Sadly Remembering a Better Los Angeles

Last weekend, I went and saw Changeling which was a good film. It wasn’t mind-blowing and Angelina Jolie’s performance mostly consisted of a lot of crying and emotion that’s bound to at least get her an Oscar nomination because that’s what they like at the Academy. The toughest part of the film though, was seeing Los Angeles in the 1920’s and 30’s.
The movie production does a wonderful job in recreating the LA that once was with street cars that went everywhere, cozy neighborhoods, and a vibrant downtown center. It’s hard to imagine that LA was once a much more sensible town, a lot like San Francisco. Realizing that it is now an endless, mindless sprawl is disheartening and it’s no surprise that what was once the depot for the Red Car line that is featured so prominently in the film has been converted in to lofts with a ridiculous parking garage taking the place of where the trolleys once pulled in.
Of course LA has reached the same point San Francisco reached 50 years ago in that they’ve run out of space. Building new freeways is no longer and option as it would require ripping out endless tracts of residential housing and it most likely wouldn’t increase the average 20kph speed of traffic on the highways anyways. LA is again turning to public transportation and since 1990, the Metro has been steadily expanded in operation. This will not immediately return LA back to its former days as a sensible city, but in time, one can hope that public transit centers will mold the town in to a shape that is livable sans automobile.
Sadly Remembering a Better Los Angeles