There are two ways to deal with change: standing passively by and complaining about it, or … responding to it.
Responding is positive. Responders fight fires. Responders create ways around problems. Responders are the future.
So today, as we look back at five of the most important trends, events and innovations that affected the way Angelenos live in 2018, that is who we celebrate. From emergency personnel to forward-thinking chefs to the companies who envision a carless future, these people viewed change not as an annoyance, but an opportunity.
May they be an example to us all in 2019.
Forest fires are a sad new normal that we must work together to stop
Not all news was good news. Sadly, forest fires are only going to get worse, and much of the wonderful access to the outdoors we take for granted will continue to be threatened and lost in the coming year. Many of our favorite hikes this year have been impacted by forest fires, such as Mishe Mokwa and Paradise Falls. But scores of Angelenos responded. If you’d like to help them — whether with your time or your money — here are several charities making the greatest contributions to those affected:
- United Way: The best to help lower income folks who were displaced
- California Fire Foundation: They offer short-term loans to those in need
- Los Angeles Fire Department: Donate directly to the brave souls who fight fires
- Direct Relief: They have a strong record of allocating funds to those who need it most
Going without a car isn’t just for the Birds
At the beginning of the year, we went carless in L.A. for a month. We’ve since not only maintained it, but heard from others following suit. The emergence of Bird, Jump, Lime and the like prove that more Angelenos than ever are happy to go without a car for short distances, which will ultimately loosen traffic. Granted, there have been growing pains, like some government interference in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as rules were ironed out. But the addition of more bike lanes is helping drivers, bikers and scooters coexist. In the end, fewer cars means better traffic, better air quality and better health. It also helps drivers grow more accustomed to sharing the road, thereby reducing incidents in which cyclists are hit by cars. That security is important, because believe it or not, our city is home to some incredible biking opportunities.
Brands are doing more to do less
Fast fashion has become a dirty word for millennials and eco-friendly folks, signifying a wasteful way of making and consuming clothes that generates tons of waste. This year, brands both big and small found innovative ways to circumnavigate this trend. Levi’s, family-run since 1873, has a new process of dying and fading denim that takes four hours and saves an incredible amount of resources. Meanwhile, Scott Sternberg, the man behind Band of Outsiders, launched Entireworld, which makes fashionable shirts and casual goods completely from recycled cotton.
Kim Lee Photography
People are eating in more thanks to better delivery options than ever
Opening and operating a restaurant is an incredibly risky endeavor. But this year, restaurants found a major boon in delivery apps. Online orders through apps like Postmates, Caviar and UberEats were up 300 percent. Chef Eric Greenspan responded to this trend with direct-to-diners concepts that he incubates at Cloudkitchens, an auxiliary space for restaurants looking to expand their reach. That such a space exists shows how vital deliveries have become to the hospitality industry, a trend that’ll only grow in the years to come.
L.A. is no longer a one-horse town ... it’s a destination city
This was the year that L.A. solidified its status as a truly metropolitan city, netting the Olympics as the economy boomed. We saw more growth in Silicon Beach, continued development downtown and a profusion of restaurants, wellness companies and fashion brands call L.A. home. New world-class hotels have opened to meet the need for a growing tourist population, many of whom are coming to eat at all of L.A.’s incredible restaurants (paging Michelin: When will you finally add us to your list?). On a sad, related note, we also lost our city’s poet laureate of all things culinary iththe passing of L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold, whom we interviewed last year. He was always a champion of the wonders hiding in plain sight, and his reassuring, positive voice will be missed as the city continues to grow in new and interesting ways.