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  #101  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 4:04 PM
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My g/f and I walked down Wilshire from Beverly Hills to Westwood a few years ago and she was surprised at how run down and vacant it was. . . apparently in the late 70s early 80s they used to hang out there quite a bit. . . I've never known it to be anything other than a sleepy college-town retail strip. . .

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  #102  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
My g/f and I walked down Wilshire from Beverly Hills to Westwood a few years ago and she was surprised at how run down and vacant it was. . . apparently in the late 70s early 80s they used to hang out there quite a bit. . . I've never known it to be anything other than a sleepy college-town retail strip. . .

. . .
Back in the 80s, I thought Westwood Village had something for everyone. They had nightclubs, restaurants, a plethora of movie theaters (single-screen theaters and a 4-plex or two, as I recall)... They also had bookstores... They had a Bullock's department store there which I would go to occasionally. For anyone not familiar, Bullock's was LA's upper-end/higher end department store. And back then, the different Bullock's branches each had their own buyers that catered to their specific store's clientele, so it was often the case that you could only find certain merchandise at specific locations. Tower Records had a branch there which I would go to sometimes, that had 2 levels, though not as big or extensive as *the* Tower Records on Sunset. A lot of young people hung out in Westwood, and it was fun for me even just to people-watch back when I was a teen and in my early 20s.

It would be great if Westwood Village became a lively college town-type of place again. From what I've read online, around 1989 or so, the "Westwood Specific Plan" was drafted, probably because of neighborhood complaints of noise and rowdiness, which changed the zoning that basically eliminated businesses that the college-age demographic would go to, like pool halls, nightclubs and bars. If bars and nightclubs with live music and dancing were to open up, it would have to be at a restaurant, and with a conditional use permit.
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  #103  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
My g/f and I walked down Wilshire from Beverly Hills to Westwood a few years ago and she was surprised at how run down and vacant it was. . . apparently in the late 70s early 80s they used to hang out there quite a bit. . . I've never known it to be anything other than a sleepy college-town retail strip. . .

. . .
Nope, Westwood was once packed and full of pedestrians, especially Friday and Saturday nights. It was so crowded that the city would close down the streets to allow more room for pedestrians to get around. This was back in the early 80’s, it was full of college brat pack types, but it also began to attracted gangs from south central and a few mini riots and violence increased and at least one killing. This caused the downturn in popularity and with the gentrification of Old Town Pasadena, and 3rd Street Promanade the crowds just shifted.
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  #104  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 5:37 PM
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Nope, Westwood was once packed and full of pedestrians, especially Friday and Saturday nights. It was so crowded that the city would close down the streets to allow more room for pedestrians to get around. This was back in the early 80’s, it was full of college brat pack types, but it also began to attracted gangs from south central and a few mini riots and violence increased and at least one killing. This caused the downturn in popularity and with the gentrification of Old Town Pasadena, and 3rd Street Promanade the crowds just shifted.
That basically says it all. I mentioned 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but yes, the gentrification of Old Town Pasadena, and maybe even the creation of Universal CityWalk, made crowds shift elsewhere. I guess at one time, Westwood Village was a big regional draw for entertainment across SoCal, which is why it was really crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. You are absolutely right, the crowds just shifted when other areas for entertainment started popping up. I remember finding it funny when Santa Monica became a place to hang out. It's probably unfathomable for young people and recent transplants today, but there was a time when Santa Monica was a somewhat rundown beach town, that looked like it saw better days. And when I was in high school in the 80s, you didn't want to be on the Santa Monica Pier at night, because supposedly that's where the gangs hung out.

Apart from what was already mentioned that contributed to Westwood's demise as a popular place to hang out, I've read some articles that also blame the parking---or rather, the supposed lack of it, in Westwood Village. Somewhat ironically, back in the 70s and 80s, Westwood Village was considered to be one of the most walkable places in LA, though it had high "unparkability." But as I mentioned previously, all you had to do was park at the Federal Building and then walk a few blocks.
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  #105  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 5:42 PM
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I never saw Westwood in it's heyday. It's coming around in the last few years, and I think the subway stop will be great for it.
But there's probably alot more competition for the young people to go to than back in the 1980s.
I agree, I think the subway stop will be great for it, and may even make it very vibrant once again. But yeah, now with a gentrifying/gentrified Hollywood and downtown LA also being entertainment destinations, on top of what already exists, Westwood will have a lot of competition.
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  #106  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 5:47 PM
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That basically says it all. I mentioned 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but yes, the gentrification of Old Town Pasadena, and maybe even the creation of Universal CityWalk, made crowds shift elsewhere. I guess at one time, Westwood Village was a big regional draw for entertainment across SoCal, which is why it was really crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. You are absolutely right, the crowds just shifted when other areas for entertainment started popping up. I remember finding it funny when Santa Monica became a place to hang out. It's probably unfathomable for young people and recent transplants today, but there was a time when Santa Monica was a somewhat rundown beach town, that looked like it saw better days. And when I was in high school in the 80s, you didn't want to be on the Santa Monica Pier at night, because supposedly that's where the gangs hung out.

