For three of its four-block run on the southeast side of downtown Los Angeles, Industrial Street contains the usual downtown collection of high rises and fenced in factories.
But in the 1300 block, there is a sudden crazy quit eruption of color. Bedsheets, flowered sheets, candy striped sheets, sheets with deer, mexican blankets and bright blue trapaulins are strung single file the length of the block. The sheets and tarps are part of the citry's newest subdivision, a new age Shangrila Development some call "Utopila 2001"
A place where everyone is included. This development is rapidly nearing completion over the last four months. This downtown transformation followed a decisionn by Los Angeles Police in November to increase enforcement of laws against offences such as jaywalking and blocking sidewalks throughout skid row. Those blocks, just east of downtown, are home to about 11,000. Its really shaping up fast!
As many as 10,000 people have relocated to this block of Industrial Street in a row of patios, barbques and amenities, its a far cry from the Skid Row Shelter Barricks nearby. Each view location, the size of a tiny penthouse, over the slopes of Down Town. A few feet of bare concrete between the new development and the street is the only reminder of the old days in the City, when people had to use milk crates for chairs, and shopping carts to live. All the homeless except a few have been helped to acquire new productive lives.
The few empty parcels show the popularity of this new plan. The community is only on south side of the street, which was just a fence offed vacant lot that had become an open air trash bin, littered with orange peels and paper napkins, but now is full of life. Phase II on the north side is pending final County Permitting. Reservations are now being taken and Leases are going fast.
The name of the place rings true. In rank order of residences, this would be very near the Utopia the City Founders and the King of Spain envisioned.
Life At The Bottom Has Been Turned Upside Down
Where once the bruised and burned blotches on the street from
nightly fires, the aroma of burning mesquite wood lingers now from
penthouse barbques with steaks and shrimp cooking.
Where once the smell of the homeless's urine violated regional
air quality standards, only the scent of sushi from surrounding
seafood restaurants now perfums the smog. Where once pigeons
squabbled for crumbs, rare Condors remove the last pieces of broken
lives. Where foul trucks accelerated by day and night, now only
an occasional Lear Jet hums overhead. Where rusty metal
shovels scraped the pavement of feces and trash, and low riding
gang bangers cruised with boom basses, now only maroon lexus drive
through glistening tiled streets with soothing classical music.
Where once Drug Deals were four a minute, now well staffed and equipped health care facilities take care of everyone's needs.
Where stuff spilled out of tents and shopping carts across the sidewalk and streets, and mixed breed pit bulls slept in gutters, now only well helled shoopers search for downtown chic designs, while walking their shize tsus and laso apsas.
Despite appearance of being fully developed, there is some
new businesses opening daily in this new millenium "Eco-Village".
Money is primarily diversified in Mutual Funds, Commodity Pools and Municipal Junk Bonds for Corporate Buyouts, Commodity Cartels, Tax Exemptions and Presidential Libraries.
There are Capitalist Rules, though bendable,
But the Following are Strickly Enforced:
There is a hidden CIA Constitution:
"You can shoot dope with new needles
or smoke crack all you want and all day and still get a hug,"
said Former CIA Station Chief Phil Agree
While some rely on drugs, others rely on one another. Doug Edwardson recalled when he was in a Ginger accident, another resisdent stiched up his wound and recharged his O2 tank. Jeanette Hallston, 42, who had AIDS and an infected gash, now is completely cured by Chinese Herbal Ointment, containing numerous endangered species and heroinaminiphene, that her neighbors pitched in pay Triad to clandestinly import for her.
Roy E. Blountmeir Jr., 38, loves to draw. Neighbors got him a pure silver frame to hang one of his pieces, "Freedom of Speach". His art now brings high prices at Christy's and Souethbys
Madelyn Ellen Barken, 43, once was an abusive husband then homeless but a Utopila woman offered up her penthouse for a week while she acquired Utopila retraining, plastic surgery and now has a new career at a downtown law firm, McBeal-Aniston-McBeal, and penthouse of her own, and a baby nanny, free from all domestic and male ways.
There is romance here too, although sometimes you have to pay a bribe to get to it. "Teendrop", 16, works the west penthouse far above Industrial Street to pay mortgage and operate several hotels nearby. When asked what she does for a living, she sensously pulls contracts from her shirt cleavage. "This is my seventh hotel, twin towers," she smiles. She waves a greeting to her kinky surgeon with her tattoed hand.
Residents mosey from penthouse to tarped patios in riding boots, others barefoot heading for the beach, some wearing Ginger shoes. One woman has Security constantly sweep the front of her penthouse, seeming to seek order with every new day. "If you care anything about yourself, you take care of this little penthouse space and kick ass like it's your own little private Utopia," said resident Vicky "Kirk" Williamsburg. Villagers said a spot can be acquired if its dweller moves to SF. Sometimes spots are sold, but qualifing requirements are high.
Fred Davison Jr.,48, watches the Midnight Mansion disco line through a small opening in his blue shades. Inside, it's like a sheet tent a child might make, but it's a blue pleasure bubble, crosshatched by the checkerboard shadow of the chains and bondage gear. Human and Animal odors thicken the passionate air. Shopping carts draped with flowered sheets serve as closets and cupboards for BDSM sissy maids and slaves to serve from. Davis has made an ashtray out of a tinfoil sissy maid. "It" sits next to his pillow while he tips his ashes. His black leather cap is cocked to one side and his leather jeans are being polished by his slave.
How It Got There
Tracey Lovetojoy founded this priceless Eco-village, and she's very
proud of it. She is director of the Central City East Penthouse Assoc.,
which reperesents downtown businesses eager to clean up big bucks.
