My memories from childhood are of the family going downtown on a
Saturday to shop at the Grand Central Market and always taking a ride up
and down Angels Flight. More importantly, Angels Flight serves as a
symbol for questions relating to the city's redevelopment policies in
general. Such as: who is the redevelopment of Los Angeles' central city
really serving, the greater populace or large business interests? Is
what is perceived as good for big business automatically good for the
rest of the city's inhabitants? There is the issue of dislocation. More
has been removed in the redevelopment process than some strangely angled
railroad cars. Many families are uprooted from their homes and small
businesses of appreciable venerability are closed, never to open again.
Who has input and is represented when these plans are formulated? If it
is not an equitable cross section of the community, how can that
representation be increased?
When this piece was exhibited, the reinstallation of Angels Flight was
not only far behind schedule, but the CRA was able to give no date as to
when it might be returned. The CRA was also front page news because of
corruption issues. In fact, it was the news in Los Angeles until the
Rodney King beating took over the headlines. Is it any wonder then, that
the billboard, though indeed exhibited in Los Angeles County, somehow
never made it inside the city limits? Strange, I thought. Today, in
2000, Angel's Flight is back and running.
UPDATE: In 2001, the cable broke, a man was killed and several people
injured. The cars have been removed for repair. To be continued...
Angel's Flight links: