Breed Street Shul Update

A tip of the hat to Upstream, Downstream for pointing out this link regarding the repair progress at the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. One good idea mentioned:

“The youth need to be taught about the historical value of Boyle Heights,” said Yolanda Hernandez, 73, who was born in the area. She thinks the building could function as a kind of historical library for the neighborhood.

Actually, that sounds like a great idea. Imagine that, history meaning something to people. The newcomers to Los Angeles keep trying to act like our history across the river doesn’t matter, you know, because of some vague point of reference “fluidity”. But we know better.

Click here to read the article from Jewish Journal

Valentine’s Day Cards by Rio

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know Valentine’s Day sucks. We don’t need to designate a day to show love, it’s commercialized, there’s too much pressure for couples, etc.

Despite these reasons, I still enjoy February 14th. I like silliness, candy and any excuse to wear red. I also like that Valentine’s Day inspires artists to find creative ways to show love and appreciation for significant others, friends and family.

I also like handing out Rio Yañez’s cards. For the last few years he’s made a set of 6 or 7 one-sided Valentine’s cards similar to those you handed out in elementary school. His new cards feature LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Morrissey, Selena, Ugly Betty, and the Iraqi shoe thrower journalist. Oh, I can’t forget Frida. He makes a Frida card each year.

Rio writes, “as always, please post these cards on the pages of your friends, enemies, shorties, sanchos, and booty calls. To see an archive of cards from years past CLICK HERE.

South Central Farms comes to Northeast LA

Apologies for the poor quality of the flyer. I carried it around folded in my bag before I actually read it.

I was pleased to discover this flyer at Figueroa Produce this past week. It’s an idea other independent grocers would do well to emulate: team up with local growers and farmers to deliver low cost produce to urban areas. I know we already have farmers markets but I think this idea might be easier to implement on a smaller scale.
I’ll try a box next week and get back to you with the results.
For more info: South Central Farmers Cooperative

Don Bartolo el Sobador

Don Bartolo

Grandpa didn’t post flyers on a telephone pole, hand out business cards or place an ad in the yellow pages. He relied on simple word of mouth. It worked.

The strangers always arrived with their families to Grandpa and Grandma’s house on Hicks just north of la Brooklyn. Sometimes, it was easy to tell which person (or people) was the reason for the visit. Other times it wasn’t so clear.

They’d amble up the driveway and interrupt a frenzied game of freeze tag amongst cousins.

“Buscamos a Don Bartolo. Está ocupado?”
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I can’t breathe!!! The Inconvenient Truth of the trash problem in the inner city.

I have recently spent about a month working for a client in Compton. And as this month has progressed it has become more and more difficult for me to breathe during the week days.

It disappears when I get home.

After a three day weekend taking a break and coming back home this evening and feeling horrible I decided to do some research in regards to the pollution around Compton. Continue reading

Dogtown to the Poodle set?

From the Downtown News

A River Runs Through Him

First District Councilman Ed Reyes is seeking a third and final term to make progress on projects such as revitalizing the Los Angeles River.
For First District Councilman Ed Reyes, Almost Everything Revolves Around Reclaiming the Waterway
by Ryan Vaillancourt

“The cornerstone of this would-be transformation is a 67-year-old, 415-unit housing project, the William Mead Homes. In the heart of the North Central neighborhood, the site represents for Reyes decades of neglect, stagnation and gang culture. In its place, he envisions a denser, mixed-income community that would combine hundreds of new, market-rate apartments with the affordable component already there.

“If I can maintain one-to-one affordable that you see there, and triple the density, I can bring in a middle and upper-middle class range of units that complements a facility that decentralizes the economic ghetto that you find there,” he said. “It’s been there for decades and all it’s done is create generation after generation of gang culture. We need to essentially decentralize, disband and disarm the culture that breeds on violence and drug dealing.”

There are two city planners focusing on the possible project at the William Mead Homes site, and Reyes has so far conducted three meetings with tenants, he said.”


Of course Reyes is speaking of the projects known as “Dogtown”, which has housed many people, for many years, who are not now and never have been gang members.
But it seems that the buzzword “gang “ is code for eminent destruction of a neighborhood of poor and working class people, and the smacking sound of developers and politicians licking their collective lips in anticipation of, as Reyes describes, “higher density, middle and upper-middle class range of units” can be heard at various high end dining and wining spots where the deals are arranged.
Who does Reyes represent after all? The poor and mostly working class constituents of his district 1 or developers and the upper middle class future residents of his higher density nirvana?
Reyes who will be termed out if he is elected this time is suddenly very busy with multi developments, for the good of his constituents of course.

