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Touring the Crenshaw Line, Becoming a Leimert Park Convert

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KCET's Eric Brightwell took an in-depth tour of the future Crenshaw Line, the light rail that's in pre-construction now and, when done, will connect the Expo Line to the Green Line, and, likely, to an LAX People Mover. Brightwell and a friend walked the entire 8.5-mile route, stopping at all the future stations, including two that remain optional (Metro decides in March if it can build those stations). The line's first stop, the Aviation/LAX station, will be shared with the Green Line and is mostly unremarkable. The same description fits his summary of the Aviation/Century station, though Brightwell says this is the smartest place to have the People Mover take off from. However, he's taken with Florence/La Brea, in Inglewood's downtown: There are plenty of parks and soul food, as well as the handsome, 1,008-seat Fox Theater, "... built in 1949, and sadly sitting abandoned since 1984. Hopefully it will someday soon be restored to its former glory."

Aside from the Fox Theater, Brightwell decries the loss of the Art Deco Crenshaw Motors Ford--the dealership was built in 1946 and torn down for a Fresh & Easy grocery store that never came to fruition.

While Brightwell finds no shortage of cuisine, culture, and street art on his Crenshaw tour, he's most taken with the optional Leimert Park station, which locals are fighting to include in the final project. At first skeptical about the need for LP, the lively area changes his mind. "The area seems quite distinct from the rest of the neighborhood and is a real gem of the entire region ... The Leimert Plaza Park reminded my brother of the small town square of Knoxville, Iowa, where we both lived for a few years. Only Knoxville never smelled like incense, wasn't known for its jazz, blues and hip hop clubs, and didn't have even one shop selling African goods."
· Exploring the Course of the Future Metro Crenshaw Line [KCET]
· Crenshaw Line Archives [Curbed LA]