Another Downtown Eyesore


A few days ago I caught a link by LA Observed that mentions some of the supposed worst “eyesores” in El Centro. Well I happened to be downtown on that very day, and I’d like to submit the following location to the list of eyesores. Yes, LA Live. A most inappropriate name. Well, unless you were trying to zap some sort of “life” into a monster. But at least the icon of a pole dancing stripper seems to work. They’ve bothered to make a map, not that you’ll ever need to refer to it.

Click ahead for some pics of this so called “Living.”


I highly suggest you click on this suggested soundtrack. No doubt they will start using it there soon.


When this attraction (ha!) opened up it seemed everyone wanted to get a look. I knew I wasn’t going to care much for it, the shopping mall way of life doesn’t work for me. Still, I figured I’d eventually take a look just to see what all the barullo was about. Basically it’s just another way to waste your money. Dressed up in pretty little lights.


When a tree uses more electricity than an average plant, you know something is wrong. Hey, get ready for ads too!


Not to seem cheap, they dressed up all the ornamental trees in xmas lights. And look at that inviting concrete plaza! For this we gave up $246 million in tax breaks?


Commercial ads AND giant monitors broadcasting even more ads. This is the corporate vision of an adult playground, designed with only the corporations interest in mind. This shit isn’t even half-way inviting to your average human.


Not that they want the average human to come out and play. They’ve figured out how to keep the riff-raff away by that time tested exclusion method of appropriate pricing. Restaurants are super expensive and no eloteros in sight for a quick bite. One simple meal and a boring Alice in Wonderland movie later, I’m down $70. No wonder most of the crowd seemed straight outta Orange County.


It was quite crowded when we got there, all the restaurants were busy. But by around 9:30 it had mostly cleared out, this one place already had the stools up on the bar. Oh boy, what a nightlife.


Steel contraptions. Bright screens. Corporate messages. Invisible ghost trees. Getting us ready for our dystopian future.


And right on cue, a mustachioed version of Big Brother starts talking about some banality. They even have this one segment that goes “hey you — yeah you” trying to get your attention to yet another babosada. It’s not enough that they’ve built an imposing environment for rats to get to their cheese, they still insist on prodding you along the way to your next cash extrusion destination via visual harassment. How fucking humiliating.


I wonder if they sell Soma? Soma….soma….soma….


From the amount of Kings jerseys, I assume they were playing tonight. I wonder how long it will be until I step foot inside the office supply center. I’m not in a hurry.

If they carried t-shirts that said “My Mayor Looted Our Public Funds And All I Got Was This Lousy Totalitarian Concrete Park” then maybe I’d check out the gift shop.


“Everything is fine. You like LA Live. You will come here to play. Being here is your choice. Do not change the channel.”

Yup, that’s exactly what the smiling couple said.


Down the rabbit hole they went, only to find out it was just the Conga room. Figures.

Yup, I was the chump for giving it a try. But let this be a warning to you.


The final agent of control. Ticket please. Money please. Thank you for participating in our process.

You have now been entertained.

25 thoughts on “Another Downtown Eyesore

  1. I want one of those t-shirts “My Mayor Looted Our Public Funds And All I Got Was This Lousy Totalitarian Concrete Park” 🙂

  2. Often when looking at a mass of things for sale, Socrates would say to himself, ‘How many things I have no need of!’

    Like Socrates I value humane actions, valiant hearts and deep minds more than American commercialism’s sense of unobtainable opulence, stone-cold faux beauty, and more spending = more pleasure ‘jump on the bandwagon’ mind-control.

    Raza leaving up their xmas lights all year, used to be considered tacky. Now it’s chic? In 20 years tagged high rises will be ‘the latest thing’.

  3. lol. Loved the soundtrack. Perfect touch. That slow drum beat started kicking in just as I got to your picture of the guy saying, “hey, you”. lol. You timed it perfectly like the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz thing.

  4. Thanks El Chavo for puttng into words the felings I have that have kept me from frequenting the place. Maybe I’d go if I got a free game ticket and xc I hav any time, I’d window hop and stand outside and drool babas as someone ate a $10 burger. I wonder how much the bowling alley charges for shoes,lanes,snacks? Back in my alcoholic topado days, I would have made it a point to stnd outside the Espn set and yell Go Lakers during a live telecast of sportscenter.

  5. Thank you Chavo for putting into words the feelings I had deep down inside that have stopped me from frequenting the place. Maybe I’d go if I got a free game ticket and if I had anytime, I would windowshop and drool at someone eating a $10 burger. I wonder how much the bowling alley charges for shoes,lanes and a pitcher of brew? Back in my tapado daze, I would have made it a point to stand outside the ESPN set and yell “Go Lakers!” at the top of my lungs during a live telecast of Sportscenter. This is the edited version of my remarks.

  6. Particularly with the soundtrack, this is an excellent of the totalitarianism of modern democratic capitalism. Ugly with excess glitter and always demanding our attention. And, yes, the so-called “Alice in Wonderland” movie was boring. an insult to the book.

