FAVORITE PLACES : UPTOWN WHITTIER

"I come to Uptown because I like to sit out in the sunshine and watch people interact. I work for Family Services counseling agency, so knowing what's going on is real important. You get a cross-section. Everybody wanders through Uptown in the course of the day. People talk to me and it gives me an idea of what they need, especially in relationship to their family. I like the flowers and trees and there are little alcoves that have benches. I go to the book stores and I like to walk through all the little antique shops. Central Park is really pretty--it has an old fashioned look. One of the things I like about Whittier is you almost feel like you've stepped back into a different time--more like the 1940s and '50s. The pace is a lot slower."--KATHRYN SAMPSON, counselor at Family Services, Whittier When Whittier suffered more than $100 million in damages in the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the historic central business and residential district of Uptown was hardest hit. A Citizen's Advisory Committee oversaw development of a Specific Plan that became a vision for rebuilding Uptown. An active business association and adoption of an Earthquake Recovery Redevelopment Project Area became important factors working toward achieving the vision. Seven years later rebuilding continues. Plywood only screens a few empty lots. Pedestrians flock to Uptown in increasing numbers and streets are lively into the evening. For information call (310) 696-2662.

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Favorite Places columnist Jane Spiller welcomes suggestions for places that are publicly accessible and free. Contact her c/o Voices.

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