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Show HN: I built a minimal website for Los Angeles
84 points by polalavik 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 51 comments
I built https://veryla.io - a minimal website for Los Angeles.

After growing tired of the chaotic, fast paced, attention-economy focused state of the web, I decided to build something simple and quiet. A site with no "real" database (just a json file I update by hand), no email signups, no ads, no pop ups, no data collection (besides google analytics), and no comment section filled with highly polarized politics. A site updated only 1-2 times per week.

It's just unique information in a simple and accessible format. The goal is for people to not check veryLA every day. I don't want people hitting refresh for emotionally charged SEO packed news to react to. My goal is for people to check out veryLA 1-2 per week and then go into the real world and have fun with the information they found.

Hope you enjoy if you live in Los Angeles or are planning to visit!

You've included all of fontawesome 4.7 (font and css) for a single icon.

Also there is a lot of JS on what could be a static page with some css.

The vertical layout of the categories is weird it would be better if they were at the top like HN.

The categories are weird like "Stores/TODO" and "Rent".

There is hardly any content here literally 16 links.

Thanks for the feedback I’ll look into fixing some of that!

As for “hardly any content” - it updates weekly and I forgot to include that info. It’s not meant to be an endless sea of content. It takes time to find more unique stuff than the average run-of-the-mill city website, which typically find the newest most expensive restaurants and writes 1000 useless words about it.

I see you have an archived list of everything. Surely it would be better to group by week and let user scroll through previous weeks?

Also do things like restaurants and stores update weekly in LA ?

Yes, every category is completely refreshed on Sunday sometimes links are "peppered" in throughout the week as I find events and stuff happening in LA. Thanks for the feedback on the archive.

Nice project! You should add it to the 1m.club & 512KB.club lists of small websites!



~$3000/month for a view of picket fence and ... a 10' wide strip of grass next to your driveway.

You know I love you, LA, but there were reasons we just couldn't make it work.

This is awesome, congrats! I'd love for something like this to exist for where I live.

The emoji take away from the design of the page. They're visual noise/clutter.

All uppercase is kinda unreadable to me, cool idea though.

I like it, I think it could use a night mode.

You can also check your site with Web Sustainability tools like: https://globemallow.io/ or https://ecograder.com//

Just speaking on the content here , this is awesome and something I'll check regularly.

thanks! there is a rss feed for the home page https://veryla.io/feed and one for the blog https://veryla.io/stories/feed if you use rss to keep track of stuff

Is there a reason a Markdown file, Notion generated page or Google Docs/Sheets would not have sufficed?

"minimal website" and the behemoth SPA that is "Google Docs/Sheets" are not exactly the same.

Just about everything on the home page being in all caps makes for a difficult reading experience.

This is awesome. How are you planning to update this? Any plans to allow user submissions/UGC?

It updates weekly :). I accidentally took a line out at the top that said "updated weekly".

Isn’t the JSON file essentially a database at that point?

Yes, you're right.

He could have used getpantry.cloud (or similar)

> no data collection (besides google analytics)

No offense but this made me chuckle. „No data collection except a hook for the largest data collection machine on earth“

What's does Google Analytics even bring to the table for projects like this?

I've asked that question quite a few times as well, and for most of the people I've had this conversation with, GA simply IS how you get metrics and insights, whether you're interested in anything advanced or just the number of pageviews, GA is how you get that in the same way as a hammer is how you get that nail into the wall. Plus it's well-known and relatively easy to troubleshoot (since there is a youtube video for pretty much any edge case), all the tech people know GA so chances are you won't have to troubleshoot much. There's also the ecosystem of tools and third-party products that tie into GA or GA BigQuery exports, that's also very important for some people as you can build some pretty impressive yet scary rube goldberg machinery out of GA and a bunch of these.

Your comment sounds like an ad.

I think what OP meant is 'why would one want to collect user data on a page that is a collection of 10 links?'. Just add a pageview counter if you really want some numbers.

And for most people, "add GA" is how you add a pageview counter.

Also, I'm not a software/web dev by day (perhaps, obviously). But is it not the case that google analytics tag is also needed for google url inspector?

I could be remembering wrong, but I thought it needed to be there to use google url inspector.

(This comment was sponsored by Google)

Everybody uses it, so there must be a reason it is needed /s

It's easy and people are lazy.

Yeah I've harkened back to the good old days of webalizer, it's not that difficult to get a view of your demographics unless you want insanely detailed tracking crap or SEO details which are also crap and not needed unless you're a psychotic number cruncher (middle manager)

It's not longer very easy for small biz, but it's free so...

Mostly vanity, for most people. Essentially it's a grotesquely mutated website counter. "17348 people have seen the site I made".

Haha, yes, also made me laugh.

If you want to collect data, there are privacy-friendly alternatives.

Agreed. I really like CloudFlare’s built-in serverside analytics.

Fathom takes privacy pretty seriously - they're still somewhat early stage in terms of functionality, but a great place to start.

There is a ton of projects like this, all open source and free to selfhost: Plausible, Matomo, Offen, Posthog, Goatcounter, Umami. Or the built in analytics of the static site host like vercel/cloudflare

One interesting option to look for is https://volument.com — which focuses on insights

I can recommend Plausible.

goaccess is also quite nice. It just reads the web server log for nginx or Apache and gives you a nice dashboard from that.

* "no data collection", but google-analytics facepalm

* based on vue.js -> page does not work w/o javascript ... hmmm

this is not my understanding of "a minimal website"


>>> this is not my understanding of "a minimal website"

Agreed. I recommend hack.css instead ;)


If you don't have JS enabled it just displays a blank page.

Furthermore, once JS is enabled, I'm left wondering, "Why is JS needed at all?" Is there something happening on the page that requires JS that I'm simply unaware of? /gen It sincerely appears that HTML+CSS alone could support everything on the page.

It probably would. I'm not a webdev by day, but personally I find including javascript makes it much more simple for me than updating a bunch of <a> tags. All I have to do is build out the json file and it just populates all the info.

In the end, the amount of work is probably equivalent (updating html vs json), but html feels a little messier to me and less flexible if I have more dynamic needs in the future.

But I appreciate the feedback, I'll definitely think it over.


a lot of complex projects aren’t all that useful or exciting. this looks useful (it also looks pretty good).

Honestly it doesn't seem particularly useful. Links to two restaurants. A couple bars. LA is huge, these could be hours away from each other, and if you live in the middle? Oh well.

I'm not saying it has to be comprehensive but listing 2 restaurants and 2 bars in a metro area of 19 million people is kind of silly.

This site feels highly curated to me and that is a thousand times more thoughtful than most cookie cutter blogs out there. I’m from Los Angeles and I think the idea is to present a little slice of it a time in a thematic way.

Thanks! thats exactly the goal. Find unique things and share them slowly.

Not sure if you live here but I have for about 10 years and I highly appreciate this. I looked through the archives and the few things I was familiar with are the type of things that I only really hear about through word of mouth from very cool people, so I appreciate having that type of stuff curated in one place

It updates weekly :) I forgot to include that info.

Hey, this looks really cool. Nice work

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