Memories of A Lost Boulevard; Ghosts of the Eastside


The character of the E.L.A. that I knew growing up is long gone. Everything changes, evolves.
Those who lived there before me surely must have cherished their own “good old days” as much as I do mine. And twenty years from now, others will do the same.
We are beings that exist in that sliver of time between our past and future. Yet, if we were to somehow erase every memory from the past out of our minds, who would we be? The sum of our experiences, the memories of what we have lived before, are essentially the totality of who we are at this moment. So have my experiences and present memories of growing up in E.L.A. formed this person that I am today. E.L.A. is in my DNA.
It now brings me joy to reminisce, because I can relive those times. Many thanks to all of you out there who join me on these little journeys to memoryland. So let’s take another trip….

Cruisin’ Music

The Commerce Shopping Center has taken many shapes and forms since I can remember it. My earliest memories are of scattered retail stores amidst large parking lots and vacant dirt lots in the 60’s. I recall the large street sign for the supermarket “FOOD GIANT” looming over the street. It featured a cartoon logo of a smiling farmer with a cornucopia besides him. Later, I remember this becoming the “FOOD KING” for many years afterward. Sometime later, the market changed names once or twice more. Today it’s “EL SUPER”.

Recently, I went back there for a visit and made a startling discovery while snooping around inside. I saw many changes in the interior design that made it all unfamiliar to me.
There was a vague, general resemblance to the old supermarket I used to know, but one thing in particular stood out. I sensed that the flooring had remained original after all of these years. Beneath the layers of multiple coats of finish, was the same floor from the 1960’s. Wow!


Ignoring the people that were giving me weird looks for walking around staring at the floor of their supermarket, I approached a corner near where I remembered the old snack bar used to be.
I moved a trash bin aside to get a better look and was shocked to find this!


The original logo from the FOOD KING store (FK) still embedded in the flooring tile! The present managers must keep it hidden with this waste can. Amazing.

A few steps east of the market stands the landmark eastside temple of discount shopping:
K-MART. Memories here include; the flashing blue light, the floors sticky with spilled multi-colored ICEE drinks, the submarine sandwiches, popcorn, pudding and jell-o cups. And that floating voice that called out: “Attention K-Mart Shoppers!”…

Since I can remember and to this day, the checkout lines at K-Mart have been the most inefficient and chaotic places in the retail universe. Every item needs to have a “Price Check” called on it, mis-priced items are commonplace, customers attempted to actually haggle with cashiers over prices (“Andele, no sea mala, dejemelo mas barato!”) There has always been the screaming kids running amok, smearing sticky hands on the Jaclyn Smith designer dresses, parents setting their little monsters loose to trash the toy section,
Annoying teenagers turning up the volume on the stereo systems, the old viejitos parking their carcasses on the patio furniture all day, and the occasional spectacle of the shoplifter being walked out in handcuffs (I once witnessed a thief run from security through the store and attempt to escape by crashing through the front glass window like in the movies. It didn’t turn out like in the movies.) By the way, I have to say that I was never too keen on K-MART’s decision to  bring in the Little Caesar’s Pizza franchises into their stores, I’ve found that it made the place stink of bad pizza.

Next door to K-MART, I remember was a Marinello School of Beauty, an alternative to Community College for many young ladies in the neighborhood. I dated a girl who went to beauty school there, She’d show up hung over in the mornings for class after partying all night at CLUB 47 and Audio Climax parties and fuck up clients hair for them. But she was cute, and made good tips.

Over to the west of K-MART and the Supermarket was a retail building that took on many names over the years.


  • Unimart
  • Disco
  • Fedmart
  • Tu-Guys
  • Target (today)

As a kid, this was one of my favorite places for buying Hot Wheels toy cars and 7” vinyl singles of the latest hit records. I still own those 45’s by artists like:

•    The Beatles
•    Stevie Wonder
•    The Partridge Family
•    The Carpenters
•    The Jackson 5
•    Cat Stevens
•    Blood, Sweat & Tears

Further west of Target, I recall a Thrifty’s Drug Store and then a big vacant lot bordering Goodrich Ave. that stood empty for years, much to our delight, as this empty lot became the stopping place for numerous Carnivals and Fairs that came by through the years. That lot eventually became the site of new retail buildings and the infamous Commerce Theater that was new and modern for about 5 minutes.


