Friday, February 18, 2011

What to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

This article provides some tips for how to have some fun in downtown Los Angeles.  Today, I was at Los Angeles City Hall from 11am to 2pm.  Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel sponsored a great event in which UCLA graduate students at the School of Public Affairs interviewed city officials and stakeholders concerning the challenges for LADWP as it seeks to comply with aggressive 33% Renewable Portfolio Standards while protecting electricity consumers from sharp price increases.  I was the faculty sponsor.  In my humble opinion, my students did a great job.

We had an "only in LA" moment while we were at City Hall.  A South African delegation happened to visit the Tom Bradley Tower as we were gathering there.  A celebrity who stars in Jacob's Cross and his very attractive girlfriend appeared and spoke to us from the podium to tell us how happy they were to be with us at our conference.  I took a photo of him and then they left and we got down to business.

Returning to the topic of downtown Los Angeles --- it was a bit of Ghost Town near City Hall. This downtown is built for cars not walkers. I saw no interesting commercial stores on the first floor of anything in a near vicinity of City Hall.    But, on the 26th floor of City Hall -- you do get an interesting view. Here is a photo I took.

You can see the Mountains in the distance but look at the boring building "sprawl" structure --- and keep in mind that this is in the middle of downtown!

I love LA but even Randy Neuman would agree that we have more work to do.  This doesn't look like Manhattan's 3rd Avenue to me.  This is not a walker's metropolis -- this is a car town and I don't love that.