This past weekend my friend and I visited The Grove, the large popular outdoor shopping mall located between 3rd Street and Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Grove however is not just your typical shopping mall experience, it instead it feels more like a little town. In addition to shopping, there are a lot more attractions like the trolley or the special holiday festivities. There is even a lot more food options than a typical mall food court.
During my time there, I noticed a specific vibe about the place. There weren’t just your typical shoppers but there were also couples on dates, people watchers, and lots of little kids running around having the time of their life. And not just that, but it was obvious that The Grove was a space designed for the wealthier upper class. I didn’t see the homeless, the poor, the skaters, the punk teenagers, or anything of what I usually see during my adventures traversing around Los Angeles. Although the public is allowed to use this space, it is not a technically a “public space” where anyone from the public can come visit. It is instead a private public space. It is owned and operated by Rick J. Caruso and his company Caruso Affiliated. It is a space policed by private security and thus Mr. Caruso and his company are free to choose who is allowed and not allowed in the area. By privately owning the space and excluding the unwanted, The Grove is able to be the imagined space it was designed to be.