“Eastsider”, My Ass!

For the benefit of those GENTRIMANDERERS and WHITEWASHERS out there who continue to insist on calling parts of Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Echo Park the “Eastside“, I present yet more historical evidence to the contrary for you to undoubtedly sniff and smirk at…..

Situated in front of the KCET Building at 4401 Sunset Blvd., just between Silver Lake and Los Feliz, sits this pretty rock. A rock which holds this historical plaque placed there by the Los Angeles City Historical Society. It reads as follows:






(Feel free to add this to your list of City History & Heritage to Poop on.)

By the way, should you ever want to find it for yourself, this plaque is just a few yards east of this……………

This entry was posted in Blogs, Greater Los Angeles, history, Pendejadas, Personal, Photos, Rant and tagged by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

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

41 thoughts on ““Eastsider”, My Ass!

  1. The LA City Nerd posted about this a few years ago. If I remember correctly, the 4 corners were Sunset & Fountain, Figueroa & Adams, Olympic & Soto, and Debs Park. Nerd said that 3 of the 4 had markers.

  2. ¡Paren! Esperen hasta que se complete el tren. Ya que empezemos la ofensiva, podemos usar los tuneles como cuarteles y los trenes para mover gente, comida, y municiones a las tropas.

  3. speaking of KCET, didn’t pbs have a tv series about a family living on the Eastside? I think it stared Edward James Olmos.

  4. Aguate’ Al! Word on the street isque Los Gentrimanderers are going to attack the Eastside using their most vicious and unscrupulous weapon for any pleito. Used successfully against the working class natives in major cities like Brooklyn Hts and Harlem NY, The Mission District of San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities the Gentrimanderers have conquered and gentrified.
    The much feared, super sized, fully loaded, “Yuppie Baby Stroller”!

    Valganse Dios!

    Ahi viene Los Snarling Stroller Nazis! I can hear them already, “Get out of the way! My child is allergic to peanut butter! Get off the sidewalk! Which way to the Montessori School fool!”

  5. ni men muo shi ge zen dao li zhei suo sen me? luo san gi don bien yie yo zen bu suo shi ban ya hwa.

  6. What a polyglot the eastside is. I kid. I mean L.A. in general and how cool is that? Meanwhile, when you take into account all of current L.A. city, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to call Los Feliz/Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village (Yeah, I included Atwater, so what of it) into a description of what is East LA. East LA obviously includes East LA and Boyle Heights, but really, in modern interpretation, it should include more.

  7. well, if it’s the phonetic part you have problems with, try this. you may need to install something or another to see the characters.

    你們墨西哥人道理在說甚麼? 洛杉磯東邊也人不說西班牙話.

    fwiw, my phonetic spellings were pretty bad. babel fish at least translates the above, though not at all the way i intended. not sure if that’s my fault or babel’s.

  8. “it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to call Los Feliz/Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village (Yeah, I included Atwater, so what of it) into a description of what is East LA. East LA obviously includes East LA and Boyle Heights, but really, in modern interpretation, it should include more.”

    Sorry but no, the communities are very different. I’m not trying to look for these differences but when you grow up here (on the Eastside), it’s extremely obvious.

  9. Re: modern interpretation”, “fluidity” et.al
    Is this “modern interpretation” subject to question? Can it be flawed? Can it’s purveyors simply just be full of doo-doo?
    Who are these modern thinkers? what are these interpretations? can they be substantially explained & justified? Will the arguments mean anything to you?… But the most important question here is;
    “Why am I wasting my time explaining this thing to meat-heads who don’t get it and never will?”
    I say, Go ahead, continue calling anyplace whatever you like. I’m DONE discussing it with all of you “nuveau-eastsiders” and trying to make you see a pov beyond your own-but I’m NOT done continuing to prove how full of poo-poo y’all are. Keep it up. I’ll see you all in Hell and we can argue which side is East and which side is West down there. OK?

