The New Symbol of LA

“Graffiti Tower” in DTLA. Picture courtesy NBC News.

Tall unfinished luxury housing towers right next to Crypto Arena. Chinese developer went bankrupt in 2019 and abandoned the site. It sat dormant until taggers fucking finally jumped the fences and started to tag it floor by floor a month or so ago. After all the tagging and Youtubers base-jumping off the building, it’s now become a “public safety issue” to officials. AND SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT IT.

Let’s not talk about how the project probably should never have been given a green light in the first place, for all the talk about building affordable housing that this was a luxury project, that no one is buying/leasing any of the other luxury apartments in the “South Park” area of DTLA. I mean shit, I’m not going to spend $4,000 a month to rent a 400 square-foot studio.

The geniuses at city hall have decided to spend millions to “clean up the eyesore” and then bill the developer — you can’t collect on a bankrupt company, so I guess we’re all paying for it. But there is something obvious that is more worrying than some spray paint and daredevils: since this is exposed to the elements, when will it come crashing down?

Apparently it costs too much to demolish the site. It will also cost too much to finish the project. And China ain’t gonna do shit because why would they? And the city won’t use eminent domain since they only do that to poor people. So then what?

I say let the taggers have at it. It’s the real symbol of Los Angeles in the 2020s — a monument of greed and accelerated decay. To be honest, you can see a lot better tagging in Berlin. I just hope it’s still standing come 2028 when there will be Olympic games in Crypto (talk about another monument of greed and bust.) And when it comes down, well, let’s just hope no one is close by it. Just like for years this city’s homeless policy is hoping it goes away. Hope. Isn’t that what Obama ran on in 2008? Where are we on that now?