Essay on los angeles city

But perhaps our designs are insufficiently ambitious. Let’s return to Lviv for a moment, and climb the clock tower next to the Jesuit church (once the tallest in Galicia). Look to the south — there, in the distance, the blue crests of the Bieszczady, the local segment of the Carpathians. Isn’t an insult against hills and mountains, against the very idea of elevation itself , that no literary guide exists to Europe’s hunchbacked spine? And if we make room for mountains, shouldn’t we also pay attention to the plains? The Magyar puszta , for instance. (Well, there is Gyula Illyes, but even I can’t find a copy of his People of the Puszta in English.) And what of the Tisza River that runs through it?

When Davan Maharaj was picked to lead the paper at age 49, he was Stanton’s managing editor. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Maharaj earned a political science degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He came to the paper in 1989 as a summer intern after a talent spotter from the Times ’s minority recruitment program encountered him at a job fair, and he has remained there his entire career. After eight years with the Orange County edition, he was promoted regularly—he served for a time as a foreign correspondent, among the paper’s highest honors. But more than his reporting chops or his writing style, it was his personality that seemed his most vital asset. During Maharaj’s 15 years as a reporter and 7 as an editor, he had won over many colleagues with his wit, charm, and readiness with a quick joke. Several counted him as a friend.

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Continuing an established tradition in Los Angeles, many of Maltzan’s interventions entail conversions of existing buildings. Los Angeles is a city that grows on itself. After finally abandoning the bucolic idea of modernity, the metropolis has discovered that its principal resource lies in its existing real estate and no longer in the threatened elements of nature that fringe the city, which as often as not become a source of danger as well as beauty. In this sense Los Angeles is no longer the city of tabula rasa foundations, but rather creative adaptation. And this is true in more ways than one. Los Angeles is a city that has begun to reach its maturity, that is capable of accepting its own history and integrating it into a new and highly diverse urban project—unfolding a new vision, casting a new image. Even where interventions involving unbuilt sites or empty spaces are concerned, the objective for Maltzan is still the transformation—or reinvention—of an existing situation. This is why, in the absence of a preexisting structure, his vision expands, for example, to incorporate elements of the surrounding urban space, to generate physical or visual rapports with a given site, thus rendering the city’s heterogeneous and conflictual universe the “stuff ” of the project. Rather than representing the multiplicity of the city’s different urban histories, diverse programs, and simultaneous presences—essentially the bases for projects like the Skid Row Apartments and Santa Fe Dormitories in downtown Los Angeles—and rather than representing banal contrasts or superficial differences, Maltzan prefers to extract latent energy from this diffuse—and equally profound—field of forces, attributable to artifice as much as nature. It is this latent energy that sustains and fuels his architectural interventions. It is as if Maltzan’s buildings were placed at the confluence of a series of underground faults, producing unstable balance in a city destined to repeatedly alter its shape. But once again, rather than merely representing the city’s transformations, his buildings are energized and strengthened by those transformations, becoming points of repose and equilibrium amid the unstable balance.

Essay on los angeles city

essay on los angeles city

Continuing an established tradition in Los Angeles, many of Maltzan’s interventions entail conversions of existing buildings. Los Angeles is a city that grows on itself. After finally abandoning the bucolic idea of modernity, the metropolis has discovered that its principal resource lies in its existing real estate and no longer in the threatened elements of nature that fringe the city, which as often as not become a source of danger as well as beauty. In this sense Los Angeles is no longer the city of tabula rasa foundations, but rather creative adaptation. And this is true in more ways than one. Los Angeles is a city that has begun to reach its maturity, that is capable of accepting its own history and integrating it into a new and highly diverse urban project—unfolding a new vision, casting a new image. Even where interventions involving unbuilt sites or empty spaces are concerned, the objective for Maltzan is still the transformation—or reinvention—of an existing situation. This is why, in the absence of a preexisting structure, his vision expands, for example, to incorporate elements of the surrounding urban space, to generate physical or visual rapports with a given site, thus rendering the city’s heterogeneous and conflictual universe the “stuff ” of the project. Rather than representing the multiplicity of the city’s different urban histories, diverse programs, and simultaneous presences—essentially the bases for projects like the Skid Row Apartments and Santa Fe Dormitories in downtown Los Angeles—and rather than representing banal contrasts or superficial differences, Maltzan prefers to extract latent energy from this diffuse—and equally profound—field of forces, attributable to artifice as much as nature. It is this latent energy that sustains and fuels his architectural interventions. It is as if Maltzan’s buildings were placed at the confluence of a series of underground faults, producing unstable balance in a city destined to repeatedly alter its shape. But once again, rather than merely representing the city’s transformations, his buildings are energized and strengthened by those transformations, becoming points of repose and equilibrium amid the unstable balance.

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