On my way home up an undisclosed street in Boyle Heights at 11pm on a Monday night, I saw a news van parked in front of a food stand.* The food stand were run by a familiar Breed Street family. Since I had my digital point-and-shoot handy, I stopped and took a few photos (without the flash). I was immediately approached by one of the individuals with the food team and her male sidekick. They asked me in Spanish what I was taking the photos for. I responded in my poor Spanish that the photos were just for me, that I lived in the neighborhood and that I was also a regular customer. They proceeded to explain that they’ve been getting harassed by the cops and that all the Breed Street vendors were kicked out because of all the media hype. Then the news reporter for the [undisclosed] news station approached me and explained that they were there doing the story to publicize the negative repercussions the Councilman’s office has had on the livelihoods of the Breed Street family businesses.
For a moment, I felt like a criminal for carrying a handheld camera. Granted, from where I was standing and my lack of professionalism not having approached anyone for their consent, I did look like a suspicious onlooker with a possible ulterior motive. But I’m just an ordinary girl living in an ordinary world with an affordable digital camera made for the consumer. Why was I looked at as a threat?
Everyone has a camera these days, whether it’s a feature on their phone, a point-and-shoot within arm’s reach of their breast pocket, or an SLR slung around their shoulder. In a time where communication is excitingly instant via the phone and internet, however, it is easy to overlook the flipside of all the hype. People communicating and sharing information with each other on their own volition has become nearly detrimental to the livelihoods of the people we talk about on blogs like this. We’ve become LA Times’ enablers. We’ve even become, I dare say, enablers of gentrification. It’s become quite apparent that anything “underground” is considered “cool” and “hip.” Once it spreads word-of-mouth, we’ll see the information and all its details on a blog somewhere. Then it becomes officially popular and the official news media go after their hot story secretly using the local blogs as their direct source of information. Then it becomes a matter of control. City councilmen suddenly become the faces of everything that’s been going on in their very own community that they didn’t know about before the LA Times article appeared.
Lesson learned: use caution when taking photos.
Solution: Should I just take pictures of landscape and candids at family barbeques to avoid any possible controversy?
Notice anything out of the ordinary here? Well if you ate here, you would know that a few hundred people eating some of the greatest soul food around are missing. Over the last few weeks, the vendors at the street food oasis have been getting raided by the police. Normally, they would disappear for a while only to come back in full force as if nothing ever happened, but something did happen. Things got out of control and the oasis got burned, big time. First it was the L.A. Times a few years ago, as Chimatli tells me, and fellow bloggers putting it on blast and telling everyone to go check it out. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but because this was an under the table operation, there was a need for a level of discretion that helped the vendors make a living and kept the cops at bay. That harmony is now gone and so are the vendors.
Its always the little things. Those seemingly trivial daily indignities take on a whole different layer of importance once its framed within a context. For example, behind bars. The fact that someone would take the time after being let out to make us aware that the razors in county really suck, then you know it must be a unique shaving experience. Yet another reason to hold off on that unscheduled large withdrawal from the bank. Well, for a little while at least. Still, an effective public warning to the pelones.
I noticed that MTA has placed Gold Line train warning and safety signs around the Eastside train route. Many of these signs are in Spanish and seem to address the local lingo seemingly in an attempt to reach as many locals as possible with their message. Here are a few sample signs I’ve seen…
Been reading your site since I moved to the east side last year, it’s just so different and cool here, you know? Pops doesn’t visit, but he’s just too into his cookie cutter suburban life. I love seeing the abuelitas pushing their laundry as I’m having my morning coffee. It’s just so real and authentic.
Checking out the opening of the mta east side extension this weekend with my bros, but I can’t figure out where the the Silver Lake or Echo Park stations are located. Is there like a shuttle or something? Maybe we can add Little Joy to the pub crawl, they have an awesome new mural that’s super sweet. Hook us up with the details, we want to check out the fiesta! Viva la east side!
Okay, so I know I’m kinda late with this post. I mean, we already got a post up about Tropico de Nopal’s Calavera Fashion Show but seriously, what’s a full-time working gal who just came back from two fabulous weeks in Mexico supposed to do? Stay up late to edit photos and try and figure out which artist did which creation? Yeah, I guess so…(sigh).
Anyways, I’m not sure who the target audience for this fashion show is supposed to be. I don’t think it’s me, so I will refrain (or at least try to) from commenting too much on what I saw that night. I mostly went to support friends and to stand for hours in uncomfortable shoes and endure the constant leaning and pushing of a young girl behind me (who I hope was drunk because there was no other good reason for her getting all up in my personal space the way she did) but I digress…On to the fashion show!
By the way, my camera was being totally uncooperative that night. It’s a cheap little thing not well equipped for nighttime photography so pardon the blurriness. Or just consider the fuzzy photos my artistic touch. It won’t be the last time you stretch your notions of artistic good taste in this post!
Who here likes to parrrrtaaaayyyy !?!?!? Too much ? Well I can’t help be excited about the Linia de Oro opening this SUNDAY ! The day is finally here and both Metro and local council-member Jose Huizar are going to be throwing parties at different gold line stops. Did I mention that you can ride the train for free all day Sunday on the eastside line ? Well you can !!!
Yes, I agree with the curator of Rastros y Crónicas , we need gender equality. As one of the artists in this exhibit, I am grateful for the latest addition of the National Museum of Mexican Art to this struggle for justice in Ciudad Juarez, now in its 16th year. However, I am not sure why this is a Mexican woman or Latina matter as portrayed by the curation of this exhibit. Many of the artists who have been diligent with touring protest exhibits (on Juarez) throughout Mexico and here on the west coast are males. I understand the aesthetics of exhibits–but what a powerful statement we make—when we are all united as one to speak out publicly against injustices. We cannot ask the world culture towards women to change, when we (ourselves) are not equal in our actions and everyday practices.
Rastros y Crónicas, Exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago
Opening Reception October 16, 2009, 6-8 pm
Exhibition runs through February 14, 2010
The Rubín and Paula Torres Gallery and The Kraft Gallery
Since 1993, more then 500 women have been killed
in Ciudad Juárez in the northern Mexican state of
Chihuahua. For some time now, Mexican and Mexican
American artists have been sensitive to the subject
of Women of Juarez and have worked on diverse
projects to share their perspective on this disturbing
situation. read more
In the spirit of not giving away all our cool restaurants, spaces and bars in the Eastside I’m challenging you in Blogotitlan to tell me what is the name of this place. The first one to get it right will get a lil something I brought back from Guanajuato.
Ok, here we go.
– It has been around for over 35 years
– It has an eclectic menu that includes: pizza, fish tacos, cheesecake, and lentil soup
– the serve beer too!
– one of their specials is called “The Chicano Special”
– their slogan includes “worth driving for”