Wednesday, March 10, 2010

wilshire boulevard + curson avenue, miracle mile

I have a thing for utopian placenames: Century City, Hawaiian Gardens, Universal City. They represent someone's relentless optimism, a brazen Ayn Rand-ian ambition that refuses to accept irony. Take "Miracle Mile": a strip of Wilshire deliberately designed for a once-new car age, first ever in the nation with dedicated left turn lanes, timed signals, and street signage big enough to be read at 30mph — a harbinger of car-centric things to come.

Giving a street such a grandiose name is of course fraught with disappointment given the plain, flat light of everyday reality, and the now-90-year-old Miracle Mile is not immune. It hasn't aged well; its one-note scale + aesthetic just feel like a bad habit. It's a traffic chokepoint, and hungry E! employees must wait forever just to cross the street for some Koo Koo Roo. So howsabout this: let's leave utopia to those crazy new-worlders in Dubai or Shanghai. Let's get over our grand visions of the future; let's get smaller + comfier. And then let's get lunch. 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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