Inland Living

The upside of living downtown

"The streets of downtown Los Angeles may have once been considered gritty, but they are now home to a diverse collection of people, art and entertainment."

My community is filled with marvelous artists, musicians, lawyers, bankers, photographers, filmmakers, architects, nurses, doctors, clothing designers, educators, engineers and skateboarders. And it is also home to their bulldogs, poodles, greyhounds, labs and schnauzers.

I’ve watched with joy as neighbors have started families. Some of them then decided to shift to a suburban setting. But for others, it’s worked well to stay put. Just down the hall is a delightful 7-year-old who has never lived anyplace else: We knew her as a newborn, and watched her learn to ride a bicycle.

Plenty of downtown residents have lived here longer than I have. Many more have moved in — and some have moved in and out. This place is not for everyone. It can be noisy, gritty and annoying.

But if I didn’t live downtown, I wouldn’t have had the chance to hang out in a real speakeasy. To come home for lunch when I was on jury duty. To watch life unfold on the street and marvel at the skyline from my own windows. To be not only part of a community but part of building it.

I didn’t know any of that when I decided to give up my commute to live downtown. My job is no longer downtown — it requires a long, cross-town commute. But now it’s downtown I can’t give up.