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HuffPo LA Launch: Eli, Zev, and Porn Stars on Los Angeles

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HuffPost Los Angeles launched today with a star-studded cast of local bloggers, including Eli Broad, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, LACMA director Michael Govan, and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. The New York-based news, opinion, and celebrity breast implant guessing game website, founded by Angeleno Arianna Huffington, hasn't run the most important LA coverage before (you might remember such misses as Gigi Levangie Grazer's insistence that LA's wide open spaces killed Michael Jackson, and a HuffPo intern's vaguely racist post on the potentials of the Subway to the Sea.), so let's look at what they're cooking with at this new outpost.

Eli Broad is Gunning for Football
Broad's "Top Ten Reasons to Love L.A." mentions the Broad Contemporary twice--once as an example of great architecture and once as an example of a great museum (he lists others too--including MOCA and Caltrans for the former and the Gettys and Norton Simon for the latter). "Sports" is one of his reasons (he conspicuously leaves out the Clippers in that blurb), and he says "I'm still optimistic that someday we'll again have a professional football team." "Downtown" makes the list, with mentions of LA Live and the "pending" developments at Grand Avenue.

Zev Yaroslavsky Loves the Santa Monica Mountains
Yaroslavsky writes about the preservation of the Santa Monica mountains, which has helped give us "more protected open space than any major metropolis in the nation." The two strategies have been to restrict development (like not letting homeowners chop off parts of the mountain to improve their views) and to buy up land like crazy. A combo of federal, state, and county agencies now own "almost every high-priority property" they identified.

Joe Robinson Hates Traffic
Journalist Joe Robinson's piece is perhaps a return to prior HuffPo form. He blames the decline of arts and cultural venues in the city on the traffic. (Don't tell Eli Broad, he says we're one of the world's four cultural capitals, along with New York, Paris, and London.) "As we all know," he writes, "you can't drive east of the San Diego Freeway after 4 p.m. on any weekday, when every eastbound thoroughfare -- including Olympic, Santa Monica Blvd., Wilshire, Pico, Venice -- is a parking lot...How many music or cultural events have you passed on because of the traffic?"

Jennifer Ketcham is Skeptical of the Metro
Former porn actress Jennifer Ketcham recounts her experiments with the trains, "even though the Metro doesn't actually take me any place I need to go aside from dance class." She ends up asking "Are the people on the metro the only trustworthy people in Los Angeles?" (and its corollary, "Is the fact that we are a community moved by isolated bubble mobiles to blame for the lack of trust in LA?"). She interviews her fellow riders and finds "Everybody purchased tickets. Almost everybody believed other passengers purchased tickets." She says she emailed the Metro Ethics Department (who knew?) but didn't get a response.

And Michael Govan...
In a post about LACMA reflecting the diversity of the city, Govan sums up the general HuffPost LA feeling so far: a little defensive about the city, a lot proud of it, and just a bit fast and loose with the facts. He writes, "Contemporary cities no longer look like the villages of Europe; they look like Los Angeles."
· HuffPost Los Angeles [Official Site]

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