TEN Neighborhoods on the TEN-TEN-TEN CicLAvia Route

August 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm 13 comments

CicLAvia's Ten-Ten-Ten 7.5-mile route from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights - click image to embignify

In honor of our 10-10-10 CicLAvia date, CicLAvia is running TEN top TEN listings! So far it’s been TEN reasonsTEN buildings and TEN problems. Today, we highlight TEN great neighborhoods that our initial TEN TEN TEN CicLAvia will go through. 

We think that L.A.’s wonderful neighborhoods are ever-changing, fluid, loose, overlapping, and largely unofficial… but we did lean on some relatively official sources (especially the L.A. Times Mapping L.A. website, which draws from the city of Los Angeles’ Planning Department.) These communities are out there to explore, but there’s often not agreement on where one ends and where another begins.  

A few geeky statitical notes on population: The population numbers shown are from the LA Times website, listing the estimations for 2008. The TEN-TEN-TEN route goes through the three highest population density neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, and even the entire county: (in density order) #1-Koreatown, #2-Westlake, #3-East Hollywood (each greater than 30,000 potential CicLAvia participants per square mile!) The October route also goes next to two more in the top ten (#4- Pico Union and #7-Hollywood.) We’re happy about this, because it means that CicLAvia is bringing active healthy recreational space to the places that need it the most! 

Also – in this short format, there’s so much that we’re not able to capture about these neighborhoods – let us know if you think we’ve left really imporant things out! 


Boyle Heights home across from Hollenbeck Park. Photo by Jenn Su

1. Boyle Heights
Times map, Population: 99,243, Density: 14,229 people/square-mile

Boyle Heights, the proverbial ‘eastside’ – just east of the Los Angeles River, has a rich layered history. Though it was central for Los Angeles’ Jewish and Japanese communities, it has for many years been solidly Latino. Based on 1990 census figures analyzed in The Ethnic Quilt, (published 1997), it’s actually suprisingly among Southern California’s least diverse  communities. From the Times website, today’s population is 94% Latino, 82% of Mexican heritage. It’s a community where walking, bicycling and transit usage are very common – and there’s a strong tradition of life spilling out into public space – so we’re looking forward to lots of Boyle Heights residents enjoying CicLAvia, and looking forward to giving other Angelenos a chance to get to know Boyle Heights better.

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Virgin of Guadalupe mural in Pico-Aliso - from Blogdowntown

2 .Pico Aliso

Pico-Aliso, also known as “The Flats,” is the low-lying neighborhood imediately along the east side of the Los Angeles River. It’s often lumped in Boyle Heights, but there’s no “heights” in the Pico-Aliso “flats.”  CicLAvia cyclists and pedestrians will know this when they bike up or down the short hill on 4th Street that connects the two. Its population is similar to Boyle Heights, though its location is even more impacted by adjacent freeways and industrial areas.

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Image stolen from the Arts District Daily Photo blog

3. Arts District

Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District is a somewhat amorphous place – generally situated just west of the river, and just east of Little Tokyo… but perhaps stretching into Downtown’s Gallery Row, and Chinatown, and dotted south into Vernon. El Arts District is a mix of great old industrial buildings being converted into various lofts – some bare-bones, some luxurious – with plenty of working creative folks plying their trades. CicLAvia extends through the Arts District mainly on 4th Street and 4th Place, and if you’re riding the Metro Gold Line to CicLAvia, you want to exit at the Little Tokyo/Arts District station – located at the corner of 1st Street and Alameda Street.

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Workers already getting the iconic Japanese Village Fire Tower ready for its CicLAvia appearance this fall. Photo by Jenn Su

4. Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo is located downtown, just south and east of the civic center. Since forced relocation during WWII, the area is less of a specifically Japanese-American residential hub, but it still has a high concentration of Japanese institutions and businesses – including great restaurants! (Our TEN restaurants list is schduled for next week – suggestions?) Japantown is one of the most lively walkable neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles. We look forward CicLAvia’s pedestrians building on this tradition on 10-10-10! 

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Historic and contemporary rascacielos on 7th Street. Photo by Jenn Su

5. Downtown
Times map, Population: 34,811, Density: 4,770 people/square-mile

Downtown Los Angeles is a heady mix of Latino shopping districts, skid row, new high-end loft developments, major governmental centers, and mucho mucho mas. It’s also chocked-full of L.A.’s greatest historic architecture, and the hub of L.A.’s bus and rail transit systems. There are hundred-year-old institutions, and brand new upstarts. It’s a great place to explore, especially on foot or bike, with NO CARS to compete with on Ten-Ten-Ten. CicLAvia cruises downtown on 1st Street, Spring Street, and 7th Street.

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MacArthur Park. Photo by Jenn Su

6. Westlake-MacArthur Park
Times map, Population: 117,756, Density: 38,214 people/square-mile

Another great historic Los Angeles neighborhood, with lots going on today. The area is home to a dense diverse mix of  immigrants, primarily from Central America. More than anywhere else in Los Angeles, the MacArthur Park area is the place where L.A. WALKS! Its sidewalks are full of families and vending and life. MacArthur Park itself is well-used and well-loved by huge numbers of people nearly all hours of the day. CicLAvia looks forward to the rest of us learning how to use public space from the example of the Westlake locals. 

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Metro's Koreatown poster by artist Kyungmi Shin

7. Koreatown
Times map, Population: 124,281, Density: 42,611 people/square-mile

Ahnyung Haseyo, K-town! Per the L.A. Times, Koreatown is the most population-dense neighborhood in Los Angeles – the only neighborhood with density greater than 40,000 people per square mile. It’s also among Los Angeles’ most diverse communities with lots of Latinos, Asians, and everything in between. More great restaurants, too! October’s CicLAvia cuts through the northeast edges of K-town taking 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue.

