los angeles

Gentrify |ˈjentrəˌfī| (verb): renovate and improve so that it conforms to middle-class taste.

Gentrification describes the process of "urban renewal" in working class neighborhoods. Typically this begins with the construction of condos that attract young urban professional tenants (yuppies). Development and rennovation drive up rents and push out lower income residents.

Paradoxically, the process often begins with influxes of local artists looking for affordable places to live --  giving a neighborhood a "bohemian" aesthetic. This new character eventually attracts well-to-do residents who find the atmosphere desirable. The displacement of lower income artists and residents (often ethnic/racial minorities) is a direct result of this rapidly changing social character. 

Gentrification also involves an influx of upmarket local businesses and shops that cater to the tastes and lifestyles of affluent new inhabitants. Businesses like sushi resaturants, couture coffee bars, and high-end clothing boutiques come to replace local long-standing businesses displaced by higher rents.

I bring up this definition, not because I am anti-gentrification, but because I take issue with the limited options and lack of imagination present in the ongoing development of modern cities. Taking into account the desires and needs of only the most privileged population is not only deluded but unsustainable. Surely there is a way to grow and develop urban environments that allow for greater diversity (social, economic, and cultural) and that respect and preserve the history of a place. 

The pictures below capture scenes at the edges of Downtown Los Angeles. These are the environments that still reflect the grit, personality, problems, and history of a city in flux.

Photo Frenzy: Amadeus Mag - Gianni Arone

Because it bears repeating, every now and again I take photos for an art/music/culture magazine called Amadeus. I happily photograph creatives across Los Angeles while chatting with them about art, duh! So, I figured I would share some shots from my recent visit with the multi-talented and self-taught LA-native Gianni Arone. You'll have to pick up the next copy of Amadeus Mag this summer to get the full scoop on this inspirational young painter. For now, here are some snaps to get you going...

Photo Frenzy: Amadeus Mag -Teresa Flowers

Sometimes I take photos for this kick ass art/music/culture magazine called Amadeus. This happens to be one of my favorite things. I get to meet passionate and interesting artists who talk to me about what they love doing most and I get to take their pictures. Sure doesn't suck...

These are a few images from my time spent with the inspiring LA newcomer (Salt-Lake City transplant) Teresa Flowers. You can read the full interview with Teresa and see more pictures of her work at: http://amadeusmag.com/blog/teresa-flowers-a-multidimensional-approach/