LA Times Article about Eastside


We have more to say about this but just wanted to mention that there’s a new article regarding the Eastside “debate” over at the Times:,0,5763567.story



The stickers referred to in the article. More on them here at this LA Eastside post.

Click ahead for some videos from the Eastside Luv event.

Dewey Tafoya at Eastside Luv

Rafael Cardenas at Eastside Luv

43 thoughts on “LA Times Article about Eastside

  1. Some people consider Western the dividing line between eastside and westside? That’s not a misunderstanding, that’s utter retardation.

  2. I like how the article pointed out who was born here and recognized and who wasn’t born here and chose to live in ignorance. That one vato who researched and got it right was good also.

    A point I would throw in is that people would never think of changing the names of Manhattan’s areas like lower and upper eastside etc. I think it comes with the territory. People still feel like this is the wild west and can get away with old racist, revisionist methods. They come to LA or the southwest and see it is all in Spanish and they can’t escape the brown masses unless they build their forts and ‘enclaves’ where they feel safe. Then they start re-writing maps and history.

    I wish I could have talked with the writer, she was very cute too.

  3. Actually, they have renamed New York. Hell’s Kitchen is being renamed something else. Something like Clinton. gentrification.

    Congratulations to everyone here for keeping up the fight and getting it to the Times!

  4. After reading the article I was left with this impression:
    Folks who call the land east of the river identify themselves by who they are.
    The folks who state the East side starts were the Westside ends identify themselves by who they are not (that they are not their parents).

  5. I’ve said it before here and elsewhere. I grew up westside, but benefited from being one of the few in my junior and high school classes to experience for work and play the two distinct areas. That went a loooong way towards my understanding and appreciation that the true heart of the “Capital E” Eastside beats east of the Los Angeles River.

    Too many insular westies and transplants don’t know and don’t care what’s going on east of La Brea, much less east of the river. Yet they somehow feel entitled to reclassify areas to suit their myopic needs and purposes… like that one guy in the article whose rationale for Silver Lake being the “eastside” is because it’s a way of stepping out from the shadow cast by his westside parents. To him I saw grow the hell up. And I can already hear him dismissively telling me that it’s all relative and to “deal!”

    To those of us that know better, all the arrogance and adopting is very contrived, like playing the blues before earning your dues.

  6. For the record, the renaming of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan to Clinton is not a revision of history, the area has been called Clinton for decades. Hell’s Kitchen described a part of Clinton, and that name is considered derogatory because it applied to lower class Irish (besides being bad for property values).

  7. The LA Times article sites the western border of the “eastside” as the LA River. What’s the eastern border of the eastside? Most people would just assume calling themselves eastsiders if they live east of metro LA, reguardless if they participate in or even relate to the rich culture found in and around areas such as Boyle Heights, East Los, and City Terrace.

    Don’t be affraid of hipsters trying to be eastside. Their self-inclusion doesn’t take away from people who believe that they are the true eastsiders. There should be an official established designation kind of like Little Tokyo or Korea Town, but instead it would be the Eastside.

    Keep your eyes peeled for the new t-shirt line coming out- “Hacienda Heights: The Real Eastside.”

  8. If I may, I think it’s pretty obvious that LA Eastside means the areas east of the LA River that are in the boundaries of the City of LA but including the unincorporated area called East LA.
    Montebello, Pico Rivera, Monterey Park, Huntington Park, Rosemead, ALhambra, are separate individual municipalities that don’t share the same history as ethnic, working class, enclaves in the city of LA, they have always historically been suburbs where many people who originally lived and worked in the LA Eastside moved to when they became more economically able to afford that surburban home. These suburbs like Montebello, Monterey Park, WHittier, San Gabriel, among others were populated by Italians, Mexican Americans, and other ethnicity’s who felt they had attained an upward mobility and had left the old Eastside neighborhoods behind.
    Leave them alone in their suburban dreams they are not the LA Eastside they moved on.

  9. Anyone who has studied the 100 plus years of history of Boyle Heights, City Terrace, East LA and selected areas of the surrounding communities. Could not and would not confuse the Eastside to be anything else as the area East of the river.

    If they want to be “Eastsiders” they should move out here. Not try to recreate a Faux-eastside.

