Lalibella , Ethiopia
Tower Records is no more but when it was around it meant something if your town or neighborhood had one. The Valley had four and one of them was rumored to be in Panorama City of all places. I was so skeptical of this I had to double check on Google Streetview:
If this seems like a rather sad and stark neighborhood declension, note within a five block radius of this location The Broadway became WalMart, Robinsons became El Super, and Ohrbach’s became the Valley Swap Meet.
General Motors became Home Depot, setting things into motion, which is as concise a summation of post-industrial Los Angeles one can make in five words.
This was the Panorama Tower, 1962. Mid-century sleek, but empty since the Northridge earthquake, nearly half its lifespan.
After a quarter century, it is being redeveloped not as offices, but as lofts. Live/Work (read: GrubHub and YouTube Whoring) has come to downmarket Panorama, just in time for the rebuilding of the trolley line. There are plenty of people in the neighborhood who already clean floors and do windows, making it a green and holistic proposition by New Urbanist standards, even if that was never the intention.
Our official industry now in Los Angeles is lifestyle porn. We don’t build muscle cars on Van Nuys Blvd. anymore, but we will soon have Wayfair couches and quartz countertops.
The tents are with us forever .
Holding up deal coupons, Target, Van Nuys. Thanksgiving Day. Discounted flat screens, Playstations and other temptations which would cause one to forgo dinner with family, await.
Back in the break room, employees prepare to face the horde.
Wal-Mart, Panorama City. Taking no chances with civil unrest.
All the way around the building, four hours until doors open on Black Thursday, formerly known as Thanksgiving.