There's a lot of talk going around about Downtown's recent uptick in crime. Blame is being cast on all sides. Some take to Facebook declaring that more gentrifiers means more resentment and desperation from the low-income community and more resources to target. Others claim that eased criminal sentences through reforms like Prop 47 mean more crime-seeking people are on the streets. It's almost impossible to pinpoint the truth, but whatever the factors may be, crime rates in DTLA, though climbing, are comparable to those across the state of CA. Yet thanks to more eyes of the streets, Downtown should ideally be safer than other LA communities where people live more isolated. Do we have a role to play here? Could being more neighborly, whether as a local or a visitor, make all people safer here?
Solving crime is inextricably linked to the police. But with so much national attention on police brutality and so much local grievance on the egregious enforcement of jaywalking (just to name two issues), it can make it hard for some of us to view the police as a source of local good. On Thursday 8/13 8-10am there's a café hang for residents to meet and talk to LAPD officers at the Starbucks on 6th/Spring. Casual and over coffee, perhaps it's a constructive way of having a human to human conversation with police officers about how LAPD can better serve Downtown and what we can do better to help keep our community safe.
We just came from surfer legend Danny Fuller's photography show opening Liquid Horizon at Venus Over Los Angeles, the new West Coast counterpart to Venus Over Manhattan (NYC). The warehouse gallery sits just across the L.A. River from the Arts District, an area that's becoming a sort of extension of the Arts District, but has a unique other-side-of-the-tracks (literally) quality that distinguishes it. Celebs like Orlando Bloom and Ellen Page were spotted at the event, as well as many major players in the New York art world. But overheard in several conversations were questions of where we were. "Are we near Chinatown?" "How close is Hauser & Wirth's new gallery space?" and "What city is this technically?" Well, it's most certainly Los Angeles, and while it's certainly a bit confusing, we're excited to be creating something that will help answer neighborhood orientation questions like those.
Draped in a mural by Katherine Bernhardt, Venus Over Los Angeles sits at 6th St/Anderson St in an area once known as The Flats