August 28, 2014

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Little RascalsRemember a time not that long ago when people assumed that kids and dogs were great together? Petey and the Little Rascals, Lassie and Timmy, Benji and whoever the kids were in that movieā€”it used to be that friendships between dogs and kids were celebrated. Well, apparently those days are over, if the reaction to the opening of Spring Street Park is any indication.
[Read more...]

When CicLAvia is Your Normal

ciclaviaOn Sunday I loaded my son in his bike trailer and pedaled down to Main Street—not so we could ride in CicLAvia but so I could get him to his weekly Aikido lesson. Sure, Sunday’s CicLAvia was one of the biggest public events ever held in Los Angeles, with more than 100,000 people biking over 15 miles of streets closed to car traffic. But our building sits directly on the bike route and six CicLAvias in, it’s not a must-do event anymore. In fact, it’s not really an event for us at all but more something that’s part of the rhythm of our lives downtown.
[Read more...]

Fear, Guns and Kids

Armed-Guards-at-SchoolWhen I brought my son back to school on Monday after the winter break, we got an unpleasant surprise: two armed cops standing at the front gate. The first thought that went through my mind? Wayne LaPierre has won. A week after the Newtown shootings, LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association (NRA), had called for gun-toting security guards to be placed at every school in country. And here I was bringing my five-year-old son to kindergarten, walking past two police officers loaded and ready to shoot.
[Read more...]

Halloween and the Future of DTLA Families

DTLA HalloweenWith Halloween coming up soon, I’ve been thinking back to our first Halloween as a family downtown, way back in 2008. As we flailed around trying to figure out how the hell we were going to raise a kid in DTLA, we were invited by the Central City Association (through our original blog) asking us to participate in a Halloween fashion show and party at Grand Hope Park. The party organizer, Keller Shields, was an early childhood specialist who was working hard to convince downtown real estate and business owners that yes, there were families downtown. From an email she sent me then: [Read more...]

How safe is your kid in DTLA?

CC Image courtesy of John Liu via Flickr

Downtown Los Angeles has recently seen an increase in violent crime. According to the LA Downtown News, serious crime in DTLA is up 15% compared to last year, and violent crime has risen 18%. The LAPD and local politicians believe that the reason why is Assembly Bill 109, which transferred post-release supervision responsibilities for low-level felons from the state to the counties. The result: more felons being released from county jails and landing on Skid Row, resulting in an 18% increase in the Skid Row population in the past year.
[Read more...]

Why Kids Make DTLA Better for Everyone

Our family has been spending a lot of time at Grand Park and I’ve been struck by how unevenly the park is used. Most weekends the park is nearly deserted—except for the wading fountain. Parents hang out in the shade drinking lattes from the park’s Starbucks while the kids splash in the fountain for hours. Meanwhile, aside from a few people walking their dogs, the rest of the park goes unused.

It didn’t have to be this way. When the park was in its planning stages, a few parents attended the planning meetings and asked that a playground be a part of the new park design. The request was rejected. The reason? There weren’t any families downtown.
[Read more...]