The New York Times was pleasantly surprised to learn Los Angeles had public transit, then it assigned someone to write about it, and totally mucked it up.
One of its reporters rode the very popular Expo Line — the light rail that extends from Downtown LA to downtown Santa Monica, and she made this hilarious observation:
It is neither a subway — the train is in fact elevated more often than it is underground — nor does it go all the way to sea. But as a passenger travels west from downtown to Santa Monica, a ride along the Expo Line offers a small portrait of this sprawling city.
Let us break down this for you:
The Expo Line is not the subway; it's a light rail line and, as noted, is mainly above ground. And, it’s not the "Subway to the Sea" — that’s the nickname for an entirely different project, an actual subway, which is officially called the Purple Line extension. It's under construction right now along Wilshire Boulevard. (To be fair, the Purple Line won’t actually go all the way to the sea, either—just to Westwood and the Veterans Administration Building in West LA.)
Yes, NYT, LA will actually have a light rail and a subway to the Westside. Take a moment to let that sink in.
In the meantime, we're wondering how much closer to the ocean either of the lines have get for the NYT to be satisfied? The Expo Line terminus is about a half-mile walk from the sand.
And because it just can’t help itself — the NYT still can’t write about Los Angeles without mentioning celebrities, the film industry, and expensive juice.
When the so-called subway to the sea began running between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica this year, it was greeted with a kind of revelry and attention usually reserved for only the hottest celebrity-studded film screenings.
As we've pointed out before, "The New York Times is still the best daily newspaper in the US, publishing important and deeply reported journalism every day—about New York, about Liberia, about the internet—but on Los Angeles, it's comically clueless. Willfully clueless, we have to guess."
- Los Angeles 'Subway to the Sea' Is Less About Play and More About Work [New York Times]
- How the New York Times Gets Los Angeles Hilariously Wrong [Curbed LA]
- Archive of Curbed LA's Expo Line Extension stories
- In Los Angeles, Ditching the Car for An Eco Friendly Trip [New York Times]
- Sorry, New Yorkers, You Cannot Rent a Los Angeles Dream Home For $1,250 [Curbed LA]