Eventually, large portions of the Commerce Center’s parking lot were converted into more retail buildings from Gerhart Avenue to Goodrich Avenue facing Whittier Blvd. to become the mega-shopping mall it is today. Back when it was all parking lots in front, I remember that it was a favorite gathering spot for Car Clubs on weekends. You’d drive by on Whittier Blvd. and see groups of Low Rider cars and all the guys & gals neatly displayed near the sidewalk for everyone to check out. They’d hang out all day long till the sun went down. Then it was time to Cruise!

Behind the center was, and still is I believe, a large cannery packing/storage plant. Going south to Olympic Boulevard is the building that once housed the old WHITE FRONT store. We used to shop there when I was a kid and I’d be bored silly. Luckily they had those kiddy rides outside where we could ride a fiberglass pony or clown car in little circles for a dime.


I also remember going to WHITE FRONT’s parking lot one particular Saturday for a special event; The host of Channel 9’s Horror Show “Fright Night”, SEYMOUR himself, was making a personal appearance and we were thrilled to see him.



Those were the days……


This entry was posted in Blogs, East Los, Eastside, history, Personal, Photos and tagged by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697

94 thoughts on “Memories of A Lost Boulevard; Ghosts of the Eastside

  1. “Back when it was all parking lots in front, I remember that it was a favorite gathering spot for Car Clubs on weekends. You’d drive by on Whittier Blvd. and see groups of Low Rider cars and all the guys & gals neatly displayed near the sidewalk for everyone to check out. They’d hang out all day long till the sun went down. Then it was time to Cruise!”

    The car clubs,
    Those really beautiful girls, cool cars, posing, smiling, exchanging phone numbers, people watching, mad dogging, and yes, the inevitable chingasos.
    Drinking With Tony

  2. I’ve added a thumbnail of that old b&w shot of Whittier Blvd. at the very end of this post. Click on it to see the full image. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Great old photo of Whittier Blvd, AlDesmadre! Our family had a little book store not too far from there. My grandmother also liked shopping at the JonSon’s Market nearby

  4. I remember all of those places. That was our place to shop (besides the original Atlantic Square) when we would venture out of Boyle Heights to shop back then. I remember getting my first ticket there for not having a front license plate on my car. As kids my parents would take us to Kmart for clothes, shoes and an occasional “Kmart” sandwich. Our routine was going to Kmart then head to Two Guys (whatever is was called back then) then swing around the back to White Front. After that, then it was off to Builder’s Emporium across the street from Pep Boys on Atlantic Blvd. for some pipe fittings.

  5. Ah Yes, Builders Emporium. My first real job after HS. We’d head to the Lucky Lanes Bowling Alley coffee shop next door on our breaks. Or Gardunos across the street.

  6. AL,

    I love your “Memories” series of post’s they are def my style. I did not grow up in East LA but reading your post’s gives me a wonderful picture of times that passed. Like Random says I think i was born in the wrong era lol
    haha i would get excited too over something like how you discoverd the orignal floor in that store.

  7. Thanks for the memories Al! You need to go on some radio show reading these posts over an Eastside classics soundtrack!

    So glad you brought up Builder’s Emporium and Lucky Lanes Bowling Alley, I spent so much time in that little area as a kid. My mom joined an LAUSD Bowling League one year so my brother and I hung out at Lucky Lane’s for hours at a time. Our entertainment while my mom was bowling was eating greasy fries in the cafe and playing with the brightly lit colored knobs on the cigarette machine. Hey, it wasn’t Disneyland but we were happy! 🙂

  8. I spent much of my youth in that area, it was just a 66 bus ride away. A weekend at the Commerce theater and then it was all about the arcade next door. A Sunday would wiz by in a flash.

