East is East and West is West

Here is a Silver Lake establishment with a correct sense of direction. It is located at 3224 Sunset Blvd. between Descanso & Micheltorena Avenues. It’s in the heart of Silver Lake AND recognizes full well that this is indeed the WESTSIDE. A long time resident I found in the vicinity informed me that this place has been WESTSIDE MOTORS for at least the 24 years that he has lived here. I can’t argue with that.

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About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

17 thoughts on “East is East and West is West

  1. Chicanos who grew up in Echo Park, Angelino Heights etc. did call their neighborhood the “Westside” to distinguish themselves from Eastside Chicanos who they believed were tougher and cooler. Source: my mother, Belmont High graduate class of ’65 (I think)

  2. Also, let’s not forget that in hip-hop parlance, “Westside” refers to the entire west coast of the United States. So even the Eastside would be part of the “Westside.” And “Westside Rentals” also covers properties in places like…Boyle Heights, El Sereno and the like.

  3. rolo,
    Existe esta lucha porque muchos han querido exproriar el nombre “Eastside” para su gusto, sin importarle la historia que viene con el nombre. Cuando uno habla del hip-hop, es por diferencias cultura y orgullo que tienen para su punto de origen.

  4. but why do you guys get so offended and offensive when people from silver lake call silver lake the east side? if anything you should be happy that other places want to be like the real east LA. no?

  5. because nearly all the people who call silverlake the “eastside” don’t include the real eastside of bh and east la into their “eastside”. when people on the real eastside say that lincoln heights in the northeast, or montebello in the suburbs are also the eastside, they mean that it has a connection to boyle heights and east la.

  6. I understand what you are saying, i just dont get why people “spend” their time “luchando” for this. I live in hawthorne which is consider the s. bay, if i hear people from inglewood calling inglewood the s. bay, i’ll probably laugh but thats about it. i dont think that i would dedicate posts to this fight over whats what. by the way, hawthorne is no better than inglewood. Ohh, and dont get me wrong, i love the east side way better than silverlake and the hipsters.

  7. Inglewood is the South Bay. It was considered the South Bay up until black people and now Latinos lived there.

    The reason people are offended is because the Eastside was called the Eastside, because that was code back in the day for Latino and South Central was called South Central, because that was code for black. It is offensive because now that people think it’s cool they want to take the name, but yet take the credit away and acknowledgment of the people who made the Eastside and awesome place.

    It’s also disrespectful for another reason. Eastside means to people who are from the coast and the West LA area, “gritty” and “real” and “urban,” it’s like this cartoonish like stereotype it’s this I’m going to play slumming artist, but you know the people who live there don’t live in a slum. They live in a neighborhood. A neighborhood that is just as great and community oriented as the neighborhoods on the westside.

    When I did my brief stint on the Eastside (I will be back this summer) in Boyle Heights it was a super sweet neighborhood, but the building I lived and worked in was filled with people from the westside and from out of state. The building was industrial and the upper middle class slummers would paint graffiti and do drugs and go out of their way to make it look shitty for “effect,” but they wouldn’t do their laundry their.

    “I can’t walk out there, it’s scary,” new resident of the Eastside.

    The ladies who I stood on the bus with, the Montebello 40 started asking me questions, they said they were so happy someone had bought the building, but when way they going to fix it and make it nice. It was a really an eye opening conversation of the disrespect some outsiders have for places they don’t understand.

    And I think it’s that kind of disrespect that makes this Eastside/ Westside thing irritating to the people who have been on the Eastside for generations.

    An interesting story, because as I am not a LA native I didn’t realized that Compton was the Westside. I said something about it’s location and an older African-American woman was like, “Compton is the Westside, what are you talking about.”

    Oops, so we all make mistakes, but just realize that hey while it might not matter to you, it may matter alot to someone else and if you don’t care and the other person does well why not make an effort.

  8. Like Browne says, to some of us it does matter and it’s more than just a word, it’s a fight to preserve a sense of place rather than allow the Eastside to once again be dismissed as irrelevant. And even though some are trying to make it seem that Silver Lake and Echo Park are just the same as Boyle Heights and East LA, the reality is that they are worlds apart. Basically, what it boils down to, is that those with history and long traditions on the Eastside of Los Angeles have no say on the rest of the city, have no presence, and might as well be invisible. The annexation of the term to define our geography is yet another way to dismiss this side of town. I certainly don’t care where the Westside begins or ends, but that gets coverage in blogs, newspapers, and magazines. Maybe it’s not a big deal to some people and I could just throw up my hands and say “oh well” but when you grow up in Los Angeles, constantly aware that nobody cares about you, your people, or where the fuck you live, these small battles against the delegitimization of our neighborhoods are worth the extra effort. Maybe I’ll get a San Diegan calling me an “essentialist” but that’s okay. They’ll all get their comeuppance.

  9. Rolo,
    My link was supposed to lead here. While I think it’s fine for smaller barrios to call themselves something within the larger neighborhood, it is not acceptable to disregard a community’s history by taking their name and calling another neighborhood by the expropriated name.

    Perfect example: “A Westside Motors on the Eastside. LA Eastside” when the blog post is clearly about Silver Lake, which is NOT in the Eastside.

  10. ok pues, ya me callo. thanks for clarifying this west side east side thing. now, off to la favorita to get some of those delicious conchitas. 4 for a $1, cant beat that with this economy =)

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