Last night we went down to Koreatown and found a cheap, excellent sidewalk café serving fresh dumplings at the corner of 6thand Catalina. Golden Pouch has tables and benches along the sidewalk. You walk up and pay at an Ipad and you sit down and wait for your name to be called. Within 20-25 minutes you are eating delicious, steamed, pork, shrimp, vegetable, chicken or spicy taco dumplings.
And as you sit and wait, or sit and eat, you are accosted by a revolving cast of homeless men who come up to your table, some incoherently, and ask for money, or sit beside you and talk about a conspiracy involving mind control, and you try and shoo them away, but they might stay or they might go and you have no control over your private conversation and your evening out. Some lose their temper, they scream, and you have to endure it.
It was a night when Koreatown was bustling, as usual. You could walk from places serving rolled ice cream, fried chicken, yakatori, oysters, cold noodle soup, a cornucopia of Korean, Japanese; bars, coffee restaurants and cafes.
There was a large amount of younger men and women with middle-aged adults, I assume parents, taking their kids out for an evening, possibly kids newly arrived at college, going to USC or UCLA and persuading their parents to go down to Koreatown, a normal experience for any Angeleno, and probably a treat for mom and dad from suburban Columbus, OH.
Yet, all over, sleeping in tents, along sidewalks, in shopping carts full of belongings, are homeless.
Imagine the impression Los Angeles gives to visitors who see this.
This is just Koreatown. Go downtown and you enter a Twilight Zone of lost people in the thousands sleeping on boxes, untreated, uncared for, defecating and urinating and creating mountains of garbage along streets, under bridges, along the river, everywhere.
Mayor Garbageciti is more popularly called Mayor Garcetti but he is truly the mayor who has made this city the American capital of garbage. Under his leadership, parks are garbage dumps, prosperous business districts are garbage dumps, everywhere from Woodley Park in Lake Balboa to Pershing Square are garbage dumps.
He is the Mayor who thinks we should increase the incentive to allow street vending too. Decriminalize it.So sidewalks near Westlake are now full of anybody and everybody selling unlicensed anything on the sidewalk. Every alley near the sellers is full of shopping baskets piled high with garbage.
A champion of public transportation, he allows homeless to set up homes on bus benches, causing paying riders inconvenience and discomfort and discouraging and diminishing ridership.
On these days of summer, when the heat is at record setting temperatures and the new humid reality of warmer Pacific Ocean moisture drifts over the city, we must breathe a combination of smog, vomit, dog and human shit, and traipse over streets where the lawful act of walking is less important than unlawful, open air, Calcutta markets.
Nobody is patrolling the streets. Nobody is enforcing the laws. If they are, showing me where it’s working.
There are rumors he is thinking of running for President of the United States.
He can’t do anything about the gross and filthy condition of the city he alleges to represent. Imagine him in office, a cipher hologram of a human, a smiling projection on the wall of an official office, pretending to do progressive things.
Clean up the garbage and the madness in Los Angeles and then you can offer up your national celebrity candidacy.