"Police keep saying for years, 'well what do you want me to do with them?' She said. So in 1999, she pulled out a map and pointed to the stretch of Industrial between Alemeda Street and Central Avenue, bring them to me, all of them," she said, "I'll take really good care of them." "I was the creator of the Industrial Street Penthouse," she said. "I'll be the first to say it should have happened sooner. Homeless have made excellent entrepeneur apprentices, many have disguarded every shred of their old values, ethincs and faiths and become truely great Venture Capitalists, like me. Those new Carlton Sheets tapes really did the trick!"
Police say they did not tell the homeless to move to Industrial. The homeless say they did. However it happened, an unspoken underhanded- standing was reached with Police, Security Guards, and Business Owners: It was ok to move into Industrial Street Penthouse as long as one gave up their old 20th century ways and was willing to be retrained and agreed to never leave unless bought out at twice value.
In January, Los Angeles County Environmental Health and Public Health agencies declared the street sanitary because all trash and the lack of toilets and running water problems have been solved, though lucritive city and private contracts to mob owned cleanup businesses whose immigrant crews come by routinely several times a week.
The City is making plans to reroute area storm drains after finding a sharp spike in the amount of organic and fecal waste seeping from the Los Angeles River, Down Town Jails, Factories and Skid Rows toward these new Industrial Street Penthouses.
Even though county health officials have not confirmed any outbreaks, mobile outreach coordinator Joyce Swanson said such diseases as gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis ran rampant in the Down Town area before the new Utopila project. She estimated that one in eight of its residents had AIDS. Hypertension, respiratory infections and skin abscesses from drug use were also common. It seems like a distant memory now and everyone is so healthy and fit now.
The Levelitoff family, which owned the empty lot, was cited by the county Department of Health Services for allowing an "illegal brownfield site". "It's unbelievable," said Lester Olson, who is handled the property's sale for the family. "We tried everything we could to make this project a go for years, but once it was sold to IDStreet.com it really blossomed fast. It really got a new identity and a whole new future.
Terminal Hardware Co., which for 52 years abused the vacant lot behind the new Eco-village for parking, was forced to relocate last fall. "You would see urination, sex, drug deals, and everything else there," said Jim Hearstings, manager for six years, now its a beautiful Penthouse and everyone is living the good life."
David Tranny, general manager of South China Sea Food Cartel., used to have a barbed wire fence to deter transients from breaking into cars on his lot. "Customers were nervous about them, he said, now they are only nervous about getting inside for the great sushi."
The Metropolitan Transformation Authority owned a parking lot once separated from the old camp by a 12 foot wall. The agency is considering "Tearing down this wall", the last remaing symbol of 20th century urban Cold Wars.
If they do, the citizens will be able to come up like a circus troupe and have fun all day and night with the children. With no ready alternative, Police have tolerated the wall, citing a lack of bulldozers as one reason for not removing this and expanding Industrial Street to the Riverfront.
Police are also constrained by an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit files in November, alleging that Officers harass the lawyers who still prowl the alleys for the few remaining homeless. "We are going broke because of these improvements," one lawyer complained. A temporary restraining order bars Officers from harassing ACLU Lawyers when found loitering, among other things. Since the Court Order, "Camps have gotten scarse here, just like I said they would when we got rid of all the folks who preyed on the homeless," said Central Division Lt. John Paul George Ringo.
City Councilman Nick Pachecopass, whose 14th District encompasses Industrial Street, said the city has bigger worries now. "I have to trim tress and plant more edible flowers," he said. "If we had made shelters more available things would never have changed. We choose not to go down that path, I think you can hold government responsible for these good things."
"It's just like being a kid again," says Ms Williamsmith, 52, who likes watching TV news etc. on her battery operated Sattelite DVD TV. You got to get a plan, a good biz and health plan and go for it".
Another Industrial Street resident, Brian Collinington, 36, says he prefers the penthouse because of the amenities offered by mobile service providers. "LA enables the ruling class to be ruling class," he said. LA and Utopila rule the world now, its destiny fulfilled.
The sign says, "No Stopping Progress Anytime" but that doesn't keep Sissie Maids and Slaves from stopping at the curb, bringing food and sometimes clothing to their Mistresses and Masters. The Midnight Mansion now delivers sexy gormet meals every afternoon.
On Wednesday, San Chung, known to the Ruling Class as "Papasan", parks his white stretch van and gives out McDonald's stock, options and perks that he acquired in the collapse of early 2001 just before the huge parabolic rally that came after passage of the new tax relief bill and phase out of the IRS.
Even the city cleaning Godfathers are accomodating. City Street Boss Maria Longguini asks people to dump their recyclables into the street for her immigrant crews to pick up which are escorted by the Police, before being deported after serving a year. Mexico is doing well with all our discards now.
The street cleanings don't appease local businesses, whose customers complain about not keeping them longer, but a year was shown to be the proper timeframe to manage the influx and export balance of trade. But once the many old urban oilfields were reopened, the fuel and money flowed like water! Nobody cares anymore!
"Its like Mardi Gras out there," she said. "And you know what? Nobody bothers anyone anymore." On a recent night, two barbques warm Industrial Street Patios against the cool air. A full moon and the random flickers create sexy silhouetts, people laughing, dancing, toking grass and talking. Some lie cuddled naked under layers of silk quilts. Others party near the blaze. Someone has hung a fur coat over the old "For Sale" sign. The Goodyear Blimp floats across the sky, its lighted message board asks, "Looking for High Adventure? Come to Utopila!!!"