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?

54 thoughts on “what ya’ll know about the Eastside?

  1. “Lots of us are working our asses off cleaning up after the rich folks and don’t have the energy to keep cleaning when we get home.” Chimatli

    The irony of it all, for years people said African-Americans were bad mothers, but yet from the foundation of this country until the late 60s African-Americans where nannies to the same rich (the key is rich) white people who did all these papers kids.

    Then there is always this talk of black and Latino neighborhoods being dirty (or us being dirty in general) and in LA the only group I have ever known to be janitors are black or Latino people. We also have all of the security jobs, though times are getting hard. I saw a white guy (a young one) with a Securitas uniform on the Blue Line.

    I have to say this is a LA thing. In NY I did see white people working as janitors. Sometimes I think LA is the 1950s deep south with a tan and Latinos.

    LA is amazingly unequal and really obvious and unashamed about it.

    People will total go to with the easy stereotypes to talk about the problem instead of digging a little deeper.

    I for one am pretty sick of people with car access talking about how dirty the Eastside is. The Eastside is not dirty, it’s lived in and the city fucks them in regards to public services, that’s my opinion.

    I see too many people recycling, reusing and doing what the whole eco movement is supposed to be about on the Eastside to just go “it’s dirty.”

    It’s not South Pasadena, but South Pasadena is probably killing the planet more with all of the things they throw away (that are perfectly good) than the Eastside.

    I wonder if there is a way to measure the pounds of trash per population group. I bet if we had those numbers we would see who the true dirty people are.


  2. It’s hard to distinguish hipsters from trust-fund rich and working class poor nowadays because they all dress the same. I’ve actually only spotted hipsters (in typical hipster gear riding fancy “uber-cool” fixed-gear bikes) a handful of times in Boyle Heights. I’ve seen mucho more hipsters in Highland Park and Lincoln Heights. It’s easy to hate on “them” because “they’re” there. But I think, as it’s been pointed out in several responses above, that it’s more the idea of “gentrification” and “hipster takeover” that we hate. This means the infiltration of wealthy folk who, because they have lots of money, move in to a neighborhood that has been officially deemed “cool” by their fellow well-off friends (even if 20 years ago it was considered so scary) with a zip code that starts with 900. Gentrification seems to me to be a border-line corporate takeover disguised as artsy, independent, vintage, way-too-vegan-friendly and “green”, of an established working-class community that is already overpopulated with long-time residents, new immigrants and the undocumented who work those jobs that most of our parents have worked or continue to work to provide the life for their kids that they didn’t have so that their kids get that 4-year college education, go on to grad school and get a decent job, preferably in an office, with health benefits and 401K.
    It’s easy to hate on poor – or rich – hipsters because they’re the manifestation of our idea of gentrification, but hating on people just pisses people off.
    There needs to be a friendly and peaceful panel open to the public with professors (in sociology, American studies, history, y que mas?), rich and poor people who dress like and are called hipsters but don’t call themselves hipsters, and local residents who are not hipsters living in hipster-ridden or potentially hipster-ridden 900 neighborhoods, for productive dialogue. Can’t wait to hear what might be discussed.

  3. DQ -right on man, you did it again, in a hostile environment, you were able to eloquently, yet factually get your point across.I’m so glad Salty apologized, he does not know all of us, BECAUSE I don’t really appreciate being called a “pocho”, by some honky- ass “hillbilly” mother fucker (SORRY!) and if he was so tired of this site and all our panicking, then why doesn’t he just go somewhere else?, but still claims “it’s Racist what you are trying to put across”.Wow!!!
    When my family moved into East Los Angeles in the 30’s my parents said it was about 50/50 Latino, and White.
    We had Dutch, German, and Italian neighbors who got along with us wonderfully! It was just like another Mayberry!!They never called us “pochos”, they respected us for our own viewpoints!!
    And how is it that WE are panicking? Do you see us calling ourselves the Westside !@#$%! NO!!
    A good time to reprise my poem
    The Hipsters are Fake/
    They’re from Westlake/
    Real Fake/Like Silverlake/
    They’re just too scared to be real/
    They don’t know how the real Eastsiders feel/
    Posers and Pretenders/
    They should check their genders/
    Born on the Westside with little pride/
    They don’t know what it’s like/
    To be the Real Eastside!!/

  4. Another angle that I believe is so bizzare, is the fact that “Pocho” was typically a term used by Mexican Nationals to describe us, who are of Mexican descent, but born here in the United States!! To be called a “Pocho” by a white guy is absolutely bizzare!!!

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