Wednesday, April 7, 2010

figueroa street + olympic boulevard, downtown

Thanks to my pal Mochi for the location request.

Angelenos talk about Downtown much like Bostonians once talked about their Red Sox: there's hope, they're getting closer each year, and so on. Downtown, or DTLA, is constantly on the verge of becoming. And great strides have been made — the LA Live shopping mall finally gives greater context to classics like the Hotel Figeuroa lounge and The Pantry Cafe. But the infrastructure keeps getting in the way. Here, Figueroa streams nine lanes of 50mph traffic — half a freeway, a perfect candidate for infilling. Its auto-centricity is emphasized by that bizarro car wash on the left, whose awkward single story feels sprawly, suburbanish, and wholly inappropriate among downtown's verticality. Interestingly, Figueroa sheds four lanes beyond Olympic; when I narrowed down this scene I noticed not only a cozy picture of density but also the illusion that the whole street had been tied off with a neat T intersection. Talk about traffic calming! 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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