  10. I can always be counted on to call bullshit at what incorrectly constitutes the eastside.

    But instead of demarcating I’m just thrilled as an L.A. native to live in the place where it all began, within the boundaries of the original Pueblo settlement. Such a connection may seem as meaningless to those who meaninglessly argue Echo Park’s inclusion in the “real” eastside, but it strengthens my bond to my city and its history.

  11. Those who continue to refer to the northwest and near west sides of the City as “eastside”, and this includes the L.A. Times, fail to recognize Downtown Los Angeles as the “Heart of the City”. Rather they seem to have a “westside” perspective as to where the division of the “sides” of the City begin. It seems they are more apt at seeing Centruy City as “the Center” instead of Downtown L.A.. This can help explain why they stubbornly insist on labeling the northwest section of the City the “eastside”. This erroneous perspective can only be concluded by those who have no true roots in the City. They can never really know or feel what it is to be a real Angeleno. And this can include those who have lived exclusively in the Valley and far westside of the City all their lives. But the most egregious acts of ignorance seem to come from people whose origins are from outside of the State. They are outsiders who come here and fail to acknowledge those of us who have lived here for generations. Our story, our take on the City, our traditional names and boundaries of the various communities and sections of the City mean nothing to them. It’s only their views that matter and beome the official perspective. I don’t know any other City in the U.S. that would allow this to happen. Surely not in thier beloved eastcoast and mid western towns and cities, that they love to boast about, would this be tolerated. The fact that these carpetbaggers actually attempt to correct us Native Angelenos as to what our City is all about can be very frustrating to say the least. Unfortunately the transplants usally have the printed media on their side, as witness in today’s L.A. Times article in the “Food Section”. In general the whole of the media here in Los Angeles are filled with transplants whose only knowledge of L.A. is the far westside,the City of Beverly Hills and community of Brentwood, the City of Burbank, the west SF Valley, Hollywood/the Strip and of course the beach via the City of Santa Monica and community of Venice. This to them IS “L.A.” and everything else is just “ghetto” or “gang land”. That is until they “discover it”. Witness the gentrification of Downtown and surrounding communities. In closing I’d like to commend all of you who have steadfastly defended the tradtional boundaries of our beloved City and my thanks go out to you. At least in the end they cannot say we didn’t try. Happy 2009!

  12. Thank you Robert, from your mouth to God’s ears.
    My continued fight is based simply on letting “Them” know that there are those out here who will oppose them & fight them and who are not afraid to speak up/stand up for ourselves!

  13. aren’t we on indian land? does anyone posting here even know what the first people to name this place we now call l.a. named it? i don’t, but i know it wasn’t spanish. i’m all for people who have been here for generations holding on to what they’ve built, but in my book no one is “native” unless their ancestors were here before columbus; and the spanish ripped away peoples’ identities, heritage and traditions with much greater force than any westside yuppie could even dream of. let us not forget the people before the gentrification and let us also not forget the people before them.

  14. human, Are you not aware of mestizaje? Are you not aware of the blood that runs within the veins of those of us who can claim Chicano, Mexicano identity? The Spanish didn’t necessarily rip away indigenous identities so much as they merged with them to create the American mestizo. Yes human MY Ancestors as well as the ancestors of many of my fellow Chicanos and Mexicanos were HERE BEFORE Columbus. Let us not forget about the history and culture of those of us who not only descended from those proud indigenous peoples but also populate Los Angeles and the whole of the Americas.

  15. Human,
    Like a lot of other Latinos of mestizo heritage, I’m pretty comfortable with and proud of my indigenous heritage. My great-great-grandmother was Yaqui (from Ariz/Sonora) and even though I may not have grown up in that culture, various traditions do get passed down one way or another. This heritage is probably why a lot of us are sensitive to the issues of gentrification.

