Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thoughts on Glendale

Tomorrow I've been asked to participate in some sort of interview with the firm working on Glendale's "brand development and marketing strategic plan". I've been thinking about my relationship to Glendale recently because my work situation is in flux. I hope to be back at my office in downtown Glendale soon, but if I'm not working in Glendale, why am I here? I've been here for three years. What is my relationship to this strange place? There are lots of things I like about Glendale and some that I don't. I've been pondering this for a few days and even considered fleeing in the general direction of Sunset and Vermont. To prepare for the interview I started brainstorming from the prompt "where has Glendale been, where is Glendale now, and where you would like Glendale to be in the future".

historical: negative associations
ultra-white, racist

historical: positive associations
red car link to downtown LA, eagle rock, burbank
small town downtown feel
semi-rural, agricultural
link to golden age of aviation

present: bad
schizophrenic mix of conservative and gaudy
unimaginative, bland, small-minded
nanny-state, over-regulated HOA mentality
soulless retail
eurotrashy conspicuous consumption (MINX)
those fucking frogs
lack of distinctive art/music scene
pedestrian holocaust

present: good
walkable, well-kept downtown
proximity to downtown, atwater, silver lake, los feliz, hollywood, eagle rock, pasadena
good restaurants
wildly diverse (my zip code is 62% foreign born, fairly evenly distributed between armenian, mexican/latin american, filipino, and korean)
beautiful historic neighborhoods
mountainous, good hiking, also close to Griffith

beyond the Galleria and Americana, interesting independent businesses. off the top of my head: Damon's, El Morfi, Kozy Korner, Elena's , Brand Bookshop/Mystery and Imagination, Porto's, Jax, Urartu, Angela's Bistro, Ranch Market, Palate

where I'd like Glendale to go:
truly pedestrian and bike friendly
more open-minded, supportive of art and individuality

negative trends:
A Noise Within fleeing as fast as they can
rampant downtown retail vacancies, especially the feng-shui sucking death star that was Mervyn's

positive trends:
museum of neon art moving downtown (and already looking good with some nice window displays)
Laura Friedman on council
Goodwill moving to Brand/California
forthcoming update of bike master plan


Anonymous said...

i agree, dont forget a postive being plenty of parking compared to los feliz/silverlake/echo park/downtown/hollwyood/westside.

Anonymous said...

oh and easy freeway access.

LA said...

Easy freeway for la

Anonymous said...

Don't forget wildly overpriced real estate...

Anonymous said...

I guess this blog is updated about as often as interesting things happen in Glendale (i.e. hardly ever).