Each day down here is a steady reminder of the construction boom all around my beloved downtown. This, for instance, is what we see when we look out of our apartment windows: the unfolding wonder of the Broad Museum.
If you’re a Westside resident still holding a grudge against Eli Broad for choosing to park his art loot on Bunker Hill, stop right here. But, if you rarely make it east and are still curious about the progress of Disney Concert Hall’s soon-to-be-neighbor, it’s rising fast. Almost level with Grand Avenue, in fact. You can keep tabs on the giant crane thanks to this webcam provided by the Broad Foundation (it faces East, and hangs off MOCA, giving the opposite view pictured here.)Just a couple of blocks away, there’s the news that a mondo grocery store is coming to the neighborhood, courtesy Wal-Mart. The 33-thousand square feet in the bottom of a senior apartment building on Cesar Chavez and Grand doesn’t top the 50-thousand square foot Ralphs we got on the southern end of downtown back in 2007. That was very exciting news, too: Though we have plenty of farmer’s markets and Grand Central Market and little convenience stores, it was the first grocery in the area in 60 years.
Irony abounds, since back before the crash the parcel of land that’s becoming the Broad was destined to be a giant tower with a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s rumored to at ground level. Now we get art instead of a shopping complex, and a grocery store from a not-very-loved corporation.
Meanwhile, a bit further north, word comes that a totally different sort of development is moving forward, with the release of an environmental impact report. The brownfield-reincarnated-as-an-art-piece we residents still call the Cornfields (and now officially known as the Los Angeles State Historic Park) seems one step closer to being spiffed up. The only trouble with this lovely urban space is its proximity to Nick’s, a diner that offers up delicious waffles and ham/eggs which undo the charms of strolling around this storied 32 acres.