  9. I remember going to the original Canter’s Jewish deli on Brooklyn Ave.just west of Soto St. after seeing a movie at the Brooklyn theatre. The drive thru hot dog place on Soto north of Whittier Blvd was called Diggity Dog and during summer days they would have a special- 12 hot dogs with this weird sauce they labeled “chili” for $1.00 Yes! one dollar. We would pile into a car -buy 2 dozen hot dogs for $2 and head out to the beach. Of course if we wanted a real treat, we would go over to Cielito Lindo taquitos on Olvera St. where I swear they use some type of addictive substance on their taquitos that to this day I will go out of my way and stop there for taquitos. When I first started going there the taquitos were 2 for 25 cents. Now the #1 plate of 3 taquitos and beans/cheese with the greatest sauce for $7.00. Oh by the way,there was also a Sambo’s on Mission Rd. near the LAC/USC county hospital.

  10. What a trip. I used to go to Two Guys and Builders Emporium as a tot, and later in life Lucky Lanes too, but didn’t have any idea that was East LA or Commerce. It just seemed like a long-ass drive from home.

    Oh yah, it’s neat watching the dudes make chicharron at El Super. Did you get to see the show? It’s kind of scary how they shove a huge piece of skin around in hot lard.

  11. My first job out of highschool was at that Kmart. My dad was from the Imperials. I love your posts Al

  12. I was a member of the Variety Boys Club(no girls then) back in the late 60s to the 70s. The club is on Cincinnati St. and every year the Brooklyn theatre would host the Christmas program there with a free first run movie, food, and toys. The line to get in would be at the entrance to the alley. Monty Hall would make his appearance and we would try to get there early so we can sit in the center aisle seats just so Monty can high-five us on his way back out, I think he was involved in the community. As a student of Salesian HS us seniors would go out for lunch to that drive thru-hot dog stand on Whittier/Soto. We would get into trouble by sneaking some hotdogs back to class after lunch. One day after lunch I was busted eating a hotdog during classtime and the sister called the dean on me. The dean got my hotdog crumbled it up and put it inside my back pocket and told me “sit on it”. Does anyone remember those “oil pumps” that was on Soto and Wabash and I think also off of Brooklyn too?

  13. My family would go to that Chili Dog stand on Soto north of Whittier when the dogs were like 18 cents ea. I remember going to see some funny theatre shows from Mexico at El Teatro Blanquita on Whittier down the street.

  14. I sure remember Tu-guys & Unimart. on Whittier blvd. Atferwards, my parents and I would go get a root beer and hamburger at the drive up A&W right across the street. I’m not sure if there was one on Whittier Blvd. but does anyone remember Zody’s???

    Anyone remember the JC Penny’s on Atlantic, in Monterey Park? I remember in high school, (Roosevelt, class of ’75) guys always wore white-shirts, but to be cool, they HAD TO BE one specific brand….Towncraft. And only JC Pennys sold them.

  15. I remember the Zody’s on First and Mott Streets in Boyle Heights. Before that corner turned into a commercial strip it was the location of Little Sisters of the Poor, an old folks home for the needy from 1905 to 1979? The old Atlantic Sq. where I also got my white t-shirts. I think it was because they where thick and heavy and you didn’t need anything else over it. Don’t get me started…

  16. Al- Sure would love to know where I can see more photos of Whittier Blvd from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, (ELA area prefferably) where are they at?? Thank You!!

  17. Vince- these are true lost treasures. I’ve been researching all this for some years now and the stuff I’ve gotten is often extremely difficult to track down. I’m on the case all the time but it’s like looking for the Chicano Holy Grail sometimes. I get lots of promises and false hopes, and I get a lot of “Oh, I’ll find some and get back to you later”.., and that’s “later” as in ELA time, you know how it is sometimes! right? LOL!:)

  18. Yeah- like later, later? Too bad, I would like to see YOUR version of PBS “Things That aren’t here anymore”!!

  19. Javi? What year did you graduate from Salesian (I was 73)?

    I mentioned in another post, that my grandmother lived in the house next to the drive thru hot dog stand on Rogers and Soto, and then there was the ultimate Salesian Hang out ‘The White Spot’ at the corner of Whittier and Soto.

