On the LA Times Map and Patt Morrison


On the LA River, a tear in the fence.

There’s been lots of mention today of the LA Times map, a work in progress that attempts to define the various neighborhoods in this city. Of particular interest to many of us on this blog, and of course, many people East of the river, was their designation of the region known for a long, long, time as the Eastside. I have to hand it to them, they did the smart thing and stuck with a safe approach, with only Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, and Boyle Heights making the list. Mind you, we all know that East Los Angeles (the unincorporated part of the County) is also part of the Eastside, but it’s not part of the city proper so that makes sense. But Eastside it is, through and through. To the map makers, I raise my glass and toast you some light praise.

Even though Highland Park and some other nearby neighborhoods were appropriately placed in the Northeast region it could be open to some interpretation of it sorta being on the Eastside. I don’t really think so, but it’s possible. But the Northeast and Highland Park are not having an identity crisis, so there’s really no need to figure out if it is or isn’t.

But speaking of identity crisis…


Yes, we cook our food on the flames of your demise!

… it’s starting to look like the days of the revisionist map makers are over! Echo Park and Silver Lake? They’re in Central aka Metro. Oh No! The eastside rug gets pulled out from under them, and they stumble their way into silence. You’ve known the stance at LA Eastside, we speak our mind. But they’ve all told us how boring this whole Eastside “debate” has been, while they do their part to pick their side.

And they all continue to pretend like they don’t see us.

Did you wake up from your nap LAist? Are we mutes until some paper gives us a voice?

Hey la.curbed, how’s it hanging? Are you all planning to mount a defense? Oh, right, we no longer exist.

But your buddy Jesus Sanchez, (with the aggregator site named oddly similar to ours) he’ll toe your line nicely.  His response? To question the Eastside designation and the rest of the maps based on some technicality about Glendale Blvd. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Neighborhoods can jump rivers and freeways, catapult over Elysian Park and El Centro, but not over one Glendale Blvd. Now that’s just too arbitrary! Que pura fucking lastima.

Que pasa over at eastsidelivingla, Beige? How’s the “cross-promotion” link exchange you emailed about going? Do you still “welcome my input”? Well then, here goes: since you “would love to include any voices [I] think are missing” why not include your own explanation regarding this new, yet old Eastside, and where you fit in? “This is your forum, too — and someday might just be an effective and serviceable one for your message(s) or interests.” Yup, actual quotes.

None of those on this list will go on record to defend or explain their reasons for supporting this recently popular notion of “eastside” that’s only east of the westside, other than to refer to their friends and other newbies they know using that term. But that almost seems appropriate.



Last summer some LA Eastside authors got together for a ritual burning of some fake ass “eastside” shopping maps and some collaborative casting of curses, which is obviously starting to bear fruit.

FYI, part of the reason for this very site was due to anger at this offhand dismissal of those communities East of the river that many of us know and love, and for the wholesale theft of our name. There’s been lots of condescending attempts to tell us there’s a New Way now, Man, we just moved in and have different far out, “fluid” ideas! Don’t be an Eastside “essentialist”, let us into your gritty club, dude! That, or just STFU about your old notion of the Eastside.

But our army doesn’t give up so easily.

And though we’ve been battling in the trenches for quite some time, we finally got some LA Times reinforcements. And they brought in the big guns!


Oh Patt Morrison, can you do no wrong? You’re so smart, and sassy, and funny, and know how to slam people into the ground in one fell swoop!


Sure, your definition of the Eastside might be a matter of debate, at least it’s near some logical parameters of interpretation, but you certainly lay down the law on where the Eastside is Not! And you bring down that furious hammer with a vengeance!

All the city’s street numbers — east, west, north, south — begin at 1st and Main downtown; it is Greenwich, the prime meridian of L.A., from which all distances are measured. And ever since the Spanish showed up, “Eastside” has been anything east of the Los Angeles River — Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, Glassell Park. Not Silver Lake. Not even Echo Park.

Let’s not quibble on the little things, the fact is that you are on our side! Pow Pow Boom! Comandante Morrison, presente!

Can someone put in an order for a Mission Accomplished banner?

38 thoughts on “On the LA Times Map and Patt Morrison

  1. Everyone is going to back track now and said, “oh no I didn’t say that…”

    Yeah you did, that’s one good thing about the internet you can always archive and save that crap for later to bring up exactly what someone said.


  2. From Jesus Sanchez at the (cough cough), LA Eastsider blog;
    “The Times would have you believe that Silver Lake begins across the street from Echo Park Lake on Glendale Boulevard. This part of the neighborhood west of the lake is being considered for an Echo Park historic district. Sounds like this map will need a lot of work. So, don’t expect this Eastsider to start calling himself a Silver Laker or Centralist anytime soon.”

