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. I’m kinda torn on this issue because I do believe that not every non-Eastsider who comes over is necessarily a gentrifier or someone who should get scared away. Let me say up front that I think that most Non-Eastsiders (and that includes “westsiders, whites, blacks, whatever) can be very cool people and I’d hate to see them get the “mad dog” when they’re down here. We can shoot ourselves in the foot pretty bad by perpetuating that non-welcoming, bad vibe that sometimes, admittedly, serves us well when we need it. But it cuts both ways. When I first moved to the Westside (Hollywood), most every new friend I made was really cool & welcoming to me and did not judge me at all for being from the Eastside.
    I hear what your saying though, because I acknowledge that there ARE types that we need to discourage from thinking that they can come over and walk all over us.

    I guess my point is that we need to be selective (hard to do sometimes). But I think that the one thing I value the most about having this forum (thanks again, Chavo!) is that we can put the message out that we are not some bunch of oppressed, backward & complacent peons over here on the Eastside. We can be both “street”, and we can be talented, intelligent powerful MF’rs because that’s our heritage. Most gentrifiers don’t have that choice. They often seek to buy & assume “character” (ie. posers) and often don’t feel the need to assimilate when entering new territories.
    Those who seek to further their exploitive agendas based on ignorant stereotypes of us have another thing coming.

    My opinion is that ultimately, we can’t afford to be isolationists and stagnant, or present that perception, because any changes that come will only serve to destroy us.

  2. I also am not alright with intimidation tactics. I because of my own style do not look sometimes like a typical “Eastsider,” and this has been since the time I got into punk rock. And I have lived in the NELA for almost my whole life. I would hate to not feel welcomed in my own neighborhood just because I look like an “outsider.”

    As far as more constructive ideas, I’m not too sure. I’ll have to ruminate on this further on. But showcasing what the Eastside is beyond the terms & confines of the type of LA that usually gets the spotlight is a start. We are here, have been, will be here & have our own voice. And the Eastside is not just a “Latino/Mexican” haven; let us not fall into that trap. Growning up in LH, I had as many Asian as I had Latino friends.

  3. ” 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.” Pachuco

    I don’t think people understand how insulting that kind of attitude is. It’s like people think it’s ok to call what they are doing in certain other people’s neighborhoods “slumming” it is as if people don’t understand that people who don’t view their neighborhood as a slum still live there.

    Would anyone have dared say that about Culver City? I remember when a corporate radio station said this about their Culver City office and people in the neighborhood where outraged and it stopped, but people will write big articles about the dirtiness of places where people live and keep up their lawns and gardens.

    “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, hopefully 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.” Pachoco

    While I know alot of people read this and probably go, “Whoaa, that’s intense,” (though I think it’s fantasy…I know Pachoco isn’t doing that) but you know (and really on the Eastside this has never happened to me, maybe only people in cars where targeted…lol…) variations on this attitude always happens to people who are on the “outside.” It happens in downtown LA by the newcomers to the residents who have been there. I’ve got lots of stories about how I went to bars and coffee shops in downtown and was maddogged (I fit the description of someone who shouldn’t be there,) but of course in neighborhoods where it’s a haven for white people or people who embrace the upper middle class lifestyle (even if they are far from this) their Sleepy is the LAPD or hired security…

    I think the reason that people get so mad about gentrification, because in reverse no one thinks it’s great. People start thinking of ways to keep you out. Those people have the police and businesses on their side. It seems very unfair how some people can slap a historic landmark on their neighborhood and fight all kinds of things for years and people who aren’t as skilled with the system the character of their neighborhoods can get destroyed in a decade.

    This kind of unfairness does breed intolerance (and a mistrust of the police.) And while people may view Pachoco’s statements with this “intolerant” slant, who started the “you can’t come to my neighborhood” first?

    America was built on intolerance.

    While I’m not a fan of the “locals only” testosterone type movements, I understand. People fight back the only way they can.

    Though there are lots of people who welcome gentrification. I’ve had friends from El Sereno to West Adams tell me with great glee, “White people are moving in, it’s a great day!!” And these people do love their neighborhoods too. I remember an old black woman I met in South Central while I was working as a community organizer, she told me she was going to stay (this was in the late 90s when things where a bit more crazy, but settling down) after I asked her why wouldn’t she move she told me, “Just wait, it’s getting nicer here. White people are going to move back and it’s going to get integrated and it’ll be real nice.” Though she was a little crazy. She also told me to marry a white guy so I would have “pretty” kids.

    Hopefully we can all intermingle. Hopefully in the future it will done with an angle of respect instead of this idea of conquer, destroy and put up a coffee shop and an ironic bar.

  4. When I bought my first little chante in Highland Park in 1971 as a young naive kid, with a wife and two little children, it was a very scary experience. On my street at that time there were only three other Chicano families and they were older and more established.
    The day I moved in all the “white people” were looking out their windows and standing on their porches, all had grumpy looking mascara’s and scowls going, no one had a smile or said hello except the other couple of Mexican American families.
    The LAPD rollers cruised by the house slowly a couple of times every day for a few weeks.
    About a month later, one night just after dark, I heard a shopping cart slam into my porch and when I went outside to see what was up there were three young (late 20’s), gavachos walking slowly down the street, mad dogging me.
    I recognized one dude as a neighbor who lived across the street and up the hill a few houses, I gave them back the stink eye even worse in a challenging manner.

    About an hour later a glass bottle breaks on the sidewalk in front of my cantone and I went outside to see what was going on. There were these same three dudes in front of the house across the street and still mad dogging me and mumbling some shit.
    Being 25 years old, solid as rock from slanging hot tar roofing all day, half nuts anyway, and from the old Lincoln Hts varrio, I naturally and instinctively attacked, all the while yelling “come on motherfuckers, you want me? here I am”.
    The vato that lived there pulled the other two guys into the house quickly and shut the door on me before I could get at their ass’s, but I stood out front yelling for a while until my wife dragged my ass back across the street.
    About ten minutes later the LAPD knocks on my door, and with them is the guy who lived across the street.
    I was still all aguitado and ready to throw blows but the LAPD officers, believe it or not, talked me down in a calm manner and said that the guy from across the street wanted to say something.
    This guy says that he was sorry and it was all a big mistake because some other Mexican threw something (a rock or bottle), at his house and he thought it was me, but now he knew it wasn’t me and besides, (get this shit), besides, I was all right because I kept my yard clean and mowed my lawn.
    Motherfucker! I went off again but the jura got between us, the guy from across the street, now scared shitless, went back to his house, the cops calmed me down for a half hour or so then left. I never had another problem in the neighborhood.
    Over the next few years most of the “white” people left and were replaced by mainly Mexican American families, but also Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and Central Americans.
    A few of the white families even stayed put, and after a few years the street was filled with kids and people of all ethnicity’s, who became in fact, like one big family. A very American street.
    Now those kids are mostly grown up and the old neighborhood homes are being purchased by gavacho gentrifiers for the most part. La gran puntada! Ironic, pero, pues asina es.

    One important fact, I was able to buy my first house as a naive youngster from Lincoln Hts with just a few thousand dollars, this due to the kindness and decency of an old retiring White dude named Rudy, whose daughter was married to a family member of mine.
    Rudy asked me if I would be happy in his old home where he raised his family and lived happily for many years.
    I told him sure, but I didn’t know anything about buying a house.
    Rudy asked me how much money I had as a down payment, I said a couple of thousand dollars saved was all I had. Rudy said that would be fine and for a couple of hundred a month, paid through the bank directly to him, I could move in immediately.
    And that’s the house I raised my family in too.
    A real decent human being that old white guy.

  5. YES, there is some hyperbole in my post. I don’t walk around giving the fuchi face and pointing out gringos to the homeboys, but like Browne wrote, and Don Quixote so beautifully reminded us, that is how they operated first.

    When the boats landed our people offered food and water, they wanted gold and women to rape. Once they figured out our ways of war were different and that we got sick and died, they just moved in. Anytime they saw any of us who survived they would sound the alarm, sic the dogs and follow us back to our small village and kill everyone because we were a nuisance.

    We didn’t have fences around property. We belonged to the Earth the Earth didn’t belong to us. Now we want some ownership and they gave us subprime loans that left most homeless and in deeper debt. We don’t own the banks.

