Thursday, June 17, 2010

6th street + spring street, downtown (II)

I'm endlessly fascinated by Downtown LA. It teems with life during the weekday; at night and on weekends, it becomes a zombie-filled ghost town worthy of a level design from Left 4 Dead. It is crowded with buildings but at the same time overbuilt for cars — a paradox that leaves it neither here (is it a city?) or there (is it a suburb?). The photo above shows what Angelenos would consider a "small" street at only five cars wide. A similarly-sized street in New York City, by contrast, would be considered a major conduit. 8th Ave, for instance, is as wide as the street above because it borders crowd magnets like Madison Square Garden and Penn Station — makes sense, right? But that's New York City, which has a variety of street sizes befitting local use: one-lane roads for residential neighborhoods, and larger arteries for heavily trafficked areas. In Los Angeles, on the other hand, every street behaves as if it were a regional conduit regardless of actual, boots-on-the-ground use. The city becomes merely a place to pass through, not a destination unto itself, leaving only the roar of traffic and the crazed bellowing of its down-and-out street denizens echoing off its walls. 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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