These two pics were taken on La Brea a block apart from each other. The first is covered with trash and an overgrown tree. There are no store fronts on this block. The entire block was consumed by an auto dealership that is done abandoned. So with no one going anywhere near it why not use it as a trash heap? Why bother trimming a tree? As obtrusive as the tree is to passing foot traffic, It is arguably the nicest looking thing on the block. Why should anything look nice here? The whole point of the business is to sell people a car to get out of this place!
The second pic is taken a block further south. There are multiple storefronts right at the sidewalk. It is clean and inviting. Because these businesses CARE about the environment they exist in. They depend on foot traffic so they cater to it. (Even bicycle traffic!)
These differences–mixed use, storefronts built to the sidewalk, catering to traffic beyond auto–are the things that make business and life and our community live on. The dead block is dead for a reason.