As a kid I would often ride the train from Orange County to LA to wander Downtown streets.

My favorite was always Broadway, with its grand but decrepit old buildings and theaters.

When I started exploring the neighborhood, it was still rough around the edges. Looking past the grime, one could imagine its opulent heyday.

Nowhere in Orange County was like Broadway, and I was surprised to find urbanity just north of the suburban sprawl I grew up in.

While most white Angelenos forgot about the historic street, Latinos became its stewards as their businesses moved into the neighborhood.


I moved to LA in collage and would visit the street more often. I soon noticed a changing demographic in the people and places I passed.

Downtown was changing as Angelenos were rediscovering it.

Every week there seemed to be some hip new opening. Either a hotel, a luxury brand, pricey gallery, or trendy restaurant.

Looking up, one can't avoid the silhouettes of dozens of high rise construction cranes.

Old Downtown is slowly disappearing.

As new businesses replace long established ones, I'm filled with both apprehension and excitement.  This was never my neighborhood, but like it or not, I'm part of the change.