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I think that often Downtown L.A. is written off as not much of a downtown, but the times I've been all around Downtown, I've seen a downtown that is full of people, quite lively, and with many interesting districts.

Now, when I talk of prominence, I mean in terms of standing out. In this case, in terms of how big the downtown is and feels, what it has to offer, liveliness, etc...

Its obvious that Downtown L.A. is below Chicago downtown and NYC Midtown, but what about the other cities in the U.S.?

I would say that in terms of Downtown L.A. feeling "consistent", like one single downtown, it falls way short of San Francisco and Seattle downtowns', and San Francisco has a much denser downtown (and Seattle being less dense but still denser), but Downtown Los Angeles has so many more areas and offerings.

Busy Districts around L.A. include Broadway, The Fashion District, the Toy District, the Financial District on weekdays, and Chinatown and Olvera Plaza on weekends. Little Tokyo is fairly active on Weekends, so its possible to walk a nearly 3 mile long stretch of Downtown L.A. in weekends that is very active. Also, the L.A. Convention Center - Staples Center - Nokia Theater area is quite active for much of the year whenever any one of these venues are used.

In terms of places to go other than shopping districts, Downtown L.A. falls short in Museums (only the MOCA, Museum of Neon Art, and the Japanese American National Museum), but has the Central Library and has plenty of venues (Walt Disney Concert Hall, Music Center, Staples Center, L.A. Convention Center) as well as the Cathedral of our Lady of Angels, and Union Station. DTLA also falls short in having few parks and no real significant public park, but has many concrete and landscaped plazas (i.e. Bunker Hill, Civic Center Mall.) Bunker Hill itself is an interesting walk, walking through the bridges into the Bonaventure, and then the Wells Fargo, 333 S. Hope, and California Plaza areas, as well as the Spanish Steps, and along the way seeing public art statues, fountains, and other landscaping.

As for comparing downtown Los Angeles, how about in comparison to other large downtowns around the U.S. like Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Washington DC, and Boston?

At the very least, I can see Downtown L.A. below Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle downtowns', but above Houston and Atlanta's. San Diego has a formidable downtown for a city its size, but its still doesn't feel as big and prominent as Downtown L.A. Downtown L.A. is, after all, roughly 3 miles long and 1 mile wide.
 

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That's True

I'm from Minneapolis

and even minneapolis is a very small city compared to LA

BUT ITS DOWNTOWN IS VERY BUSY

EVen in the weekend ...

There are always pedestrians everywhere in both the skyways and the street level

there are always a lot of stuff to do downtown

Here are some popular examples:

- Block E (Entertainement complex connected via skyway )

- 2 story Target store downtown

-Tareget Center, Metrodome, Convention Center (of course)

--A gazillion retail shops/restaurants both on street level and in the skyway

-1 measly little light rail line (from downtown to Mall of america)

also the only other busy place in minneapolis is its uptown (southwest part of the city)

But DO NOT GET ME WRONG....

Minneapolis might have a busy downtown and uptown....BUT THAT IS ABOUT IT

The city is really depressing....

Almost all of the buildings/houses ARE OLD (built through the 50's-70's)


Everything is RAGGEDY

Even most of the people wear tacky outdated clothes from the 80's/90's

SO MINNEAPOLIS WILL NEVER BE EVEN COMPARABLE TO LA...PERIOD !!

also i have lived in Houston.....

Houston is the 2nd biggest city in the US by land size (city limits) behind OKC

If you think LA is so spread out...go to houston

Even though houston is a big city...IT'S DOWNTOWN IS A GHOST TOWN

But it is going through a massive revitalization (houston pavillions,etc.)

But there is a park they just built downtown called Discovery Green....So Far ... It has been a huge hit !!!

also downtown houston has barely no street level activity

a lot of people say it is because of it's downtown tunnel system (filled with shops/restaurants)

BUT the area in houston that i think has the most pedestrian activity is it's Uptown

The Uptown district is right before you get deep into The West Houston Area

BTW

West Houston IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL !!!

