The Toy District

There is a thread of urban fabric in Los Angeles that does not demand attention; it does not veil its pureness. Moments of quietness and truth are embedded throughout Los Angeles, and the Toy District is one of those moments.

The district is a 14-block area on the eastside of Downtown Los Angeles. If you were to look beyond the recent influx of overpriced lofts, it houses a good portion of the semi-nomadic shifts of skid row and a collective of bazaars featuring cheap children’s toys, an ironic coexistence that’s hard to fathom. Yet the majority of the district lies dormant and waiting, as if built without imperative reason. What are the fragments left by such a place? What can we learn from its chaos and randomness?

The Toy District is a vivid case study into LA’s psyche and social construct. It is a collective of spatial moments with no emphasis on the whole, or the end result. It forces you to recognize that Los Angeles, in contemporary reality, is a vast rural wasteland of human confusion. LA is a collection of juvenile cities and districts, and we have much to learn.

James Bucknam