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LETTERS

Reconsidering downtown L.A.

October 23, 2003

I wanted to drop you a quick note and a huge compliment on your recent issue about downtown L.A. (Oct. 16) I live next door to Jean Hering in the Continental Building. I moved here from New York, via London and Sydney and, after working and living in over 22 countries, there is nowhere in the world I would rather live than in Los Angeles -- downtown.

I have watched a renaissance occurring down here over the last two years and it is amazing. I am in the digital music industry and I work at Melrose and Doheny. Although that area is an attractive residential location, my everyday drive from "the scene" to the downtown "scene" has been my salvation.

Jim White

Los Angeles

*

AS a major fan of the Home section, I was disappointed with last week's one-sided and fairy-tale approach to downtown L.A. It is one thing to cover the architecture, the marvelous Disney Hall and firsthand opinions from those who live "in the midst of a major boom," but I experienced another side of a different downtown altogether.

The 4th Street and Main I drove through was not the same place I read about Thursday. I saw the cardboard boxes of the homeless men and women, street trash, and people in need of social service support, medical aid and hope of a better future. How can we continue to glorify gentrification and ignore the folks who already live downtown? It's their "Home" too.

E.J. Oshins

Studio City

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YOU did a great job with the Home section on our rapidly changing downtown L.A. neighborhoods as a result of the housing conversions.

I wanted to bring to your attention a Web site that was created with funding from MTA and the city of Los Angeles that is overseen by Community Redevelopment Agency.

The purpose is to bring people into many of the neighborhoods discussed in Home, using fixed-rail lines, rapid bus and DASH.

The site launched with the opening of the Gold Line in late July: www.experiencela.com.

Curt Gibbs

Los Angeles

Curt Gibbs is the senior resource development officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

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Thank you, Barbara King, for writing "Wonder Awaits You," about downtown Los Angeles. You made it seem like it is somewhere worth spending time. The picture of Grand Hope Park on Page F13 included my artwork. I really appreciate having the picture of my sculpture in the paper, even if you didn't have information about it. That piece is called "Urban Coyotes."

My other sculptures in that park are "Snake II" and "Hawk II." Those two pieces aren't as easily spotted. Also on Grand Avenue in front of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising is a life-size "Angel," which I also created. I hope that someday downtown will document all of the artwork and make it available to the public so that we will all know more about it.

Gwynn Murrill

Los Angeles

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The day before your special section on downtown Los Angeles, a group of seniors from the AARP took a tour of downtown and saw evidence of rebuilding, but most of it for government purposes. That it's finally happening is good news, but missing are needed shopping malls and moderately priced restaurants.

The highlight of the tour was the Los Angeles Conservancy taking us through the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. It's a beauty worth preserving and, in this instance, marketable.

Distressing was Broadway and the extensive jewelry section where department stores and theaters used to be.

Hyman H. Haves

Pacific Palisades

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NEVER did I imagine that the pages of the L.A. Times, normally spewing carnage and corruption stories, would transform themselves and transport one into a world of delight, wonder and significance. Brilliant photography and superb stories make the Home section one to treasure, file, be there waiting when one wishes to return and refresh one's soul.

Whether it is vibrant architecture, an indolent hour in a garden pool, the harrowing agony of moving on, a minimalist loft in a bustling downtown L.A. street, you capture it all.

The pages are sheer poetry to warm one's soul in this fretful, feverish life.

Prem Kishore

Reseda

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