The Golden Boulevard
My family emigrated to New York from Cuba after the rise of Castro in the early 1960s. After a short stay in N.Y.C. we came to visit my father's sister who lived at Bixel and Ingraham, one block south of Wilshire. My parents were so impressed with Los angeles and its climate that we never left.
I grew up in Downey but regularly visited my aunt in the Westlake Area. Being of French decent, I was always told Wilshire was the Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles.
I saw it go throguh many changes over the last 40 years. There were many years of decline, after my move to San Francisco in the 1970s, I was heartbroken to see so many of its landmarks disappear, and the steady decline set in. I think the low point was in 1993, after the Los Angeles Riots over the Rodney King incident.
Wilshire remained in my mind, however, the combined Fifth and Park Avenues of the West Coast. I saw the magical spell this great Boulevard cast on wave upon wave of immigrants from all over the world just like it had cast its spell on me many years ago.
I know this may sound strange, but although I live in San Francisco, my heart was left in Los Angeles.
Still a resident of San Francisco, Los Angeles nevertheless continues to impress me in its steady march to become one of the world's greatest cities.
I am thrilled to see the renaissance of Wilshire as one of the most diverse and exciting streets in the world. I am grateful to the Conservancy for its tireless efforts in preserving this great heritage.
I never tire of taking the mandatory drive from Grand Avenue to Santa Monica. I enjoy reliving the wonderful memories upon seeing the succesful survival of the Bryson, the Talmadge, the Elks Building, and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, to name a few.
Friends from every state and every country, whom have joined me on this tour, agree that this is one of the greatest boulevards in the world, and the heart of one of its greatest cities.