Saturday, September 23, 2006

The End Of Dogtown

I posted earlier about our local surf & skate shop Horizons West (the symbol of Dogtown,) and about gentrification in Los Angeles.
The former Zephyr landmark has fallen victim to the infamous "Notice of Pending Development Review Permit." It was half expected, since the surrounding blocks are already being redeveloped. There goes part of the surf 'n skate culture.
The City of Santa Monica has embarked into an all-over smorgasbord of gentrification, with mammoth, mixed-use propositions whose faux-architectural styles are about as exciting as a Starbucks. Santa Monica has become a hub for infotainment companies, and big honchos like Google and Yahoo have recently joined the established post-prod houses and other music behemoths. The attraction? Proximity to The Industry, with the added beach lifestyle.

The problem is: the very character of Santa Monica, its edgy mix of bo-bo and cool, i.e. what people move in for, is being destroyed in the process. Craftsman cottages and funky stores are disappearing at a frightening pace. Friendly neighborhood coffee shops are turned into anonymous raw food deluxes or Urth Cafés (the Starbucks with valet parking.) Housing prices are shooting through the roof. Welcome to Yuppieland. It's all very corporate. Bland. And boring.
photos LA Frog
[edit 10/11/06: Has Dogtown had its day? in SMDP]
[edit 10/12/06: Fate of Dogtown in SM Mirror]
[edit 11/15/06: Dogtown isn't going anywhere in SMDP]
[edit 02/05/07: A zephyr blows into Dogtown in SMDP]
[edit 02/12/07: Shop's past has wheels in LAT]
[edit 02/14/07: Skaters turn up volume in SMDP]
[edit 04/11/07: Dogtown skates by destruction in SMDP]
[edit 05/16/07: Dogtown Forever! in SMDP]

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