Houston's uptown is the century city of houston

http://www.uptown-houston.com/


BUT IN ALL NONE OF THESE CITIES CAN EVER COMPARE TO LA

LA'S DOWNTOWN IS WAY MORE BETTER THAN ANY OF THESE ONE'S

Just Imagine how it is going to be after all the projects/proposals are completed

NOT to mention it is instantly recognizable by anyone in the world

IF you travel abroad a lot of people think LA is the cultural center of America with new york and chicago second

When a lot of people think of america

LA is the first thing that comes to mind
 

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Ive noticed the most, if not all, individuals from other countries tend to talk highly about Los Angeles. They come to L.A. and they really enjoy it and find it fascinating. I cant wait to see L.A. live completed. I was driving on the 110 last night and was struck on how AMAZING it looks and its not even finished!

As far as downtown L.A., if there is still doubt of its significance...L.A.Live, The Grand, and all the revitalizations will surely change that.
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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If you're trying to measure the vitality, the 'vibrancy' (popular term amongst the density conscious) of a city by the physical infrastructure of its perceived center, you'll utterly fail with Los Angeles. Our freeway system is not the usual concentric 'beltway', we have mountain ranges running through us and a clear cut center of activity we haven't got. Best to compare cities with Los Angeles by way of satellite photography, and find out how far flung and sparsely populated we ain't!
 

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The last time I was in Downtown LA, it has changed significantly since the late 90s. Alot has improved. You have old buildings being converted to lofts. The Central Business District is more lively. Nightlife has improved and the old part now has some art galleries. Plus you have maps showing the sites within Downtown LA plus guided tours.

Other than that, you also have police and bike patrols.

But LA is so spread out that it has several centres. You have Century City, Westwood, Hollywood, etc.
 

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Yeah, I personally am always unsure as to how "big" to say Downtown LA is. When in a conversation with someone who's never been to LA, I never know exactly how big of a city it feels like.

Places that are built suburban 'feel' much more urban in LA because they are tied to such a huge region and are between urban centers and therefore receive a lot of traffic and attention, etc. So the same is true with Downtown. Even though it is probably in number of blocks/height of buildings/etc. comparable to a minneapolis or something it feels instead like a busy neighborhood of a much larger city.

I think that if Downtown was better connected to the residential neighborhoods to the north, west, and south it would be perceived as much larger. I think the biggest help to LA's "urban-ness" would be filling up all the parking lots in south park, city west, and chinatown with urban townhouses (not skyscraper condos). All of those areas feel very very dead. If you could walk on 7th street or wilshire from San Pedro all the way to Western without ever feeling lost in an Omega Man apocalypse it would really add to the perceived size of Downtown. Same with walking from downtown to echo park or temple/beaudry or to pico union or wherever.

People consider SF's downtown to be much bigger than it is because it's connected very well to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
 

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I was in downtown last night and 'Wow'.
It has completely changed since I was there a couple of months ago...since I didnt have my car. So many new shops have opened and added to the vibrancy and the amount of pedestrians in the streets. Most of the open retail space has been leased as well. Downtown is defenitely lookin' up.
 

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That's True

I'm from Minneapolis

and even minneapolis is a very small city compared to LA

BUT ITS DOWNTOWN IS VERY BUSY

EVen in the weekend ...

There are always pedestrians everywhere in both the skyways and the street level

there are always a lot of stuff to do downtown

Here are some popular examples:

- Block E (Entertainement complex connected via skyway )

- 2 story Target store downtown

-Tareget Center, Metrodome, Convention Center (of course)

--A gazillion retail shops/restaurants both on street level and in the skyway

-1 measly little light rail line (from downtown to Mall of america)

also the only other busy place in minneapolis is its uptown (southwest part of the city)

But DO NOT GET ME WRONG....

Minneapolis might have a busy downtown and uptown....BUT THAT IS ABOUT IT

The city is really depressing....

Almost all of the buildings/houses ARE OLD (built through the 50's-70's)


Everything is RAGGEDY

Even most of the people wear tacky outdated clothes from the 80's/90's

SO MINNEAPOLIS WILL NEVER BE EVEN COMPARABLE TO LA...PERIOD !!

also i have lived in Houston.....

Houston is the 2nd biggest city in the US by land size (city limits) behind OKC

If you think LA is so spread out...go to houston

Even though houston is a big city...IT'S DOWNTOWN IS A GHOST TOWN

But it is going through a massive revitalization (houston pavillions,etc.)

