How Los Angeles Lost Its Mojo

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 30, 2011 11:19 PM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303365804576434391802284886.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    Why has Los Angeles lost its mojo? A big reason is a decline in the power and mettle of the city's once-vibrant business community. Between the late 1980s and the end of the millennium, many of L.A.'s largest and most influential firms—ARCO, Security Pacific, First Interstate, Union Oil, Sun America—disappeared in a host of mergers that saw their management shift to cities like London, New York and San Francisco. Meanwhile, says David Abel, a Democratic Party activist and publisher of the influential Planning Report, once-powerful groups like the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation lost influence.

    The machine that now controls Los Angeles by default consists of an alliance between labor and the political leadership of the Latino community, the area's largest ethnic population. But since politicians serve at the whim of labor interests, they seldom speak up for homeowners and small businesses.

    Mayor Villaraigosa, a former labor organizer, has little understanding of private-sector economic development beyond well-connected real-estate interests whom he has courted and which have supported him. He has been a strong backer of L.A. Live, a downtown ports and entertainment complex, and other projects that have benefited from favorable tax treatment and major public infrastructure investments. He's currently supporting a push to build a new downtown football stadium, though L.A. has no professional football team. His biggest priority is to build the so-called subway to the sea, a $40 billion train line to connect downtown with the Pacific.

    But L.A.'s downtown employs a mere 2.5% of the region's work force; New York's central business districts, by contrast, employ roughly 20%. "To put the entire focus of development on downtown L.A.," says Ali Modarres, chairman of the geography department at Cal State Los Angeles, "is to ignore the historical, cultural, economic [and] social forces that have shaped the larger geography of this metropolitan area."
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 31, 2011 2:23 AM GMT
    As some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 2:30 AM GMT
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.

    Don't understand your comment as someone who has lived in this area for many years. The point of the article with respect to the mayor's desire for the subway is it makes little sense to many given the general traffic flow. Your comment about everyone heading west on Wilshire is also curious. On the west side, the heaviest traffic is east in the AM and west in the PM, along with north south traffic, heavy all times. Business has fled LA as well as California.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 7:22 AM GMT
    All I know is, my family in Cali said the boom went to bust in the past few years
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 7:36 AM GMT
    I'm Persian and for us Persians, LA will never lose it's mojo icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 7:43 AM GMT
    LA was awesome ~10 years ago. Now, it's just kinda ok. I wouldn't say that Mayor Villaraigosa was the reason for LA's downfall. But he certainly contributed to the mess. If he serves another term, LA is really fuckin doomed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 3:44 PM GMT
    Not directly relevant to this thread, but of interest.

    http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-socalcloseups-20110731,0,1394619.story?track=rss
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Jul 31, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    I lived in L.A. when they were building the first few legs of the subway system that cost billions of dollars, and it seemed so ridiculous to me to spend all that money closing down streets and digging huge tunnels underground, etc. Why not have just taken a lesson from DISNEYLAND and just built an extensive above ground Monorail System that probably would have cost the same (maybe even less to build), would have looked cool and futuristic, and could have gone into many more areas more easily. If they had one of these that went straight down Santa Monica Blvd. from the center of Hollywood, through West Hollywood, Westwood, West LA, and all the way through Santa Monica to the beach. so many people would use it -- especially on weekends and at night.


    anh-mon-disney-monorail-trn-bmway-drippa
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    i cant comment on LA's loss of mojo ness, but it sure is a fun weekend trip.
    icon_biggrin.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Jul 31, 2011 4:39 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidI lived in L.A. when they were building the first few legs of the subway system that cost billions of dollars, and it seemed so ridiculous to me to spend all that money closing down streets and digging huge tunnels underground, etc. Why not have just taken a lesson from DISNEYLAND and just built an extensive above ground Monorail System that probably would have cost the same (maybe even less to build), would have looked cool and futuristic, and could have gone into many more areas more easily. If they had one of these that went straight down Santa Monica Blvd. from the center of Hollywood, through West Hollywood, Westwood, West LA, and all the way through Santa Monica to the beach. so many people would use it -- especially on weekends and at night


    Yep. You've described the exact route of one of the old Pacific Electric light rail lines.




    Exactly. I think it was called "The Red Line" or something like that. What moron of a city planner decided it was a good thing to let that line die? I think part of it was that Beverly Hills didn't want a line cutting through the chi-chi shopping districts near Rodeo Drive.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidI lived in L.A. when they were building the first few legs of the subway system that cost billions of dollars, and it seemed so ridiculous to me to spend all that money closing down streets and digging huge tunnels underground, etc. Why not have just taken a lesson from DISNEYLAND and just built an extensive above ground Monorail System that probably would have cost the same (maybe even less to build), would have looked cool and futuristic, and could have gone into many more areas more easily. If they had one of these that went straight down Santa Monica Blvd. from the center of Hollywood, through West Hollywood, Westwood, West LA, and all the way through Santa Monica to the beach. so many people would use it -- especially on weekends and at night


    Yep. You've described the exact route of one of the old Pacific Electric light rail lines.




    Exactly. I think it was called "The Red Line" or something like that. What moron of a city planner decided it was a good thing to let that line die? I think part of it was that Beverly Hills didn't want a line cutting through the chi-chi shopping districts near Rodeo Drive.


    I heard it was the automobile industry lobbying for more profits
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Jul 31, 2011 5:23 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ said
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidI lived in L.A. when they were building the first few legs of the subway system that cost billions of dollars, and it seemed so ridiculous to me to spend all that money closing down streets and digging huge tunnels underground, etc. Why not have just taken a lesson from DISNEYLAND and just built an extensive above ground Monorail System that probably would have cost the same (maybe even less to build), would have looked cool and futuristic, and could have gone into many more areas more easily. If they had one of these that went straight down Santa Monica Blvd. from the center of Hollywood, through West Hollywood, Westwood, West LA, and all the way through Santa Monica to the beach. so many people would use it -- especially on weekends and at night


    Yep. You've described the exact route of one of the old Pacific Electric light rail lines.




    Exactly. I think it was called "The Red Line" or something like that. What moron of a city planner decided it was a good thing to let that line die? I think part of it was that Beverly Hills didn't want a line cutting through the chi-chi shopping districts near Rodeo Drive.


    Yes, the Pacific Electric cars were referred to as the "Red Cars" which distinguished them from the Los Angeles Railway's cars which were painted yellow.

    Check out this map of the old system... from 1947:

    http://www.peryhs.org/pacific-electric/maps/1947-pacific-electric-system-map/

    Here's a PDF format which lets you see much more detail:

    http://www.peryhs.org/wp-content/themes/ttl/images/PDF/PE-1947.pdf












    To bad they didn't have the foresight to convert all those lines to a modernized above ground Monorail system. Disney was clearly way ahead of his time when this was originally built way back in 1958

    Disneyland_Mark_VII_Monorail_Red.jpg

    mono5.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
    Developing dowwtown LA is just another boondoggle. CA's war in business is working. I can walk outside my front door and look at tons of empty store fronts. Tilly's just closed the other day. Borders is gone. Panini cafe is history, Ed Hardey store closed. etc etc etc.
  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Jul 31, 2011 6:10 PM GMT
    The economy has suffered most in the US where real estate values climbed the most. It really does not matter whether it was a liberal or conservative area.


    Light Rail extension are being built on the north eastern side of LA County:
    http://foothillextension.org/


    Wall Street Journal = News Corp

    Chapman University = conservative christian university
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    metta8 saidThe economy has suffered most in the US where real estate values climbed the most. It really does not matter whether it was a liberal or conservative area.


    Light Rail extension are being built on the north eastern side of LA County:
    http://foothillextension.org/


    Wall Street Journal = News Corp

    Chapman University = conservative christian university


    light rail is stupid for LA.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 7:13 PM GMT
    metta8 saidThe economy has suffered most in the US where real estate values climbed the most. It really does not matter whether it was a liberal or conservative area.