    He still doesn’t seem to get it, he’s not an Eastsider if he lives in Echo Park or Silver Lake. But what the hell, some people still believe the world is flat.
    Hey Chavo, I clicked up that blog “eastsidelivingla” for the first time and que la fregada! What a bunch of confused individuals they have over there, it is everything that the Eastside is not, fortunately for us.
    Yeah! Pat Morrison laid down the law according to the Thomas Bros Map Book, the bible of where East is East and West is somewhere else.

  3. If they all admit they’re wrong, then the whole universe will implode. When is the next burning of evil things with beer and food anyway !? April is just around the corner….

  4. There was a never a “debate”. A debate is usually between two valid arguments. There can be no debate when these Westside Pretenders simply argue out of pure petulance & defiance because they’re not used to being told “NO”.
    Now everyone can be aware of how they’ve responded to our claims with haughty dismissals. Well, wake up Westsiders, the Pollos are coming home to roost, and you don’t have a drumstick to stand on.
    Dear Eastside wannabees in Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park,etc,
    We’ve got a few hundred years experience on you of being treated like marginalized outcasts here. We’ve also outlasted better threats than you. Don’t let the EASTSIDE hit you on your BACKSIDE on your way out.

  5. These hipsters don’t even have a clue what it is like to grow up in the Eastside. We need some guerilla activities to magically start occuring in Silver Lake and Echo Park.

    NOTE, if ONLY you know what you did. Then no one can snith on you.

    Viva Boyle Heights

  6. Al, you bring up some good points. Since writing for this blog, many of us have been called some pretty nasty names. I think if one were to have grown up in a sheltered or privileged life some of the names might hurt. Many of us come from marginalized backgrounds so we’re pretty tough.
    Growing up punk in urban LA made me somewhat shielded from insults. You stop caring after awhile what other folks say about you. I kinda feel like LA Eastside is punk in that regards.

  7. awesome, but I doubt it will make much difference. The chingadas on the other side of the river are not used to being wrong and will require a lot more schooling in the ways of the eastside.

  8. ahhh memories… There’s a comment on the lucinda post that is incorrect. The guy named “pieter” says the area east of the eastside was settled postwar.

    That’s not true at all. Mission San Gabriel was settled a long time before that, and there were numerous cities established in the mid and late 1800s. There were large populations of white, Mexican, and Asian people, and some African American neighborhoods. Some of the region’s historical buildings are on the greater eastside, like the SG Mission and the Pio Pico house.

    At one time, when the cities were smaller, it was unclear if the “center” of the region was going to be in Pasadena, Alhambra, or the current downtown LA.

    (Also, a lot of people say the same thing about the San Fernando Valley. They’re also wrong. There were people up there before the war and suburbs too. These valleys were all agricultural communities.)

  9. “ahhh memories… There’s a comment on the lucinda post that is incorrect.”

    …aren’t most of them incorrect? 🙂

    I thought the Pio Pico house was right off Olvera Street. Maybe I’m thinking of plain old Pico House? Pico Ayer or something?

  10. This whole thing is still going on??? Damn ya vasta! I stopped reading all these “eastside” blogs cause this whole thing was getting a little outta hand. Now I may not live in the eastside but I was born and raised in the eastside, a.k.a on the east side of the L.A River and now live in Echo Park and am a latina and feel like all this petty bickering over eastside and what nots is a little much. This blogs is one of my favorite blogs, and when the funny and talented writers aren’t trying to prove they’re “east side” it’s actually very entertaining and informative. Now I hope I don’t offend anyone for that is NOT my intention. I am simply stating my opinion and hope that now that this is cleared up we can drop this whole desmadre and the poignant and highly entertaining posts can resume.
    Gracias y que tengan un buen dia.

  11. yah yah, wait until they start renaming the real eastside, then you might think the cranks here had a point. maybe it’ll take 10 years, with this lousy economy, but developers are patient and persistent.



    BUENA VISTA LOFTS – http://la.curbed.com/archives/2006/02/buena_vista_lof.php

    ah, they might dig up the old place names in the area, and then rename larger areas with these names.

    i was just looking at curbed, and saw that the new high school in boyle heights is named east los angeles high school. isn’t east long angeles a few miles to the east?

  12. If anything we should be talking about this topic, a lot more. Least we forget the names like we have forgotton so many older community names who are left buried in history. Community names such as Dayton Heights, Crown Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Hollenbeck Heights, Pico Heights, Temple-Beaudry in the City and Fremont, Belvedere, Belvedere Gardens, Walnut Park, Florence-Graham and Firestone in the County. These names are all part of our City and County history and yet for the most part forgotten. If we leave this debate regarding the eastside alone, it will eventually join these forgotten names in history as well. If one truly loves the eastside, I can’t understand how one can stand idly by and say nothing in it’s defense regarding this issue. My compliments and commendations to all those who have spoken out, stood up and defended the eastside!

