What Los Angeles was like *back in the day*
Really, I can't blame people for not seeing anything but freeways and donuts shops in LA. Los Angeles hasn't gone out its way to point out what the area looked like just a few generations ago. And for good reason. It was pretty awful.
The best place to start to see Los Angeles *back in the day* is to go visit the La Brea tar pits. No, I don't mean go into the museum. Walk around the property. The land there has been *preserved* to show how it had originally looked. And I don't mean back in the ice age, just back before people cleaned it all up. Boggy and filled with nasty, gooey tar. Take a look at your shoes when you're through walking around. And notice the nasty smell. Would anyone want to live somewhere like that? Apparently a few people did, and imagined if they could get it all under control, other people would want to move there, too. They were successful.
Take a look at the names - *La Brea* means the tar. *La Cienega*, in spite of the attempts to make it sound more cheerful, just means a swamp. Yeah, the Chamber of Commerce would call it a *natural, marshy area*. People who lived there when it looked like that just saw a place that was gonna need a whole lot of cleanup to be a decent place to live. That they accomplished it so well is quite a testament to their foresight. And that they never mentioned again that the ground was an oily mush was just good real estate practice.
Posted by Brad Hall