THOUGHTS N FEELINGS

Watch TV Together, Women at Politicon, Richfield Tower


Cable television is in decline, particularly in dense urbanized communities like ours, and we're all better off for it. Several positive effects can be deduced from this change, but perhaps the best one is the increased participation in gathering for significant live events. Whether it be baseball playoffs (fingers crossed) or a presidential debate, more people than ever around Downtown seem to be spilling into TV-equipped local businesses to watch whatever spectacle is on display. Last night, hundreds if not thousands of Angelenos gathered at Democratic Primary Debate watching events around the area, from venues like The Regent to hotels like Ace Hotel to bars like The Association. Not only is this good for business, but it makes for meaningful conversation and community-building experiences, no matter what candidate or team you're rooting for.      •


We don't often find ourselves at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but last weekend it hosted Politicon, an unconventional political convention featuring policy-makers, comedians, and radicals on both sides of the aisle. We were impressed by the all-women or mostly-women panels discussing issues like reproductive rights in America, surviving as a woman in the Muslim world, Black Lives Matter and the effects of California's Prop 47. Some of these incredible women were Lucy McBath and Lezley McSpadden, the mothers of Jordan Davis and Michael Brown, respectively, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and experts on Muslim women's issues Ani Zonneveld and the absolutely fearless Mona Eltahawy. These women all run organizations, have written books or are running for office, and we encourage you to check them out if you haven't already. It seems obvious that women should be the ones publicly discussing issues that primarily affect them, but the corporate media and conference panel discussions like these too often bring on male "experts" instead. We're happy Politicon created a space in Downtown Los Angeles to give these women the chance to have discussions unencumbered by irrelevant male opinions. Even in instances were we didn't agree with the opinions discussed, for example the Right to Life panel discussion with Dr. Alveda King, Elisha Krass and Lila Rose, it was refreshing to hear multiple women's perspectives on reproductive health, especially after watching Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards's testimony before Congress become dominated by ignorant male opinions and incessant illogical questioning.      •


Downtown Los Angeles has suffered dozens of architectural losses over the past decade, from Victorian mansions and hotels to 5-cent theaters and ornate flophouses. But few buildings break our hearts like the loss of Richfield Tower. Located at 5th St/Flower St, the Richfield was constructed in 1928 and 1929 as the headquarters of the Richfield Oil Company. Boasting a black and gold facade with a supertall radio tower atop, the Richfield stood as one of the world's finest Art deco-style landmarks. It along with the several blocks away Eastern Columbia Building created a visionary new skyline for Los Angeles, one of colors, patterns, and vibrancy. But by the 1960's, the company had outgrown the space, and the style was considered by many to be too garish and over-the-top. Its destruction in 1969 made way for what was thought to create a more open-air plaza-like environment, but ultimately sacrificed what could have been one of Downtown's proudest and most significant gems.     •