You know you’re on the Eastside when. . . “The hipster in the skinny jeans and ironic mustache falls off his fixie bike and spills his bag of kale and heirloom lentils.” This, from Nathan Korman of Venice, was one of many witty responses to our Eastside Westside Throwdown that aired on WWLA , was covered on Which Way LA’s blog, and took on a life of its own on FB, Twitter, PIN and Good Food.
Meanwhile, to the Eastside fixie riders, I would have to say, you know you are on the Westside when. . . the People’s Republic of Santa Monica gives you a “Complete Green Street” and then throws you a welcoming party, with jazz and ice-cream.
As a resident of Ocean Park, I get the Eastside critique that the Westside has become so affluent and comfortable it has ceded the edge on edgy creativity. But, as a commuter-cyclist, it is hard not to love a ‘hood whose progressive benevolence (or waste of taxpayer money, depending on your vantage point) extends to this Danish-style embrace of two-wheelers and walkers (photo by Brenton Garen, from Santa Monica Mirror). The newly finished “Complete Green Street” on Ocean Park Boulevard between Lincoln Boulevard and Nielson Way, designed by John Kaliski Architects with Kimley Horn engineers in consultation with neighborhood groups, incorporates not only the dazzling bike lanes, but a new central median with trees, wider sidewalks, new crosswalks and storm-water capture to help contain the run-off that sullies the Santa Monica Bay. The public is invited to its opening party this Saturday.
Not to be outgreened, the Eastside offers its latest twist on the revisioning of LA’s streets: the opening today of two new parklets on Spring Street (see one in photo left, from Curbed LA), following one recently unveiled in Highland Park. According to this report by Curbed LA’s James Brasuell, LADOT Pedestrian Coordinator Valerie Watson called the opening of the new parklets, which are mini-gardens occupying a parking space (a permanent version of the Parking Day concept), “the beginning of a great era … as we focus on improvements that repurpose road space as public open space and encourage people to walk, bike, and take transit.”
And, it needs to be said that downtown LA pipped Santa Monica to the post with the green lanes. It installed some several years ago, but they are getting a bit faded with wear now, a problem the City of SM says it has preempted by applying no less than six coats of paint!