If you build it, they will come and maybe get hurt


Continuing their campaign to raise pedestrian awareness, Metro is going to have ambassadors all week at different spots in East Los dishing out information about rail safety. I would have posted this earlier, but I got caught up with “things.” For more information about all the other stuff happening with the gold line extension, you can go to metro’s web site for the Eastside extension.  They also have this interesting map called “Eastside Flavors.” It’s kinda outdated because they still have the Homegirl Cafe listed and they’ve been gone since they relocated to Chinatown. They mention all the local spots near by around every station so it’s an ok map I guess. The gold line is almost here and the anticipation is KILLING me.     

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Botanitas: March 30, 2009

It’s just like a mini-mall! Oh wait, it is a mini-mall, The Lincoln Mini-Mall. The super nice Lebanese guy who ran the quality clothes (i.e. Levi’s) booth is gone. Perhaps, La Crisis took a toll on his business. I remember him wistfully telling me how Lebanon was once like Europe and how sad he was to leave his country after the war. He and his little shop will be missed.

Botanitas is an ongoing feature bringing you stories and news from various sources, upcoming events and other bits of ephemera that might be of interest to LA Eastside readers. Suggestions welcome!

Keep reading for quotes from the grumpy Lupe’s 12 Kinds of Burritos lady, Eastside oral history, mariachi Shakespeare, gangstas with GQ style and Eastside flavored holidays.
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Ramblin’ On My Mind: I’m A Man. But, You Can’t Call Me That.

I always like the story that the term “man” as a slang gesture of affection or recognition came into vogue through jazz musicians of the 1940’s. That Gillespie, Parker and Miles used the term to destroy the humiliating use of “boy” is a powerful demonstration. We’ll just make up our own shit. Better, let’s call ourselves what we are.

I read this comment from El Chavo and it jarred a few memories:

BTW, I hate that fake bonding shit: I get some people in my work environment calling me ‘bro’ or even ‘brother,’ like I know them or something. It makes me want to punch them.

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I drove by this place recently on Beverly Blvd. east of Atlantic, and I was intrigued by what appeared to be a very unique kind of video rental store. The décor and Horror film imagery of the storefront had me wondering; “Could this be a specialized, horror/cult film genre video store in E.L.A? The kind of place I dream about? –Wow!” Continue reading

Random act of kindness


Very few times in my life I am left speechless because I’m the kind of person that’ll have something to say about anything, even though I may not know what the hell I’m saying. That results in me putting my foot in my mouth and pissing someone off. Nonetheless I was treated to something special last Friday in the form of a tremendous and generous gift. Someone read my post about getting a laptop and paying for school and while I got some interesting comments and reactions from readers and colleagues, someone answered my call. This person wanted to remain anonymous, but nonetheless, I can’t ignore their random generosity. In a nutshell, they had got this laptop for for themselves a while back and never ended up using it. They read my post and thought to themselves, “This computer was meant for ERH.” Well I don’t know about that but I’m none the less EXTREMELY GRATEFUL and APPRECIATIVE of the fact that someone out in cyberlandia read what I posted, felt where I was coming from and decided to help a brotha out.  It’s not everyday that I’m on the receiving end of random generosity, so I’m left speechless. Thank you. I’ll no longer be at school 6 to 7 hours because I need to type up homework, blog or do other random online stuff. Now I’ll be able to go to free wifi hotspots, chill, check my email and blog in peace and serenity. I’m super stoked about this, I can hardly contain myself. Gracias. I’m still trippping out on all this.

Westside 10A: The Boot


Over on this side of the river, a boot on a car for failure to pay the “I don’t own a garage” tax otherwise known as a parking ticket, is quite the common sight. Occasionally, you even see people contemplating if they can take it off themselves, looking at the lock, checking out where it’s clamped. When the money is low the last thing you want to do is throw it away. Which is the reason you never paid your tickets, which lead to the clamp that’s gonna cost you an extra $150, which if you don’t pay in time is gonna mean your ride will get towed and then you are truly jodido. The non-poor rarely realize how expensive it is to be poor. And no, being broke is not poor. When you can no longer call the parents or your other unspecified “resources” to bail you out, then you’ll start finding out what it means to be poor. And by the looks of this fancy BMW/Benz/whatever the fuck it is with a boot, seems people will start getting acquainted with the concept of without fairly soon!

(Update 3/28: Another picture to admire added to end of post!)

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Neighbors: your best source of information


Last Sunday as I was heading home, I noticed the increasingly familiar sight of a helicopter swooping in circles around the heights area of Lincoln Heights. Things have been heating up around Northeast LA and by things, I mean gangs and related activities. They usually confine their exploits to the wee hours of the night so I was surprised at all the commotion on a Sunday afternoon.
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The landmark street sign for long time Eastside favorite “CHRONI’S FAMOUS SANDWICH SHOP” recently fell victim to a “hostile makeover.”

The former original version had featured a flickering neon outline that animated the doggie’s wagging tail and tongue. The new flat paint job reduces the sign to a shadow of it’s former self. By simply filling in the original outlines with bright primary colors instead of attempting to restore the original design, the management continues to further alienate us purists by continuing a string of Chroni’s atrocities such as putting lettuce in the hamburgers.


As an avid preservationist and historian, I lament yet another loss of our city’s original flavor. My only consolation at this point is that I had managed to document images of the original version.

The original Chroni’s sign now becomes yet another bit of L.A. history that we’ll have to find in some future coffee table book. (Sigh) At least we’ll have the pictures, and the memories…………….

My Kogi Experience


kogi truck line

kogi truck line

Sometime last year my homegirl Karen told us about the Kogi truck and she had asked if we were hip to the game. We weren’t.  When I asked Karen how she liked the tacos she said it was “BOMB” (that’s exactly what she texted me)

One day back in Feb. I was on my daily blog stroll and read that the Kogi truck was going to be right around the corner, in front of the Golden Gopher at 9pm. My man and I decided to see what all the hype was about. The truck didn’t arrived until about 9:30-ish.  The line was already to the corner.  The line did not move for a long ass time. We were starving and I’m not in the best of moods when I’m that hungry. 

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Wild Wild Eastside


Quite unfortunately the Eastside (& NELA) seem to be hit by a wave of shootings. The local (il)legitimate media is pretty much silent about it. Working at a high school I have often first hand accounts of the going-downs in Lincoln Heights.  Whether it’s drive-by’s or kids I know getting beat up, things are getting crazy.

Is it La Crisis? Is it an extension of what is going down in México?