Apart from what was already mentioned that contributed to Westwood's demise as a popular place to hang out, I've read some articles that also blame the parking---or rather, the supposed lack of it, in Westwood Village. Somewhat ironically, back in the 70s and 80s, Westwood Village was considered to be one of the most walkable places in LA, though it had high "unparkability." But as I mentioned previously, all you had to do was park at the Federal Building and then walk a few blocks.
It's very hard to imagine Santa Monica being crappy these days. Venice, you can kind of see it being worse years ago. I was just there last weekend, and both places seem more popular than ever.

Jonah Hill was raised in Palms, and he recently said that neighborhood is becoming unrecongizable to him.
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  #107  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 6:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
It's very hard to imagine Santa Monica being crappy these days. Venice, you can kind of see it being worse years ago. I was just there last weekend, and both places seem more popular than ever.

Jonah Hill was raised in Palms, and he recently said that neighborhood is becoming unrecongizable to him.
In the early and mid 80s, the Third Street Mall was largely a ghost town. It did have a great architectural book store, Hennessey + Ingalls, that I liked to visit. I think it became a pedestrian mall in the 1950s. but it never took off until the city put in several parking structures and a large shopping mall opened at the southern end in the late 1980s. Prior to that most of the shopping was on Colorado where a Sears store and a Buffum's (maybe it was Henshey's rather that Buffum's; my memory is vague here, but I recall a very boring mid market department store) were the major retail players. Santa Monica was a pretty sleepy place, but the beach was always crowded on weekends with folks from all over the LA Basin. The Pacific Ocean Park (POP) amusement park stood derelict just south of the Santa Monica Pier from 1967 to 1975 (https://www.kcrw.com/culture/article...fic-ocean-park). The changes in Santa Monica took place rather quickly, and by the end of the 1980s, it was starting to be a happening place. Main Street a bit further south was still filled with empty store fronts and had a very seedy vibe until the mid 1980s. Venice was still considered kind of dicey although the area around the canals was always popular with a well established artistic/bohemian residential enclave. Residential areas north of Montana in Santa Monica have always been rather pricey and exclusive. The residential areas south of Wilshire were also pretty stable and middle to upper middle class. Downtown and the beach areas had some problems there for a while.

Last edited by austlar1; Aug 29, 2019 at 7:23 PM.
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  #108  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 6:31 PM
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Wow, very interesting.

A subway to the sea would be amazing, if it ever happens one day.
Santa Monica-Westwood/UCLA/Beverly Hills/Fairfax/La Brea/Koreatown/Downtown would be insane for locals and tourists.
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  #109  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 6:46 PM
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Back when I lived in LA, I always yearned for a subway from downtown to Santa Monica. It just seemed so logical, but logic has never been the dominant factor in city planning in LA. Do you think it is ever really going to happen?
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  #110  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 6:54 PM
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I know the redline is going as far as the Veteran's hospital at the moment and will be ready for the 2028 Olympics. It sucks it won't get to Santa Monica, but the red line will do a ton for those other parts of the city. I definttely see many 40 story buildings on Wilshire getting added.
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  #111  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 7:11 PM
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Back when I lived in LA, I always yearned for a subway from downtown to Santa Monica. It just seemed so logical, but logic has never been the dominant factor in city planning in LA. Do you think it is ever really going to happen?
Not a subway but you can certianly get to the beach from downtown.