But there is a park they just built downtown called Discovery Green....So Far ... It has been a huge hit !!!

also downtown houston has barely no street level activity

a lot of people say it is because of it's downtown tunnel system (filled with shops/restaurants)

BUT the area in houston that i think has the most pedestrian activity is it's Uptown

The Uptown district is right before you get deep into The West Houston Area

BTW

West Houston IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL !!!

Houston's uptown is the century city of houston

http://www.uptown-houston.com/


BUT IN ALL NONE OF THESE CITIES CAN EVER COMPARE TO LA

LA'S DOWNTOWN IS WAY MORE BETTER THAN ANY OF THESE ONE'S

Just Imagine how it is going to be after all the projects/proposals are completed

NOT to mention it is instantly recognizable by anyone in the world

IF you travel abroad a lot of people think LA is the cultural center of America with new york and chicago second

When a lot of people think of america

LA is the first thing that comes to mind
======

I used to live in Minneapolis and visit still from time to time and can tell you with certainty that there is simply no comparison of its downtown to LA's. LA's has districts and distinct delineated areas and ethic flavor. LAs is also much bigger. Minneapolis, while vibrant (and 'm not sure where all of this raggedy stuff is you reference as it is quite clean and nice there) doesn't really have that big city downtown feel that LA has. Find just one photo of downtown Mpls that looks anything like those you've seen here of Broadway. Hennepin Avenue many years ago did but they went crazy and cleaned it up too much.
 

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I'm not Chinese
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Downtown LA has a lot of potential, but it has many many parts that still need to be developed and other parts of DTLA are just really really really ghetto and low class.

- Get rid off all those "Juanita's Clothing" and "El Salvador's Zapateria" and bring in some, I don't know, Old Navy, GAP, Banana Rep, A&F, AE, etc.
- Get rid off all those "El Chucho's Tacos" and bring in some descent restaurants.
- There are like 5 Starbucks in DTLA already, but one on Broadway would be nice.
- Make Broadway a pedestrian street or at least fix AND clean the current sidewalk.
- Density, density, density.

DTLA has improved and is improving, but we still have years until people would actually want to go and hang out at DTLA instead of Hollywood Blvd or 3rd Street.

All those new projects are nice, but I think we should focus more on what we already have.
 

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Downtown LA has a lot of potential, but it has many many parts that still need to be developed and other parts of DTLA are just really really really ghetto and low class.

- Get rid off all those "Juanita's Clothing" and "El Salvador's Zapateria" and bring in some, I don't know, Old Navy, GAP, Banana Rep, A&F, AE, etc.
- Get rid off all those "El Chucho's Tacos" and bring in some descent restaurants.
- There are like 5 Starbucks in DTLA already, but one on Broadway would be nice.
- Make Broadway a pedestrian street or at least fix AND clean the current sidewalk.
- Density, density, density.

DTLA has improved and is improving, but we still have years until people would actually want to go and hang out at DTLA instead of Hollywood Blvd or 3rd Street.

All those new projects are nice, but I think we should focus more on what we already have.
====

People are "already" going to DT. Have you passed 2nd and Main lately, after 9:00pm? You must not have. People are not waiting for others to tell them that it has passed some smell test before they do , and tens of thousands of others live there already and have moved in already. They are there, come out of your little world. As for the: "Juanita's and Chucho's this and that," I hope they never leave. If that happened, it would be a tragedy for "our" DT.
 

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Why would the Juanita's and Chucho's (w/e) need to leave? Over here we have mom and pop stores living alongside fancy boutiques and other well known chainstores and imo it's great. It keeps downtown from feeling too poshy while feeling very upscale at the same time. The cheap stands/restaurants are actually packed with office workers looking for a a cheap lunch, coffee w/e. It's really great.
 

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I've been to all but a few of the downtowns in US cities that have over a couple hundred thousand people. In terms of size LA's is bigger than most. In terms of a nice visit for tourists and visitors it would have to rank pretty low. It is much better than it was a few years ago and the amount of new businesses, restaurants, etc. would be pretty impressive for a smaller downtown, like Oklahoma City maybe. But it doesn't make much a dent given downtown LA's large size. Tourists still come to LA and complain that there are no restaurants, bars etc. downtown. We know that there are, but you can see how someone from out of town could walk around downtown and get that impression. You would have to know where to go to find stuff to do.

Plus downtown LA has a severe homeless problem. The city basically gave half of downtown to the homeless 3 decades ago and not to be insensitive, but that does have a negative connotation for visitors. I don't see nearly as much human excrement on the sidewalk so we are making progress.

