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Monday, September 26, 2016

At least it’s not New York: Museum director says Eastside rents are still a bargain for artists

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

Rising rents over the years have pushed out many Echo Park and Silver Lake artists, some of whom have migrated north to Cypress Park and Highland Park or east to Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights in search of affordable places to live and work.  But Jeffrey Deitch, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown L.A., says local rents remain a bargain – compared to New York.  In a New York Times story about the Pacific Standard Time festival, Deitch said:

“I drove around Echo Park, Silver Lake, Highland Park, and a lot of this reminds me of New York in the 1970s, where artists lived in real interesting neighborhoods near each other, and the rents aren’t really that high,” said Mr. Deitch, director of the Los Angeles Modern. “Compared to New York City, compared to London, the rents here are affordable. A studio space that in Brooklyn would be $6,000 a month you can get here for $1,000.”

The story said that one of Los Angeles’ most important assets as a global art center is a large population of young artists “drawn here by relatively cheap rents, abundant light and an atmosphere that encourages experimentation.”



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  1. New York in the 70s? Ouch. Buildings being firebombed by the owners to collect fire insurance in the South Bronx, thousands of junkies nodding off in the streets of Harlem and the Bowery, Coney Island boardwalk being smashed to pieces by the homeless for firewood…

    No way. LA has problems, but it seems much nicer than that.

  2. I wish we could export all of the artistic graffiti that Jeffrey Deitch recently celebrated to the neighborhood he lives in…….

  3. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

  4. The day someone quotes Jeffrey Deitch as an authority on LA …. yikes. And all those cliches about the entertainment industry and “abundant light.” That said, it is true: it is a heck of a lot cheaper to live here than in even outlying areas of NYC, and our art communities are partly made possible by that.

  5. “Because of an editing error, an article on Thursday about the Pacific Standard Time art festival, at 130 museums and galleries in Southern California, misstated at one point the name of the Los Angeles museum where Jeffrey Deitch is the director. As the article correctly noted elsewhere, it is the Museum of Contemporary Art, not the “Los Angeles Modern.” (There is no museum by that name.)”

    Lord, where do they find these people?

  6. When you parachute in for a day, it’s easy to confuse cities like LA & London with their Tate Modern.

  7. in regards to B.E.
    “New York in the 70s? Ouch. Buildings being firebombed by the owners to collect fire insurance in the South Bronx, thousands of junkies nodding off in the streets of Harlem and the Bowery, Coney Island boardwalk being smashed to pieces by the homeless for firewood…”
    Many people when looking back at 1970’s New York feel a sense of freedom that warms their hearts.

  8. Annoying. Just because it’s cheaper than New York doesn’t mean that there is a problem with rent rising and families not being able to afford homes. What a stupid statement.

  9. I meant “isn’t”

  10. I liked NYC in the 70s, edgy and gritty. No f n Beemers and Mercedes all over the place.

  11. Ummmm, well I just moved from “overpriced” ny and my cost of living is higher here. 900 rent plus 400 a month for gas, car payments, insurance, not even including all the parking costs. I paid 900 in greenpoint – very artsy – area of brooklyn and 110 a month for transportation. Meals in ny average 13 dollars while in la they average 20. A cup of coffee is the same. Drinks are the same here except beer is 2 dollars more expensive on average. Looks like “driving around” isn’t the best way to figure out how expensive a city is…

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