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!

explore the map

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.


Other sites by David Yoon
Personal site

Kindred Spirits
Tom Baker, LA Without Cars
James Howard Kunstler

Nicola Yoon Design
SIFT Angeles


All content © David Yoon and Narrow Streets: Los Angeles.