A Walker in L.A.: Don’t Call It a Comeback

Broadway has been bustling for years


Downtown is getting plenty of attention lately, and it’s all well-deserved. Broadway, the street that is like a spine that holds it all together, is enjoying a particularly strong resurgence: Grand Central Market is being invigorated with new vendors, the Ace Hotel has thrown open its doors in the United Artists Building, there’s even a plan for a streetcar to run down its center. But anyone who says “Broadway is back” hasn’t walked there on a recent Saturday. The truth is Broadway has always been one of the busiest walking streets in L.A. (that’s why it has been selected for a series of pedestrian improvements). I captured the Roxie Theater, the street’s only Art Deco theater, in a golden afternoon moment as families rushed up and down the sidewalk shopping for everything from tube socks to quinceañera dresses. Broadway has always been a great street for walkers; now it’s just better than ever.

Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato eater, and a walker in L.A. She shares an experience from her adventures around town at CityThink each Wednesday. Follow her daily on Instagram at @awalkerinLA, on Twitter, or at her blog, and use the hashtag #betteroffped to share your own photographs of walking in L.A.

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  • George

    Yes, Broadway has always been a walking street. But the difference is that in its prime Broadway was filled with nice shops, great theatres, major department stores and packed with middle class shoppers. Today, it’s lined with cheap discount arcades, sleazy cell phone vendors, shuttered theatres, and packed with immigrants too poor to shop anywhere else.