The Santa Monica Expo Line station is within blocks from the beach and is pretty gnarly looking itself.
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  #112  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 7:44 PM
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Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
In the early and mid 80s, the Third Street Mall was largely a ghost town. It did have a great architectural book store, Hennessey + Ingalls, that I liked to visit. I think it became a pedestrian mall in the 1950s. but it never took off until the city put in several parking structures and a large shopping mall opened at the southern end in the late 1980s. Prior to that most of the shopping was on Colorado where a Sears store and a Buffum's (maybe it was Henshey's rather that Buffum's; my memory is vague here, but I recall a very boring mid market department store) were the major retail players. Santa Monica was a pretty sleepy place, but the beach was always crowded on weekends with folks from all over the LA Basin. The Pacific Ocean Park (POP) amusement park stood derelict just south of the Santa Monica Pier from 1967 to 1975 (https://www.kcrw.com/culture/article...fic-ocean-park). The changes in Santa Monica took place rather quickly, and by the end of the 1980s, it was starting to be a happening place. Main Street a bit further south was still filled with empty store fronts and had a very seedy vibe until the mid 1980s. Venice was still considered kind of dicey although the area around the canals was always popular with a well established artistic/bohemian residential enclave. Residential areas north of Montana in Santa Monica have always been rather pricey and exclusive. The residential areas south of Wilshire were also pretty stable and middle to upper middle class. Downtown and the beach areas had some problems there for a while.
I love Hennessey + Ingalls. Yes, for the longest time, they were on 3rd Street Promenade. It was nice to hang out there and look at books before waiting to see a movie. Then later on they moved to Wilshire Blvd. near the Promenade, and then some years ago they moved to the Arts District, where they still are, I believe. It's been a few years since I've been there. The space they're in is not as big as the one they used to inhabit on the Promenade.
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  #113  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 7:59 PM
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the the expo line is pretty cool, took that to the Santa Monica pier last time I was in LA.
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  #114  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 8:11 PM
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the the expo line is pretty cool, took that to the Santa Monica pier last time I was in LA.
Even if the subway makes it to Santa Monica, I think I’ll still prefer the Expo line. I rather enjoy the elevated train and seeing the landscape than being in a tunnel. There are some beautiful scenery along the route IMO.
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  #115  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 9:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisLA View Post
Nope, Westwood was once packed and full of pedestrians, especially Friday and Saturday nights. It was so crowded that the city would close down the streets to allow more room for pedestrians to get around. This was back in the early 80’s, it was full of college brat pack types, but it also began to attracted gangs from south central and a few mini riots and violence increased and at least one killing. This caused the downturn in popularity and with the gentrification of Old Town Pasadena, and 3rd Street Promanade the crowds just shifted.
Yeah. . . that's what she was saying. . . I was there in the late 90s and most recently a few years ago, so /my/ recollection was that it was always kind of vacant. . .

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Even if the subway makes it to Santa Monica, I think I’ll still prefer the Expo line. I rather enjoy the elevated train and seeing the landscape than being in a tunnel. There are some beautiful scenery along the route IMO.
I'd be surprised if they did build the subway all the way to Santa Monica as the Expo line seems to serve that route already. . . we stayed in SM on our last trip there and took the Expo line into town a number of times during our stay. . .

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  #116  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 10:26 PM
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Not a subway but you can certianly get to the beach from downtown.



The Santa Monica Expo Line station is within blocks from the beach and is pretty gnarly looking itself.
This line is a such a joke. The entire thing should have either been elevated or subterranean. I ride it occasionally but it usually isn't any quicker than a car and that is *if* there is traffic on the 10. The Purple Line needs to be extended to downtown SM and a new subway should go from DT SM along Santa Monica BLVD to Sunset and then downtown.
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  #117  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 10:40 PM
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This line is a such a joke. The entire thing should have either been elevated or subterranean. I ride it occasionally but it usually isn't any quicker than a car and that is *if* there is traffic on the 10. The Purple Line needs to be extended to downtown SM and a new subway should go from DT SM along Santa Monica BLVD to Sunset and then downtown.
There is always traffic on the 10, I rather take the train than get stuck on that stretch of the freeway. It is much better than taking a bus across town. Now that’s a nightmare of a commute. I agree parts of it should be elevated, such as the stretch from USC to downtown, but unless you’re in Manhattan most subways will not be faster than a car. The only way to even come close would be to have express service from downtown SM to downtown LA. Of course that would exclude most of the people that it’s designed to serve.
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  #118  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 10:57 PM
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There is always traffic on the 10, I rather take the train than get stuck on that stretch of the freeway. It is much better than taking a bus across town. Now that’s a nightmare of a commute. I agree parts of it should be elevated, such as the stretch from USC to downtown, but unless you’re in Manhattan most subways will not be faster than a car. The only way to even come close would be to have express service from downtown SM to downtown LA. Of course that would exclude most of the people that it’s designed to serve.
Many times a day I drive this road and traffic flows depending on the time of day. The myth this freeway is always backed up isn't so true. Even with traffic flowing at LOS D it still is much quicker than Expo line. This line should absolutely match a cars speed or what is incentive to take it?
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  #119  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 11:08 PM
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So I kinda/sorta rode the Expo line via YouTube. It is way better than the bus, and it seems well patronized. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB77I9WYEp4
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  #120  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 11:49 PM
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I'd be surprised if they did build the subway all the way to Santa Monica as the Expo line seems to serve that route already. . . we stayed in SM on our last trip there and took the Expo line into town a number of times during our stay. . .

. . .
The Purple Line extension was originally envisioned as a "Subway to Sea" and an alignment terminating at Wilshire/4th in Santa Monica was studied during the Alternatives Analysis phase. Ultimately, phase 4 wasn't included in Measure R because the Expo Line hadn't even opened yet. When Measure M came around, the SM extension was still only a year old and any more favoritism shown toward the Westside might have compromised the initiative.

All that being said, they're not going to just terminate the subway 3.5 miles short of the ocean. This is Metro's signature line, and the desire/demand to complete it will eventually take hold.
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