An East End town, a dead-end world

I work catty-corner from the monolithic East End complex, and boy is that frustrating.  There’s all the upscale hip joints to the east, despite the ridiculous “Handle District” name.  There’s the funky stuff—non-prefab Irish pub, another rooftop shindig at MIX–spreading out along 15th Street and on L. And right smack in the middle of all this vibrant action is a huge lump of office.  Nothing but office, with a token sports restaurant thrown in, and a wine bar shoehorned next to a parking garage.

What galls me is to imagine what kind of impressive things could have been done if the State of California had decided to think outside of the cubicle and throw in some decent ground-floor retail in those almost-four square blocks bounded by 15th, L, 17th and the Capitol/N Alley.  Restaurants within walking distance of the theatre and ballet!  More lunch options for thousands of starving Capitol workers!  A corridor between midtown and downtown that bordered on the Park!  Neat things to look at instead of closed blinds and smoked windows!

Yes, the buildings are all green and LEED, for which we should be thankful, and they did save the Torch Club.  But geez-what a lost opportunity.  Let’s hope the West End Complex learns a few lessons.

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