    Sadly, I got to witness first hand the destruction of and the changes of the old Boulevard. The East LA Sheriff’s rioted on August 29th 1970, and many landmarks from my childhood were either burned down that day, or just disappeared shortly after. The boulevard was never the same after that day.

    I remember cruising on Friday and Saturday nights, from Ford to Atlantic, halloweens were fun, I was kissed by several girls in costume just walking in between cars, New Years was the same at midnight, people walking in between cars, making out with anyone of the opposite sex.

    I just avoided being shot on the boulevard one night, pulled up to a stop light, heard the guys on both sides of my car yelling at each other, a gun appeared I put the car in reverse as someone fired 3 shots across my hood into the other car. There was a Sheriff about 500 feet away who chased after the shooters. I picked up his ticket book off the street, I’m sure that there were a few people who were happy that they never had to deal with their tickets, (we threw the book away).

    I have been living in OC, have spent a little time in downtown Santa Ana, if you want to remember what East LA was like in the 60’s and 70’s check out 4th street in Santa Ana. It is like stepping through a time machine. Trippy, had to put down my yesca and do a double take. lol

  20. Al- All- It’s always sad to report the loss of any original building on Whittier Blvd that was from what I consider the classic era. When we go down whittier Blvd today, what buildings are still here with the original names? I can think of maybe two, just the two Chinese Restaurants on Whittier Blvd (one just west of the pool hall which was formally called “Borjas” Pool Hall that’s what it was when Chuco walks by In “Boulevard Nights”)and the other(ChungKing) just east of “Porky’s”. Victor’s Men’s wear may be an original standing but I’m not sure!! Porky’s would be another, but they !@#$$$^ up that sign as well!!!
    Now, the time capsule that I’m refering to is Bud Hawkin’s Garage @ Whittier & Burger Ave, now it’s been changed to a street rod performance place!! Wow!! for the longest time this place was one of the few remaining time capsules on what I call the “classic” Whittier Blvd strip.

  21. Thanks Vince- you are right. I’m doing an upcoming post on “what’s left” of the original Whittier Bl. shops from Ford Bl. to Atlantic Ave. It’s kind of a short list unfortunately….

  22. Wow!! Big change for Whitter Blvd I rember my first job working at the Jewll theater. hanging out at Jhonny’s hot dog stand across the street from Lugna park aka: Rubin Salazar now. I recall street cars on the Blvd putting match boxes full of matches or dynomite caps ripped off from trains parked on the tracks south of Olympic street car would come along and BANG set thoughs suckers off and really piss off the Conductor. as we got older we all hung out at Pauls on Beverly blvd the Golden gate and Stans on Atlantic. How many of you recall the Sugar shack next to United Artist. or the Garmar all gone now Man whoever you are you sure screwd up the Blvd. one of the long lost Charmers de ELA

  23. Al- One more possibly, I think “Mission Furniture” is another original that is still standing, with the same name, you can see it in the backround in “Boulevard Nights” during the hopping contest!!

  24. AL- “Vic the Tailor”, I believe is still there also, “Safety Liquor” ( I always wondered about that name, considering how many people been shot or stabbed there)”Eddie Dillen? Hardware” still looks original from the backside, although the classic neon sign that was out front is long gone. “Wenger’s” is still there, but not in their original smaller building. I have always said that “Boulevard Nights” is probably the best place to see the classic boulevard as it once stood in it’s heydey. If anyone else knows of a movie, or where there are photos of that classic time, (on the boulevard) please let me know!!

