We gotta say, our friends and partners are really great. And to show everyone just how great you are, we've posted some of our most inspiring and creative correspondence on our website. 


A Field of Great Streets

Mike the Poet

[Sent to greatstreets@lacity.org on September 21, 2016]

  1. The dawn of a new Los Angeles begins with a field of great streets a built environment redefined to improve the quality of living an infrastructure of beautiful boulevards, arcaded walkways and public parks Citizens under the order of art, reveling in a framework of urban choreography a platform for the body public, the landscape as subject a culturally vibrant district, sustainable, green, walkable and connected

  2. A city of civic engagement begins with a field of great streets promoting interaction in the civic axis, open grid patterns, sidewalk activities Metropolitan movement depends upon access the dialectic between the public and pedestrian eschews the backward design of exclusion vibrant urban action is magical urbanism

  1. Long before the super expressway there was Sepulveda and Imperial Highway Great streets are essential arteries, the nucleus in the heart of the city

Districts like Thai Town and Little Armenia are touchstones for international citizens Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, Historic Filipinotown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Little Bangladesh, the backbone is local small business, the Central American Corridor, California San Salvador, specialty markets, family eateries, density entwines webs of parallel existence thick in the heart of the inner city

families depend upon community safety, green belts and parks are the place to be social relationships define the city, power exchanges unfold geographically class divisions are divided by topography, the landscape reflects the sociology the only way to decipher the cartography is to spend time walking the city

  1. Figueroa is the intersection of the avenues, Highland Park to Eagle Rock let the people walk from the Southwest Museum to the Coliseum one time for the Gold Line, take the Blue Line to LA Live

Lankershim Boulevard holds the North Hollywood Lit Crawl the poetic free-for-all is a literary victory in the heart of the Valley

Sherman Way is where auto body and furniture shops melt with Thai restaurants across from the car wash, Sherman runs below descending planes it’s another hot day in the 818

Van Nuys Boulevard runs by a replica of LA City Hall, covered bus stops, discount stores, banquet halls, shoe shops, the Van Nuys Bazaar, dried palm fronds, Pupusa patios, country stores, rooftop billboards

Reseda Boulevard runs west of Cal State Northridge, Northridge was once called North Los Angeles, Reseda bridges Tarzana to Granada Hills to Ventura Boulevard, the Valley is a landscape of cowboys and aerospace

Ventura Boulevard is the Valley’s Wilshire, Studio City to Calabasas, Sherman Oaks and Encino, Learning Centers, plant on premises, audio specialists, Coldwater Canyon, delicatessens, private lessons

  1. Western Avenue extends from Los Feliz to Palos Verdes, the peninsula to the Observatory, a Los Angeles story from Koreatown to South LA, Western goes a long way

Westwood Boulevard bisects an urban village, Bruin Walk to Wilshire, the Westside Pavilion, stimulate student grammar with art at Armand Hammer

Crenshaw Boulevard starts at Wilshire and ends in the South Bay, the heart of Black LA from Jefferson Park to Inglewood forever an iconic neighborhood

Central Avenue hold a legacy of sound, the Dunbar crown connected at 43rd, the Lincoln Theater and now Three Worlds Café Central gave birth to jazz in LA

Pico Boulevard is an avenue of stars, Santa Monica to Staples Center, Mid-City through Pico-Union, Rimpau, Roscoe’s and Robertson Pico lives Los Angeles lessons

Venice Boulevard runs from the Boardwalk to the Fashion District, Downtown to Dogtown, Mid-City to Mar Vista, Sepulveda to La Cienega, Centinela to La Brea

Hollywood Boulevard was once called Prospect Avenue a dirt road with strawberry fields and pepper trees now counterfeit celebrities parade Grauman’s Chinese

Cesar Chavez was once Brooklyn Avenue and it’s still Sunset the sun has never set on Boyle Heights, the history remains ripe in this mecca of LA life

Gaffey in San Pedro slides just west of cargo cranes the old hillside of gun batteries is now Angels Gate the Korean Friendship Bell dwells by Croatian Place

  1. The Missing Persons sang “Nobody Walks in LA,” in the days of Reagan it used to be that way a generation later it’s a brand new day the bike coalition choreographs passageways Los Angeles walks the four corners of the city decode the districts, grapple with the grid hack the cardinal directions, investigate the intersections the goal is to make it safe for all, a city more equitable and accessible

  2. Multicultural communities for mobility, the pedestrian bill of rights on people street, connect the dots, create vibrant public space, embrace multimodal transit, pay homage to local place-making, support existing businesses, calm the traffic, increase the walking factor, engage the youth as community ambassadors Make it Mar Vista, Revisit Reseda, rethink street theater, Reimagine Cesar Chavez, reconfigure the infrastructure, these upgrades can be made without displacement, all residents deserve safety, in a generation of gentrification it’s time for consideration and respect to those who came before working together as a city we can do more; the dawn of a new Los Angeles begins with a field of great streets a built environment redefined to improve the quality of living.