    BTW, the original Gabrielino or Tongva name for the downtown area of Los Angeles (near Placita Olvera) is Yaanga. Also nearby was a place called Geveronga. Other village names live on today: Malibu, Topanga, Cahuenga, Cucamonga etc.

  16. To me Chicanos are indigenous people, just like to me African-Americans are Africans. Slavery, murder and stolen land didn’t take their heritage away.

    The fact that both groups have been merged with other cultures doesn’t strip away their culture. I don’t think forced mergers count in regards to the concept of the “melting pot” US.


  17. “merged”?? that is a whitewashing that trumps all others, a million times worse than calling silver lake the eastside.

    in 500 years, we go from 100% native across two continents to barely being able to find anyone more than 1/4 native, but the spanish had no hand in that? they were the lone kind souls trying to preserve a culture that they happened upon during benevolent exploration? they envisioned a blessed mixing of cultures that would culminate in the american mestizo? that while other european countries were killing, maiming, enslaving and getting rich, the spanish were just idling away, enjoying cohabitation with their newfound neighbors, “merging” with them?

    sorry, not buyin it.

  18. “in 500 years, we go from 100% native across two continents to barely being able to find anyone more than 1/4 native”

    I’m not sure what you mean by this statement but there are still a good number of indigenous groups in Mexico practicing their native culture and speaking their indigenous languages.

  19. what i mean is the indigenous are very few and very far between, certainly in la’s eastside. i’m guessing even in mexico, the numbers of indigenous are very small as a percentage of total population. you would have to do some work to seek them out whereas finding spanish practices and customs would require little more than entering the country. to me, that means there was no “merger” as browne and robert put it. there was a systematic eradication at the hands of all european invaders, spanish included.

    my further point is that while some people have native blood, native bloodlines on la’s eastside are overwhelmed by spanish (and other european) bloodlines. it wouldn’t surprise me if native bloodlines were far outnumbered even by asian bloodlines. in other words, the eastside has already been gentrified and most of the residents are descended from the gentrifiers. perhaps “gentrification” is the wrong word since it doesn’t imply military involvement, but there’s no doubt that the languages, religions and lifestyles in la’s eastside are predominantly european and euro-american, not native american.

    i fully support the idea of the eastside defending its place and name from people who would ignore what’s already here. however, i completely reject the notion that the defense has any basis in “where it all began” or people’s status as “native” angelenos. perhaps, not fitting either of those descriptions myself, i’m just jealous at having been left out of the club, but i think my reasoning is sound.

    as a final note, this is much more than an academic exercise in argumentation. many of the standard markings of a gentrifier (native/ornamental grasses, organic diet, dog walking, etc) are actually closer to a native way of living. don’t get me wrong, many are not (wine tasting, excessive baby gear, private education, etc) and so long as the city is transporting water hundreds of miles just to keep its residents alive, we can never attain anything even close to a native way of living. nonetheless, sometimes i like the gentrifier practices more than the prevailing eastside alternatives, often due in no small part to more closely adhering to my understanding of native american values.

  20. Human has a lot of good points from an ecological and literal point of view. To further that argument, Boyle Heights and East LA have had waves of people several times over, back in the day many areas of the eastside were generally or had significant populations of jews, eastern europeans, japanese and even Irish and Russian Molokkans.

    But those points are irrelevant to the eXs vs. wXs discussion at hand, unless they are food for thought. I think the (generally chicano) culture and community that currently resides on the eastside, has created or at least amplified a subculture, genre and lifestyle that is indistinguishably american and mexican at the same time as well as unique, and has existed for almost a century with millions of members. chicano culture in the united states IS the eastside of LA and the eastside of LA IS chicano culture. Becuase almost all of the contributors here have been a part of it, grew up in or around it, and appreciate it for its numerous positive aspects and beauty; they choose to identify with it and defend it against (perceived) threats.

    Because a lot of Eastside chicano culture was developed through hostility, neglect, poverty and ostracization; it is often revered and viewed as the epitome of what a chicano in the US is.