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Bangladeshi pastries at Boishakhi Mela 1417 celebration at Koreatown's Shatto Park

8. Little Bangladesh

In Koreatown, Latino residents (mostly from Southern Mexico and Central America) has long outnumbered Korean ones (per L.A. Times, today it’s 53.5% Latino and 32.2% Asian.) In recent years, parts of Koreatown are seeing some influx of immigrants of Bangladeshi heritage… Will we soon call parts of it Little Bangladesh too? (Maybe also Little Oaxaca? Any community we highight, we end up leaving others out.) Concentrated more or less near Shatto Park on 4th Street, Los Angeles’ Bangla community is emerging and contributing their richness to our diversity.

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9. East Hollywood
Times map, Population: 78,192, Density: 31,095 people/square-mile

Whew… CicLAvia ends up where it all kinda started – in East Hollywood… another diverse, wonderful, dense, primarily-Latino neighborhood! The way-progressive East Hollywood Neighborhood Council was the first to go on record in support of CicLAvia… way back in early 2009, when it seems like nobody had heard of us. Experience East Hollywood at CicLAvia on Ten-Ten-Ten.

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10. Bicycle District

Los Angeles’ bicyclists sure don’t all live in the neighborhood, but a whole hella lot of them know and love Los Angeles’ emerging “Bicycle District” affectionately called “Hel-Mel” (Heliotrope Street at Melrose Avenue.) It’s an example of how bicycling has served as a revitalizing force for at least one small corner of the city. First it was the non-profit Bicycle Kitchen “wrenching”, then a whole hub of activity has emerged – Scoops ice cream, Pure Luck vegan restaurant, Orange 20 bike shop, and more!

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Mayor Villaraigosa announces CicLAvia on Huffington Post! CicLAvia out and about this weekend!

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe Linton  |  August 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    The LA Times reports that the L.A. City Council actually approved borders for Little Bangladesh, and it’s within Koreatown!

  • 2. Ross Hirsch  |  August 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve come back to this page several times to view the newest CicLAvia map for this inaugural event, but as you keep adding articles, it gets lower and lower on the blog. Perhaps you could put a link near the top of the page or a nav bar tab that shows the map/route? I’m thinking the easier it is to find and view, the more people will start to know about it–and an easily identifiable route map would greatly assist that, no?

    And a map with the Metro “M”s signifying the Metro stops along the route would also be handy to see on the map.

  • 3. Joe Linton  |  August 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Who knew adding articles was a problem? We’re going to be having an expanded website with easier access to important information – coming soon – probably early September. In the meantime, we’ve put the latest map up on a permanent page called maps. For now, to get there from the Home page, click ABOUT, then click MAPS.

    We’ve got a map with Metro stations coming soon too! Great suggestion.

    • 4. Joe Linton  |  August 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      We’ve posted a route map that includes adjacent Metro Rail stations on the MAPS page.

  • 5. Elizabeth Delgado  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Very excited for this!

    Nice job on the route–and releasing it early so people/businesses along the route can start getting excited, too. The parks spotted along the route will make great opportunities to stop, relax, have some lunch, play, etc.

    The only problem I see: does Scoops have the capacity? There’s going to be a lot of hungry bikers, runners, walkers in need of some serious home made ice cream.

    • 6. Joe Linton  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      LOL at Scoops… perhaps they’ll need help! Also great mochi ice cream in Little Tokyo, and raspados in Boyle Heights…

  • […] are excited that CicLAvia has chosen to include portions of East 4th Street in Boyle Heights as part of its route.  We look […]

  • 8. BH Citizen  |  October 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I’m excited about CicLAvia but honest to goodness, of all of the houses in Boyle Heights that you could have photographed for this blog it had to be that horrendous house. At least you got it on a day that there isn’t the usual stack of old tires and disgarded metal. It has no historic significance and is a blight in the area. Really, is there a concerted effort to paint the neighborhood in the most unflattering light? Not a good representation of the community at all.

    • 9. Joe Linton  |  October 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      Sorry about that, BH Citizen. It wasn’t my intent to be unflattering, I thought that home was cute, not really blight. It’s true that there’s lots of better excellent historic homes (not to mention other buildings, churches, synagogues, bridges, etc.) in Boyle Heights… with these photos, we tried to stay really right on the 101010 CicLAvia route, and that home is right across from Hollenbeck Park which is the east end of the route.

      • 10. BH Citizen  |  October 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

        Thank you Joe for your reply. I would have actually preferred the park. It is one of the few large green spaces in the city (Echo and MacArthur being the other two) that people aren’t aware of its existence. It is a wonderfule amenity in the community. Anyhoo, it’s fantastic that we are included in this event. I appreciate your putting together this great blog. Hope to see you Sunday.

  • […] The event, which began in response to congestion and pollution in Bogotá, Colombia (sounds familiar, right?), will give you and your pals the chance to explore our city’s parks, churches, public art, and more, smog-free! Check out the 10 neighborhoods on the CicLAvia path here. […]

  • 12. Sol Ascendans - The Website of Alex Sumner  |  October 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Happy TenTenTen Day!…

    Happy TenTenTen Day! Ten are the numbers of the ineffable Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Learn this wisdom, and be wise in the understanding of it, investigate these numbers, and draw knowledge from them, fix the design in its purity,…

  • 13. 10 Kid-Friendly Things to do at CicLAvia |  |  April 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    […] – Bet you didn’t realize that a seven- mile stretch of road could include so many cultural neighborhoods.The CicLAvia route incorporates Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Salvadorean, Bangladeshi, […]


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