    Today the fight is cultural. All we got is culture, memories and pride in our neighborhoods. We don’t own the house or builiding we live in. The Jewish people, the Italians who were here before still own them. All we got is pride, memories and our culture. We won’t let that be taken away as simply as it is to evict us.

    It is the Nayarit, the sign is still there. Can’t you read?
    Echoplex que la chingada. Frickin’ colonizer mentality.

  6. Hmm…I’m hesitant to boiling things down to “Us & Them.” Because it gets all muddied with who is “us” and who are “they.” I guess being a part-time class warrior I tend to see things more in terms of social class than of false associations of time, place & culture. To me the fight has always been about self-determination.

    Being an avid reader of F. Nietzsche, I feel one needs to stray from “slave morality” where one defines oneself by what was done to us than what one can do ourselves. Re-definition. My two cents.

  7. “Did I ask too much
    More than a lot
    You gave me nothing
    Now it’s all I got
    We’re one
    But we’re not the same
    Well we
    Hurt each other
    Then we do it again
    You say
    Love is a temple
    Love a higher law
    Love is a temple
    Love the higher law
    You ask me to enter
    But then you make me crawl
    And I can’t be holding on
    To what you got
    When all you got is hurt

    One love
    One blood
    One life
    You got to do what you should
    One life
    With each other
    One life
    But we’re not the same
    We get to
    Carry each other
    Carry each other


    -excerpt U2 “One”

    In the end, didn’t Nietzsche go crazy or was he on coke, like Freud?
    -an honest question

  8. You guys are, like all deep and shit, huh?

    I get the gyst of what pachuc had to say and agree, I like to chide hipsters with that whole “look at me slummin it” face, like some pinche camera is following them. I usually fuck with them in a “you dont belong here” matter-of-factness, rather than intimidation or hostility. Nowadays a lot of those gentrifier types find some authenticity amongst chicanos/latinos since they are recolonizing our hoods, and try to cling to it as well as absorb it like conscious rap music. It reminds me of the rasta locked goofy hats they sell at disneyland.

    I was in SF about a month ago at some bar on geary and this huerita swingers lady asks me in spanish where I am from. I told her LA, then she asked where I was born and I repeated LA (actually “Eastlos”), then she made a face of exasperated face at me and asked where my parientes where from and again i told her Eastlos. She copped an attitude with me and i began to ignore her, I was drinking having a good time and didnt feel like going down that road with her or giving her a scolding. But I thought it was a good illustration of the annoying way they act, she prolly wouldve gotten plenty of good barrio stories for her to take back to her pals from me had she been nicer, but her arrogance repulsed this brown validation-bot immediately.

    But honestly, BH has been gentrified already, by wealthier middle class chicanos vicitmized by the housing crisis. Some wanted to reclaim the barrio, some couldnt afford glendora or mo-valle, some had to move back to take care of nana, some wanted to live in a cool place; either way there has been an influx of younger wealthier less paisano-ish chicanos into the BH and eastside area since the housing boom got crazy in the early 2000s. Skyrocketing house prices brought them here (or back) and the recession and slow improvement of the area is ensuring their stay for now. And as the urban core continues to be hip (I actually hope it does, hueros are cool in manageable numbers), the Eastside inevitably gets more of this stock that differs from the traditional BH/ELA residents for the past half century. Heck, even El Chavo, chimatli and probably severla others qualify in this group; i did too when I moved back to BH from oakland. That, combined with a prior influx of immigrants in the late 80s/90s have continuously driven up rents in eastlos for quite a while now.

    I think the permanence and activist virilty of the eastside will ensure its survival and thriving, no matter how hip it gets. I mean it would take a hell of a lot of hipsters to make a sizeable impact on the culture of this area through gentrification. Because of this I welcome some diversity back into BH, just like I welcome working class mexicanos integrating foothill cities. The community was not homogenous like it is today in its history, and inorganic factors of social exclusion and market racism helped ensure the eastside as a concentration of lower income residents, which has created some tangible negative outcomes.

  9. You know what? Fuck you and all your patrimonial shit about what’s best for the Eastside. I’m tired of all your reverse racist shit and you can bitch amongst yourselves about what is best for the residents that live of East of downtown. You think you know what best serves the people that live here and you bemoan the first serious infrastructure project to hit the Eastside since the expansion of the 10 freeway yet it seems like an “invasion”. You armchair pochos only seek to keep your people “quaint” just like you grew up with and don’t give a shit about who it benefits.

    People can actually get to downtown without taking three busses or a car and two highways. They can be connected with the city and not take an hour to get there. They can be real residents of LA. Yet to you it’s a funeral. It’s pathetic you can’t see the benefit to the people of E LA.

    I’m tired of this crap blog where 12 people can discuss the finer points of how “hipsters” or whatever (white people? byword much?) are destroying your way of life. You are a very long way off from any White Invasion and yet it has become some kind of cause de jour. Be paranoid all you want, it ain’t happening.

    I’ll hold my head up high in LH cuz I was here years ago and I never gave a fuck. If you don’t like it look for the white guy. Until then indulge your fantasies about some supposed takeover because I guarantee you and your neighborhood are less important than you think you are.

    Otherwise, fuck this blog. I’m out.

  10. I moved to NELA, and I take out my broom and physically clean parts of tthis neighorhood. I helped organize a little bike repair collective. I shop as locally as I can.

    When I read this blog sometimes, I feel like I’m a “good whitey” who knows his place.

    That feeling made me feel tired and bitter, and made me start to hate all of the people I live around who throw their trash into the street, hate the idea of making their area look nicer (in a non-Riverside way), and can’t get their collective act together to fight for their fair share of political attention and resources.

    I can’t wait for more people with education, money, and a love for Los Angeles to be my neighbor. If this stupid train is going to do that (I highly doubt it), then yay for the train.

    I’m tired of riding my daughter by yet another drunk or high soul lying face down in the grass at Lincoln Park. I want neighbors who will help me pick that guy or gal up and make his life not place him in that position.

    I am angry about businesses and property owners that are so cheap, cash strapped, or lazy that they don’t clean the sidewalks in front of their stores and they fight for parking spaces while most of their customers walk to their shops (or could, if they organized to make the street more accessible to pedestrians).

    I don’t give shit whether it is “gentrifying” or not, I want to live in an area that allows everyone to live as good a life as possible.

  11. Curious how a couple of “white” posters here took so much umbrage over a couple of supposedly negative comments aimed at “white” (wish there was a better descriptive term), people, aka gentrimanderers.
    I see here only honest comments that are clearing the air in a positive and welcoming way. Nobody is saying that the Eastside should be or ever was strictly a Mexican American varrio that excluded everyone not of Mexican ancestry.
    What I think is being said and what the concern is, is that the Eastside is a very distinct working class area with a very unique multi generational ethnic tradition, that has developed due to the mix of the mainly Mexican American habitants with various other ethnic groups over the years. This modality or raison d’etre or even as is said on the Eastside, this movida, was established not simply because a lot of Mexicans live on the Eastside, but because for generations the Eastside has been the home of immigrants, and the dispossesed, and the poor, and the tough survivors of prejudice and discrimination, and poor schools, and police brutality, and gangs, and political gerrymandering, and above all the victim of the amnesia, greed, and political maneuvering of the LA powers that be.
    And despite being targets of a cruel and discriminatory history of modern urban renewal, that wealthy developers and their political lackeys visited upon us over the years, and that displaced many thousands of us in the name of “progress”, and that destroyed many traditional varrios in the Eastside and surrounding areas, despite the San Bernardino, Pomona, Golden State, Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Santa Monica Freeways, despite Dodger Stadium, Bunker Hill, and the many Industrial sites that displaced us Eastside habitants, despite all this the Eastside survives still, and because of all this the Eastside produces and very distinct and proud persona that is famous all over the world, some on the dark side for sure but also many a success story can be told.
    So when we from the Eastside hear people, especially “white people”, who have moved to our neighborhoods for various and sundry reasons, reprimanding us for not being as clean and spic and span as they might be used to in their “other” neighborhoods, and who might be offended by some rowdy celebrating, or loud music or a less than affectionate attitude, or because of people having to hustle DVD’s and CD’s and clothing or hot dogs or tacos or elotes or Fruit or fireworks and cable TV hookups, ect ect, for a living, or that there exists on the Eastside a lot of winos and tecatos and ruined people just out in the open for the world to see, well all I can say is welcome to the neighborhood, it is what it is.
    There are a lot of positives including a strong community and family structure that takes in neighbors and friends and will form strong bonds that are lifelong. Enjoy the diversity and convenience and the foods and above all embrace the neighborhood and it’s people for what it is, the Eastside has existed for generations and isn’t waiting for some “white person” to move in, become patronizing, and to organize and improve things as they envision improvement.

