Across the street from my art studio in Boyle Height thereâ€™s the nicest bus stop ever. Itâ€™s not a MTA bus stop, because nothing nice is connected to the MTA (at least in the neighborhoods that are not gentrified yet, since Iâ€™m around family here Iâ€™ll just say the neighborhoods that are black and brown, ever notice how PC in the negative way only means, â€œwhy canâ€™t I make fun of the ethnic people, with the â€˜funnyâ€™ names and â€˜funnyâ€™ way of doing things,â€ but if youâ€™re not PC in regards to rich middle-aged white guys youâ€™re accused of being overly sensitive or a reverse racistâ€¦so weird, must be nice to be a middle aged rich white guy.)
The Montebello 40 is rad, not just because it has a clean bus and bus stop (I know the City of LA takes care of bus stops, but if Metro had a bit of pride, they would make a bit of an effort in making sure that property with their name looked decent.) Not just because it actually follows a schedule. Not just because I can get on the Montebello 40, buy a transfer (total $1.15) and end up paying less than I would for a one way fare on the MTA ($1.25,) but because the people on the bus are rad. And they talk to you, not the â€œI donâ€™t have a place to live,â€ mumbling crazy talk, but normal talk.
The bus drivers remember you and not only that, they spot you. I remember once I couldnâ€™t find an ATM and the bus driver said, â€œYou got a pretty funky hat there, so you can get on.â€
That would never happen on the MTA, keep in mind where I pick up the 40 is across the street from I guess from what Iâ€™ve heard from some was one of the most violent and largest projects in America, the Pico Gardens projects, but times have changed. I canâ€™t even tell that it used to be a project. Now itâ€™s a mixed income development and no one comes out of there but nice family with little kids that wave at you, but what Iâ€™m saying this isnâ€™t a wealthy neighborhood. This is a working and middle class neighborhood so itâ€™s not that people wonâ€™t keep things nice if they are not filthy rich itâ€™s just most government agencies donâ€™t make an effort to keep things up if people arenâ€™t filthy rich and writing 5000 letters a week and thatâ€™s a damn shame.
The people in Boyle Heights have a lot of pride in their neighborhood, but they donâ€™t do that hipster bullshit. In Boyle Heights if youâ€™re not an asshole, they are completely cool with you. I havenâ€™t had one, â€œI was here since 1990 and you donâ€™t know blah, blah, blahâ€¦â€ stories, not one. I heard those kind of dumbass stories all of the time in Silver Lake, from people who moved there from Van Nuys (but lied and said they were from Encino, like that was better) five seconds ago.
Iâ€™ve had nothing but love from the people of Boyle Heights.
And itâ€™s not just the drivers or the bus stop, itâ€™s the other passengers when Iâ€™m on my way somewhere and Iâ€™ll see Marie, Veronica, or Shirley from the 40, theyâ€™re always happy to see me. They tell how great of a future Iâ€™m going to have. Itâ€™s like running into old friends, not old friends from high school, because my friends in high school were total bitches.
The Montebello bus line is one of the reasons I love the Eastside.