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Old 01-19-2010, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,049 posts, read 5,978,831 times
Reputation: 4608

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One of the most delightful aspects of Los Angeles, IMHO, is that it just doesn't do things the way any other city does. More so than any US city, Los Angeles is truly unique, itself in way others are not. Even New York shares much of the model of what it is than LA does.

I'm going to give a rather simplistic view of how I see downtown LA and ask Angelenos here if they agree or disagree with me.:

First off, DT LA is not only real; it has always been real. And certainly at the time of the Pacific Electric trains grew in the way that traditional American downtowns grow and for many years did well before the true era of the automobile began.

But LA is a funny place and, as noted, its history isn't like any other place. Its DT is well inland from the Pacific, even without a mission it was still a Spanish settlement.

What differs that DT through many years, even into the beginning of the 20th century, is that it functioned as a DT of a much smaller and less significant city. San Francisco, up the coast, was The City and its downtown was major league even before the Giants and Dodgers move westward.

When LA grew westward through annexation and by paralleling the growth of the film industry, it took its focus westward as well. All cities grow outward from the core to the periphery. In LA's sense, it was less a core/periphery thing than a linear one, westward as I noted.

Downtown LA was about the past, more traditional and typically US in nature. LA wasn't going to find its calling there but it would be going towards the Pacific on Wilshire or Sunset and finding focus for awhile in Hollywood but much more so in Beverly Hills and Westwood, Bel Air and Santa Monica. The glitz and glamour went west and developments like Century City declared that area to a degree of primacy.

But the LA of the last 3 decades or so is a different LA as LA is always different from what it was the day before; that is so much part of its charm. LA reinvents itself.

And the reinvention this time was decidedly urban with density and rapid transit and a new concern for its core. First came the high rise corporate towers that soon overwhelmed City Hall. Culture came downtown, too. And then in these decidedly life style times, so did a growing live in population, the critical mass to make a downtown work. Spike that with amenities like LA Live and you have yourself quite a nice set up; high rise living could come with a real downtown that the Wilshire Corridor does not offer (even if Westwood can be a cool place to walk)

Here is my main question:

If you accept the notion I made (which could be wrong) that LA started and centered in the east, shifted its focus in an usual way westward due to Hollywood glamour and the southern California life style, and then rediscovered its core....

how would you say LA tilts today.....does it still tilt to the westside and all that money? has LA reached a balance between the westside and DT? or...shock of all shocks...is it just possible that DT LA has reacquired its long gone role as the city's (and region's) nerve center, its own Midtown Manhattan, Chicago Loop, or Downtwon San Francisco?
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,026,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
how would you say LA tilts today.....does it still tilt to the westside and all that money? has LA reached a balance between the westside and DT? or...shock of all shocks...is it just possible that DT LA has reacquired its long gone role as the city's (and region's) nerve center, its own Midtown Manhattan, Chicago Loop, or Downtwon San Francisco?
DTLA will never be the "nerve center" in our lifetimes. Commerce is far too decentralized across the city and the region, and the LA city government has far too little real power for it to be otherwise. As far as the balance inside the city, the westside is probably still king
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:52 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 19,266,800 times
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"Downtown" or the "city center" is linear. It starts at downtown and ends at the 405. Within this long and skinny "downtown" there are various districts. Some richer, some poorer, some older, some newer.

Interestingly, in most major cities in developing countries there is no "downtown" in the Western sense.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: City of the Angels
2,223 posts, read 1,521,436 times
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You are not factoring the economic expansion of L.A. towards the Port Of Los Angeles , specifically , San Pedro, Terminal Island and Wilmington which allowed the wealthy to move up the hill to P.V. and Rolling Hills Estates. All this took place before the movie industry was concieved and has a very active role in bringing wealth into this area.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,049 posts, read 5,978,831 times
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fine and good. but where does this all leave the Valley?
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,414,084 times
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Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
fine and good. but where does this all leave the Valley?
bunsiness has been making it's way into the valley for a few decades, although it is concentrated along the 101/134 corridor. the rest of the valley is the stepchild as far as wealth is concerned. except for some remaining nice residential neighborhoods, much of the valley north of the 101 is a pit.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:11 PM
 
Location: NoHo (North Hollywood)
448 posts, read 1,339,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
bunsiness has been making it's way into the valley for a few decades, although it is concentrated along the 101/134 corridor. the rest of the valley is the stepchild as far as wealth is concerned. except for some remaining nice residential neighborhoods, much of the valley north of the 101 is a pit.

How did this all of a sudden become a Valley bashing session? Let's get back on topic.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Pasadena
7,413 posts, read 7,824,032 times
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The pueblo of Los Angeles was along the riverbank about 15 miles west of Mission San Gabriel and 15 miles south of Mission San Fernando. Eventually the basin became farms w/ fruit orchards and even cattle. The trains shipped the produce east to Chicago\ New York and the "Skid Row" in downtown was where workers stayed & where prostitution occurred. But northeast of downtown is Pasadena; also an old city so the expansion spread in every direction.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:47 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,026,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
fine and good. but where does this all leave the Valley?
Porn Capital USA?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:59 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,199,027 times
Reputation: 1507
LA is the template for all modern urban regions: car-centric, decentralized suburban sprawl, w/a few suburban office corridors of note

Consider most valuable cos. HQ'd in LA region: Occidental Petroleum in CentCity, Amgen in 1000 Oaks, Disney in Burbank

Most hedge funds (which tend to have far wealthier (and younger) top guys than any mere CEO of Occi/Amgen/Dis) are based in CentCity or BH or SantaMonica

Most of wealthy reside in BH/BelAir/HH/Brentwood/Palisades

Only entity of note in DLA is Capital Group (mutual funds)

Most valuable co. in OC is Broadcom in Irvine (a small fry vs OXY or AMGN); very little else of note in OC suburbs

Economic geography of LA region really centers around the BH-SM corridor, not DLA or the inland Valleys or Irvine/NwptBch
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