Could Los Angeles be turning into Paris? Here's a transit post wondering that very thing:
The Paris that tourists know is compact city built mostly at a rather consistent 4-6 stories, with few high-rises; instead, as noted, the high-rise employment is in transit-oriented clusters on the edge of this area. Large expanses of Los Angeles are approaching similar density, and as in Paris, major high-rise employment+retail is grouped in several large clusters, not just "downtown LA" but also Glendale, Century City, Westwood/UCLA, etc. Paris is still denser than Los Angeles, and its high-rise centers are more transit-oriented, but the difference is not nearly as great as these cities' reputations would suggest. What's more, Los Angeles is still growing more internal density, while most of inner Paris is considered built-out. Los Angeles thus has many options to become even more like Paris if it chooses.Of course, our waiters are annoying because they're too friendly.
This is one of the reasons I think building the subway down Wilshire will be a revolutionary act. It will begin the process of parts of LA seeing itself as a whole; which, of course, we're famous for not doing.
A good discussion of this at Streetsblog LA.