Bad Neighbors

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The message comes through loud and clear

On the Eastside we’re often told our neighborhoods are never good enough. We need revitalization and improvement. And who is to provide us with this fancy new lifestyle? Certain businesses are mentioned in this renewal mantra: bookstores, art galleries, lofts and commercial development. It all sounds nice in theory but check the photos below to see how this plays out in reality.

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The fortified “Disney Hall” lofts

These new lofts on Daly in Lincoln Heights were designed by an architect with lots of awe inducing credentials and received much accolades from the design community for transforming an old factory into a “Disney Hall-like” living space. I saw the pics up on Craigslist and the apartments didn’t look too comfortable to live in but of course that’s my subjective opinion. I don’t want to live in an Escher painting. Anyways, I’m more interested in the building’s relationship to the neighborhood around it because afterall these places are supposed to improve our neighborhood, right? I wonder then, why the first thing they did was to put up these really unwelcoming signs. I don’t see how these messages foster any sense of community. I don’t see this development and think: “Wow, our neighborhood is really coming up.” I feel like it’s just another party we’re not invited to. Again, we’re relegated to watching through the bars.

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At least sweep into the street!

Lookee here, a highfalutin’ art gallery comes to Lincoln Heights! That’s surely a sign of progress right? According to the bios, the exhibiting artists have lots of fancy degrees. Hmmm, well it looks like they should have swapped out their mixed media class with a Home Ec course. Perhaps then they would have learned you’re supposed to pick the trash up off the street not sweep it to the middle of the sidewalk while kids are walking home from school. To be fair, just in case they were interrupted mid-sweeping, I walked by the gallery a couple of hours later and the trash was still there.

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Ugly! (and that awning doesn’t help)

How do you take a gorgeous turn of the century brick building with antique light fixtures, a vintage purple glass facade and one the awesomest murals on the Eastside and transform it into the biggest eyesore on North Broadway? Ask the owner of this building, affectionately dubbed “The ugliest building in Lincoln Heights.”

53 thoughts on “Bad Neighbors

  1. Do you guys just call it an art studio, when it’s actually a porn studio? It looks like it from the outside. Just saying. Ahh, I joke. I’m sure you’re all a bunch of budding Jim Morrisons, and not bored, spoiled kids fancying yourselves as fingerpainting hipsters on daddy’s dime, only to eventually join the “real world” and become corrections officers. Time will tell.

  2. I said plenty of nice things to Julia several times, commending her for the effort in NELA. Not one of those kind comments got a response, although she (and others) did cover most of the negative comments directed towards them. If this issue deserves a more rational dialogue where nicer words are said, than why are the people acting victimized ignoring the nice stuff for all the disses?

    The issue of why the trash was left on the sidewalk has still not been answered, but plenty of violins have been pulled out. The kind words of “thanks for putting up some art space in a place it’s needed” have been ignored so that the victimized can argue about being treated unfairly.

    I or anyone else here does not want to treat you unfairly, we want to ensure our community gets its fair treatment. This community has been neglected by civic entities and corporate-white america for over a half century, you have to expect people are gonna be protective and concerned about your presence (just like when brown folks move into brentwood or glendora). If you are going to move to NELA because you love the community, architecture, culture or whatever; you have to study and take cues from what already exists. That includes understanding he history and cultural dynamics of the area, part of that should be the realization that this is a tough area and thin skin does not last long. If the comments here really did that much damage to your ego than you have a long journey ahead of you, as it should the least of your worries. This is a neglected urban area with lots of social dysfunction and anger (much of it valid like on this blog, much of it not like a juiced up cholo) and you should learn to be a bit less affected by disses. When I taught at wealthier schools I noticed how the kids were much more passive aggressive with each other than outright confrontational, didnt see much of the outright diss battles I was used to at LAUSD.

    Like I said before, it is great that you want to create something beneficial that promotes art in LHts. I would love to learn more about it or stop in when you guys are open for the public, let us know. In fact, Id bet most of the folks here are of the artsy type and would be a good asset and network to your endevours.

  3. the conversation will get poetic at
    Eastside Luv next Thurs. 7th 10pm

    Someone has crossed the line. Laid claims to the calling rights of a title they haven’t earned. In this part of town you don’t get away with something like this without having to answer: Where YOU From?

    Where YOU From? is a passionate and poignant response by East Los Angeles poets to the pending gentrification and the misuse of the term Eastside to define Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz and Downtown.

    Featuring Eastside poets; some who have not read publicly for the last 10 to 15 years. Claiming the Eastside is a deeply rooted right which is not taken lightly.
    Poets:
    Gloria Enedina Alvarez
    Rafael Cardenas
    Devil13
    Consuelo Flores
    Linda Gamboa
    Ruben Funakahuatl Guevara
    Frankie Salinas
    Dewey Tafoya

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