You have gone through heavy facelifts since I’ve met you those many years ago when I left my home in 1993. I remember spending my weekends on Broadway blvd. with my parents walking up and down the street stopping at each swap meet you once had, where I discovered my short-lived fascination for magic tricks from a magic shop that has now been replaced by an organic, farm-to-table something. One day those many years ago, my Dad bought a stereo off a guy on the street and when we got home to open the box, were met with a cinder block instead of the high-end stereo he purchased. On my seventh birthday my Mom took me to the Chuck E. Cheese knock-off you had on 3rdSt., it’s now a cell phone store and it breaks my heart every time I see it now.

I protested the changes you started going through in 2005 and against my best judgment, I moved in a beautiful building with my then ex-wife in 2007, though your parking sucked ass. I had my car broken into twice while parked on your streets, even got my car towed once and was billed $90 per hour for it.

I celebrated my 21st birthday with you and married my then girlfriend with you by my side. In recent years I’ve managed businesses along your dingy streets, waited for the bus late into the night, watched people eat fancy dinners while I walked hungry in the rain, got a $350 jaywalking ticket, walked through streets filled with urine and poop and sadly, grew a sour, loathing taste for you. But now that I live around you, I’m beginning to see why I fell in love with you those many years ago when I moved from Oaxaca and called you my new home. Unfortunately, I can longer afford what you ask for rent, but I much rather see you from a distance where I live now; and I have to say you’re looking as beautiful as ever. I never thought I could miss anything as dearly as much as you, but I believe I’m going miss you when I move back to Mexico in a few years, though I’ll never forget what you provided for me while I lived with you.

Downtown L.A., how I wish you were a real person even for a single second, just to tell you how much, I love you.