  21. “what i mean is the indigenous are very few and very far between, certainly in la’s eastside. i’m guessing even in mexico, the numbers of indigenous are very small as a percentage of total population.”

    not really human, i don’t have the time to get into all of this right now but all i have to say, is you’re very brave to make this statement. seriously, those are fighting words amongst a lot of people i know.

  22. “what i mean is the indigenous are very few and very far between, certainly in la’s eastside.” Human

    What are you talking about? Are you using corporate America’s definition of who is what? When I walk around East LA and the Eastside I don’t see Spanish people, I see indigenous people. Of course mainstream America wants you to think indigenous people don’t exist. That they are all dead. Just like they tried to take away the culture of African-Americans and make them think that their history just began with slavery. So what do you think, that indigenous people only exist in the definition that the people with money define. I’m not ready to make it that easy.

    I think people should get that Mexicans are indigenous they are not immigrants, there is no way that Mexicans can be illegal in this country, because this is their ancestor’s land.

    Of course the corporate machine doesn’t want that little secret out, because that would open up a whole new can of worms.

    The US gov’t has a vested interest in keeping the number of people viewed as indigenous as small.


  23. o man…

    to me indigenous folks are those lil indians/indigenas running around the jungles of guatemala, the deserts of sonora, and the streets of San Francisco.

    most mexicans aint indigenas. they are mixed. mixed with spanish. with arab. mixed with indian. mixed with german. were as mixed as most black or white people are.
    dont beleive me, look at percentages of indigenous folk in MX, and look at the the population of indian language speakers.

    but that conversation matters very little when discussing the reality of “eastside” life.

    the east side is east of downtown. northeast included. LH, HLPrk, Cypress Prk, etc etc. lets not forget the devestation brought upon the barrios that existed in chavez ravine. they were definitely eastside.

    either way. SL and echo arent really the east side.

    they might be a bit of east hollywood, but thats just because people like to add EAST to anything in order to give it street cred. East LA, East Oakland, East PA, East Saint Louis, the list goes on and on.

  24. What is this “new eastside” east of? It’s certainly not east of Downtown Los Angeles, which is the Central City, The Heart of The City, El Centro, El Pueblo. Then what is it east of? Century City? Hollywood? Perhaps the westside? If that is so, then it’s clear that those who see this “new eastside” as being the eastside of L.A. obviously see the westside as the center of the City. But nothing can be further from the truth. If this “new eastside” is east of anything it is the eastside of the westside. Call it the near westside, the old westside, West Central L.A. or simply the eastside of the westside, just don’t call it the eastside. It may not be as modern an area as the far westside west of La Brea and La Cienega, but it is the westside none the less and it begins west of Downtown L.A.!

  25. even the security word is in spanish… so many people posted on this one issue of calling something eastside or not. This is important? Why?

  26. there must be a page explaining the goal of this site.

    it’s a conflict over using the term “the eastside” as the name of two separate places in los angeles. historically, at least for several decades, the eastside was boyle heights and east la, the older suburbs of downtown. in the past 10 years or so, the incoming “hipsters” in silver lake and echo park started to call their area the eastside – meaning east of “the westside”.

    the new hipsters are from wealthier families, came here to work in the media, and probably without knowing it, exercise the privilege of the wealthy to name or rename things.

    this website is an attempt to fight for history and a community that has called itself the eastside a lot longer than these newcomers. it’s not just about the eastside either – it’s also about long-term los angeles residents who no longer live on the eastside, but always think of boyle heights or anywhere east of the river as the eastside.

    the media is an important industry in los angeles, but los angeles exists on its own terms as well. though the media’s “l.a.” exists between santa monica and hollywood, the real working l.a. that has been here for generations hews to the old geography – downtown is the center, main street is the dividing line, and the river is the natural border.

  27. Pingback: California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Franklin Hills | Eric's Blog (by Eric Brightwell)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *