you go to downtown's historic core. Everyone knows that.

But in terms of LA Live's catalytic effect, we could have done worse. There's now around $5 billion of highrise development in the pipeline that will fill in the gap between LA Live and the Historic Core. In 5 years, South Park is going to resemble downtown Vancouver and LA Live isn't going to be so separated from the more lively parts of DTLA.

In terms of what our planners are doing now that LA Live has been such a success: lots. Planning a streetcar line between LA Live and the Historic Core for one. They're also making the main drag past LA Live (Figueroa St) multimodal by removing auto lanes, widening the sidewalk, and adding cycletracks.

Last edited by DistrictDirt; 07-18-2014 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,256 posts, read 12,558,881 times
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I love DTLA and as a resident of LA I am witnessing an incredible transformation that maybe out of towners don't see. Between these two its DTLA all the way.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,561,310 times
Reputation: 3941
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
I am sorry you are so butthurt about my opinion. (Actually, I'm not sorry... this is an opinion posted on a public message board. You don't like, ignore or move along. Don't take it as a personal affront. It is not meant as one.). Quite frankly, I have travelled extensively to Los Angeles and it is my least favorite American city, by far. Smallish downtown, not walkable, not vibrant, panhandlers, not many great beer bars (although props to Library Bar), limited amount of downtown restaurants, highways crossing to and fro and above. Your city planners realize all this, hence LA Live! Unfortunately, it's nearly a mile away from downtown, is generally a glorified suburban plaza. And just to clarify what I meant by "brown" ... I mean dirty, smoggy, messy, sprawly, unattractive, with a lack of real tree cover (palm trees are awful). I can't see how you would ignore this, much less argue it.

Also, if a PhD for "Absolute kKowledge on Every US city" were required to comment on a thread in City versus City, then guess what? There would be zero threads in City vs. City. Do I need to live in Los Angeles before commenting on it? Or perhaps the fact that I travelled extensively across the US -- with ample trips to Los Angeles-- might be enough. (BTW-- that's rhetorical). It's about informed opinion and offering thoughts and comments about experiences and perceptions. It's not about knowing the urban vernacular; not the architects and developers of every building. (LA actually has decent architecture from Gehry to the library to the actually wonderful pre-Depression area stories wringing the central district; again though, we're not talking architecture specifically in this thread though).

Also, aren't we talking about "downtowns" here? Isn't that the purpose of the thread-- comparing Los Angeles to Detroit? I think using the relative size of the city to make a judgment call is most certainly dead-on in rceating an overall perspective and impression on the city. Context is first and foremost the basis for forming a judgment. Don't make judgments in a vacuum. I'll give that one to you for free.

Outside of downtown Los Angeles (the subject of this thread), I am aware there are wonderful areas and attractions, nature, topography and so forth. Having mountains, oceans, deserts all within the vicinity of the metro area is pretty unique. Combine that with the weather, and I know LA/Orange County have a lot of pluses. For me, downtown Los Angeles is not one of them. Thank you again for telling me how I can and cannot post. If there is still an "ignore" function, I suggest you use it. That said, I do appreciate your passion for your city.

And BTW-- I did not vote in the poll.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but don't be surprised to get negative feedback when your opinion does not align with reality.
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