Artists began flocking to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles decades ago, at a time when it was a veritable ghost town of abandoned warehouses and factories. With that, came an abundance of cheap studio space where artists could thrive.
In recent years, the neighborhood has gone through a radical change, transforming from a refuge for artists into a hot spot for real estate developers. Today, the industrial buildings are lynchpins of ambitious adaptive reuse projects, adult arcades, and breweries.
Good luck living in the Arts District on an artist’s salary today.
At this point, calling it the Arts District the Arts District seems almost dishonest. Maybe Live/Work Loft District or the Chief Brand Officer District. But not the Arts District.
It’s time for a new name.
New York City has tried and true method of naming neighborhoods that LA could borrow, a mash-up of geographic traits or street names into a new and annoying portmanteau. Think SoHo (South of Houston Street) or Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street). Let’s see how that would look for the Arts District:
- Santa Teo (The intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Mateo Street)
- Ala3da (Alameda and 3rd)
- Quadbesefi (Quadrilateral Between Seventh and First)
Woof. Those are terrible. Let New York keep that method.
Alliteration can be a good tool for neighborhood naming. It worked for Thai Town and Valley Village, so why not the Arts District?
- Manbun Mile
- Vape Village
- Honda Fit Heights
- Entitlement Enclave
- Slow Drip Strip
Those are cute, but we’re not quite there yet.
Perhaps the best way to go about this renaming business is to use the neighborhood’s youthful demographics as a jumping off point:
- 90s Kid Row
- Historic Millennialtown
Those still aren’t quite right. I think I might have it with this last one. It's a bit of a stretch, but stick with me. We elect the latter half of 1960s folk group Simon and Garfunkel to a permanent position on the Los Angeles City Council. Art’s District?
What would you rename the Arts District? Tell us in the comments.