Through the Eyes of Babes

I work in the behavioral field as my paying gig, because we all know writing is a bit unstable. I had to go see one of my clients in the school setting.

I happened upon a game of cops and robbers. It was a game of nine (cops) kids chasing one (robber) kid. In this game they took to yelling, “Put your hands up!! Spread ’em!!! Put your hands up!!!” and the robber running. The game ended with the cops yelling at the kid and beating him and stomping on him.

In the middle of the stomping I asked, “Is this what you think the police act like?” And they said, “Yeah.”
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Evergreen Cemetery jogging path ~ Boyle Heights

For the last three years, I have been walking and sometimes jogging around Evergreen Cemetery with my Harley by my side. In fact, the only reason I even started the 1.5 mile walk around the cemetery was to get Harley some exercise because a tired dog, is a happy dog. So for those of you too lazy to actually go and walk around the cemetery, this is your lucky day. Strap on your running shoes and follow the black labrador down the jogging path…

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Brooklyn & Boyle issue 3 out now

It’s available at local stores all over the Eastside, ECHO PARK and SILVER LAKE. I was trying to post them up, but those damn pdf files take forever to load, so yeah. We’re going to be at the Gallo Bakery celebration passing out copies and stuffing our faces with 10 cent conchitas. Stop by and say hi and who knows, you may get a special surprise. (Special surprise not guaranteed.) 

Institutional Neglect precludes Social Dysfunction

Un viejito walking around boyle Heights with his clean up cart, one of many…

This whole gentrification issue got me thinking.  Commentor ubrayj noted his efforts to keep his Lincoln Heights neighborhood clean, and that should be commended.  That got me thinking about the million “mexicans leave diapers in the streets” comments I have heard and read from various folks (not that Ub-homeboy was saying that, but the convo got me thinking on the subject), led me to analyze the roots of so much litter and other Quality of Life (QoL) problems in our Latino urban neighborhoods and how they got to be what they are today.

I think the lack of public infrastructure such as Browne was talking about is THE big issue, even more than socially dysfunctional behaviors like litterbugs because it IS the catalyst.  Almost every social oriented planning class and/or policy maker meeting I have been in notes that social dysfunction always follows instituional.  It seems like if the people who study and analyze this problem recognize this aspect of urban QoL (quality of life) regression, that it would eventually make it out into normal convo on the issue, but it hasnt.  People still bitch about mexican and black communities “allowing gangs to exist”, yet when crime drops in those places the community is forgotten and only the police are commended.

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La Crisis: One Bad Solution

Okay, it can’t be that bad. Let me tell you what it reads:

1. Sevende ropa exclusiva interior para hombre.

2. Masaje de hombre para hombres y mujeres, que quieran salir de la rutina experimentar algo nuevo, llamadas serias por favor $ open

And if you read between the lines (literally) in english it reads:

Sale interior man ander weres different sizes & models.

Man to man masage women’s welcom IM BI

And if you read between the lines figuratively, it’s an ad for sex, complete with phone number and address. Sex for pay is nothing new but I thought it was a bit desparate to see it at a crosswalk, with so much information on where to get these services. And I thought knock-on-my-door-pupusas were brazen! Salir de la rutina indeed.


PS. info blurred to protect the job seeker.

Botanitas: January 29, 2009

The infamous tumbleweeds of Lincoln Heights. This one was found at the foot of Holgate Square.

Botanitas is an ongoing feature bringing you stories and news from various sources, upcoming events and other bits of ephemera that might be of interest to LA Eastside readers. Suggestions welcome!

Read below for ten-cent conchitas, North Broadway nightlife, CNN tacos, the Eastside extension, details on who is Taking Over and a bonus guilty pleasure!
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I-TAP that ass all day long

It took a full year, but the I-TAP is finally here and I got mine. Browne and Bustard also blogged about their expirience with the new bus pass and since I finally got mine, I’d figure I’d do the same. For $15 I have a bus pass that’s good for the next six months saving me $216 in total !!!! How awesome is that. I’m still broke as a joke and my future is uncertain, but I have a bus pass for the next six months. On my first day out using the pass, I twist my ankle jumping outta the bus as I was getting off. Now it’s super swollen and throbbing. Nice way to start things off right ?

