Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Hollywood Boulevard outside the Kodak Theatre - not as busy as I remember it.
Rodeo Drive still boasts high-end brand names and haute couture, but business seems to have slowed down.
The last time I was in LA was in 1994. It's my third day here on this trip. I have been revisiting places and feeling something missing in the city this time around. It has lost some of its former vibrancy.

The tourists are still there, but most are window-shopping or bargain-hunting. On every street you see vacant shops with the "For lease" sign displayed on the glass window. In downtown LA, the restaurants are deserted when they should be filled with evening diners. There are vagabonds at street corners begging for spare change. Many of them are elderly.

Shopping mall next to the Kodak Theatre - where are the crowds?
Unemployment is high at over 9%. The economy is sluggish, and Obama's approval rating has fallen to 39%. Here in LA, as you talk to cab drivers, read the business news and tune in to the grape vine, you begin to see why the US has lost its AAA credit rating. The country has a debt of USD 14 trillion, and there's no clear solution in sight.

When jobs are hard to come by, you have to come up with novel ideas to make a few bucks.
Venice Beach on Sunday was crowded, but I didn't see many people with purchases.
This tee makes a great gift for parents who spoil their kids.
All I bought in LA were these books from Barnes and Noble.
LA is going through bad times. I'll be leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow. Perhaps the city of lights is faring better than the city of angels and celebrities.


Starmandala said...

You're witness to the end of an era of false values spawned by false pundits serving a false pantheon!

Pak Idrus said...

Lily; I too notice that during my last visit there. Perhaps America is on the way down. In vain. There are too many rich folks and no middle class but the poor are many. Most middle class folks in LA have migrated to the northeast. Well, empire comes and go and maybe this time it is America's turn. Take care.