  12. Salty,
    Is that what you consider adding to the conversation? Do you really think anyone is going to take you seriously with those insults? You need to grow up.

  13. Salty, you are personalizing this issue WAY too much. I bet every single blogero here would be one of the coolest folks you met if you were walking though eastlos. You have to admit there is an annoying faction of hipsters that come with gentrification so far in LA, that is what folks are concerned about. Folks trying to fix up the hood and dont care if they live around mexicans: good, folks trying to gain some validity while acting arrogantly indifferent to the existing community: not good. I think the people here recognize there are winners and losers in every group, it is not one homogenous glob.

    Just like you 2 should recognize that urban Latinso on the eastside arent one homogenous glob of trash throwers and park borachos (I know you do, but the last comments sound like you dont). Beyond the racial layer, these hoods have become concentrations of poverty and civic neglect over half a century (as well as many members of the community), and dysfunctional destructive behavior are going to be more prevalent. but the prevalnce of bad does not erase the good, there are plenty of folks who fight and clean up their community, and act as upstanding citizens.

  14. I’ve always felt gentrifiction was more a class issue, a social/economic phenomenen. In Los Angeles, it’s trickier issue because race and class are so intertwined here. If you think about where the two most significant race riots of recent history happened, they happened here in Los Angeles. If you go back further in time, Los Angeles has always been this place of tension when it comes to race.
    The funny thing is, I know white folks who have lived in Northeast LA for a very long time and they were the first ones who started complaining about the “westsiders” “hipsters” and “yuppies” (of all ethnicities) moving in. Even one white woman I know thought about dressing like a chola to scare off the yuppies that took over her neighborhood restaurant and started talking in those incessant loud voices. Another white friend of mine, left Highland Park and the state because he couldn’t afford a place for him and his family as all the property on his block was snatched up by movie industry types who priced him out.
    Ubraj talks about trash, drunks etc. and it seems the neighborhood is not up to his standards. Has ever stopped to think that perhaps folks don’t have as much money as he does? That not everyone gets to live off of an inheritance or trust fund? Lots of folks don’t have the privilege or luxury to have dwellings that live up to middle-class standards.
    As for Salty, I’m sure people in LH have been nice to you as you walk around the neighborhood. I know I have gone out of my way to introduce myself to all the new neighbors, especially the White folks so they know LH is the kinda community where a lot of us know each other and greet each other in the street. It’s not Hollywood. I wish I could say that many of my new neighbors were reciprocal in kindness…

  15. Ubrayj02 also lives in that fortress of condominiums at Baldwin & Keith (see this post. He changed his username, but see comment #29 & click on the link). Common sense dictates that someone who lives in housing s physically separated from the community wants to stay “separate and safe” from the “unsavory” elements of their neighborhood.

    As DQ said, welcome to the neighborhood. You chose to live here, deal with it.

  16. First of all, don’t put me in with Broom Guy above, I speak for myself. I never said anything about cleaning up the neighborhood. I don’t know him nor do I care.

    If this were the first time I sensed some undercurrent of racism it would be one thing, but comment after comment, it gets old. It’s brought up far too often. I may be white but I’m no disaffected loser from Hollywood, not that you could tell the difference. This is as much my neighborhood as yours and although I never grew up here I love it. I’ll stay as long as I can regardless of what you believe to be a takeover.

    What I was speaking of is that you all seem to think you know what’s best for the poorer residents of the area and by the time the county and city start to recognize the needs and wants of the people who live in East LA you make it sound like the hideous cabal of dickheads with overpriced tattoos got together with the gentrifying cabal of varrio cleansing condo developers in order to drive you out of the hood. The paternal and paranoid, post after post.

    I’m not worried about staying here, I know most in LH are cool people and I’ve never had a problem. I can endure the “where’d the white dude come from?” stares and in the years I’ve been here nobody has given me any shit. That’s the point, they are far cooler about it than you guys are. If the majority of my neighbors are cool about it, then so am I. I don’t doubt you guys may be the coolest whatever if I saw you walking around the hood, but it’s not about that, it’s about what you say over and over here that I just don’t care who or what you are anymore.

    Yeah, I’m pissed off and I’m tired of reading sublimely racist garbage. Am I personalizing it too much? It is people like me you are talking about, and couching it in terms of “hipster”, “yuppie” or whatever doesn’t cover the fact you are talking about white people. Why do I bother reading anymore is the bigger question….

    Like I said, I don’t read this blog anymore and am only commenting on this post. It’s a shame that racial issues get in the way of relatively interesting content.

    @ Chavo, you need to see these comments and posts through my eyes to understand why I’m serious and over it. It’s not the first time. I just got fed up. People say all kinds of stuff when they’re angry.

  17. racism

    why not talk about them?

    when we do it may sound racist, but its because we are talking about racism. to not talk about it is to ignore a lot.

    I wish there were better schools in the Eastside too
    (but racists who hid behind taxes used Prop. 13 to kill schools)

    I wish people didn’t litter.
    (but some just don’t know any better. when we travel to Paris and Rome and other places, which are dirty as f*%* we think its culture and because they have such history. in other words get over it and pick it up if it bothers you so much. thanks Ubray (sp?) )

    I wish people did care a little more.
    (but when no one care about you, you don’t learn how to care)

    I wish there weren’t meaningless deaths.
    (but really how many deaths have meaning?)

    I wish everyone knew respect.
    (again if you never had to show respect and history books tell you that you are the chosen, the best, the civilizers, the winners, the pure ones, how would you know how to give respect, if you never really personally earned it?)

    I wish we knew how to read and write and speak the languages that have been and are on this land.
    (but the screwed up schools, you know. and some folks think this is an english only place even though everything was in spanish or an indigenous language long before english.)

    I wish we didn’t give hipsters so much credit.
    (they are a temporary cultural blip)

    I love white people, they made LOST.
    (and many other shows I like ‘Simpsons,’ ‘6 feet under,’ spy movies, horror films, etc. very cool. we make good food they make good entertainment. sounds like a party.)

    It’s better to let it out in a forum like this, than not.

    I really want to know what an armchair pocho is? is that opposed to an active pocho?

  18. You sound like every other Angry White Man that’s being challenged for the very first time about ethnicity and class, and completely personalizing it. People talk shit about the poor and the brown all the time, like it was okay, many of us have learned to deal with it. At the very least we try to engage you but you call us “pochos”, a “crap blog”, and other pendejadas. We’ve invited you before to write your own post but it’s easier for you to just insult. Sorry you ain’t staying here but that’s your call.

  19. “You sound like every other Angry White Man”, now that is funny. If you knew me you would know how far off base that really is. You can’t speak to the issues I’m talking about because you got hung up on “pocho”? Time and again I’m insulted indirectly over things people say here and I’m in the wrong about being pissed off about it. At least I’m not couching terms.

    I appreciated the offer, by the way.

  20. Dude, seriously, give it a rest and shut tha fuck up. If you say you are not one of these hipster idiots the folks here are worried about then what the fuck does it matter to you?

    Nobody is saying they dont like white people, in fact many are saying how white people are part of our existing community and have the same concerns as the blogeros here. This has nothing to do with racism, it has a lot more to do with class and the fear of elitism if anything. If youve lived in the barrio long that you should know that many of the facets of our communities have developed and thrived because of neglect, and because of this newfound attention by outsiders some of the residents are concerned. If you’ve lived thee long enough and are part of the community you should be concerned too, rather than calling people here racist because of their concerns about racism.

    You ask El Chavo to look at your angry posts through “your eyes”, yet you cant do the same for the community you live in? People in this community are ecstatic about a new train coming to town, but precedence has shown us that investment in our communities is often done in the interest of others (freeway, stadiums, road widening,etc) and at the eventual expense of chicanos and their communities. That is where the skepticims and fear are coming from, historical precedence. And it has nothing to do with “knowing what’s best for the barrio” patronization, it is about respecting and appreciating one’s existing community (which has not been done by the generally anglo power structure) and wanting to protect and preserve its positive facets. Either you are too oblivious about your neighbors nor too embroiled in narcissistic outrage to notice this.

    My best guess is it struck a nerve, and from the hubris of some of your comments rightfully so. These areas are concentrations of poverty, so you will get the eye from a few unhappy losers; but in general the locals are nice to everyone out of personal respect no matter how they feel about the person’s demographic, which is a HELL of alot more than I can say about a brown person moving into a white community.

    No shite the train is great thing, ill be there riding it the first day it opens withmy familia.

    if you are from the area and are part of the community then you should understand what this is about, and your hostility and anger are bullhorsn that you dont.

    and like chimatli, the first time I heard about concerns of gentrification was from a white folks who live n the area, then youger conscious latinos, then the viejitos.

    Another thing you totally glossed over is the fact that the area is already gentrified by middle class chicanos, a trend that did not occur until the past few years. These folks are indeed a bit different that the bulk of the residents, but they respect the existing culture and try to help out in a more humble manner that does not destabilize the community. The kind of folks gentrifying much of LA arent of the same clothe and have a precedence of whitewashing areas, THIS is what folks are worried about.

    Shit, i wish I could still get a hot dog on Broadway, but you cant. it sucked that the city finally chose to clean the sidewalks only after the hot dog vendors were harassed, this is usually the way things have gone regarding the latino community and city hall. Because of this precedence eople get worried, deal with it.

  21. “What I was speaking of is that you all seem to think you know what’s best for the poorer residents of the area and by the time the county and city start to recognize the needs and wants of the people who live in East LA you make it sound like the hideous cabal of dickheads with overpriced tattoos got together with the gentrifying cabal of varrio cleansing condo developers in order to drive you out of the hood. The paternal and paranoid, post after post.”

    No Salty, I and most of the other commenter’s here are not people who “think” they know whats best for the community, most of the people here posting are probably like myself, long time multi generational residents from these threatened neighborhoods, big difference.

    And as far as being “paranoid” about some devious plan by developers and the powers that be to change and destroy the old neighborhoods, well maybe you should read my previous post where I list many of the destructive “urban renewal” developments that we Eastside residents have lived and suffered through.
    Paranoia is an unwarranted fear in one’s imagination, the massive, historically documented, destruction of many neighborhoods, and especially Chicano neighborhoods, is not a figment of some paranoid imagination but a fact of life for us residents of the Eastside community’s.

    So if you can’t understand the suspicion and historically significant anger coming from the mainly Mexican American Eastside community towards the mainly “white” power structure that has been conniving and scheming to fuck us over for the last couple of hundred years then maybe you should just shine it on.

    And thanks for the tip off on Ubrayj02 Soledadenmasa, that fucking eyesore of a disaster on Baldwin with it’s phony ass, quasi Spanish architecture and it’s guarded gated entryway is a prime example of what is not good for the neighborhood or it’s people. It’s an insult and a statement of what these urban pioneers think of the residents of the Eastside. Maybe one of these days it will just collapse from it’s own ugliness and the weight of it’s obvious attempt at class separateness.

    Maybe one of these days the residents of the area will take it on themselves to tear down those offensive guarded gated walls.

    A friend of mine has a small beach house on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and about 15 years ago some gringo developer built a guarded gated condo project like the one on Baldwin St there. The owners were all foreigners from the USA and Europe.
    The people didn’t mind the gringos living there and enjoying the beautiful land, but when the developer built those guarded gated fences the natives took it as an offense against the people, and rightly so. One night the people from the nearby town all got together and drove trucks to the development and with chains and ropes pulled those fucking walls down.

    People building walls, even symbolic walls, to separate themselves from an established community deserve what they get in return.
    They better check themselves, before they wreck themselves.

  22. I’m white and live in NELA,
    Before you guys continue to waste anymore of your time with this Salty character.
    Please stop. He sounds like an unstable, bitter a-hole with anger issues,
    and no one really cares what he has to say at this point. He speaks for no one but himself and his opinions are his and his alone. Dismiss him already.
    He said his piece. Fine. Move on. Stop being his support group. He’s not worth it.
    I’m sure that many of the rest of us normal people reading here all this “get it” and don’t need to dwell on his destructive negativism.
    Salty, I hope you are serious about going away. Go bring down some other blogs, and get some f’n therapy. You’re issues are way above & beyond L.A. Eastside.

  23. I haven’t had a chance to read through a lot of the replies to this post – but to the one that makes an innuendo of me wanting to be cut off from the community because of where blind circumstance put me is TOTAL BULLSHIT.

    I hate living in a fucking 1990’s fortress – which is the epitome of how bizarre and horrible locally based left wingers think they can improve their neighborhood to be just like some retarded OC suburb.

    The isolated condos I live in were made by TELACU – which is why I mentioned all the HATE that local busy bodies feel when I tell them that their sidewalks in our neighborhood need to improved, and that car parking should take a back seat to other needs on our major boulevards. Try suggesting that old people and children need to be the focus of our street designs, and people start thinking you’re insulting them because you’re not telling them that they should have their kids in some fantasy “White World” day care.

    The b.s., suburban, “American Dream” is just a strong (and insane) in Lincoln Heights as in other places – only it gets played out in a darker way here, and it makes trying to work with others in the area pretty depressing.

    So bee-otch told me and my wife that we were “gentrifying her neighborhood” – but she hadn’t even lived here as long as we have, hadn’t done shit to improve anything (i.e. picking up piles of filth and throwing it away, organizing our neighbors a bit, etc.), but felt like because she spoke spanish that we were invaders.

    I’d also like to send a thank you to don quixote – his story added a lot of perspective to this conversation.

    I think Salty was trying to say that “Keep the Eastside for the Chipsters” is getting old.

  24. This will never get worked out online. You read whatever you want into what I said about the neighborhood “not being up to my standards” or me growing up in some clean part of town – both of those are falose and wrong.

    Sit and type your angst into a computer, I will be actually doing something to make things better. There are a lot of things I love about where I live, but there I things I don’t like and God Forbid I dare to be “white” when I bring those things up.

    Anyway, I’m not white – I’m a bunch f thngs all mixed together

  25. Dr Vodoo, maybe you better check yourself or replenish your St John the Conqueror root supply.
    Nobody here needs you to tell us when to lay off on a subject. We aren’t children or noble savages that need some white man to tell them to calm down.
    Righteous indignation, pulling someones covers, telling it like it is, and shooting an arrow into the black heart of deception, avarice, and class conceit, not to mention ripping the scab off of the old divide and conquer routine is therapeutic and good for the soul.
    The people of the Eastside should be aware of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, and “Greeks who bear gifts”.
    It’s in our best self interest that we know who’s running a game on us.

    Ubrayj02, It seems you just don’t get it and maybe you never will. Here you go blaming left wing politics for the disastrous monstrosity you now reside in?
    And again why is it that you feel the need to organize the people in the surrounding community? Why don’t you just assist and respect, maybe the people don’t want to be organized by you.
    I know I’d feel like giving someone a hair-lip if they came out of that ugly guarded gated Valhalla and tried to tell me to clean up the streets in my own community.
    And you probably do hear quite a bit of Spanish when advising the people in the community how to behave, in their own neighborhood. Probably something like “metate en tu culo pinchi vieja entremetida”

  26. Like the last time I got into it with someone on LA Eastside, I sat down and thought some of what I wrote above, and what a few of you have said in response.

    I didn’t mean to come off as a defender of know-nothings moving into this part of town to “make it better” (whatever that means). I do not think that will happen with the Gold Line extension. I don’t think that would be a good thing.

    I did want to make the point that talking about making our neighborhoods better (i.e. getting some real representation and resources from City Hall, less random violence, fewer desperate people living on the streets) is not gentrification, or a “white” thing.

    About “City View Terrace” on Baldwin St. – it was left-wing local liberal b.s. that got that built over the best interests of the community. The 105 freeway ruined a big part of South L.A. There was huge lawsuit and settlement to deal with the destruction of so many communities along its path. The Century Freeway Housing Project was created to fund the building of new housing for low income people. The East Los Angeles Community Union acquire the old City View Terrace hospital and got Century Freeway Housing money to build affordable condos on the lot that I live on now.

