Six Reasons Why Downtown L.A. Isn't Cool (and Probably Never Will Be) | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Six Reasons Why Downtown L.A. Isn't Cool (and Probably Never Will Be)

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Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM
click to enlarge JEFF CLEARY/FLICKR
Gentleman's Quarterly recently ran a breezy little story about downtown Los Angeles, wherein we learn that downtown gadfly Brady Westwater once traveled the world as a mixed martial arts fighter, that the writer of the article prefers Philippe's to Cole's (except he calls it Philippe, which is technically correct but sounds ridiculous), and that Cedd Moses owns a lot of bars.

See also: GQ Proclaims L.A. Is Hip, Again

The writer also calls DTLA "the coolest new downtown in America," claiming, "Downtown has approached a critical mass of cool that even the most hard-core resident of Venice or Santa Monica or West Hollywood or Silver Lake would find impossible to deny." And the link on the GQ homepage reads, "America's New Capital of Cool."

Where to begin. Here are six reasons why downtown is not, and most likely will never be, "cool."

6) Popular does not mean cool.

It's hard not to be impressed with how far downtown has come in the last few decades. The sidewalks teem with pedestrians and the streets overflow with fancy new restaurants.

Yes, the revitalization of downtown is a story worth national attention. Yes, it will have implications for Los Angeles and perhaps even America. And yes, downtown is a great neighborhood - and a popular one.

But that's not the same thing as cool.

Lots of things are popular but not cool - like the Super Bowl, or crystal meth.

The great video blogger Ze Frank once said, "Being cool is about not participating in traditionally enjoyable experiences and creating the illusion that happiness can be found in alternative, less enjoyable experiences. The degree to which other people around you try to emulate your alternative lifestyle and fail determines how cool you are. You're only as cool as people wish they were."

Cool people starve themselves, get neck tattoos and listen to bands the rest of us have never heard of. These things are not fun, and they are not popular, and that is exactly the point.

Wearing skinny jeans, getting neck tattoos, hanging out in dank bars listening to guitars screeching in the night ... does that sound enjoyable to you?

5) People there are happy.

Go to a rooftop pool party in one of those loft-style buildings. Look around. What do you see? Baseball caps, muscles, William Morris assistants. You see bros. A party in DTLA is like a scene from a poor man's Entourage.

These people are happy. And there's nothing less cool than being happy.

Turn the page for more reasons DTLA just isn't cool, including its plethora of lawyers.

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