  10. If the region east of the L.A. river was called Springfield, or Sunnyvale or something else other than the Eastside, these hipsters in Echo Park, Silver Lake etc., would not be the least bit interested in stealing our name for their purposes!

    BTW, I expect that residents of Pico Rivera, Whittier, Hacienda Hts and points east of E.L.A. would never stoop to such nonsense as calling themselves real eastsiders.

    believe it or not, some people happen to be content being who they are, where they are. No need for pretentions.:)

  11. There is a place called East Los Angeles, it is an unicorporated area of LA County. It has a Zip code. Then there is the surrounding area in question that is considered East LA. There are suburban parts in these areas with tract homes and everything, there has always been. So then, other than lack of upward mobility, what secludes what used to be Springfield or Sunnyvale or whatever from more eastern areas of LA County?

    Hacienda Heights has a zip code and is an unicorporated area of LA County east of Metro LA. I don’t believe that anyone here would be branded a Johnny-come-lately for labeling themselves as an eastsider. Geographically they are correct, but then there is more to this argument than geography.

    I think the Underlying setiment is that there is a racial divide physicaly by the river and gentrified by the explosion of suburban development east of Metro LA.

    This argument isn’t based on geography, although should be, beacuse we are arguing to see who has the right to call themselves Eastsiders. The outcome of this will lead to annoying vernacular fads like; “OMG you’re so Eastside,” or “you know how we do on the Eastside.”

  12. Bottom line is, anyone who sees the “eastside of the westside” as being “thee eastside” doen’t recognioze Downtown Los Angeles as the Center or Heart of the City. These are the same folks who claim that “L.A. doesn’t have an urban core” and recognize Malibu, Santa Monica, Burbank, Beverly Hills and everything west of La Cienega or Sepulveda Bl. as being “L.A.” and nothing more. Small wonder they see anything east of their perception as being “eastside”. But the truth of the matter is that the area they call “eastside” is actually the eastside of the westside. It is the old westside. The western addition of the City as it pushed forward towards the sea. It may not be as modern or as well known as the westside proper is, but it is still the westside of the City. Let them call it the eastside of the westside, West-Central L.A., the Old Westside or the Near Westside just don’t call it “thee eastside”. That name belongs to the area east of the Heart/Center of the City and east of the Los Angeles River.

  13. What’s up with the LA Times commenting software? It doesn’t update properly, it changes the number of the comment, and puts the latest comments first. It sucks. But anyways.

    Doreet hit the mark with that comment, the Dodgerland crowd is just comparing themselves to some other hood they wish they could be.

    I think the article did a good job of parsing out a few of the issues, but of course, I would have focused on some other things. Like the historical usage of the term. Like the geographical factors that base Downtown as the center of the city. Like how Main St defines East and West and 1st defines North and South. And there’s a few other things, but I’ll get to a response eventually. But the way the fluid-n-free newbies like to play with history and geography was especially revealing. They just don’t know any better. At last, they are getting schooled.

    Just cuz they either know people that work in media, or actually do so themselves, doesn’t give them a right to piss on over a hundred years of history.

  14. I love the how the commentors on the Los Angeles Times website keep trying to say Downtown LA is not the “center” of the city. I suppose they are making this argument to prop up their kooky geographic sense but it also says how little in touch they are with the city. Most of the buses terminate/start in Downtown LA, it’s the transit center. Then there are all the courts, official govt buildings, city hall etc. but I’m sure we all know this.

  15. That’s what’s key in this debate. The fact that these newcomers to our City refuse to acknowledge the fact that the City of Los Angeles does indeed have a center, a heart and that is Downtown Los Angeles. Instead they come out with the typical eastcoast view that Los Angeles is whatever the number of suburbs today is, in search of a city. And to be perfectly honest many of these transplants are ignorant about our City. Plain and simple. Unfortunately they do have the power of the media behind them and as such it is their view of Los Angeles that gets promoted more often. How many times have many of us born and raised here in the City have had to grin and bare ignorant statements such as “nobody walks in L.A”, “everyone in L.A. is tanned”, “everyone in L.A. is so plastic” and “L.A. has no center” just to name a few. The good thing is there are now many of us who are fighting back with words and facts and that’s what created this tension and anger among many of the newcomers. They say we’re the angry ones? Nonesense! We’re just annoyed and frustrated at their arrogance and their total disregard for our City’s history, culture and historical boundaries. In the past we were just ignored but not anymore! With the love for Our City in Our hearts and minds we go forward and onward in defending what we know for a fact is correct.