    They built a car-oriented, gated, unattractive, fortress on a hill.

    I don’t “advise people in the community on how to behave” – I DO SOMETHING, and I hope they choose to do whatever they can to make our shared efforts worth more.

    You are interpreting what I’ve written as though I am some nose-in-the-air whitey with a college degree and a bleeding heart for whatever minority group my professors told me to pity. That is not me, and it really wears me down constantly reading the hate about people like that who may look or dress like me that get turned into some sort of villain on this blog.

    Y jo habla espagnol tambien guey so I don’t know how your family eats, but what you do with metate is your business pendejo viejo con los huevos secos.

  27. From the City View Terrace website propaganda mill.

    “Construction began in 2006, using updated plans from the original TELACU development. The remaining 57 units, of the original 106-unit project, are now in various stages of construction. In the coming week(s), cement trucks will begin delivering cement for concrete “decks” above the garages. These decks will provide solid footing for the buildings to be erected on top of them.
    There is much more to come in the area around City View Terrace!
    I, ubrayj02, work for the company building this project – and we’re trying to bring people in the neighborhood together to have better service from the city, and safer, more attractive, public spaces. ”

    It seems by your posts and efforts at organization you are part and parcel of this eyesore built by your so called “left wing” politicians, ubrayj02.
    You complain on the one hand about the ugly monstrosity you live in and then we find out you were part of the development team and a member of the HOA of this abomination, that is a prime example of the awful, ugly, gentrification of the Eastside that the people are so “paranoid” about.

    Like I said, righteous indignation and the spotlighting of the wolves in sheep’s clothing, that twist the truth and interchange fact with fiction to glean the almighty dollar at the expense of the working class people of the Eastside are nothing new to us.
    Maybe you should organize your facts and your truthfulness instead of being a snake and a bullshitter.

  28. And a big thank you to Soledadenmasa for bringing into the light the two face mask worn by ubrayj02.

    Paranoia is only paranoia when there is no truth.
    My only question is, well now do we understand what the gentrimanderers, developers, and money changers in the temple are capable of?

  29. Im not gonna trip on someone like ubrayhj or dr voodoo doing good shit inthe barrio, those are the kind of people needed in these areas. As long as you act with humility, then it is all good. That applies to everyone, hipsters to brown olk, because dont tell me if any raza get out of line inthe barrio that an asswhipping doesnt get served.

  30. Yeah, and what did I do that was so evil? I got a neighborhood watch started, I got 311 on the phone every time I saw the latest batch of tagging go up, or piles of old couches and mattresses. I went out and started sweeping up garbage and trash in the streets in my spare time. I got the LADOT to do a traffic study on Baldwin St to get cars slowed down (those bastards only painted some red paint at the entrance to the ugly condos).

    In other words, I believed that what I was doing was worthwhile, and that the company I worked for was going to back me up in it. I worked my ass off doing something I believed in.

    That was my bad, because they were a bunch of mentirosas who were pilfering money from the construction budget while I was out there doing my liberal best to make things nicer and safer in the area, like the dumbass I was.

    So what this proves is that I was a sucker, not a “gentrifier” or a “wolf in sheeps clothing”.

    “My organization”? What are you talking about?

    I’m a broke hippy who rides his bike everywhere, and doesn’t have a job anymore. I’m about 7 days away from being totally out on my ass financially. What you see is what you get – which is more than I can say for a few of the phony Chicano Hipsters wallowing around online.

    Shit even the car we have isn’t ours, my uncle is letting use it because we can’t afford to buy one. What the hell is gentrified about that? That want my neighbors to be able to safely walk to school? That I want the city to do what it does in richer neighborhoods, and clean up the streets? That I want the local businesses to spend some money making the sidewalk nicer?

    You’re so focused on stupid issues like whether someone moving to the eastside is “white” or a “a hipster” that you’re not doing shit to help your fellow human being out. In the end that is how I view my neighbors – as fellow human beings. I went to school that were 80% mexican/hispanic, and I identify strongly with the american chicano culture – but I know that deep down pendejos like you will never want some huero like me as a part of your mileu until I conform to your specific cultural expectations.

    All the crazy innuendo about me – I’m not going anywhere, so when you see me riding around Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, or Highland Park wave and holler and I promise to do the same back.

  31. “I’ve always felt gentrifiction was more a class issue, a social/economic phenomenen. In Los Angeles,” chimatli.

    It is many times a class issue. I will use a personal anecdote as an example. Before recently I didn’t frequent South Central that much. I’m not from there, but being black I was under the mistaken impression that I knew all and I was going to “help.”

    Ok back in the late 1990s I was a community organizer. My job was to go into the black community and do something in regards to heath issues. I went there with a cocky self-righteous attitude and shockingly initially I wasn’t taken very well lol…in fact the person I worked with who was on the welfare to work program eventually told me she was going to cut me if I didn’t shut my fucking mouth. It was completely justified. You think I’m vile online, you should have met me in person ten years ago. I’d tell you all about you even though I had never met you, because I read a book.

    I also was told off by several women (variations of shut up bitch) after I told them about how they were being unhealthy and that god was crutch, but I was only trying to “help.” In general I lacked respect for people whose experiences differed from mine and that pretty much included most people.

    After realizing that my race didn’t automatically mean I understood all there was to being a resident of south central just because I shared the same ancestry and realizing that I didn’t know everything and stopping and listening, magically people began to like me.

    Not only that after I truly listened to people and saw it from their side, the upper middle class people who hired me fired me, even though I brought more people in to the program than anyone prior and I was actually getting stuff done. And all of the women who had previously called me a bitch, a white girl and an oreo all cried and were very pissed off that finally the one person who got it was given the “get the hell out” boot. And my co-worker who had threatened me with death threw a secret going away party for me.

    See the problem was that I thought because I was black, because I was an immigrant, because my bohemian mom had me living in a car at points in my life that I understood poverty and racism and classism, but no I didn’t understand if from their perspective. My experiences where vastly different from there’s. Not richer, not more complex, but different and after I realized that my different wasn’t some superior thing that gave me some special gift to “teach” and that I had nothing to learn. Things got better. Things got a lot better for me in relating to lots of people, not just people in South Central, but people in Covina, people in Culver City, people in Torrance, people in my own Hollywood neighborhood, but you know I was twenty years old.

    Now going back there and to lots of neighborhoods. I never have problems. I can hang out with poor people, rich people, in the middle people…doesn’t matter. I can be the only person like me and almost never have any problems if people get to know me on an individual basis, not to say I don’t get in to the traditional artists fight, but it has nothing to do with me lacking respect for other people’s experiences.

    Twenty year old college students tend to be cocky jerks. It amazes me the 35 year olds I meet that continue to be cocky jerks with no clue as to why people might find them annoying.

    In Maslov’s hierarchy of needs when you get to the highest point what you need is: Truth, Justice, Wisdom, and Meaning.

    Sadly most people don’t ever reach that. Most people are stuck on attention, recognition, reputation…which means most people are worried about being right and what they think. Who cares what anyone else thinks, its all about them.

    Not saying I’m higher up on the pyramid, but I’d rather be wrong and have the truth than be right with a lie.


  32. I thought Dr. Voodoo had a point. Salty is lucky folks here actually gave him the time of day to respond to his various points (even after he told everyone to fuck off). On other blogs when you call people on their shit, they just ignore you. I know these threads might make people feel uncomfortable but there’s a time and a place for everything and I suppose it’s up to LA Eastside to be the host this time.

  33. Pachuco 3000,
    Well you already know that I disagree with you about trying to keep the Eastside off the map or not letting people know about it, mostly because in this day of instant media keeping it hidden isn’t going to work anymore. I’m the one that called it “security by obscurity” and that kind of crossing your fingers has only one possible solution: failure. My approach, and part of the reason for LA Eastside is to point out to both the natives AND the non-natives that we do have a culture and a community on the Eastside that has value and should be recognized as such. The natives tend to grow up and want to leave at any chance they get cuz they have some silly ideas of it being better other places, and can’t see the forest for the cholos, and instead of staying and improving things for themselves and others they just split. That’s an American mentality that needs to be challenged and if we can change the perceptions of this place so people don’t flee as soon as they get some money, then that would really help the community.