  25. Al-DQ-Ray-All,Think about it for a moment…. all the nice, good, classic eateries that we have lost!! Wow! I think of a day when you could start on Atlantic Blvd, heading South,(leaving monterey Park heading South) there was the Shakey’s Pizza that had that old fashioned feel, the Laurel & Hardy flics on the screen, pitchers of ice cold beer,the piano playing the old time songs, and perhaps some blue eyed italian folk, not some asian dude making your pizza!! The original IHOP on Atlantic. Let’s just say going down Atlantic Blvd for example, you could stop at Largo’s Mitote, if not, you now had HO-HO Chinese Restaurant coming up on your left side as you head south at 4th St. Fine Chinese dining in East LA not like some asian franchise/buffet place, much, much better!!Keep on heading south you could eat at Vivian’s, near Atlantic & 6th st. Killer Machaca, and menudo!! Keep heading south, on the right side,before Whittier Blvd, “Vesuvio” Italian Restaurant,(it even had a classic looking neon sign with a little volcano) classic Italian Restaurant in ELA!!. That small stretch is filled with classics that are long gone, so sad!!I just wanted to make an example with a small stretch of Atlantic, I’m sure there are many areas that have the same memories!!

  26. Al- Another of the “What’s Left”, would be the Dr. Cohen’s Eye Doctor on Whittier Blvd just east of Kern Ave I believe, it looks like a time capsule of the past!! What about the Buster Brown shoes on the corner of Kern & Whittier Blvds? Wasn’t there a dentist office upstairs or something?? The Buster Brown and Dentist office are long gone. (if I’m correct about them being there.)

  27. Geezus. are we going to name every single business that ever existed on the eastside? Let’s focus on the important cultural icons and landmarks. I know this will probably upset some but really! Dr. Cohen and some dentist office! Vince, let’s be careful not to “Jump the Shark”. John

  28. First lets leave Jesus out of this I don’t care how you spell it!! Second Al Desmadre was thinking of doing a post on whats left of the original blvd, the buildings that are still standing with the same name. The Dr Cohen was there since I remember in the 70’s , sure it not a cultural icon or something, but it is an original place still standing with the same name regardless of what you think!! Jump the Shark? Please!

  29. Dr. Cohen’s office is special because of the Art Deco Architecture of the building and the special connection to the past that it lends to this stretch of the Blvd. Many of us who grew up around this and other (apparently) insignificant places have very special memories and history attached to these simple buildings. The value of noting and reminiscing about these places may be lost to some, but not to me. I leave the cultural icons and landmarks to the Tourists.

    Thank you Vince! keep ’em coming! Upstairs with Dr. Cohen there used to also be a foot doctor and on the second floor exterior of the bldg. there were painted illustrations of before & after feet. Remember that? “Fallen Arch” & “Normal Arch”. Remember the tiny storefront Gas Company (where you’d go pay your bill!) a few doors down?

  30. AL-Thanks for watching my back, jOhn and his old time cliche’s were giving me a headache, I ‘ve never seen him post here before, he sounds like a westsider, trying to tell me what’s important to ME!! WOW!!
    Anyway you saw my little poem about the westsiders!!!
    Now, back to business, the “Kennedy Hall” has been mentioned, it’s still there, but what about across the street from the Kennedy Hall?
    There was “Chuck’s Liquor”, and an old place where they repaired old time washing machines, “Gus & Gitos” (G&G) Market, “The Ranch Market”, where I had a alot of fun as a kid, 10 cent bag of popcorn from the machine, 25 cents to play a few rounds on a shooting game!! Sometimes a grape or cherry slush (10 cents)
    I could spend a couple of hours there easily!!There was also an “International Bakery” there also!! What about next door to the Kennedy HALL just south, the classic bar “Lincoln’s Fish Bowl”, I knew a lady who worked there “Big Betty”!!! I do remember the sign with the fallen arch, I remember the gas company too!! What about the “Yellow Taxi” area and special phone just inside Food King?
    The “Buster Brown Shoes” sign was absolutely classic!! This one is for you Al- I read your post on being at the riots as a kid, when you were standing by the Azteca Tortilleria, do you remember Dr Boorsook’s OFFICE, just south of Azteca on Kern AVE, same side of the street? The building was green and white, and it had red brick along the bottom area!! His nurse was named “Florence”. He’s the doctor that delivered me at the Mission Hospital in 1959!!
    He was a good doctor from the old school, he was German I believe. One time when I was about 6 years old he gave me a shot and bent the needle on my arm, bruised the hell out of my arm, I’ll never forget him, he was a nice man though!!

