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Favorite (or least favorite) Spots for Public Urination?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, June 29, 2006, at 02:37PM

City Beat's cover article this week, titled "Shining the Nickel," paints a summary of what's going on in Skid Row. It sort of is what it is -- I don't think it's a bad article, but there are definitely some points that I take issue with, including the first paragraph:

It's almost 10:00 a.m. on a hot June morning, and the block of Seventh Street between Olive and Grand in downtown Los Angeles is seeing another day as an outdoor toilet. Human feces is baking to the sidewalk and the whole block reeks of urine. Office workers hurrying past to their nearby buildings pretend not to notice. For nearly three years, construction scaffolding over the sidewalk has provided some semblance of privacy for people without access to proper restrooms. When they finally take the scaffolding down, the sidewalk will front a market-rate condominium conversion project, and the campers and defecators will have to move on to adjacent alleys and doorways or walk several blocks to a Skid Row shelter to do their business.

The author is refering to the scaffolding that fronts both the Brockman and Mandel buildings. I have issue with that block because of the way one bulge of scaffold blocks the sidewalk, but in my times walking by there I've never thought of it as falling anywhere in my top ten list of spots where people urinate Downtown.

And actually that's a much more interesting post than whatever else I was going to say. What spots would be on your list? I'll contribute a few after the jump.

Alleyway by 5th Street Pershing Square Station

The alley that runs from 5th to 6th between Broadway and Hill is pretty much a constant. People come out of the bathroomless Red Line station (as all Red Line stations are) and the first wall they see is the one on the alley. The smell is certainly worst on the 5th Street side of the alley.

Van Nuys Building and Alleyway

The Van Nuys building is on the south side of 7th at Spring street. The wall around the alleyway that runs midblock from 7th to 8th has been number one in my mind recently when it comes to intensity, but when it comes to longevity it can't hold a candle to the alley above.

Bank of Italy building

Oddly, I'd consider the Bank of Italy building on the corner of 7th/Olive worse than the sidewalk the article points to. The columns stand out from the building, giving a nice sheltered spot for people to take care of their business. Looking at the building from the street I think the left-most side gets the worst of it -- the right side seems to be more for sleeping.

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