Colored Los Angeles - justinsnyderphoto
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Colored Los Angeles

It can take 30 minutes to drive 12 blocks across town in traffic inside downtown LA. The congestion is overwhelming to one with anxiety, and the smog just may give you congestion in your lungs. LA has its downfalls, it’s not perfect for everyone. But lose the car and take the train/subway ( yes LA does have a subway) grab a bottle of water and a backpack you can get just about anywhere downtown in 15 minutes of walking.

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Inside downtown you will find a thriving community where the important things are not always material but the people around us. Where you can see a band, grab a cab, grab a drink, view new works at the local gallery and where you can still get that ice cream from Roberto the ice cream man on the same corner he was ten years ago. I grew up doing art and photography in this city. There’s no other city like it!


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Downtown by Charles Bukowski
……………………………………………..

nobody ever goes downtown anymore

the plants and trees are cut down around

Pershing Square

and the preachers are not as good

anymore

and down on Broadway

the Mexicans stand in line

waiting to see Mexican movies.

I walk down to Clifton’s cafeteria….

the waterfall is still there

the few whites are old and poor

dignified

dressed in 1940 clothing

sitting at small tables on the first

floor.

I take my food upstairs to the

third floor—

all Mexicans

more tired than hostile

the men from out of the factories

their once beautiful wives now

heavy,

the men wanting badly to get drunk

but the money is needed for

clothes, tires, jump ropes, tv sets

children’s shoes, children’s clothing.

I finish eating

walk down to the bottom floor and out,

and nearby is a penny-arcade.

I walk in.

it is full of young Mexicans

between the ages of six and

fifteen

and they shoot machine guns

play soccer

and the piped in music is very

loud.

they fly spacecraft

test their strength

fight in the ring

have horse races

auto races

but none of them want their fortunes told.

I lean against a wall and

watch them

I walk outside again.

I walk down and across from the Herald-Examiner

building

where my car is parked.

I get in. then I drive away.

it’s Sunday. And it’s true

like they say: nobody ever

goes downtown anymore.

– Charles Bukowski

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