Transparent: A Los Angeles Story, Building the Wilshire Grand

For the past several days, we've been binge watching the Emmy Award-winning series Transparent. The show exhibits a Los Angeles family in all their queerness, Jewish-ness, and deeply personal dysfunction. In its first season, Los Angeles played a role as a backdrop, and in some ways as a justification for their problems and privileges, as if being from LA makes their brand of crazy make sense. But in this new season - released on Amazon Prime last week - LA emerges as a far richer character in their story. The cultural references have notably increased (cheers to MOCA Store, Canter's, and Arts District lofts), but we also see how Los Angeles has shaped generations of their family from immigrant beginnings in Boyle Heights to discovering their truest selves in Echo Park homes or at the LGBT Center in Hollywood or the mountains of Idyllwild. Adding another powerful layer to their identity, Season 2 solidifies the Pfeffermans as Angelenos.       •

More than 700 workers are in the process of building the Wilshire Grand Tower, which will become Los Angeles’ tallest building and (if you include the spire) the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Dozens of teams of subcontractors work around the clock on every aspect of the building, which has been under construction since 2012. Every worker is a member of a union and while some live in or near Downtown, most commute from outside the area from as far as Hemet, Anaheim, Long Beach and the Inland Empire. Some workers have been with the project since the beginning, others started within the past few weeks. The highly publicized $1 billion development would not be possible without these specialized and fearless workers. In GET DOWN TOWN Issue 2, we feature these sky-high workers through the photography of Rachel Steinhauser and Hunter Kerhart. Take a look at workers atop the Wilshire Grand here.       •

Special delivery ascends to the top of the Wilshire Grand
(photo via Get Down Town by Rachel Steinhauser)