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It's Oh So Quiet

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It's not just architecture critics who are interested in looking at how the downturn will reshape cities: Westside resident Anne Taylor Fleming's essay in Los Angeles magazine looks at how the construction slowdown has paused Los Angeles, both physically and metaphorically. She writes: "The whole area was in a frenzy of destruction and construction, houses being renovated or torn down, lot-line-to-lot-line behemoths going up where cottages once stood. ...Now it is over. It feels as if someone reached up and turned the cosmic volume dial way low." Later she writes: "This city, with its disparate sections, its extreme divergence of wealth, its gridlock, has a chance to rethink itself. That might seem counterintuitive, but what better time for a little planning, a little audacious grappling with what ails us?" If there is an upside to the slowdown--quieter neighborhoods, restaurants that are easier to get into, and better traffic--it all comes with a huge expense, of course. Job loss, a dead economy, etc, etc. Even the veterinarians are seeing fewer cats and dogs come through their offices! Who knew. [LA Mag]