    As to the mild intimidation tactics, I can see why people would be feeling frustrated and resorting to this; I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. But it’s just wrong and not a very productive route to go. And like others, I’ve had that treatment as well, mostly from the cholos that liked to harass me for being punk, so I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.Now that asshole from the Brewery at Llamarada a few years back, with his low-rise ugly fashion jeans that were showing crack, that kept obliviously talking loud to the staff about how much he “loved this place, what would I do without it?” while everyone kept looking at him hoping he would just shut up so everyone else could enjoy their meal, now I was really hoping somebody would beat him down. But fantasies of revenge don’t amount to much social change. There’s other ways to deal with mamones. Speaking of which…

    Did you notice that you wrote you “I speak for myself” after a comment where you lump all the authors on this blog into one perspective? It amazes me that you’ve been able to hash out some collective group think of all of us. What, do we all look alike too? I’m not hung up on the word Pocho but you shouldn’t be using it the way you did, you know better. And your white man persecution complex needs lots of tuning; try for example reading some of the comments by others like al, dq, and julio, that try to hash out some of the gentrification issues. Or this comment by Art “BH has been gentrified already, by wealthier middle class chicanos”.

    The fact that your whiteness is a minority in this neighborhood shouldn’t lead you to believe that talking about gentrification means talking about whiteness. That’s something you are bringing to the table. If you want to talk about that, then do so, but don’t come in blazing with your fuck you’s and expect to be taken seriously, cuz you just come off as a baby. An angry baby.

  34. HA – I have sat here and read almost every comment made. The reality is that most of the comments made come across a angry-bitter rants on one way or another. Now – i agree and believe that gentrification comes in todos colores and it is unfortunate that we immediately assume the “white” is the gentrifier. The only reason we think that is because the “white” stand out amongst the ones that casually blend in who are also gentrifying

    Now, as much as gentrification sucks, I must say that there is some good that happens when gentrification occurs…and I will get to that in a minute…

    now – I have moved back to korea-town and la verdad have seen some major gentrifying going on for the past few years. or should i say many new people moving in. I first moved into this neighborhood in 1979 – I was a young 9 year old mocoso and my neighbors were whites, mexicans, latinos, asians and a few blacks. I didn’t give a hoo-haa what they were I just made friends and hung out. The area was clean and calmado man and it all went to hell when people began moving in who did not care about their hood. shortly after you couldn’t walk around without getting mugged, seeing someone get shot, hearing the damn ghetto bird or sirens almost every night or seeing broken glass on the streets from your ranfla getting broken into the night before…damn! I couldn’t move out quicker than I did. And I should say that the stuff happening around here was by all grupos that lived around here. specially the gangs: c14, trs, rsl, jefrox, sts, 18st, mcs, ms, mls, vls, bds. tmc and who knows what else pretty much took over. and this was only within 10 blocks or so from like 3rd and kenmore to like 3rd and western to beverly – it was hella wack.

    I moved out when i was 17 – moved to melrose and noramndie where the same thing happened then moved to arts district, when it was not TRENDY, and later to boyle heights off pleasant avenue and boyle. upon moving to bh – some vatos from the aliso projects, when it was still around, would come up to my street to hang out and they would occasionally stare at me like who the hell is this dude, cause I for sure don’t look like a vato. i didn’t really care man nor phased them. i may have gotten sweated once but that day i must agree i sort of looked vatoed out. but other than that, most of them were chill and actually backed me up one time over some silly shit that occurred in my house that lead to the street. I seen that area change a lot too cause i still go visit friends who still live there and are in the area. i ask them what they think about all the changes and they are all for it specially the business owners like el jaliciense or el apache or jims burgers or the trophy shop on 1st. DAMN – i miss BH…

    anyhow – now i am back here in k-town and it is definitely much cleaner and safer – aside from the gangs being non-existent – which by the way – who gangs bangs now-a-days? there is definitely a good mix of gente. very much how it was when i first moved in 30 years ago. and i like it. i like to see everyone living together and getting along and not worrying about what they may say or how or whom will react or feel threatened by X Y or Z.

    as cheesy as it may come across – la verdad es that damn man…let’s unite…learn to live together – yes it is unfortunate that changes are at the expense of some residents of the area but the truth is it happens whether we like it or not and perhaps may not really know why some even move out. I walk over to the houses a few blocks away from here to visit the familias that stayed in the area and they are proud of where they live and how far their neighborhood has come.

    everyone is friendly around here and sure seems those that have moved in care about their hood. I must agree though that there is the annoying hipster element here and there but really – who cares? i don’t..I am more worried about making money or investing time in my friends or mis rucas and have my own issues to be worried about shit like that. i am about minding my own business and if that makes me bad then bad i will be. it aint about ignoring an issue – it is about getting over the same rhetoric for the past 50 years – much so like graffiti – having to defend it as art and explain the difference between gang writing and the actual art form. same pedo for the past 30 anos man. we either keep talking about it or shit move on.

    yes the elitist exist, yes the racist exist, yes the reversal-racist exist, yes the hipsters exist, yes the gangs exist – and so on…as a matter of fact, the most discrimination i have experienced have been by my own gente y raza…DAMN

    i have learned not focus on that kind of caca and just be and focus my energy and even words on more positive shit.

    like I said – a lot of the shit said here may come across as bitterness or somethin along that line. we should instead embrace the change and roll with some of the blows. not all changes are catastrophic. not all whites are the devil. not all mexicans or latinos do not care about their hood or are cholos or pochos man – shit lets grow-up peeps – serio pedo

    peace and orale – aver ke me dicen. chingao! LOL

  35. Regarding your last statement Love Galo, I think people’s comments and perspectives are a lot more nuanced and complex than you give them credit for.

    Change (such an over used word these days) happens regardless of what any of us do. Part of the project of LA Eastside it to document the happenings and history of the neighborhoods east of the river. (The contributors here come from diverse backgrounds and have their own opinions that are sometimes contrary to each other.) Historically what’s happened to us in these neighborhoods is change is foisted upon us, rarely are we given the opportunity to decide for ourselves what we want to see happen. And as DQ so accurately pointed out, these “changes” often come from institutions and people in power that force them on us i.e. freeways, stadiums

    Here’s a quote from an excellent book on Los Angeles history called Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past by William Deverell

    “Los Angeles matured, at least in part, by covering up places, people, and histories that those in power found unsettling. Los Angeles became a self-conscious “City of the Future” by whitewashing an adobe past, even an adobe present and adobe future. That whitewashing was imperfectly, even crudely, accomplished – adobe yet showed through – but it was nonetheless a way by which White Angelenos created distance (cultural and personal) between themselves and the Mexican past and the Mexican people in their midst.”

    Of course it’s not just Mexicans, it’s any group that doesn’t fit into the image they are trying to create for this city.

    These discussions may be messy and sometimes ugly, but they need to happen.

  36. Ultimately this post and thread has been not only educational, instructional,and insightful, but also very therapeutic as well. It’s clear that the Eastside is a very unique place that exists not only physically but emotionally. I have run into proud successful people whose roots and hearts are in the Eastside everywhere in the country and in a couple of foreign countries as well.
    They still have the old Clover St. dances that bring together people from all over the place to meet with old friends and neighbors from 40,50,60 years ago. The annual Roosevelt/Garfield football games are still sellouts with proud Eastside alumni attending who were students in the 30’s and 40’s.
    My own father attends the 1940’s Lincoln High School annual get together with his old schoolmates every year.
    There are many get togethers like this, with families and friends from the Eastside, Chicano,Gavacho,Black and Asian, all who share a common experience of growing up and being nurtured by the Eastside, good and bad, tender and tough, positive and negative.
    I don’t know if any others have noticed, I think they have, but if you are almost anywhere in the world and you run into a fellow Eastsider, you know it almost instinctively, if your attentive enough you can even pinpoint where on the Eastside they are from. Maravilla or Flats, Lincoln Hts, El Sereno, the Avenues, or Highland Park.
    The shared experience’s of discrimination, immigration, exploitation, and isolation from the political process and the power brokers of city hall has for many decades helped meld and form this unique Eastside existence.

