Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
Now there's always a rainbow at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica.
The City of West Hollywood – home to one of the country's largest populations of gays and lesbians – is taking its gay pride to the streets. In honor of Gay Pride Month this past June, the city painted rainbow patterns on two crosswalks on one of its busiest intersections. As West Hollywood Patch notes, the rainbow pattern was laid down on two side of the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards in early June and was originally scheduled to be removed at the end of the month. But earlier this week, city councilors voted to make the rainbow painted crosswalks a permanent part of the city.
The original painting cost about $13,000, and upgrading to more permanent paint will cost an additional $67,000. That might seem kind of expensive for painting two rainbows, but local officials argue that they're important expressions of the city's culture (and not bad branding either).
"[The crosswalks] are critical to the tourists and young gay and lesbian people and not-so-young gay and lesbian people who are passing through from Iowa or Montana or Kansas," city council member John Duran told Patch. "They cannot believe that they actually see a municipality where the rainbow colors are on display all year long. It tells them it is a sanctuary. It tells them there is a safe place in America where the LGBT community is celebrated."
Image courtesy Flickr user City of West Hollywood