What can urban Los Angeles learn from New York?
I just got back from a week in New York. It was my third time there this year, so I am definitely getting the hang of it. Every time I’m in Manhattan, I am inspired by the urban landscape (the walkability, the parks, the subway system, etc.) and just how well the city is interconnected, and as a result, it’s superior functionality. I also always seem to find myself falling in love again and again with the architecture of historic New York dating back to the early 1800s to the most modern skyscrapers in Midtown.
New York has been the largest city in the country for a long time now so it’s had time to grow, learn from mistakes, and develop into the mature metropolis that it is today, which inspires awe and endearment. People from across the world proudly proclaim New York as their home because it is so grand and unique.
Nevertheless, I also believe that Los Angeles is the best it’s probably ever been in a long time with urban nodes across the region like Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica, once dilapidated and seedy, being continuously revitalized and becoming more mature and better connected by mass transit. Of course, Downtown LA is the largest center in the region and has the greatest potential as a result. And these pictures I took in New York are just some of the things I’d like to see happen here in urban Los Angeles.
Let the musing begin.
I thought these mini-cafes and outdoor patio dining area by the steps leading into Bryant Park could be something we could do once we completely remodel our ugly and embarrassing Pershing Square in Downtown LA
Small businesses within subway stations like this one in the Times Square 42nd Street station show that our Rush Hour Snacks at the Downtown LA 7th/Metro station is going in the right direction
If New York can take away entire lanes away from cars, then we can too
Not only can we take away a lane from cars, but we can add tables and chairs for people like we see here in Times Square
I would like to see more shopping options in our Union Station like we see here in Grand Central Terminal
When I saw this "bump out" on Broadway in SoHo, it made me think of what we could do on our Broadway in Downtown LA (in addition to other wide streets that could use some narrowing)
I thought these flag banners for businesses in SoHo were a nice touch and would like to see more in Downtown LA's burgeoning retail districts
I know we already have planters in LA but we could always use more like the ones we see here on Houston Street
I love outdoor dining patios like these and this one in Greenwich Village reminded me of our former Angelique Cafe in Downtown LA
I love how New York utilizes spaces so efficiently and creatively and Pershing Square restaurant in Midtown is something I could see happen in our Arts District underneath the many bridges we have crossing the LA River
We could always use more dog parks like this one in Madison Square Park near the Flatiron District
I love, I repeat, love townhomes like these on the East Coast (seen here near Greenwich Village) and I hope that some developer out there will build a few here in Downtown LA someday
I like how the New York City subway translates signs into multiple languages implying that "everyone" rides mass transit in New York and not just the use of Spanish here in LA that implies that no one else rides PT here except for Spanish speakers
Countdown timers should be used here in LA making it easier for transit riders to know when the next train arrives
I would love to see grand department stores come back to Downtown LA making "shopping in the city" available again to LA residents
Again, if New York can take away entire lanes and give them back to people as public spaces as seen here in Herald Square, why can't LA?
I would love to see an urban Best Buy in Downtown LA someday like the one here in Midtown on 5th Avenue
I love how interconnected New York is for pedestrians as we see here with the famous Met Life (former Pan Am) building being directly connected to Grand Central Terminal making it easy for pedestrians to get anywhere in the city
Two bus lanes in Midtown and we can't even get one through Brentwood or the "Wilshire Condo Canyon" for our 720 Rapid Line? Shameful
I noticed that there were a lot of pedicabs throughout Manhattan and something I would like to see in the near future for Downtown LA and environs
I love how many stores have direct access to subway stations in New York and I have told the management at 505 Flower (the underground mall) in Downtown LA that they should connect directly into the future Downtown Connector station but apparently Jim Thomas (the owner of the mall) isn't keen on that idea...Guess our urban maturity level isn't quite there yet
There is a Duane Reade convenience store on almost every block in New York (seen here in Herald Square) and that means Downtown LA is on the right path with the multiple Walgreens, Rite Aids, Famimas, and 7-Elevens opening up throughout Downtown LA to service a densely populated and pedestrian-oriented community
This is one of the oldest sections of New York in Downtown near the WTC and I thought Stone Street and its bars and restaurants with outdoor benches could easily be "replicated" in our many underutilized alleyways in Downtown LA