    The ignoring and ignorance of the Eastside by the powers that be, and much of the rest of the LA population,(except when a freeway system or lucrative development was going to make someone rich), also helped in the formation of the Eastside neighborhood ethic of survival at all costs, the hustle and scuffle, helping your neighbors and family, and above all keeping your chin up at all times.
    The Eastside neighborhoods have always (except for the Projects) consisted of mainly single family homes, usually small and old, and all the neighborhoods had their little Mom and Pop Markets that supplied everything from candy and soda pop to tortilla’s, beans, beer and cheap wine. Funny now that I think of it, but the little markets were always owned by non Chicanos it seemed, Japanese, Chinese, Italians, Jewish people.
    But the Eastside always welcomed everyone as long as they became part of the neighborhood.

    Nowadays with the rejection of the suburban lifestyle, the ending of the automobile culture, the centralization of cultural amenities in the LA area, and the high cost of housing on the Westside, the Eastside is becoming the target of a new population of mostly non Chicano, “white” people, who typically have more education and money, but less children and family than the native, working class, Eastside resident.

    This clash of cultures, economics and expectations is creating much anxiety and tension on both sides. On the one hand Eastsiders have a live and let live attitude, with a mind your own business mind set. The newcomers for the most part think of the Mexican American population as quaint,simple, and exotic, but also dangerous, dirty, uneducated and unorganized.
    The Mexican American resists and is suspicious of authority and detests organization and hierarchies.

    The new “white” residents have an almost genetic compulsion towards organization and orderliness.
    When this Anglo, Puritan, individualistic, Cleanliness is next to Godliness culture meets the Eastside/Mexican culture of Catholic/paganism, extreme family and extended family loyalties, the relaxed attitude and unceremonious tossing of trash and rubbish into the street,changing the cars oil and filter with resulting oil spill right on the street, the many loud raucous children playing all over the street, and the loud party’s and celebrations that often go on late into the night, well, needless to say there are going to be clashes and attitude adjustments.

    Hopefully as time goes by these groups can hash it out and as Rodney King said “Can’t we all get along?”
    Because the real danger to the Eastside isn’t from Gavacho hipsters but from greedy, unscrupulous and rampant development whose spokesmen are often Chicano’s who will tell us that development is in the best interest of the Eastside and that everyone will benefit, bullshit! Beware the Vendido’s who promise gifts and rewards.
    These old enemy’s of the Eastside are right now licking their lips in anticipation. They, including our Chicano mayor,TELACU and other wealthy developers and financiers, already have a plan to turn the Eastside and all it’s remaining single family homes into massive, ugly, multi story apartments and condos, shitty, guarded gated,isolated monolith’s like the City View Terrace Condos, that would destroy the Eastside, and turn it into a Sao Paulo Brazil or Hong Kong style urban apartment living nightmare.

    As the old saying goes “know your enemies” and beware of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, it’s an old familiar story on the Eastside.

  37. FWIW, I checked the ZIMAS, and most of BH remains zoned multi-family housing (R2-1). That means that they can’t build anything too tall or dense without going through hearings and public comment. I don’t know about the local neighborhood council, but, they should be trying to stay on top of it if they are doing their job.

    If ELA does manage to become a city, it will have a lot more control over its own zoning. The cityhood campaign could seize on this as an issue that matters to people, and keep ELA from becoming more dense.

  38. Big DQ – well said and at this point it is perhaps the best comment made on the entire issue of “change” or “gentrification” – and chimatli, yo pienso that as much as the word “change” is over used I also believe that the word “gentrification” – is among those words loosely thrown around to best describe what is or may be happening to a community or neighborhood or the condofication of our beloved EastL.A.

    I think you hit the nail in the head…interesting enough you address what may be the real core of the matter on most of the gentrification going on the Eastside.

    You talk about the vendidos who are so desperate and green for those dead presidents that sure enough se venden – these “chicanos” who claim to be raza and are doing all this shit for the cause are aligning themselves with the systematic plan of displacing the working Mexican/American who may very well be descendants of the family or two or three that he/she is having “move out”. The “pedacito de tierra” that many old familias have long fought for and worked to build and nourish slowly begin to change behind the veil of “inevitability”

    the inevitability that the neighborhood will now be cleaned up because the market is the gabachos. the inevitability that some of this Mexican/American home owners will end up selling their homes for a shit load of money and move out of the neighborhood they lived in for 30, 40, 50 years. realizing that shit, they can actually make a killing off the home they bought years ago for 50k, or the inevitability of that Mom & Pop shop who may be tired of running their negocio and working hard for years and when offered X amount of $$$$ to purchase their business and do so in a jiffy, or the inevitability of the same familias or youngsters that now want to invest in their community because they predict or in this case “assume” something good is happening in the hood and it is an opportunity for them to finally invest that feriesita that he/she may have been saving up for years. And what is the deal with those Chicanos whom attend CalState and as soon as they graduate are amongst the first to move into these condos because maybe, just maybe, they do not want to leave their neighborhood but wanta live in a condo – but face it – shit they are really among the first to move out of the eastside and move to the “westside”. or what about the inevitability of more patroling and finally some of these moms/pops feeling safe to let their child walk around the hood and letting them go past the incarcerated gated parking lot of the complex they live in, or shit for that matter the inevitability of placing big brother cameras in those areas…etc etc

    bottom line is that if we’ve cared so much about the hood we live(d) in then we should have cared from the get go and not, as many of us say, “alllllll of a sudden” care and wanta protect our shit when instead of fighting ourselves over some lame ass shit we should have been uniting and prepping for the “inevitability” – most of us engage and play a big role in the whole “gentrifying” of our own hoods

    anyhow – I also exit with these quotes – “know your real enemies” and beware of the “real wolves in who dress in sheep’s clothing”…la neta

    paz and anyhow – AMEN!!

  39. One thing that can help local groups stay on top of things is using the tools that developers and others use to dictate conditions in an area.

    For example, real estate industry people have access to every single property record you can imagine at the click of a mouse.

    Now, that information can be had by regular folks like you and me – and used to battle land owners.

    I spent 10 to 12 hours (off and on) compiling a huge database of property owners on the Elephant Hill. What I found out gave me a couple of places that I thought we could fight the small percentage of land owners in that area from building on that land.

    The data I got was compiled through a backdoor in a title company web-site I had access to. Now I use http://propertyshark.com

    Regarding Elephant Hill, I really think Huizar took the wrong strategy though it helped him politically to “fight” to save the hill sides with that temp. ICO.

    The biggest land owners in the elephant hills owned less than 10% of the total acreage, and those dopes bought it in 2002-2004 – paying a high price for land on spec. to develop it. The vast majority of land owners were sole individuals who bought land in the 1970’s, 1980’s or 1990’s as an investment (that they kinda thought would be developed when they retired). The small buyers bought at much, much, MUCH lower prices that the big guys.

    Huizar could have tried to coordinate a land buy from the smaller owners – and take their political will off the table. Now that the real estate market is tanking (and will continue to do so), they are likely to accept whatever to get their money out of their investment.

    Next, he should have fought to revise the planning and zoning law in the area – getting rid of the residential zoning on the hillside. Instead, he is fighting to violate the law to “stop” development – which is, long term, a losing strategy unless you control the courts (which, fortunately he doesn’t).

    Anyway, I think that protecting the Eastside’s unique character should be about more than angry rants about invaders – but should instead start forming into a practical set of tools that locals can use to tip the balance of power in their favor.

  40. This is a blog, if angry rants can go somewhere a blog would definitely be the place for them to go.

    Tools take the form of many different activities.

    Writing is a tool
    Organizing is a tool
    Voting is a tool
    Job creating is a tool
    Taxes are tools

    And to me writing is an important tool, because it weren’t for people stating their displeasure with activities in written format corporate America can lie and pretend that people where in general where completely ok with certain things and possibly they were not, but if those is no documented proof then how would we know?

    If the online world is going to be archived like the print world then rants are important.

    They are just as important on this blog as they are on the other blogs.

    People think the internet doesn’t matter. I think that’s bull. I think writing and connecting online does matter.


  41. In hindsight, I do regret dropping the “pocho” and f-bombs. It really detracted from what I wanted to be clear about and though it really did help kick up the conversation and vent my feelings of the moment, it was ultimately unhelpful. I do apologize for that.

    If you choose not to read more from me, I’m ok with that. I’ll try to more respectfully demonstrate my position.

