Er, Los Angeles metro.
I hadn't been on the metro here since March of 2020. I haven't walked along Hollywood Boulevard or caught the 222 bus at Hollywood and Vine in that time as well. You all know I'm dedicated to public transportation. Why else would I not own a car in Los Angeles County? Time to walk the walk. Ride the ride.I took the #155 bus to Universal for the metro Red Line, also called the B line now. I'll probably still call it the Red Line forever, the way old-timers in New York call the subway lines IRT or BMT. (You didn't think that was just a sandwich, did you?)
Downtown was pretty bleak. Grand Central Market was partially open, as was the Spring Street Arcade, but many stores were boarded up or out of business. Plenty of people were walking along Hill, Broadway, and Spring, but not the gentrifiers. Where had all the wealthy hipsters gone, I wondered. Maybe they'd gotten out of town the way many New Yorkers had decamped to the Hudson Valley. Or maybe they were just going from their homes to their cars, or ordering in due to the pandemic.
I was a bit disconcerted by the day. LA was looking peaked...people still walked the streets. There is still traffic. But there are so many boarded-up stores, and transient encampments sprawl across places they never were before. I assume people have put up tents in what were once high-traffic areas--in the absence of busy foot traffic, people have taken up residence.Which...I'm sure papers will be written on the last year. Books, articles. Did COVID ravage Skid Row and people moved to other parts of town? Are people still in Skid Row but the shelters became too infectious? There are movements to build tiny house shelters, but these things take time.
I'm curious to see what happens next, but I think I'm going to miss any immediate changes, since I'm heading back to Jersey City next week. I want to enjoy my time left before I have to go back to working in an office in Burbank, and by the time I come back to the west coast, Los Angeles will probably have moved on to evolve into whatever it's going to be.