The Los Angeles Recordings
Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin

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Koreatown Local


To many people, the mention of Koreatown summons images of karaoke bars, all you can eat BBQ restaurants, and a thriving nightlife. These assumptions are somewhat true but an entirely different neighborhood also exists in the same location.

Despite being geographically small in size, Koreatown has an incredibly diverse residential population. This intersection of cultures is an essential part of the neighborhoods identity, resulting in a unique vernacular aesthetic found nowhere else. Most major streets are a collage of brightly colored shapes and hand painted typography, tightly intertwined in limited, sometimes overlapping spaces.

Koreatown is (and always has been) in a state of perpetual development. While gentrification has run rampant in some parts, others remain essentially untouched. The uneven expansion has created a complex topography that alternates between old, run down structures and pristine, newly constructed developments. In the past, the combination of low rent and easy access to public transportation made living in the area one of the best deals in the city. That is no longer the case as, like the rest of Los Angeles, the cost of living in Koreatown has increased dramatically in recent years.