This Week on DnA: The Fight to Save an Ice Rink, and a Liveable LA, in an Age of “Her;” McMansion V Megamansion in Everything Talks

Angelenos fight to save an ice rink, as rising land values threaten quality of life, and Planet Granite responds. LA natives and urban critics debate the emerging LA of 'Her.'

CC Ice Rink, Final Day SignThe beloved Culver Ice Arena is closing because it cannot afford a new market rent. Today’s show explores the fight to save the rink, and what its demise says about the changing character of Los Angeles as buildings, and land values, rise and rise.

With Culver City councilmembers Micheal O’Leary and Andrew Weissman, Calarts professor Norman Klein, Shannon Takahashi of Culver Ice Arena, Cary Anderson, Culver City resident and other supporters of the rink. Renee DeAngelis, owner of Planet Granite, responds. (Find the individual segments and more information, here).

Also, the movie Her depicts an LA of towers and public transit. But is that the only LA we want? Chris Nichols, Norman Klein, Craig Hodgetts, Evan Kleiman and Sam Lubell reflect on the gains and losses — in buildings, lifestyle and essential LA-ness — as the region grows upwards and inwards. (Find the individual segment, here)

And, on Everything Talks, even the superrich cannot control their environment. A McMansion finds itself upstaged — by a MegaMansion. With Tom Saunders and Kristen Hansen. (Find the individual segment and past episodes, here).

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  • Ezrha Jean Black

    This is just by way of a belated note of congratulation and thanks — to both Frances Anderton (and KCRW for letting her take it as far as she did) — for this unabashed yet well-justified bit of advocacy journalism. Not sure if this listener can be proof of its persuasiveness; but it connected with the sense of neighborhood, the individual character, texture and fabric of neighborhoods — & the larger sense of how it takes many sometimes very distinct neighborhoods to make up a city — that this listener shares and understands. (Am I proof or exception?) Put it to you this way: I’ve NEVER actually been to the rink, and I’ve only driven past it a couple of times in my various circles in and around the Culver City area of L.A., Palms and the Westside. (My personal ‘center’ is a bit more ‘central’; & I live in Los Feliz). But I understand how a landmark like that can become such a cynosure, a center — of gravity, of culture — for a neighborhood and how important that can be. Also its legacy — short & long-term — is not insignificant. We let go of these legacies at our collective peril.

    It might have been hard for some listeners to reconcile this unabashed advocacy with this show’s largely forward-thinking, creatively speculative viewpoint. Maybe it’s hard to see how something like this will fit in, say, with the KKBarrett/Liz Diller downtown/CC/Shanghai-Bund smooshed L.A. of the future — a vision I’m sure Anderton shares and embraces on some level. But in fact, there’s no conflict whatsoever between this advocacy of neighborhood/landmark preservation and a forward-looking embrace of innovative design and a (hopefully) sustainable future urban landscape.

    I couldn’t help but feel contempt and loathing for the mindlessly predatory (and astonishingly limited scope) expansionist Planite Granite team — and pity them just a bit. All that marketing strategy, all those well-laid (ha!) plans, all that investment — but for how long? Assuming they prevail, Anderton should start planning a show for 6 or 7 years down the line — when they’ll probably be decamping for still fresher ‘granite’ — wherever that happens to be ‘trending.’

    • Frances Anderton

      Dear Ezrha:

      Thank you so much for this extremely thoughtful response. You have found the words to explain what I was grasping to accomplish with this show. And I completely agree that community foci as well as innovative design can, and should, co-exist. I want to develop these themes more on DnA and will take your insights to heart.

      With very best wishes,