A quick glimpse into Swapmeet Culture circa last month, 2009. Click on the picture for a better view of the iconography that hold a special place in many peoples hearts, but certainly not in this cold, cold one.
Chavo was so pressed for time that I didn’t even run into him after I got to the fiesta. I ran into everyone else and their mom, but not C. He’s sneaky like that. But yes I was able to get into the shul and get the quick 15 minute tour everyone was waiting for in the baking sun. I quickly sign a waiver and headed inside wanting to see the inside of the building I have live around and seen, from the outside all my life here in East Los.
Once upon a time, during the late 50’s to the 60’s, weekend nights at Eastside gyms, halls, and youth centers were taken over by dances featuring a young breed of musicians who got on stage and beat out the rhythms of Soul, Blues and Rock & Roll to frenzied crowds of teens making the scene.
That era and that music that became known as “The Eastside Sound” is woven into the historical and cultural fabric of Eastsiders. It has an identity, and a flavor that comes through in a rich shade of brown better heard while cruising in a Ranfla, or by spinning some scratchy 45s and dancing with your Háina.
There have been recent noteworthy chronicles about this Eastside musical heritage such as the book “Land of a Thousand Dances” and the recent video documentary “Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles”. Nevertheless, I have always felt that the Eastside scene was worthy and deserving of something much more in depth. There were overlooked people, places and details that I wanted to help discover, chronicle and preserve for posterity. And, since it doesn’t look like Ken Burns will be undertaking that project anytime soon, I decided to take some steps in that direction all on my own.
I sought someone from that era who could tell me more about it from a front lines, first-hand perspective. “Who could paint a mental picture for me of what those times were like?” I asked myself. Then, I came in contact with Mr. Mark Guerrero.
Is it tomorrow yet? Yeah, I was hoping to post these earlier pero que se le va hacer, I’m not racing against some clock. We try to get posts up here regularly but you know, people gotta do stuff. Besides, even if its a week late, where else would you find these fine videos (and a few pics) from East of the river? I thought so.
Click ahead to see que paso!
Botanitas is an ongoing feature bringing you stories and news from various sources, upcoming events and other bits of ephemera that might be of interest to LA Eastside readers. Suggestions welcome!
Click for more on historic buildings being turned into drive-through-warehouses-for-gluts-of-imported-merchandise, Reel Rasquache moving pictures with sound, Shalom at the Eastside Shul, fruity exchanges and other events and happenings around the Eastside and beyond!
On my daily ride from CSULA to home in Lincoln Heights I came across this sight. I’m sure you can’t tell from the photo of what used to be there, but I remember:
They pulled the plug on “Pops” the other day at Huntington Memorial Hospital.
He was brain dead and his family members called the last shot for Pops, that’s the way he would have wanted it. According to the other winito’s Pops was dragging his leg and arm around totally limp for three weeks, his mouth was twisting at the corner and his headaches were increasing in intensity. The winito’s said that even though they were begging Pops too go to the hospital he wouldn’t budge and finally went into convulsions and someone called 911.
Pops was one of the local neighborhood winitos, they usually consist of between half a dozen and a dozen alcoholics depending on who is busted or in detox or has gotten religion. Pops was the undisputed “mero chingon”of the local bottle gang, a well-liked, well-spoken, very respectable gentleman callejero, who everybody in the neighborhood (except the LAPD) was fond of.
Thanks to the help of Volunteers of East Los Angeles, Wenceslao Quiroz and members from the community got permission and some funding to paint a beautiful mural on the side of Belvedere Middle school. The majority of the mural was painted on a Saturday a few weeks ago, which I knew about, but was unable to attend because I was at work. Quiroz said that they had a great turn out and residents are loving the art. Quiroz, who is an East L.A. native said that he loved the energy people brought and the enthusiasm for wanting to get their hands dirty and paint, specially kids coming to help out after school.
This post is copied from the official press release made at www.selfhelgraphics.com today. An open house is taking place on May 30 at 1pm. Please drop by and meet Evonne. –Victoria
Evonne Gallardo Tapped to Lead Nationally Recognized Arts Non-Profit into its 39th Year
Los Angeles, May 13, 2009 – Self Help Graphics & Art is proud to announce that it has hired Evonne Gallardo as the iconic organization’s executive director. Gallardo was chosen after an extensive, national search for her deep fundraising experience, understanding of Chicano and Latino art and vision for the organization.
“We are thrilled about the future with Evonne at the helm,” said Stephen Saiz, president of the Self Help Graphics & Arts board of directors. “She has the experience, knowledge and energy to help advance the organization as the leader in nurturing and promoting Chicano art in the United States. Continue reading
Alright folks, eleventh-hour call to action here…
If we’re serious about doing something to save Golden Gate Theater—the only remaining movie palace in East LA—we need to drop whatever “urgent” matter we’re dealing with now (like updating our Facebook statuses or, even more mundane, working), and figure out which of the following two actions we’re going to take between today and tomorrow.
A) Plan on attending the hearing tomorrow (May 13, 9am) and expressing your reasons before the LA County Regional Planning Commission for opposing the destruction of this invaluable cultural jewel.
OR, if nothing else…
B) Write and submit by 6pm TODAY your comments on this matter. You can send your remarks to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully, you’ll decide to attend the hearing. Below is the address. It’s the first item on the agenda, so be on time!
Health Services Auditorium
313 N Figueroa (corner street: Temple), Los Angeles 90012
Points to remember…
* The 1927 Churriguerresque-style theater is one of LA’s most significant movie palaces and the only one remaining in the future city of East LA…
* Even if Latino and working class, doesn’t East LA deserve the enjoyment of historic and cultural preservation as much as some Westside neighborhood? The restoration of a beautiful old theater in the community could potentially house emerging cultural/arts organizations on the Eastside and serve as the anchor for an East LA arts district on Whittier Blvd. Why squander this opportunity??
* If we don’t save the Golden Gate Theater now, the real estate development firm that holds title to it, the Charles Co., will gut the building in order to lease it to CVS Pharmacy—hardly a friend of the community (read all about CVS and their crimes at www.curecvsnow.org…
Came out of Soul Slam LA at the Echoplex a couple of weeks ago and saw the Ghost Bike for Jesus Castillo.