A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A letter to www.dtownla.com - a trendy website which made me angry

This is a letter I wrote this morning to the folks at a website.  When I was downtown one night there was a billboard for these folks.  I took a photo of the billboard with my cellphone as a reminder to look at the website when I was back at a PC.  This morning I looked at the website.

Like most things in life, it is human nature to try to look at the beauty in life and turn our heads and vision from things that may not be comfortable to face.  Countless industries, jobs, sub-cultures and groups of people are supported by this basic human trait.  Magazines that focus on fashion, expensive property, cars, airplanes and the like are too numerous to be counted.  I could go on and on.

I am not complaining.  I am just asking myself why some of these publications which focus on one side of life do not make more space available in their publications to find a creative way to make some mention of those less fortunate and find some creative way to assist?  I realize that many large companies and individuals contribute to these causes every day.  I know there are good people in the world.  I have had many of my own good friends step forward and help me in my own activity and effort to help a handful of the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.

What is the point of this post?  I think all I am accomplishing here is to show that I am a typical human being who can be emotional and overwhelmed by certain things in life just as most of us can be depending on the situation. 

I have been spending a lot of time in the street with the homeless of Los Angeles.  I spend most of my evenings on skid row and am learning that it does carry a price.  In my case the price at times can be a bit of anger toward those that in many cases have worked very hard to obtain a life that they deserve, a good life.  At times I have the same anger that many of the people of the streets have.  Maybe I see their point?  Maybe I am being more like the environment that I fit into on occasion?  It is probably many things. 

Part of my time downtown has the benefit of learning about the lives of others.  Part of the time I learn more about the city where I was born and raised.  Part of the time I learn more about myself.  Part of the time I feel as if I am doing something that carries a lot of value; making a long night a little more tolerable for others in a small way.  I also feel as if I am doing something to help some of the veterans on the street who are my brothers in some ways.

In my younger years I went to military school.  Later in life I went into the military.  I thought I knew all about the psycology of military life and boot camp and thought I was immune to the tactics of boot camp.  During graduation from boot camp when the Star Spangled Banner was played I wept as did everybody else.  Yes,  they had gotten to me even though was sure I was immune.  Yesterday I attended a photographic art show and two of the photos reminded me of my past back in the fifties where young people were indoctrinated (for lack of a better word) into the America of the day.  Today it looks as though the trend continues, especially in middle America?



Above - Middle America steps toward conversion to one way of thinking? It worked on me in the fifties. I enlisted in the U.S. Military at the height of the Vietnam war, conflict, action or whatever people with to label the event. These two photos caught my attention at the photography art show in Santa Monica mid January 2010.

Decades later on the streets of skid row I also felt I was immune to what was happening and how it impacted others.  I could come and go when I wished and felt that I could help and be something of an outside observer and helper.  I have food to eat and a place to live.  I can come and go as I wish.  I can walk away from the situation anytime I desire.  I was wrong.  I am not immune.  There are times I become angry at those in nice cars.  I can feel anger at people having a nice meal in a nice restaurant that can be seen through an establishment window where a few feet away somebody lies on the sidewalk.

There is nothing wrong with a website that directs attention to things of beauty and comfort.  I should not become angry.  The point here is that all of us have moods which change depending on many factors.  Some people look at the darker side of life every day and have the strength, resolve, desire or whatever label one places on these attributes to direct their life and attention in helping others.  These are people like Andy Bales and his staff at places such as Union Rescue Mission and the other shelters and missions in the Los Angeles area.

So... the point of this post? I suppose that feelings come and go. The letter below was written from one point of view and the writing above this letter was written with another viewpoint. Both views are mine and both views less than 30 minutes apart.

My letter to the folks at the website:

Your dtownla website has a lot of pretty images and nice information. I find most of your dining choices expected and typical, the trendy spots where the prices are high, the presentation is more important at times than the food, the decor and environment do a fine job to distract the people dining so they may overlook substandard service.

Downtown Los Angeles is not a unique city in some ways. The wealthy and affluent are just steps away from the highest city population in the United States of homeless people.

I am not trying to give you a hard time here. I realize that your website caters to people that do not want to take a moment to look at the less fortunate who may be sitting on the curb in front of the restaurant where they eat or lie in the alley of the loft where they reside. These people would rather look the other way.



What I am suggesting is that you have a link to some of the darker sides of Los Angeles on your page. Perhaps try to take a small step to help some be aware of some of the problems a stone throw away from the locations and establishments you feature on other pages. Maybe some of these folks would drop a few dollars to places such as Union Rescue Mission (  http://www.urm.org/  ) or one of the other places that are trying to change the face of Los Angeles to a point where there is less to see where people have to close their eyes.

You have many pretty images on your website at http://www.dtownla.com/   Perhaps you might make a section on your website showing a bit more of the total picture, perhaps asking your audience to help? Feel free to use any of my photos which you can see in a slide show at http://www.flickr.com/photos/myles111us/sets/72157622962099627/show/

I have my own blog on Los Angeles which can be seen at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/ which shows many sides of the city.


Myles S. Rose