Take any out-of-towner for a four- or five-block drive down Broadway and they're apt to say "it looks like Broadway!" meaning, of course, the Broadway in New York.
Quibble whether that's true or not, but it is hard to not see our Broadway's bustle and big buildings and not make a Big Apple comparison.
But our Broadway, the LA Broadway, belongs to itself and its own story: It's a street of vibrant shops and the Bradbury Building (shades of "Blade Runner") and a "redwood"-filled cafeteria currently undergoing renovations (open soon, Clifton's) and a clutch of famous movie palaces.
LA City Councilmember José Huizar launched a plan to "provide economic development and business assistance" and "encourage historic preservation" while revitalizing transit and "long-underutilized commercial buildings" along the stretch. That plan is now 7 years old, and the councilmember and Broadway buffs will mark the occasion on Saturday, Jan. 31 with Night on Broadway, an evening of free to-dos along the big B.
Like? A Million Dollar Theatre appearance by accordionist Jessica Fichot, "reality-altering experiences" from Nova Han Presents Wilderbe at the Los Angeles Theatre, Chessboxing at the Tower Theatre, and the enormous instruments, and instrumental stylings, of String Theory at the Orpheum.
"Metropolis" will screen at The Theatre at Ace Hotel while a festival area will be the sight of numerous doings, including the admiring of neon, a performance by the Mariachi Academy of Carson, and the Sexy Sax Man. Downtown Art Walk'll be popping up and performing throughout the evening, too.
Councilmember Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway plan has a few years to go -- it was envisioned as a decade-long push to assist and bolster and support the street in myriad ways -- so year 7 is no resting or stopping point.
But a night of free entertainment along what is a great West Coast thoroughfare, a street that sometimes gets comparisons but is truly its own, is a fine place to pause before returning to the business of strengthening our civic story, one epic street at a time.