L.A. Means Business

Friday, June 04, 2004, at 09:49AM

By Eric Richardson

Brady Westwater, who just joined the LA blogging scene, today pointed me to an event he's helping put on called L.A. Means Business. As you can see from the L.A./Downtown discrepancy between title and URL, it's focused on bringing business back to the central city. From the site:

So whether you want to create the latest hot night spot, a hip fusion restaurant, a new clothing line, an art gallery or a book store - or start a museum or a non-profit that funds micro-businesses or job training - or found a new magazine or publishing house, hold a film festival, bring Broadway and off-Broadway theater to LA’s Broadway theaters or manufacture the next big thing in furniture or electronic games - this is where you will need to be on June 19th.

I arrived in Los Angeles three years ago after having lived in a variety of towns that really didn't have much to say about urban planning. In Sumter I doubt the issue really ever came up. In New Jersey, well, I lived in the middle of a million acres of pine forests. Muskegon came the closest, with its constant discussion about how to revilalize an ailing downtown waterfront. Still, though, I can't call Muskegon urban. Talk about the downtown issues there lacks immediacy. It's interesting to read about, but really 90% of residents aren't too concerned about it. Or at least that's how I felt.

But then I moved to Los Angeles, first to the USC area and more recently to downtown. LA has more than its share of cool areas, but over time I've become a bit obsessed with downtown. Were I to start school over today I would give serious thought into going into Public Policy and Planning. Downtown right now just feels so like you're getting in at the ground floor. Instead of reading countless articles waxing theoretical, you can look outside and see change. You can see resturants opening and buildings under renovation. You can see the neon begin to relight.

And that's fascinating. So, yeah, I'll be checking out the event on the 19th.