1. Part of the city is literally named Skid Row.
And it lives up to its name. With all the hype about Downtown LA’s recent revitalization, one could be forgiven for forgetting that thousands of people live on the streets there. In language perhaps a little bit too reminiscent of Discovery Channel programming, Wikipedia characterizes Skid Row as possessing one of the “largest stable populations of homeless people in the United States.” The area even has an official disease: since 2007, the area has battled a tuberculosis outbreak of 19th century proportions. The strain’s name? Skid Row Tuberculosis.
Los Angeles’ attitude toward the realities of Skid Row has changed over the years. In a 2006 effort to adjust to the realities of the situation, Los Angeles city council legalized sleeping and camping on the sidewalk between the hours of 9 PM and 6:30 AM. It’s not all good, though: the highly-publicized killing of a Skid Row man by the LAPD this month put the area’s problems back in the national spotlight.