    Light Rail extension are being built on the north eastern side of LA County:
    http://foothillextension.org/


    Wall Street Journal = News Corp

    Chapman University = conservative christian university


    Actually it does. Red states (even newly-red states) have been adding more jobs than blue states:

    SeasonallyAdjStateJobGrowthTop10First6Mo

    It's an open question why but another point that gets often missed is that red states also didn't experience bubbles on average as large as blue states - and this could very well be related to liberal or conservative. What is also clear however is that states who are economically more conservative have performed better.

    Mass transit when subsidies are required ad infinitum are almost always a bad idea.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:12 PM GMT
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Aug 01, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.




    I lived there for 20 years. Loved every minute of it for about the first 15 or so years, but at some point it can start to wear you down -- the traffic, the superficiality, the cost of living, not to mention the serious economical problem that the state government as a whole has. Now I enjoy the occasional long weekend trip there to see friends and visit old stomping grounds -- I'll be there the 2nd weekend in August -- but by about Day 3 I am usually over it and ready to get back to the relative down-to-earth sanity of Arizona. There is lots to like about L.A. though -- great shopping, awesome weather, beautiful beaches, and never a dull moment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    mocktwinkie said
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.




    I lived there for 20 years. Loved every minute of it for about the first 15 or so years, but at some point it can start to wear you down -- the traffic, the superficiality, the cost of living, not to mention the serious economical problem that the state government as a whole has. Now I enjoy the occasional long weekend trip there to see friends and visit old stomping grounds -- I'll be there the 2nd weekend in August -- but by about Day 3 I am usually over it and ready to get back to the relative down-to-earth sanity of Arizona. There is lots to like about L.A. though -- great shopping, awesome weather, beautiful beaches, and never a dull moment.


    I did like some of the restaurants though. The California Vegan was good!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Aug 01, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    CuriousJockAZ said the relative down-to-earth sanity of Arizona.

    Unintentional hilarity.



    When is the last time you were in Arizona, JP -- if ever? This is one of the best places I can ever imagine living. Phoenix is a big city with small town mentality -- yet great shopping, restaurants, amazing weather, and most importantly the cost of living here is quite low compared to other major U.S. cities.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:49 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.


    In my opinion, it's one of the nicest places in the U.S. But, we all have our own opinions.


    Are you talking about the actual city? It's smoggy and dirty and huge sections of it look third world.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Aug 01, 2011 3:51 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.


    In my opinion, it's one of the nicest places in the U.S. But, we all have our own opinions.


    Are you talking about the actual city? It's smoggy and dirty and huge sections of it look third world.



    It's a sprawling metropolis, what do you expect? It also has some of the most beautiful neighborhoods anywhere.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    calibro saidAs some who spent a lot of time in la, this article is stupid. la hasn't lost its mojo, and the aforementioned list of companies never had a big presence in la. the article is really grasping straws... i mean, everyone wants the subway to the see. it has nothing to do with how many people work downtown. if you knew anything about la you'd know everyone heads west on wilshire and whether or not their journey originates in downtown, people head that direction more than anywhere else.


    LA is a hellhole. Been there enough to know that.


    In my opinion, it's one of the nicest places in the U.S. But, we all have our own opinions.


    Are you talking about the actual city? It's smoggy and dirty and huge sections of it look third world.

    It is a large, diverse area. Generalizations are not accurate, and, furthermore, you can't make accurate assessments about parts of the area unless you spend some time here and experience multiple aspects of the lifestyle.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1718303

    It would be like commenting about the whole state of New Jersey based on traveling between Newark Airport and NYC.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:57 PM GMT
    Parts of Los Angeles and Southern California have become something resembling a third world country with gangs, drugs and lower socioeconomic living conditions. In many areas Spanish is the prevailing language.The main income source in some areas is Welfare. I've lived in So Cal my entire life and the quality of living has decreased signifacantly. Politically we are fucked. Our new Governor is Jerry Brown who is basically a recycled Governor from the 1970's who fucked up big time then and has now been given another shot to fuck up California once again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:17 PM GMT
    I did spend some time there. I just found that the city of LA itself was not nice except for some restaurants I went to. Maybe I was in most of the wrong areas. Beverly Hills was nice and also Newport Beach area.