  31. Oh Vince!
    I vaguely remember all those places near the Kennedy Hall.
    As a kid, Atlantic Ave. was like a world away. Not till I went to Garfield High did I start wandering through there.
    And that Buster Brown Shoes sign off of Kern Ave. had a logo with that kid with the funny hat and his dog.
    About the riots; I was standing outside of ACAPULCO MEXICATESSEN. A little tortilleria/market. I lived a few yards down and I remember Dr. Boorsook’s bldg. (It’s all gone now) It had a cool little porch with red bricks.
    It’s funny how we remember our old family doctors! Next to that office was an alley, I often dared to venture into it as a kid and I discovered that there were living units back there. Past that alley going north on Kern was a Laundromat, and next to that was a bar! a bar with no name out front, just a plain pink painted wood panel exterior. I was dared to stick my head in there once and it stunk of cigarettes & cheap beer. My white neighbor named Manny would frequent that joint and come out hammered. He’d then stagger out of the bar at night and go home and beat the crap out of his family. We’d hear the commotion from next door all the time. It sounded like a real desmadre. Next to that bar was that Acapulco Tortilleria we mentioned, then a barber shop. I never knew it to be the Azteca. Maybe it was before my time. Sorry!

  32. Ok, ok I’m sorry .No I’m not a westsider unless you mean west of Indiana which I admit I grew up west of Indiana but EAST of downtown L.A. maybe you’ve heard of my old barrio, Boyle Heights? Well, as a young chavalo, I cruised Whittier Blvd. at age 14 with this Vato Loco, a veterano from White Fence name Louie who drove his father’s candy apple red convertible Cadillac up and down Whittier where we would turn around at the A&W Root Beer stand ( remember?-they had car service). Later on I would cruise around in my ’51 Pontiac Hearse ( it was really an ambulance but everyone thought it was a hearse). They girls from Garfield were either dying to get in or dying to get out of my car. It was a unique one of a kind vehicle which my abuela sold after I was drafted into the service ( I fought in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cavalry Division as a machine gunner). After that, I played in various bands up and down Whittier and Atlantic ( from St. Alphonsus to the Kennedy Hall to Monterey West to the Little Union on Goodrich to the Lampliter-God what a dive that was- to the Montebello Ballroom and many other places in and out of Eastlos. Later, I was fortunate to join forces with Ruben and the Jets under Frank Zappa recorded 2 albums with Mercury Records and played all over the U.S. all the time being proud and even writing and singing original songs touting Eastlos. So you see I’m no Westsider or tourist but someone who cares very much about Chicano life on the East Side. I have even managed to get a masters from U.S.C. and have worked on the Eastside for years. I’m sorry I touched a nerve with my last email. I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone and if my comments offended anyone-which obviously it did- I apologized. I have raised 3 wonderful dedicated children who have their own websites chronocling the exploits and pleasures of living in the Eastside which I still do if one considers Montebello part of the Eastside. I have submitted many comments in the past(under the name psychojam and plan to continue. I have a lot of stories and experiences about the Eastside to share if your interested. Again, my apologies to those I offended. I really do enjoy hearing about most of the stories and sharing experiences. I will try and be more sensitive. Sometimes my humor gets me in trouble. John

  33. ^Go Dad! LOL! 🙂 Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!
    It was nice to read the stories in your comment. I’ve heard them before but not all the details. Thanks for sharing them and for giving me an appreciation of my Eastside roots!

  34. John, Thank you for your last comments. You are truly a man that I can respect.:)
    I welcome your points of view. As well as that of all others. As you can see, there are infinite types of perspectives on ELA on these posts and these comments, and I love celebrating the range of diversity coming from this common source of inspiration; The Eastside! Please continue to contribute here! We need words like yours!!

