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1960 to 1980

5th & Main are left behind in the move to redevelop Downtown.


"I ain't able to tell you now how many tears are shed here on the Nickel,
too big fo' know'in." Mr.Bill-E


The Dive into Poverty, Drugs, & Gangs:
The City Gets a Real Reality Check!

c. 1960
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One block off Main & 5th @ a seedy hotel; life is hard and unforgiving.

c. 1965
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"The Nickel @ Main starts to crumble and economically sink.

c 1980
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THE END...then there's the story of what happened next...

Please give all that you can including your time and knowledge.

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CLICK ABOVE

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A BAD MEMORY

"I forget the name of the hotel but I remember it was jus' off Main on 5th ("The Nickel"). The elevators never worked, sh*t, noth'in ever worked, so I had to walk up many flights of stairs to get to my room. I always cooked in my room even tho' it was illegal. We all worried about dyin' in a fire 'cause the hotel would lock the emergency doors. People died there uncared for, just dead in their sh*t and pi*s." - Billy H. Harlan, 1960's skid row resident.

c. 1970
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This once beautiful street is left to the most disadvantaged to wallow in their oppresive poverty.

c. 1973
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Slow, quiet, drift into urban blight.

c. 1973
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The trees on the left are a sad reminder of better days.

c. 1973
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"It was like watching a good friend die a slow death." Jean Williams, 1970's resident.

5th & Main Street

Walkin' the nickel 2am storefront whispers,
Demon hosts from the souls of long lost Businessmen
Captured views glow out in
Spectral wisps of gray
Touch the burning diabetic fingers.

A cough of blue green that rises from my mouth
Spatters the angel Ariel who came to help me over
To the Garden of Eden for a fix.

Mr. Fine Dead ol' Man was jackin' off
To officer Valesco's dog,
Mangy sex ensues,
The taser tears his neck apart,
Black blood spins down a spineless
Corpse.

The dark tidal wave of pleasuring pain
Grabs my body,
I embark slowly upon a slice of ice,
Then stumble into a cold door front
on the Nickel. Word!

DHN

Our Thanks to the following for making this presentation possible

Los Angeles Central Library

Vespa of Downtown
Crewst Gallery, Downtown