  13. “eastside” is a geographically and culturally defined concept. Geographically, see, there’s this river. If you’re east of it, safely call yourself an ‘eastsider’…unless, Patt, you’re north of the 5 fwy, ’cause when that badboy river turns west, you’re *north* of the river. Hola, northsider.

    Culturally, “blogging” is probably the #1 most ‘westsider’ thing you can do. That, or blogging while sitting at that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe, and *you know you just got called out so-called ‘eastsider’* 🙂

  14. Keep talking about it!!!! If we loose our history it is easy to loose our culture. Keep talking!

    Viva Boyle Heights

  15. Well like I have always said, they can call themselves eastside but what are they “east” of? The obvious answer is they are the eastside of the westside. Yes the westside! The old westside if you will. The area referred to as the “western addition” at the time that the City started to push it’s western border further out west. So call the area, the eastside of the westside, West Central L.A. or the Near Westside, which is much more appropriate, just don’t call it “thee” eastside!

  16. Robert, please stop with the “hueros do it and you are too, so you’re bad” talk, that is pretty damaging in the chicano community even if youre joking.

    I work in the green industry, and the George Lopez skit on how whites pick up their dog poo and care about their health is STILL a huge obstacle in the public health/watershed industry.

    That being said, I agree with you about Geography and culture. I think “eastside” is much more a state of mind, albeit also a geographic motherbarrio. Eastside (in LA) has always represented the poorer, rougher and generally more brown part of town. Even in South LA, blacks considered the East Siders (as noted here before) as tougher and poorer, and before the mid 90s, it also indicated the more brown part of south central (now its all brown).

    In geographic motherbarrio terms, the Eastside is bounded by the river, the county line at montebello/montpark, vernon-commerce to the south and el sereno to the north. Culturally speaking, the eastside includes barrios in the western SGV (I’d say it can be coined clear to El Monte, IMHO) and the southeast cities, NELA and parts of South LA/Florence-Firestone.

  17. I would just like to clear my own comment up: I am not saying we should forget about the commercialism and the destruction of historic buildings and communities I just wanted to end the fight of who’s more “eastside” or who’s the real “eastside.” Why not unite with everyone that is trying to fight for the cause of keeping these communities safe from these corporations and real estate firms trying to destroy them. That’s what we need to fight about. And I know some of the bloggers on here do fight the fight and for that they’re admirable. So I just wanted to clear that up for myself mainly because I don’t want to come off like I don’t care about what’s happening, more like lets get our s*** together and actually do something to save it, not try to prove were more eastside than people who don’t even know where the real eastside is.

  18. Gentrification = A pie
    All of the issues being discussed here are the engredients needed to make a pie (gentrification.)

    Viva Boye Heights

  19. keep vigilant gente, they just might call us the “Historic Eastside” and then there will be a “New Eastside” full of the last remaining white folks in the city limits.
    The Devil doesn’t rest.

  20. why has city terrace been excluded from the Eastside?

    Is Boyle Heights the only important Eastside neighborhood??

  21. The LA Times map was only for the city of LA, so City Terrace and East LA were not included — but it doesn’t mean they’re not on the eastside in their nomenclature.


    Whites don’t pick up their dog poo. I’ve seen a few leave the poo behind, after encouraging their dog to go on the grass.


    I think the effort to preserve names meshes 100% with the effort to prevent gentrification.

    We also need to define gentrification, over and over, because gentrification is often equated with neighborhood improvement, when it can be destructive.

  22. Meh, Im kinda getting sick of this subject as well, although its discussion is good. It seems like it is becoming a black hole on this site, sucking everyone in. Im gonna try and get back to pointing out the good things in the ExS, as that alone serves almost as much purpose as correcting what side is where.

    Not that this isnt the best place to discuss this, but Im a little tired of it.

  23. Why is everyone forgetting “Bella Vista”?, I remember the area East of Atlantic to Bradshawe being called “Bella Vista”, don’t hear anyone mentioning that!The last rusted sign was last seen in the 80’s on Margaret Ave near Beverly Blvd.

  24. Dear El Chavo,

    I have been in Los Angeles a scant fifteen years. I have no roots here to claim that my voice speaks for an entire culture, race, ideology or social class, but I do feel that I have the pulse of a certain section of the progressive minded youth in very general terms.
    I moved to LA from a small town in The New Mexico- In fact from the oldest continually inhabited city in North America (not my doing, I was just born there, and as the local Indian and Hispanic population loved to remind me, they came first) so I do have some idea of what it means to have history, and how it feels to have that seemingly disregarded. But I came here to Los Angeles on purpose, to live, learn, and pursue dreams, just like everybody else who has ever come here before, from Felipe de Neve, on.