    6 years ago I lived in East Hollywood and no not Silverlake or whatever but the ghetto. I knew the neighborhood was a little dicey but hey I’m a “post-racial” guy, plus I needed the cheap rent, a friend lived there, it seemed manageable. Everything went well enough for a couple years and although I never really got to know my neighbors, I was generally ignored. I had no idea I was barely tolerated until 5 kids beat the living crap out of me. That it was racially motivated was obvious, why run down the one white guy when there’s 20 other people walking around? Nobody bothered to help or do anything. One guy walked his dog right past me as I was getting kicked in the face.

    Obviously it was time to go, and after floating at my GF’s for a couple weeks and out of work, running out of money I searched Craigslist and found two cool Korean cats living in LH ready to rent a room to me. In the night, sight unseen I moved to Lincoln Heights. The Gold Line was close, it was ghetto, but hey it was family ghetto, I knew it would be ok. A couple years later my situation is drastically better, married to that GF, planning on buying a house. I don’t blame anyone.

    I love it here. Sure it’s easy to get annoyed about people throwing trash in the street, escandalos (one guy got his car destroyed in front of my apartment by his lady after she caught him with another woman, she hit his sports car with an SUV four times!), and people who try to get the attention of their friends by honking their horn incessantly instead of getting out of the car or picking up a cell phone. Lots of loud kids too. The rent is cheap, stores are close, and I love the history of the area, back to the 1800’s. Nobody bothers me, even if I do stick out. Gangs exist but for the most part keep to themselves. I was cool with it. I have Summer memories of not being able to wait to get home, to walk under the trees and watch my neighbors make farms of their front yards. I love it here. It’s real.

    In truth, I’m not very comfortable around lots of white people. I don’t have a problem with them but it’s all cultural and they get on my nerves in large numbers. They do weird things like think food is killing them, think that REI clothing actually looks good, and jog. I prefer neighborhoods like this and not in order to shape them to my vision. The only trash I pick up is the stuff that people throw in the lawn in front of my apartment.

    My problem is all the hyperbole generated by supposedly enlightened and educated writers on this blog is basically describing people like myself, in this (and other) neighborhoods, as some kind of modern-day conquistadors. By cultural dint of being born White (because it’s not really race so much as it is culture, until people recognize that we’ll get nowhere on that issue) and being here, if I’m not known as a long term resident of the area then I am the invader. My great fear is that kind of hyperbole leads to generalized resentment and when such blanket sentiment is expressed it may get acted upon. On people like me.

    Unfortunately, it’s very easy to utilize stereotypes in order to justify fears and yes, paranoia. I don’t know this ubrayj02 cat but he doesn’t seem much like a bad guy, but he had a couple of you convinced he was some bigbad developer to the point you sought out his identity (and place of residence/business) in order to complete that vision. Turns out he’s not such a bad guy and maybe an ally. He just gives a shit (or so he says? just kidding). Writers here, and yes, not all, on several occasions took ample creative time to paint “hipsters” as the gentrifying force on the Eastside, man the cannons, they’re coming! I know it was a jest but I was born at night, not LAST night. I’m well aware of the subtext, and the subtext was people who look like me, yes, they are the enemy.

    I said it before in commenting on this blog (the Pattaya entry) on gentrification that gentrification isn’t buying a couple houses in the area, gentrification is mowing down a whole BLOCK and putting up a development, as is replacing local businesses with businesses intended for a different population. You may disagree in the case of Echo Park and Silverlake, but then many houses are for sale once again in both neighborhoods and efforts to transform local businesses is apparently scuttled.

    The economy is contracted, credit is dead and the force that allowed unbridled growth in the last 10 years is pretty much washed up. Property is devaluing across the city and even the relatively low property values in E LA are even less attractive. I was really trying to say that I don’t think you can expect some real estate gold rush here and I stand by it. If you think on a decade-long timeline, you may have something there, but I don’t predict some kind of real estate buy-up. Think of the skid row buildings that people spent millions upgrading to lofts. They are the new ghost town. LA Live is doing just ok, and they have an entire white people village going on there in S. Downtown.

    The funny thing is the Latino population is the one ethnic population growing in LA, consistently. Watts and other majority Black population neighborhoods of S LA are quickly becoming Latino neighborhoods (indeed, they already are), leading to much Black on Brown tension. Leimert Park, originally a White suburban project has been a proud Black neighborhood for decades. LH itself was the original White suburb of LA, before they pulled up stakes for (now) Hollywood. The oldest houses still standing in LH and Boyle Heights weren’t adobe, they were wooden White middle class homes, workers, Italians and Germans, that built up this whole area. It’s all ebb and flow, one class/culture moving in, the other moving out. It has been this way since the first Conquistadors moved in to settle the Indians that lived here. Placita Olvera could be one culture’s holocaust as much as it could be another’s rich history.

    The unfortunate thing about all of this is that none of it is recognized. Everyone has their own version of history that plays to their favor. Abetting stereotypes, scapegoating others. This blog hasn’t been much of an exception.

    I’m sorry about what I said, I really am. It was reactionary, I come from a place in my head. Still, it was and is racist what you guys were putting across. I’ll learn to get over myself when you do. Bye.

  42. I’m sympathetic to Ubrayj’s litter problem. I too am into neat streets, because that’s what I’m used to. It’s what we did – we swept the sidewalk and put the leaves into the trash can.

    You can’t get everyone else to change their litterbug behavior. Just do what you can. There’s no point in getting upset at anyone else’s littering behavior, because all that stuff is learned and ingrained. If it changes at all, it’ll change slowly.

    Also, “standards” of being anti-litter are deeply related to the economics that were in effect in suburbia, mid 20th century. Contemporary feelings people have about litter are rooted in our present perceptions and ideas about the environent. It’s not universal – and it won’t ever be.

  43. One thing Salty has right is that credit was the fuel for gentrification. The “right” people getting credit was the reason for it — because the “right” people always have more access to capital. Credit was also the reason why white people fled the city, to the suburbs, and people of color stayed behind.

    Now, that said, there are a lot of gentrification plans underway in the Eastside. Real, big-building, potentially displacing folks projects. Some of them have been documented here, and others (Adelante) have not.

    Credit will affect these, but so will politics.

  44. In my trips across the city I don’t find people in certain sections more dirty, but I do find in certain sections a lack of trash cans and a lack of people hired to do clean up.

    And maybe it’s not so much about better access in some sections (though I’m sure that exists,) but services that are more in tune with certain kinds of lifestyles. A suburban car lifestyle, where people don’t walk on the streets.

    I think one thing I found about the Eastside is that people walk alot more. There are lots of people walking around the streets, which is what being green is all about going out and getting exercise. The city is working on this million tree program, possibly they should be working on a million trash can program. Instead of building city services around the middle class suburban lifestyle they should build it around the urban lifestyle, which often includes walking.

    If I’m walking and I stop to get something to eat I need a trashcan. I have been guilty of littering, because I have gotten tired of walking for blocks and blocks holding trash looking for a trashcan that never materializes, because the city is not set up for people walking.

    Now I could walk around with a bag for my own trash, but then the cops will harass me for being a homeless woman.
    When I went to NY which was INSANELY rich and white by the time I got there. I also noticed more trash, because when people walk they leave things behind. The cleanest parts of the City of LA have no one walking them.

    A clean neighborhood is like your aunt’s living room. The one with the white couch with plastic on it that you can look at it, but you can not sit or walk through. Do we really want our neighborhoods to be like the plastic covered couch?

    I think trash is less of a sign of people not caring and more of a sign of people living, truly living not just driving in their car and going home, but living, interacting and traveling by foot in their neighborhood than anything else. Things get dirtier when you use them.

    The city just needs to adjust for that and instead of this “don’t litter” mantra it needs to be give people access to trashcans and hire people to clean the areas with lots of foot traffic and around bus stops that are more popular. We have street cleaners, why not sidewalk cleaners aren’t people more important than cars?


  45. When it comes to class and race in Los Angeles, I’ve often been shocked by my discoveries. Many years ago, I used to work in Pasadena, right near the border of San Marino. The place I worked had lots of super wealthy customers from the old school money areas. For all their elitism, the rich people were pigs! Man, did they leave their trash behind and strewn about with no concern to others. And then their dogs would leave big messes too and all of us peons were expected to clean up after them. It was then I realized why my neighborhood could be kinda unkempt sometimes. 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.

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