To the kind folk in search of a location for Los Angeles' branch of comedian Jon Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity on October 30, I humbly submit this suggestion: Hold the rally at L.A. Live.
I know what many of you are thinking. You're hip (you’re at least aware of Jon Stewart). You feel in your heart that L.A. Live is a bit…commercial. A bit overpriced. A bit lacking in the history department. In the almost two years since its opening, the entertainment complex hasn't quite revolutionized downtown like it initially promised.
But let's face it: L.A. Live is convenient. It's at the intersection of two freeways. Street parking is free if you don't mind parking west of the 110 freeway and walking. Nokia Plaza, for all its glitz, isn't so garish when you consider that Times Square is basically just one huge advertisement.
The last rally I attended outside L.A. Live was on January 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States of America. Whatever your politics, it was a tremendous day for city and country alike. There were a few cops dressed in riot gear (as with any rally), but they were all smiling and waving flags. Chick Hearn Ct. was closed down between Figueroa and Cherry Streets, but the only honking came from motorists expressing exuberance. Giant screens of in the main plaza cut to shots of inaugural rallies across the nation, and the crowd let out a holler as "Los Angeles" appeared on camera.
While Stewart's rally might not be as singular a moment, it will be one hell of a laugh. Please, consider holding the Rally To Restore Sanity at L.A. Live.