  35. Vince what a small world! I knew Dr and Mrs Borsook very well. I met them through a friend and as a building contractor I did a lot of work for them on their properties. I became friends with Dr Borsook and went deep sea fishing with him many times, he was a fishing nut and always ready to go.
    One time we got kicked off the ship before it left port. Dr Borsook and I got to San Diego early, after a nap Dr Borsook woke up hungry and grumpy and felt that there should have been food on the boat for us. Nobody but us was on board so we walked up to the nearby seafood joint and were standing in line to order. Then the captain walked in and Dr Borsook started calling him every kind of a son of a bitch for not having food on board for us. It got so heated that Dr Borsook went after the captain and wanted to kick his ass even though the Dr was in his eighties,I had to get between the captain because Doc Borsook was rushing his ass like a mad bull.
    The captain threw us off the fishing trip and we had to drive back to LA all pedo from all the Kessler whiskey we both drank while on the ship, I crawled into bed after midnight.
    Dr Borsook was Jewish and originally from Toronto Canada. He was a great guy, who was a fishing buddy and who always supplied a bottle of Kessler whiskey (the only bourbon whiskey he would drink), for both of us, I always drove the car in return.
    He was dying of cancer and I visited him in his Pasadena home the day before his death, Mrs Borsook poured us both a glass of Kessler whiskey for a bon voyage drink for the Doc, we toasted to good fishing and downed the hooch, Doc started choking and coughing and looked up at me and said “What the hell! are you trying to kill me with this shit!
    A great guy the Doc.

  36. DQ- Wow!! It certainly is a small world, but not to you, you certainly know a wide range of people! You post extensively, and intelligently on many different subjects!! I always considered myself intelligent (straight A student basicly my whole life)yet on this web site I have understood that there are many, many, others out there who are just as gifted, if not more!
    You and Al Desmadre constatntly amaze me with your perspectives, as well as memories. Dr Boorsook was something right out of my childhood, I remember him, and his office clearly, the way the door would squeak when he would walk into the examination room. The old fashioned sterilizer boiling all the needles and stuff!
    His nurse “Florence”. I thought he was German, my bad, but he was rather gruff, and rough, he bruised the hell out of my arm, he said “sorry” but dont worry, “You’ll be ok”. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be able to discuss Dr. Boorsook with anybody besides my parents! Wow!!!! You know so many people Dq I should hit you up because I am a music consultant, and songwriter who is currently working with an up coming rapper, and we need some good contacts!! We have some, but could definitely use some more!!
    Al- My bad on the name of the tortilleria, I was thinking “Azteca” up on Cesar Chavez next to “La Careta!” OOPS!! Dr. Boorsook’s porch was just as you described it, the alley and everything. Also, down Atlantic, we can’t forget the so called “Latin Strip” when there were a few strip clubs on Atlantic between 6th and Whittier Blvds. One was called Pacheco’s i believe, do you remember the names of the others? There was also another Restaurant on the East side of Atlantic, between 6th & Hubbard, called “Cal Mex” it was run by the Gomez family, they were known for the best Chicken Tacos (Hard Shell) in those days, 72- late 80’s.

  37. Actually Vince, Dr Borsook was as I remember a German Jew and he could speak German but grew up and was educated in Canada before immigrating to the USA.


  39. What intersection in that shown in the b/w pic? Is it Ford & Whitter? How long ago did they put the Whittier arch?

  40. Even though i am 20 years old i am very interested in the history of this shopping center. Right before El Super, it used to be an Albertsons and i am not sure i think before that we had Lucky’s not sure though.

    I remember the tacos mexico, everything to the right of kmart has sucked over years from 99 cent stores to Peter Pipers Pizza good memories. I would like to see more pictures

  41. I was wondering about the “El Matador Carabello” … can someone please give me as much information on it as possible please. Thanks

  42. yo trabaje por algunos años coe el matador carabello y con aaron berger en la muebleria el palacio que despues se llamo phenix furniture.,se les esta pasando mencionar king taco

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