Welcome to El Sereno

Even more unknown to Westsiders than my hometown of Lincoln Heights, is my current neighborhood of El Sereno. I’m sure many have driven through it at 40+mph since it’s cut in half by the grand highway of Huntington Drive. Waiting for the 78 in the morning I can attest to how much traffic this neighborhood gets.

Yesterday after having picked up my bicycle from Gabe’s Bicycles for a much needed tune-up I saw this new monument to El Sereno, complete with green rolling hills. On its left it denotes the fact that El Sereno sits right on what was Historic Route 66; on its left it also shows that it also is on what was El Camino Real.

The new *Cool* for Eastside kids?

Yes, I ride a track bike. I have for 3 years now. I’d rather have a nice ten-speed these days but I don’t have the money for that kind of purchase right now.

But interestingly enough I have noticed a surge in “fixed-gear” bicycles (and bicycles in general) in the Eastside in general; and being that I live in El Sereno & work in Lincoln Heights, my perceptions arise from these neighborhoods. I have been a bicycle-commuter (& bus commuter) to get to work & school pretty steadily for almost 5 years now. As a young kid I used to get around by bicycle & bus too, but typcial of Los Angeles kids, I started driving as soon as could! Once I grew tired of driving and became aware of the social, environmental, health repurcussions due to car culture I sought to abandon it (though I am no anti-car evangelical!).

At work (a local high scool), I would often be asked why I did not drive a car; most students would see me walk onto the campus with my bicycle. I would say the usual environmental, social, political, and economic reasons: still most 16 years old are baffled when an adult doesn’t drive. I get the same response when I tell them I don’t have a TV at home. For them a car is equated with freedom of movement: anyone that has driven in Los Angeles for a few years knows that this myth slowly erodes…

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Radio Sombra presenta…

Broadcasting out of somewhere East LA comes Radio Sombra.  Their site says:

“From the shadows comes the light!”

An independent community internet radio station that will bring a new voice to the communities in East Los Angeles.

Programming will be open and accessible to the community.
From community organizations to political artists like Zack de La Rocha, Radio Sombra will keep it real on the dial.

As a way to fund the project, Radio Sombra will  be presenting Film Nights on varied topics at Centro de Comunicación Comunitaria.

This Thursday brings :

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Come on down

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A march on March 4th

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The following is what I felt; what I saw. I lay no claim to objectivity: this is going to be heavy-handed. I am a student at CSULA. Been so for almost a decade. I have seen first hand the corrosion of the quality of resources, services, and education. I took no part in the organization of anything for March 4th. I was merely a participant at the march, as well as doing some acts of solidarity with the NO-CUTS COALITION at CSULA previous to the march. My lack of engagement was probably due to my tendency to not want to be an activist and also my perpetual business. As a student/worker, one is in a place that is extremely vulnerable: when one is not working, one is studying; and when one is not doing either of those, one is busy trying to get-by. This is a perfect place for the State and Global Capitalism to have us in: a place in limbo. The report continues after the jump…
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A Clash! (or If You Think You’re A Chicano You Are One)

chicanismo

The arbitrary guidelines be damned! If you think you’re a chican@ then you are one! Since not everyone these days wants to be one then can we say that Chicanismo (for lack of a better term) is a choice! Not a death sentence! At one point it was a choice, a banner to waved (or now a T-Shirt to wear). But now if you fall somewhere on the dead Left, then the assumption is that you are a Chicano through-and-through. One must wade through many proto-typical Chican@s to find someone that is playful with the term.
[Oh to be playful again! To understand that all is play, and that the work part is something that happens in your mind not reality.]
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sunburst

Hills of NorthEast LA,

Burgeoning now with verdant colors,

Pot-marked by teetering homes,

The feral are yet left in you.

Where I chased centipedes,

And fled youthful folly.

Meeting the sky in defiance,

Pushing the hawks into infinity.

The Other amongst the others.

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Something that I’ve always been intrigued and interested by is how people of color come to, in a way, escape their perceived cultural outposts. For non-POC folks being “strange & different” is seen as plain eccentricity while doing the same while being a POC is seen as pure deviance. We are maligned by both the “dominant” culture and our “traditional” culture. As  noted in such films such as AfroPunk, we exist somewhere neither here nor there (but maybe everywhere?)

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