The Big Move: a new path and a new identity? -graphic courtesy of LA Creek Freak
It was inevitable, some folks just can’t stand to be wrong or admit their mistakes but luckily in our modern and hi-tech world, these things can be fixed. I’m talking about the latest in the Eastside name grab debacle. You remember all those poor confounded souls, new arrivals, Echo Park hipsters and journalists who somehow believed neighborhoods west of the Los Angeles River were part of the Eastside. The Eastside issue is a moot point now, discussion and debate are needless. Thanks to articles in the Los Angeles Times and the numerous posts on this here site, EVERYONE knows where the Eastside begins: East of the Los Angeles River.
However, some folks are not so easily deterred, oh no! Some people will stick by their story, even when they are so very wrong. They’ve told us: “History and geography in Los Angeles are fluid” “Eastside east of the river? Essentialists!” and other cute put-downs created to entertain the post-modern sense of wit so popular with residents of hip neighborhoods. The problem is they know they were wrong but have grown tired of deflecting the truth. So they put their resources together, gathered their connections and called in favors to make things right. That’s how it’s been done in the past – contracts, paperwork, legalese and the proper connections have always made things “right” for the privileged in this country, so why let a little thing like geography stop them? The solution was simple: make the west, east!
According secret documents spirited to LA Eastside headquarters in Lincoln Heights, the Army Corps of Engineers at the behest of city leaders, influential donors and a coalition of stubborn hipsters, is planning to move the path of the Los Angeles River further west so Echo Park, Silver Lake and bits of Hollywood will now be located east of the river. It’s actually an idea that’s been floating around city hall and various chamber of commerces for many years now. You see, many politicians and business people have realized the potential of riverside development. You know, cafes, boutiques, recreation, high-end condos – all their values enhanced by the flowy vista of our mighty (well, for two months out of the year) Los Angeles River. The problem was, no one wanted to make those kinds of investments in our neighborhoods. We weren’t worthy. By moving the river west, their moneyed demographics are already in place. Add to that the desire for the hip residents to be edgy and eastsidery and it’s a win-win situation…for them.
The exact location of the river has yet to be determined but due to various lobbying groups it must go west of the Silver Lake junction and Vermont. Some in the newly gentrified Fairfax district (where I first encountered the poorly named Eastside Shopping Guide) hoped it would make it as far west as their area but unfortunately geologists said it might interfere with ongoing archaeological work at The La Brea Tar Pits (the park named by the bilingual stutterer). You can be assured though, this will happen. The proper connections, influence and money will get you whatever you want in this city – good sense, history and fairness be damned.
We will keep you updated.