Greetings from Los Angeles!
I’m in California for the next 10 days producing a music video for a local music group with Assembly Productions. Since April of this year I have been co-running Assembly Productions, a Vancouver based Production House, with Aaron Veale, hence the reasons for my lack of postings for the past few months.
I haven’t been to Los Angeles since 2008, while I was on a cross country trip before completing my post-grad program. Today, as just over four years ago, I’m staying in the Hotel Cecil, in the heart of Downtown. Today, as four years ago, it is still most people’s last choice, an area they rarely consider even entering if they’re visiting the sprawling city. Personally though, I couldn’t imagine staying in any other area while here.
The change throughout the area, in the span of four years, was astonishing. While there in 2008, most of the area was a virtual ghost town, most shops closed before sundown and the sound of sirens and police helicopters were omnipresent. There was this strange poetry throughout the streets.
There were also many signs of the forthcoming gentrification, which today is so much more evident. Today the streets are much more clean, the old theatres and warehouses have been converted into million dollar lofts; and cafés, vintage shops, galleries and furniture shops have become instalments of the ever changing landscapes the same way the trees ripping through the pavements and asphalt of the street were during my last visit.
This is by far still my favourite area of Los Angeles, and the change here is as inevitable as it is in DTES Vancouver, Brooklyn, or the east end of London. I don’t necessarily resent it, but I also can’t deny that the downtown Los Angeles, with its hollow yet lyrical streets, is becoming but an anachronistic memory.