Los Angeles imposed coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses on March 15, 2020. It was the beginning of a year of loss, upheaval and constant adaptation. Public health rules kept evolving. Relief programs brought help for some but only red tape for others. Supply chains were a mess. There were shoppers who feared even entering stores and customers who crowded newly built patios. Some businesses cut hours, services and staff, or shut down. Many have survived beyond their expectations. Staff photographer Genaro Molina shows us how much Pico Boulevard has changed one year later.
“We are deeply grateful for the support we have received during these unprecedented times & throughout the 10 plus years we have been in business. It is with great sadness that due to the continuing challenges of the pandemic for our industry we have made the difficult decision to close.”
— Statement on website for Westside Tavern
“(The) pandemic has greatly effected our business.”
— Robert Oliver, sign spinner at Liberty Tax Service
“Now it’s worse than last year.”
— Laura Peres at Dana Accesorios in the Garment District
“We are collectively feeling the loss. So I think just collectively mourning and acknowledging it provides a level of healing that is hard to translate into words.”
— Karla Funderburk, whose gallery has received 60,000 from 45 states and nine countries from as far away as Tibet.
“2020 felt like our year. We blew up on social media. The abrupt halt was the hardest part for me,”
— Angela Guison, manager of Rave Wonderland
When the doors of Botanica Luz del Día were closed early on in the pandemic, customers couldn’t browse for their preferred veladoras or stop into the Pico-Union store for tarot readings. The shop went online and sales rebounded. “The website is booming right now,” said Anthony Ponce, grandson of the owner.
“Concerts went to zero. Lessons dropped to 5% of what it was. We’re seeing a lot of repair business from people who are stuck at home and want to play. Consignments are up a lot.”
— Walt McGraw, who has been running the 63-year-old shop with his wife, Nora, since her parents’ retirement.
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