By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
I have no doubt that the street-art list curated by L.A. Freewalls would be worth every penny of its $1.99 for an awesome Arts District stroll. But to fill in the gaps and make the Know What app a truly comprehensive guide to the city, I saw myself shelling out at least $10.
I began to wonder why Los Angeles — with its wealth of young, talented developers and smart, civic-minded startups — doesn't have better apps for discovering local culture.
We could start with a more comprehensive app about architecture. My dream is that this will be possible when Survey L.A., a citywide census of the built environment, completes its research. Imagine being able to filter every building in L.A. by year built or style and setting out on a Victorian or Googie scavenger hunt.
And speaking of buildings, I want filming locations. I'd love to know when I'm living on the street where Chinatown was filmed, as I did for the first three years I was in L.A. There's a global app called TheMovieMap (99¢) that does an OK job, but it's sparse. I want one with lots more movies, plus television shows, and one that's more L.A.-specific. Or, to keep tourists occupied, what about a Star Maps app? (Maybe you could still buy it on Sunset, with a QR code.)
And how about a way to use Metro's excellent new app (free) for urban adventures? The app already plans trips, maps transit stops and gives real-time arrivals in a smooth interface.
Ideally, the Metro app could have an option to import guides, like the locations featured in KCET's new regional-art series Artbound or — plug! — L.A. Weekly's own app of its listings (free), working like an overlay of curated, transit-accessible culture: As you transferred buses or exited a Metro station, the app would let you know that an experimental dance troupe was taking the stage right around the corner.
That kind of stumbled-upon adventure is key when it comes to experiencing L.A.'s vast expanse. And that's why the "Made in L.A." app will be awesome even after the show ends in September. On the map, as I zoomed out on the 60 or so hot spots I still needed to tackle, I noticed one dangling off the southernmost coast of the city, by Long Beach. It's artist Mark Hagen talking about how he's inspired by Sunken City, a San Pedro neighborhood that mysteriously slid into the Pacific and is now a tumble of buckled, graffiti-flecked streets and sidewalks.
I'd never heard about Sunken City before, and now it's all I can think about. And it's all because of that interaction between art and place: I can visit Sunken City, then go to the "Made in L.A." show and see Hagen's work, and think about how it connects to my Los Angeles. I'm planning my trip now. And I'm wondering how many more hot spots I can check off my list on the way there.