Monday, January 25, 2010

the grove

The Grove shopping mall is narrow enough, I guess, and is attractive in an artificial, Vegas-y simulacrum sort of way. Those advertisement + shop kiosks, for example, look like they're supposed to evoke Paris, so what the hey — let's see how they look on a Paris-sized street! Curiously, the pedestrian-only Grove is built as if it were expecting car traffic: travel lanes heading in opposite directions are separated by a textured "median" for the goofy streetcar that crawls along the mall's quarter mile length. The choice of asphalt as a walking surface (as opposed to paving stones) is odd as well, but then again this is a reproduction of a nostalgic memory of a simulation we're talking about here, so such oddities are to be expected. It'd be great if The Grove's large city block of buildings were permeated more evenly by a squiggly, fine-grained grid of walkways like the more charming Farmer's Market next door, with its bazaar-like cluster of tiny shops. It instead opts for the contemporary approach of extreme centralization: a single pathway funnels all traffic along a main drag of large retail chains. See it narrowed!
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About the Photographer

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Writer, designer, and urban planning geek.

Got a location idea or photo submission? Send it to I'll post it to the blog or even run out to shoot it myself.


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