A Neighborhood in Transition

Who's responsible for the Arts District's popularity? Some readers were livid that, in her cover story, Alissa Walker gave credit to real estate broker Tyler Stonebreaker (“Can a Realtor Be a Curator,” May 3). Writes Beth_T, “Anyone who has lived in the Arts District knows that it was a lively, dynamic and thriving community before Handsome Coffee moved in. There are a broad variety of stakeholders who have made it what it is — not a 'neighborhood curator.' What an insult.”

KerryB called the piece a “CRAP ARTICLE.” She writes, “Wow, what a revisionist, hipsterific article. Did you speak with any long-term residents or anyone who has been in the Arts District longer than a year or two? This article reeks of the trend of L.A. Weekly content that panders to the lowest common denominator of creeps who prefer what's cool now over culture and community. It's all so egalitarian, the way these awesome people make this dingy neighborhood by bringing in all the awesome cool kids. Sounds more like exclusivity than the inclusiveness the Arts District is known for.”

Quellefromage is equally angry. “Is this satire? If not, it's incredibly off-base and clearly not written by someone who lives, works or spends time in the Arts District. I've lived here four years and owned for three, and I can tell you that, while Handsome is a great addition to the 'hood, it had zero to do with any amping-up of the hotness factor. There was already an Urth Caffe, Church & State, Wurstküche, Villains Tavern, Pizzanista, Tony's Bar and the Daily Dose (a much cooler coffee spot), plus the seeds of Bestia, Little Bear and the Bread Lounge. Plus the $1 million–$2 million lofts and the various celebrity owners and renters. None of it was 'curated' by this dude. Love or hate the blowing-up of this 'hood, Tyler Whatever is an unknown here and had no notable contribution.

Writes ADFan, “I'm worried, very worried. If you think the Arts District is going to be another Abbot Kinney, you are thinking way too small. Let's look at a couple of Mr. Stonebreaker's curated tenants. Garrett Leight, son of the founders of eyeglass company Oliver Peoples, also owner of GLCO in West Hollywood. Sunglasses here average about $300 a pair. Or, the fashion company Mattison. Is that the same Mattison with $3,000 suits, which recently opened on Melrose Place? Don't these seem like a perfect fit for the Arts District?

“Of course they must be, because Tyler has our back. After all, he said, 'We're thoughtfully guiding it down a path that we think is right for the neighborhood' and 'We are hyper-locally focused, asking people on the ground — those living and working in the neighborhood — what do they want?' So, Arts Districts residents, speak up. Is this what you're asking for?

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