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?