Empty LA

melrose I was shocked to see a nearly vacant Melrose shopping district today. Around noon I took my shoes to the Fluevog store to be repaired, expecting to deal with the post-Thanksgiving shopping masses, but parking was easy, the sidewalks were free and the stores I walked by were virtually empty. At first I was happy to not have to deal with the usual Saturday shopping crowd, but as I looked around I began to worry about the economy. On a positive note, most of the restaurants in the area seemed to be busy. Maybe it’s just because a lot of people are out of town for the holiday weekend, but what do you think?

14 Replies to “Empty LA”

  1. I was driving around a bit on Friday and I saw a lot of half empty parking lots at big box stores around the South Bay. Sure didn’t look like Black Friday to me. Same scene on Saturday, too.

  2. Oh ha! Sorry. Wasn’t calling you out. It was more shocked that it was still up. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen a billboard for a movie “coming out” that has long since passed.

  3. typical thanksgiving weekend where many of the transplants go back to where they came from. the added bonus being less traffic. i am enjoying the last day of light traffic before everyone comes back and traffic is back to normal.

  4. Shops in my corner of LA were the same Saturday and today. Empty. I think shopping patterns have shifted, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the big selling days with the weekend drifting to the ho-hum business as usual.

  5. Haha. I was thinking the same thing about the Walking Tall poster.

    Black Friday attracts people to malls, and chain stores because of the deals promoted in massive ad buys. And while I don’t head to Melrose often, if at all, it always seems to me to be the last place to go to during a recession, or when I’m thin on cash.

  6. I don’t think it has anything to do with the holiday weekend, sadly. I was on Melrose about a month ago at a time that would have been packed with pedestrians and shoppers just a few years back and it was dead. There are numerous empty storefronts and many more with “Going Out of Business” signs. It sucks.

  7. I think I’m about to get on a soapbox and preach with some stuff that’s been really bugging me for the last 14 months. So if you hate a preacher… run for the hills (but buy gold and bring it with you).

    I have been scouring the web for someone who witnessed what I found on Melrose Ave on Saturday. Blocks of shops were closed. Not one or two, but blocks of vacant shops littered my peripheral vision My question to y’all is why did Melrose Ave resemble 28 Days Later more than a world famous shopping district. Blocks of shops were closed on one side of Melrose (strangely not many shops on the other side were closed).

    Even though many shops were offering up to 70% discounts people didn’t seem to be buying. Considering we may be on the cusp of a financial revolution I figured it’d be appropriate to have a Che-looking-hat, so I bought one. So I guess I helped the economy out a little.

    Before I sign off, pardon me while I rant a little and act like the conspiracy theorist I never thought I was.

    I was really shocked by what I saw. Why is the LA times not reporting on this story? I think this story is pretty important considering consumerism is one of the driving forces of our economy.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news and maybe the Friday night viewing of ‘The Road’ has had an apocalyptic effect on me but look at the price of gold (all time high). Look at the price of oil (pretty darn high). Look at the stock market (not doing so bad itself, although the Dubai gluttonous behavior gave the world some heartburn on Friday(that place has an indoor ski resort (built in a dessert!!), the world’s tallest building, a 7 star hotel (where the hell are the 6 star hotels?) and I even heard that david beckham’s personality is rumored to be hidden under one of the man-made-palm-tree-shaped-islands there too.

    It should be stated somewhere on this free network we call the Internet that I think we are being lied to by all of the major newspapers and all of the major world leaders. They are scared that a panic could send us into a dark place with no light at the end of it. They believe they are doing the right thing by filtering our information into little bits of ‘I think we’ve seen the worst of this recession’ and ‘things are starting to turn around’.

    Well, I’m afraid I don’t share these prayers of optimism. People did a lot of bad things with loans and banks began to get a little too greedy. Printing endless paper money isn’t the solution. Having China own the US debt is a dangerous bed to jump into. The US is in a war it can’t afford. Commercial real estate will be the next shoe to drop. How about that inflation they say won’t happen? (Don’t ask me about hyper inflation because I don’t know what the hell it is) Don’t forget about the continuing climb of unemployment coupled with a mountain of credit card defaults. Thank god the banks made bankruptcies harder to file right? Heck if Dubai can say, ‘hey we won’t pay for 6 months’, why can’t the common man do the same thing? Bernanke doesn’t want the Fed audited… c’mon. Even though it’s not on television, or the newspaper.. can’t you all see it?

    I can. A day of reckoning in on the horizon. All of the steps we’ve taken thus far, will just make the medicine of market adjustments taste a whole lot worse.

    Run for the hills. Bring gold.

  8. Stores in all parts of the economic strata are vacant. It is The Great Recession after all. South Lake Avenue in Pasadena looks like Wilshire Blvd. looks like Figueroa Street: empty storefronts.

    I don’t think Melrose Avenue is the best gauge for “Black Friday.” The place is more of a tourists destination, and the people that shop and live around there most likely headed Backeast to visit their families. If the parking lots were empty at The Grove, Beverly Center, or Century City Shopping Center, then it wouldn’t look so good.

    What this 2004 Wikipedia photo does bring to mind, is the NEED to honor that building with a LA City Historic-Cultural Monument! For housing the birthplace of Low-Brow Art Culture: Billy Shire’s La Luz De Jesus Gallery. Saw my first Robert Williams show there 20 years ago. I have never been the same.

  9. I totally agree w/ Pip. We ARE in a recession, but the government & mass media keep lying to us. I realize they don’t want people to panic, but we need to face the truth. This country is only getting deeper in debt, inflation hasn’t set in yet, & the global economy is still affecting us.

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