    Having lived only in South Central (yes, that’s four years at USC, before the Staples Center and the subsequent “upgrade” of the Figueroa corridor) and then in Los Feliz, the western border of what is here-to-fore to be known as “The New Eastside” (not my turn of phrase, thanks(?) Patt Morrison -she might not want to be thanked for that). These are not really the toughest neighborhoods LA has to offer, but I have had my bike stolen- out from under me- and my car broken into- thrice. And when I moved from college into the nineteen-nineteen apartment building in which I still reside, there were crack dealers and coke-smokers on the first floor, the prolific author and playwright, Robert Patrick, on the second, and an aging and scary heroine addict across the hall from me on the third. Eleven years later, amidst the new populace of young, single women and hipster musicians, only Bob Patrick remains here, holding memories of a less West Side friendly time…
    So I came at the beginning of a general gentrification of Los Feliz, and the middle stage of the reinstatement of Los Angeles’ subconscious reinvestment in the East Hollywood of yore. And here, finally, is my point:

    At first when people asked where I lived, they were prepared to hear one of three things: the West Side, Hollywood, or the Valley. And I very quickly tired of saying “Los Feliz,” (proper Spanish inflection – did I mention I’m from The New Mexico?)…and being met with a blank stare. “It’s on the East Side of Hollywood.” …still met with nods of misunderstanding, maybe a lifted eyebrow. Then I would say, “los Feeelis,” (feeling like an idiota Texan) and they would say, “ooooh, I’ve heard of that.” And I would finally give up.
    Two years later, when asked where I lived, I would simply say, “on the East Side.” And they would say, “oh, okay,” or, “oh, cool,” and I’d never have to explain a thing after that. So, while I know I didn’t coin the term, and I have nothing to gain from misleading anyone about the zip-code of my residence (except for the car insurance companies, but that’s another story), I feel entitled to use the phrase, “on the East Side,” because, as you know, everything that is understood by points West of the La Cienega curtain, that is not also Downtown, is merely East.
    Of course now, eleven years later, Los Feliz is an acceptable term to use on the West Side, but “the east side” has been in popular use to describe this general area for over seven years… so getting people to stop will require a herculean effort – the chances are good that without a full-scale assault on the “Los Angeles Metro Area,” there will be no change in the hipster nomenclature of the Silver-Feliz local.

    Now as a point of clarification, I have never, not once ever, referred to this area as East LA. To me that is deliberately misleading. “East LA” is a phrase to be used specifically, pointedly, and with gravitas. But to say Easside, in passing, non-clarified conversation, is simply a point of personal freedom, exercised in a City that allows and encourages such ease, and is certainly not meant to rob any of the REAL Eastsider’s of their dignity.

    And to prove that there are no hard feelings, from here on in, in deference to the Real Eassiders, and to do my part to reduce inter-city tensions (while retaining some of my naturally hip swagger) I resolve to remain vigilant in my use of the term, and whenever possible to add “The New” in front of my general reference, just like my home-land, because as Ms. Morrison pointed out, just renaming South Central LA, South Los Angeles, isn’t gonna change the words that come out of people’s mouths, or what they think when they say it. Nor is knowing where the East Side ACTUALLY is going to change the fact that the first five “east side” restaurant neighborhoods on “Yelp!” are actually west of the LA River…

    Gracias, y Buena Suerte,

  25. If ever I was to tell people that I lived in Silver Lake, between Echo Park and Los Feliz,and I was met with blank stares, (unless they were tourists), I would ask,..”How long have you lived here BABOSO????”

  26. The East Side is basically anywhere a preppy middle class snob can walk into a bar with a Spanish name, give a “dark, seedy” looking patron a slap on the face and grab their cheek, and dance to La Cucaracha on the jukebox.

  27. What is this “New” eastside east of? Certainly not the Central City. The Heart of the City still remains Downtown Los Angeles and from there all the “sides” of the City radiate. It’s obvious the people who call the area in question “eastside” do not view Downtown as the City Center. They are more likely to view the far westside as “L.A.” and therefore the core area from where all the City’s “sides” begin. But make no mistake Downtown Los Angeles is the Heart of the City of the Angels and from there all the “sides” begin. That makes the “New” eastside in actuality the westside. It may not be as modern and affluent as the far westside, but it is nonetheless part of the Greater westside region of our City.

  28. Dylan, those who dumb down for dumb people, end up being just as dumb.

    You had it right first, but to save the embarrassment of idiots or maybe you are too busy to explain yourself, you chose to go with the wrong and lazy answer.

    Sorry for you. New Mexico awaits your return, please.

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