“Downtown LA is the hottest place in America to live right now.”
That’s what Casey Dalton said to me the last night I played at Eighteenth Street Lounge before moving to LA last May. I spent six months living in Silverlake with the drummer for Hole and her family before moving to a loft in downtown LA. I live in a commune of lofts that used to be a Toy Factory in the Arts District called Art Share. All of my neighbors are musical and passionate and talented, and every day is a strange new adventure. There are galleries and studios in the basement, and studios and lofts and warehouses in the streets by where I live. Robyn and Rye Rye, who are both signed to Interscope, shot a music video on my block last summer:
THIS IS WHERE I LIVE:
Jamming at Art Share after BBQing one Friday evening in July:
Every day new posters are pasted up, walls are painted with different murals, and different strange messages are etched into the street corners. It is lawless, debaucherous, beautiful, raw, rare, free.
I have been creating and playing with many of the artists who live at a gallery down the street from my house called Think Tank (thinktankgallery.org). A hollowed out series of art spaces, rooms and galleries above Santee Alley – a part of the janky fashion district where cheap clothes and apparel for your quincinera are sold.
The aesthetic of Downtown LA circa 2012 is one of a post-apocalyptic 1920’s financial renaissance. There are many tall beautiful old buildings but they are completely dilapidated, strange and uninhabited. The rebirth is beginning and I know I love living here now because it still attracts the strange, the creative and the adventurous. I live a block away from skid row and greet my druggy friends most Sunday mornings when I bike to play squash – as they are dancing in the park or organizing church ceremonies out in the street. I live a block away from the dopest coffee bean roasters (Handsome Coffee) and the American Apparel factory (SIDENOTE: Dov Charney once came up to Cioffi when we were on a layover in Dallas to take a picture of her shirt because it was so rad – look out for strange green jungle prints tbr July 2014 copied from Cioffizini back in July 2011).
I have been to some gorgeous spaces abound – an afterhours music hub opposite a chapel, the LA brewery, Art Walk block parties, St. Vincent’s court, Think Tank, Art Share, Neon Studios, Woori Market.
Another Interscope music video shot in Downtown LA: