Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The acid test

The anti-urbanists have recently touted the ideal of sprawling low-rise suburban growth as preferential to high-rise urban concentration, both environmentally and psychologically.

Let's cut to the chase: pick your preferred environment:


 It's immensely relieving to me to know that those who prefer image #2 will sooner or later probably be living there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sic transit

I ran across this old street footage of eastbound Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills on YouTube recently, complete with (original or fake?) puttering soundtrack.

I wish the film had continued down the Miracle Mile and into Mid-Wilshire, Westlake, and downtown Los Angeles. (I'll have to concoct the missing footage in my dreams—no problem for a dedicated sleeper like me!)

Note the intersection of Wilshire and Robertson (at approximately 1:46 to 1:52), where this lovely corner building, its shutters deployed against the midday sun, gracefully enhances the gently curving streetscape:

Not remembering having ever seen this building on Wilshire, I did a search of Google Earth and found that the lovely Spanish-style structure was replaced at some point by this piece of vapid, featureless junk:

Sick transit, indeed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

On the street where you live . . .

I live further north on this very street, so I was very happy that this YouTube user caught the City of Los Angeles Parking Department in their usual scams.

This has also happened to me, not with metered parking but with street cleaning, and on a street just a few blocks from this location. I arrived at my car at 7:58 a.m. (by my satellite-synched cell phone) to find a ticket already on my windshield for 8:00-10:00 a.m. street cleaning.

If this ever happens to you, I would suggest a quick and strongly worded letter to the Parking Department, with a cc: to your council person.

Very smart of this person to get the badge number of the meter "maid" but one wonders whether this kind of behavior is not encouraged at the Parking Department. The City is broke, after all.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Cleaning," redefined

Our neighborhood association recently requested that the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services (rather brashly known as BOSS) clean the hillside of Vine Street north of Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.

There is no regularly scheduled mechanical street cleaning on this block, which leads to its being used as a dumping ground, attracting vermin and creating a health and safety issue. The rampant growth of weeds both in the fenceline and in the sidewalk is also a concern.


Here are some "before" pictures:

After some prompting from the office of councilman Tom LaBonge, BOSS did show up to to "spot cleaning" and "motor sweep" on Thursday, August 30.

To their credit, BOSS did clean up the seed-pod debris from the tree in the photo above, but they hardly put a dent in the trash.


Here are just a few of the "after" pictures:

 For the complete story, visit this web page.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stop, indeed.

I was on Mount Washington today for a holiday barbecue and couldn't resist snapping this pitiable example of DIY building.

The attempts at embellishment—the staircase window and the tiny fan-light—only make it all the more wrenching.

But it's only wrenching for me. It's likely that the family or families who live here are quite happy, even amid the paucity of style and dearth of imagination. Let's hope they never read Ugly Angel.