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A Note to Dick Platkin Re. His Story on Caruso and The Grove

VOICE IN THE CHEAP SEATS - I can't decide if Dick Platkin's latest “hit piece” (Why the Grove Mall cannot be scaled up to fix LA - 6/9/2022) is targeting the Grove or Rick Caruso or political corruption or just plain city planning that does not conform to his vision of an ideal city.

Nobody has put forward the Grove as a blueprint for the future of Los Angeles.  That is a Dick Platkin straw man.  He has demonized the Grove as an anathema because he perceives it as an island of prosperity in a sea of decay.  He believes its parking lot attracts driving visitors to the detriment of walking visitors.  He even goes so far as to present the limited surface parking for the Farmers market as a more neighborhood friendly parking solution. 

He then goes on to describe the many social, economic, structural, and planning problems in the surrounding area as if the Grove shopping center and Rick Caruso are to blame.  

I am not necessarily a fan of Rick Caruso, but demonizing him for building an incredibly successful project and blaming the problems that plague the surrounding area (not to mention the rest of the city) on that very project … well … that's just wrong. 

Note to Mr. Platkin: 

Instead of affixing blame to a project that does not fit your vision of a non-driving city (dream on Dick), you should lobby your vision of the future to the planning department, the city council, and the public at large.  Maybe even run for office.  I don't think you will get very far, but hey Dick, if you believe in your ideas; go for it. 

As an aside, people within walking distance do walk to the Grove.  It has become a place to go for the dating crowd as well as locals and tourists.  And for your information, parking is a good thing.  If all businesses had adequate parking, we wouldn't have to have a permit system that prevents us from accessing public streets and consequently many areas of the city that we now avoid because there is no parking.  Right now I can't park in front of my own home without paying the city for a permit.  This is a direct result of businesses that do not have enough parking.  

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't express my angst about the influence of money in the Los Angeles election process.  When we say Rick Caruso is “bidding” for the office of Mayor, we are not kidding.  Dick said he spent 30 million, I heard 40 million, but I think we can both agree that it's a boatload of money.  Everywhere I turn, I see Rick Caruso staring back at me.  I have to believe that spending that kind of cash indicates he has some serious business plans in mind.  If he becomes Mayor, I just hope he has Los Angeles business and not personal business in mind.   

(Charles Tarlow is a CityWatch contributor and lives in Los Angeles.)