   ~ Picture Courtesy of MTA ~

what ya’ll know about the Eastside?

A conversation has been growing concerning whether we should be promoting our beloved Eastside and all its treasures for others to come over here and like it so much that they move here and bring their gentrifying ways with them.

Some say we need to use our voice to tell about our streets from our P.O.V because they are coming either way and they will begin writing about our streets from their P.O.V and will bring their fellow gentrifiers anyways.

Others say we should keep the fear of the Eastside alive and tell folks who ask about all the gangs and drugs and loud parties all weekend with banda music and other ‘weird’ music playing all night, which usually end in gun shots, celebratory or not.

Other voices say we need keep it secret and not tell them so they won’t come and outsider will coninutally believe we are full of gangs and stuff they don’t want near.

I remember meeting one of the first few gentrifiers of Echo Park saying he liked it because he “liked to get dirt under his finger nails.” You know because Echo Park is soooo dirrrrty.  It made me think I didn’t want that type coming to BH, so everytime I see someone who looks lost or not from BH I look at them and when they see me, I eye ball a local, homefully a homeboy and give him a nod and then do that chin point at the non native and nod as in “You see that foo’, right. You know what we gotta do.” Usually I don’t see them come back. Luckily Sleepy is always walking up and down my block looking to help a se~ora bring in her trash cans or help with groceries or something for a couple of bucks. When Sleepy turns on his vato loco face it’s ON.

I like writing about what I see on my streets like the beautiful gente, our traditions, how we adapt and change, deal and see life, struggle and survive, get by and thrive, but I am aware that sometimes I do sound like a promoter and my words could be used to sell BH to peeps who never even heard about it.

One of the homies said we are can’t have ‘security by obscurity’ they are coming, we are on the map. I hope we can keep them at bay with fuchi faces and homies like Sleepy who walk around and keep them second guessing.

What do you think?

Happy Year of the Ox!

Ji Chou 己丑-Year of the Ox-新年快乐

It’s the Lunar New Year’s Eve and here in Lincoln Heights, the normally dark houses are lit, the front doors are open, the altars are decorated and the smell of incense wafts through the streets. The firecrackers started up around 4pm. They are not so numerous as in years past when the rat-tat-tat seemed to go on endlessly for days ahead of time and the acrid smoke drifted in the windows. Perhaps US customs is much stricter with checking for illicit cargo or maybe many of the Chinese and Vietnamese families have moved on to the easterly suburbs such as my neighbors who recently moved to Rowland Heights.

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La Crisis: One Solution

It’s not uncommon for people to sell stuff from their homes in working class communities; every little bit helps to make ends meet. And I don’t mean ebay either, though I bet that computer route is getting popular too. Often it’s food items, sold mostly via a mobile setup (ala eloteros, tamaleros, etc) or from a makeshift outdoor kitchen that hangs the open sign during the evening dinner rush. I’ve known of places where you can knock on the door and ask for a plate of something, and the lady would get to cooking. But since these sorts of kitchens are probably illegal, they were kept kinda quiet, advertising being done by word of mouth. But I guess things are really getting rough: in Lincoln Heights, Jose the pupusa vendor put up a sign with his phone and Apt. number so you can purchase some of his $1.50 Salvadoran treats. “Savado y Domingo Solamente.”

When you don’t have a trust fund to fall back on, parents that can pay your rent or front you the money for a house, an inheritance that’s just a heartbeat away, the right connections, or the various forms of plan B middle class people crazily assume everyone has, then you learn to be resourceful. Hats off to Jose and his knock-on-my-door pupusa solution, a self-bailout plan that we can all emulate!