Every year the Los Angeles Times holds a monster book festival called unimaginatively The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
They do this in front of Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. Easy to get to. Lots of room. A fuckton of parking lots (even if they are nine bucks a pop). Beautiful campus, lots of grass. It's been there for fifteen years.
And now it's moving away from the Westside to the USC campus in beautiful, crime ridden South Los Angeles.
What the fuck are they thinking?
I don't know what went on with the backroom dealings, the secret negotiations. Maybe UCLA got tired of all the Scientology pamphlets and self-published poetry left trampled in the grass. Or USC threw wads of cash at the LA Times. Who knows.
But somebody blew somebody. Whether it was the Times' Eddy Hartenstein on his knees or USC President C.L. Max Kikias is anybody's guess.
Now don't get me wrong, I actually like USC. Beautiful campus. Good school. I have fond memories of the Doheny Library. My grandmother used to work there as a librarian. Thirty-five years ago I would slide down the bannisters and play with my toy trucks on a bench next to the checkout counter.
But the area around the campus, now that's another thing entirely.
"Surely," you say, "it can't be that bad. There's, like, museums and shit down there." Well, let's take a look and don't... no, I won't say it.
UCLA is in the LAPD's West Bureau, West LA Area. USC is in the LAPD's South Bureau, Southwest LA Area. How these two places stack up against each other.
Here's a brief summary. You can get the actual numbers in the links below.
- 11 Homicides
- 42 Rapes
- 701 Robberies
- 580 Aggravated Assaults
- 2 Homicides
- 14 Rapes
- 146 Robberies
- 51 Aggravated Assaults
Each dot on this map represents a murder since 2007 in a 2 mile radius around UCLA:
Each dot on this map represents a murder since 2007 in a 2 mile radius around USC: