Los Angeles for decades lacked that central gathering spot that accurately represented “LA.” Whether it was for celebrating New Year’s Eve or gathering together to watch election results like so many did last night for the Presidential race, for far too long, we’ve depended solely on our satellite cities, like Pasadena or Santa Monica, to provide access to higher quality public spaces. But the catch was, we were never truly in The City. LA sorely needed to stand on its own two feet, so-to-speak. Now finally with the completion of LA’s newest civic park, Grand Park, Angelenos have the option to come together to share the city with their fellow denizens, not in a mall, but on public space.
Last night, it was not only electrifying to experience the election results together with hundreds of other Angelenos who were just as excited, but I was fully aware of how wonderful it was to actually be standing in a park, in Los Angeles, on public space, in Los Angeles underneath the captivating glow of City Hall. This being the land of endless freeways, strip malls, and parking lots. And although I think Grand Park could be drastically improved, I kept thinking to myself how amazing it was that before this park was completed, there were very few, if any, fantastic public spaces for people to gather in LA to be able to share this moment together.
Watching on CNN other cities across the country with citizens gathered together in their own great public spaces, I was proud to see LA represented on the large screen as the CNN camera panned over our enthusiastic crowd here in Grand Park. For once, LA was more like Chicago or New York. Angelenos are finally beginning to discover where Los Angeles really is.