Observing Los Angeles

Time's 'investigation' of downtown is good for a few laughs

Always fun to see NY media folk with next to no knowledge of our fair city report out a piece that's dated, distorted, and well, just plain silly. Who on earth assigned this poor reporter the ancient "NY vs. L.A." story - and then somehow managed to get it so wrong? The piece in question is about the revitalization of downtown, which if you're relying on Time, is largely the result of L.A. Live. Jan Perry should give this guy a commission.

Nothing reflects the disparity between the new and old downtown like the stimulating L.A. Live district and its aging neighbor, the convention center. The former is a new entertainment nucleus spanning 4 million sq. ft., or six city blocks, which houses bars, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, live-music venues and Staples Center, the 20,000-seat arena that houses four professional sports teams, including the Lakers. Before Staples, "nobody came downtown," says Michael Roth, spokesman for Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the arena and L.A. Live. "It created a destination downtown."

Truth is, L.A. Live has been only a fringe player in the downtown revival. Actually, its much-criticized design inhibits walking into the real downtown. Jeez, you could get that much from a Google search. Too bad the Time reporter didn't try venturing beyond the AEG juggernaut, as the LA Weekly's Simone Wilson not-so-delicately suggests.

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