  7. while LA LIVE might not work for some, it sure has worked out for many. i suggest checking out the happy hours at flemings, the yardhouse or the surrounding restaurants if you think its pricey. last time i went to catch a game at the yardhouse i ran into some highschool buddies.
    its very much like the paseo on colorado. its hype, its glitz, its new. and all that never stops lots and lots of folks from flocking there. even (GASP) people from boyle heights, lincoln heights, east LA and beyond.
    would i park there? no, i take the train or bus. and when i do drive i find street parking. but la live doesnt do enough. i prefer the fig for a drink. corkbar for some apps. i think more raza needs to invade this place.
    in the end…la live? its too family friendly for me.

  8. Sorry El Chavo, there’s no soma at herbalife. It’s exclusively Soylent Green.

  9. That sterile psuedo-downtown mall has had me curling my upper lip in disgust for years. When that project was just an aerial schematic, I’ve been hating on it. Now that it is built I can honestly say that I hate the place. Bleah. “Hi! Welcome to American City Land! Park your car in the stall allotted you and insert credits for your corn-based snacks! Moo! That meat’s so fresh the cow doesn’t know it’s missing. Ha ha ha.”

    The white, racist, elitist, oligarchs from 1920’s LA have won. The working man has been pushed out of downtown LA for service workers and mega shopping centers for people looking for an Epcot Center version of our blasted out downtown. There is more car parking downtown than buildings at this point. More one-way streets and pedestrian hazards than landmarks and shared history. Once the stucco starts rotting, LA Lives true colors will shine through.

  10. What really baffles me is how the “fast food” aesthetic is really everywhere in the new architecture.

    For a while, everyone wanted their building to look like a painted up warehouse. Now it seems like they just want a few elements of the warehouse fused combined with stucco and buildings that look like they were from Tron.

  11. It looks to me, much like the ‘Cathedral’, like a prefect place to easily convert into a large prison or holding facility if and when martial law is imposed.

    Large concrete spaces where the dissidents can be monitored and controlled with no chance of escape.

  12. I for one, think it’s awesome.

    It’s an eyesore? Is that why you see a ton of pedestrian activity there even when there isn’t a Lakers,Clippers, or Kings game?

    Is that why there are hundreds of people (including me) moving, or planning to move, into the area?

  13. It’s an eyesore… A zombie corpse dressed in glitter to attract victims so it can eat their brains.

  14. I’ve been to a few games at Staples. I always find street parking and walk over there as I’m loathe to pay $20 to park.

    As for the establishments there, they don’t interest me. I had one of my worst experiences — then kind where you swear off a place forever — at the new Conga Room. My friend won tickets to a show there. After picking up our complimentary tickets, we were told at the door that anyone with a comp ticket had to buy a $10 drink ticket. It didn’t matter whether or not you planned to buy a drink inside, or even if you drank alcohol or not. We paid $10 each and got our stupid drink tickets. I bought a pricey cocktail just to use the drink ticket. My friend held on to his until later in the show. He offered it to me and I was able to a get a 16 oz bottle of water with the ticket. Just one bottle of water.

    I’ve won several free tickets on music blogs and this was the first time I had to buy a drink. Needless to say, I don’t plan to go back to the Conga Room.

    The rest of the establishments at LA Live don’t interest me.

  15. I was at the conga room too and it sucked for me too. The worst part in all this was all the people that got “displaced” to make way for the staples center, the parking lots and everything. I have friends who went through that shit. Why are they trying to bite of Times Square, isn’t what Hollywood and Highland is for ?

  16. Hey El Chavo, I could not agree with you more about AEG’s embarrassing 1980s garish neon-y thing-y, LA Live, which they claimed was going to be LA’s “new public square.” Remember all that shameless hype? Say the opposite, and maybe enough folks will believe you. LA Live is the most anti-public “civic” development in LA, perhaps ever. Now we have LA LIVE TWO on the way: check out Mark Rios’ hideous “Civic Park” — 16 acres that will stretch between City Hall and Grand Avenue. The Clementi Hale design was finalized with little public notice. They will wipe out 200-300 exotic trees and flowering shrubs along the Hall of Administration and Superior Court to add MORE CEMENT and a lot less shade. Why? To make room for Villaraigosa’s programmable space” — not a Civic Park at all, but sponsorships and crap like that. Little frisbee and book reading. Grass is almost a no-no. At more than $50 million it will be the most expensive park ever in LA. LA Weekly has been covering this. LA Times is cheerleading it when they bother to pay attention. You go, El Chavo. — Jill Stewart, LA Weekly news editor

  17. Haven’t had the pleasure of going to LA Live yet. However, I prefer burning my $$$$ at Disneyland.

  18. “If they carried t-shirts that said “My Mayor Looted Our Public Funds And All I Got Was This Lousy Totalitarian Concrete Park” then maybe I’d check out the gift shop.”

    This is spot on! I have no idea why I’m supposed to be so excited about L.A. Live–it is completely characterless and sterile. Nothing about it says “Los Angeles;” it could be anywhere. But it’s new and shiny, literally, and that’s enough for an awful lot of people.

  19. I wouldn’t mind this cookie cutter development if it actually brought GOOD PAYING jobs.

  20. L.A. Live is disgusting. It may be even more disgusting than Rick Caruso’s horrifying developments, The Grove and Americana at Brand (I can’t even type that without shuddering). Fake public space makes me want to vomit – it’s the ultimate validation of people’s distaste for people different from them.

    Anyways, I wrote about how much a hate L.A. Live, too. I don’t think I was quite as eloquent as El Chavo, but here it is:

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