And again we all get to hear that infamous and bogus term “affordable housing”, oh yeah!

A Random Boyle Heights Morning

My vulgar Jay & Silent Bob ringtone wakes me up early this morning to the sounds of, “fuck, fuck, fuck. Mother fuck, motha fuck…” I grab and reach for my phone blindly as the bandana I wear to sleep blocks 
out not only annoying light, but what seems to be another beautiful day I’m greatful to see again. “Gracias a dios” is the message I wrote to myself, but after a while it began to lose it’s meaning and purpose. 
I rub out the nights sleep from my eyes and like a five year opening presents on Christmas, I check my email to see what the day may bring. Nothing outta the ordinary today. More spam about wearing the right bra size and buying a house.
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Núñez’s back, tell a friend

Less than three months after being termed out of his Assembly seat, former Speaker Fabián Núñez has filed paperwork to run for office in 2010, if not sooner.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Núñez filed paperwork to return to Sacramento as a state Senator, running to replace current state Senator Gil Cedillo, who intends to run for Hilda Solis’ Congressional seat once she is confirmed as Secretary of Labor.

Who knows if he will actually run for office or if this just an action to store his reported $5 million war chest. I hope not to see him in office.

Photo taken from cindylu’s Flickr page.

“You know what they say about them ELAC boys”

To the dismay of all my female friends, I got a tremendous ego boost on Saturday at Self Help Graphics for a cool $45. Yes I was sold and bought by one of the beautiful Esparza daughters, I won’t say which one, but none the less she got herself one hell of a date. Pachuco 3000 did one hell of a job mc’ing this little shindig and had the crowd rolling. Not to mention he also made the bachelors seem like casanovas. While the highest bid went to Abel Salas, $50, I think I did pretty well for myself considering the rain kept some of the ladies at home. Although I did see a few cute one’s there that I wouldn’t mind sharing a limo ride with, if you know what I mean ;-). All in all the auction was a lot of fun both for me, the bachelors and everyone there. I was nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but once I got up on that stage I felt like a million bucks. I made up a poem on the spot about how my X said i love you and all I felt was hunger haha. AlDesmadre stepped up and sponsored the dinner, which will come with a bottle of whine at LUMINARIAS RESTAURANT.  To all the beautiful muchachas, you seriously missed out on a once in a life time opportunity, but don’t worry I’m still free. Don’t hesitate to email me or contact me. I’m not looking for a Mrs. Random Hero, just someone who can keep up with me 😉 

Action Against Loft Auction

Browne of The Bus Bench (and LA Eastside contributor) took to the streets to interject some political theatre into the auction of some pricey downtown lofts. With a sign that reads “Will Work For Loft” and  “Brother, Can Ya $pare A Loft?” handouts with information on the homeless, it’s the kind of necessary action I wish would be much more common nowadays. Channel 7 news covered the auction because they thought the use of the internet for auctions was interesting. Really.

Head over to Browne’s post for her write up of the event.


Today I pulled into this Gas Station I go to near ELA College on Atlantic Ave. & Chavez. (on the intersection where I can find some fave food joints I’ve frequented in the past, The Old Van De Kamps Cafe, The Hat, Hawaii Island BBQ, there’s even a Boston Market down the street that I like sometimes.) Normally, I just pay at the pump at this gas station and drive away, but today was different. The card swipe machine wasn’t working and I was obliged to see the cashier inside. So I walk in and…..Holy Egg Rolls!!! Continue reading

Purgatory Pizza in Boyle Heights

Large cheese and mushroom pizza $14.50

The other day I was talking to my buddies from the Bus Bench and the subject of pizza came up. They seemed like connoisseurs on the subject, so I asked what their favorite pizza was and they both said “Purgatory Pizza!” I’d never heard of it. I imagined it would be in a neighborhood I probably don’t visit much and catering to New Yorkers or something but they said the place was in Boyle Heights.
Boyle Heights???
“On First St. near Mariachi Plaza.” Hmmm, it’s not that I didn’t believe them or anything but I had to see for myself. I drive through that area quite often (Boyle Ave between Cesar Chavez and Whittier is one of my favorite streets in Los Angeles) so on my next trip I found the pizza place – right in the heart of Aliso-Pico!

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