Tuesday, June 1, 2010

wilshire corridor

I like to think of Wilshire Corridor as LA's own sort of Upper East Side Park Avenue, with its long stretch of luxury condo high-rises catering to the older wealthy. I can even imagine Eloise traipsing along, au pair in pursuit, on her way from Westwood to Beverly Hills. But as with all things Los Angeles, this east coast facsimile has a unique west coast twist: eight lanes of heart-pumping traffic careening up and down its hilly curves at a blistering 55mph. (Try it on a 125cc scooter, and it's even more hair-raising.) The usual paradox is there: heavenly towers with names promising old world grandeur ("The Wilshire Marquis", or the more pastoral "Carlyle on Wilshire") located right alongside what is practically a freeway. Me + the wife looked here once for an apartment, and could not get past the constant echo of traffic, double-paned windows be damned.

The toughest paradox about Wilshire Corridor's sheer speed is the impact is has on its residents, many of whom are older. Nowhere on Wilshire is pleasant to walk along, and the Corridor is no exception. So they take to their Lexuses and Jags instead, tentatively nosing them into the automotive stream before gunning it to catch up with the fast flow. The result is a desolate but beautifully manicured towerscape reminiscent of those pearly retirement enclaves in Florida: waiting rooms for those next in line for ascention, cordoned off from the rest of the living. 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 hello@davidyoon.com. I'll post it to the blog or even run out to shoot it myself.


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