What is going to change downtown is LA Live. It's for tourists, but that's what downtown needs. I can see LA being in the top 10 or so of downtowns in 10 years or so. As of now I'd say that it's not in the Top 20 so Top 10 would be pretty good.
 

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I've been to all but a few of the downtowns in US cities that have over a couple hundred thousand people. In terms of size LA's is bigger than most. In terms of a nice visit for tourists and visitors it would have to rank pretty low. It is much better than it was a few years ago and the amount of new businesses, restaurants, etc. would be pretty impressive for a smaller downtown, like Oklahoma City maybe. But it doesn't make much a dent given downtown LA's large size. Tourists still come to LA and complain that there are no restaurants, bars etc. downtown. We know that there are, but you can see how someone from out of town could walk around downtown and get that impression. You would have to know where to go to find stuff to do.

Plus downtown LA has a severe homeless problem. The city basically gave half of downtown to the homeless 3 decades ago and not to be insensitive, but that does have a negative connotation for visitors. I don't see nearly as much human excrement on the sidewalk so we are making progress.

What is going to change downtown is LA Live. It's for tourists, but that's what downtown needs. I can see LA being in the top 10 or so of downtowns in 10 years or so. As of now I'd say that it's not in the Top 20 so Top 10 would be pretty good.
I'd love to see that ranked list to see where you place LA and which are "better". I've been around a bit myself. Not only here in the US but worldwide, and could not disagree with you more.
 

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I think its unfair to compare los angeles to many other cities in this way. A lot of cities may have a busier downtown, but they likely dont have a downtown, a wilshire, a hollywood, a century city, a melrose, a santa monica blvd, and centrally located santa monica, beverly hills, and west hollywood (the equivalents of all of these of course).

Of course its important that Los Angele's downtown really gain in its popularity with city, but it would be only half the story if we didnt mention how much activity happens in all these other areas. Frankly, one might say its amazing that our downtown ISNT a ghost town. Its increasingly more vibrant, and some areas like broadway are downright active.
 

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I don't have a "ranked list" and really don't feel like making one. Deciding which downtown is "better" is a completely subjective exercise and depending on the criteria my choices might change. I've approached this topic from the standpoint of things to do, especially restaurants, nightlife, shopping, etc. In that regard even though LA does have lots to do it's spread out over a large area. Downtown type areas that I would probably rank ahead of LA on that type of criteria would include: midtown-Manhattan (really all of Manhattan), SF, Portland, San Diego, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Boston. Maybe Denver. A case could even be made for places like New Orleans, Tampa/Ybor City, Charlotte, and Long Beach. I've never been, but I've heard good things about San Antonio, Baltimore and Seattle.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE downtown LA and the potential is there to blow by most of these cities in a few years, but it's not there yet for me. But as I said "better" is completely subjective so we're going to have lots of different opinions.
 

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But what is it that some of you are looking for in our downtown? to be like everyone else? Have a " Old Navy, GAP, Banana Rep, A&F, AE, etc." We already have that. It's a couple of subways stops from downtown to HOLLYWOOD. Major tourist spot. No need to pleasure the tourists. They already have their haven. But what I like about hollywood is that it has its touristy spots, but then down the street, you have some good local hangouts like tattoo shops, restaurants, clubs, a high school with an amazing mural, and Amoeba.

Downtown Los Angeles has had its fair share of warehouse parties, loft parties, art exhibitions, media parties [like teen vogue at the church on 2nd and Main], filming being done all the time in downtown, starting to get local restaurants thats aren't chains [and the chain restaurants that are there aren't all over the place like McDonalds], cool bars, the smell, home to Commes des Garcons [crazy guerilla boutique from Japan, first in the US-wikipedia that shit] etc etc. All of this has been there for a while now, why the need to cater to "safe" people.
 

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Most of the downtowns that I have been to have all that same stuff, plus the chain stuff, and the local flavor. "Destinations" doesn't have to mean "The Gap". I just mean places for adults. The more local stuff the better. I'm a big fan of the Fashion District. I'll eat at a local restaurant before a chain if given the chance. I prefer a mellow bar playing jazz to a grungy one playing rock or rap, but downtown is pretty big and has enough room for different tastes.
 
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