  16. Thanks Robert! I always appreciate your comments here at LA Eastside and I liked the one you left at the LA Times article too.

  17. Robert90033,
    You make some good points! That’s probably the most galling aspect of this whole “debate”, that the new people can insist on a term just because, without any valid arguments or substantial reasoning, it just is. And since they have the ear of the media, it becomes a fact. We got this laeastside domain way back in 2002 (an eternity compared to how long some of these new “eastsiders” have lived in LA) precisely to fight against this rewrite of history that was already happening.

    Looking at the comments on the LAT story it looks like there’s lots of people that are just finding out about this new re-write, and they don’t like it! The “non-issue” that we keep getting told we should just “deal” with, is not gonna go down so easily. Chale con that desmadre!

  18. Thank you for the compliments. What gets me more than anything else is that the powers that be in the City love to attach the term “Historic” to some communities these days. What better way for our local City government to step in and put an end to this debate once and for all by calling this area “Historic Westside”? Because that’s exactly what it is. It’s what was referred to as the “Western Addtion” to the City, as it began to push beyond the boundaries of the original Pueblo. Western Avenue, didn’t mark the start of the westside, as some claim over at the L.A. Times site, but rather it was the demarcation line for the City’s Western Boundary. And if there is any doubt about any of this all that needs to be done is to have a look at all the street names in the area with the word “west” in them, the direction of addresses in the area that have “west” affixed to them plus the original name of MacArthur Park. My God the evidence is there that this area is not the eastside! What are they debating? lol Oh and by the way, I have attempted to contact Councilman Ed Reyes office about naming the area “Historic Westside” to no avail.

  19. One of the LA ignorant statements that most annoys me is “People in LA are so fake.”

    Uhhh…i think you are hanging out with the wrong people.

  20. By calling these areas west of downtown the “eastside”, the historic eastside (east of the river) is the being made redundant and less significant for the benefit of cool identity seeking hipsters and wannabes that are not used to being told “No- you are wrong”.

  21. Curious that many of these newbie faux LA Eastside besmirchers are screaming reverse racism, the story’s about Mexicans beating up white people and otherwise just scaring them with some bogeyman Mexican vodoo juju.
    Must be hell on these gentrifuckers to have to mingle with all the brown pagan gangsters that they claim lurk around every dark alley looking to rape and pillage them.

    Funny though, because as I recall, being a lifelong LA Eastsider, there have always been white folks living among us heathens, lots of fence jumping and race mixing too!
    These gentrifuckers remind me of the current knashing of teeth and wailing by the right wing wing in claiming all Latino politicians or Latinos in positions of power are practicing reverse rascism. Look at the crocodile tears and outrage thrown up over the nomination of Judge SOnia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Justice.
    The same bastards who have been practicing legalized or at least de facto racism for about 500 years calling someone else a racist due to thier being protective about thier history.
    What a lame ass smokescreen.

  22. Why is it that when I moved into Silver Lake 12 years ago, it never ONCE occurred to me to call Silver Lake/Echo Park anything other than their given names? I truly fail to fully comprehend what is behind this NEED to call these areas the “Eastside”.

  23. AlDesmadre, to your question. The answer is, cultural genocide.

    “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”
    George Orwell

  24. Such good writing! Nearly everything that could be said about this has been said, thanks to all these comments. (That nobody in Silverlake will listen is most likely par for the course.)

    I would only add that since i moved here a year and a half ago, it is not just that these hipster folks are new here–though I would wager many of them are from just further west these days and they stopped being able to afford to destroy Portland and Seattle anymore somehow so now its onto Echo Park– it’s that they literally don’t have any idea that there is an East Los Angeles, they don’t give a fuck and they are playing at being “urban” so they want to pretend they live on the “Eastside.”

    I have actually talked to a dimwit who could not figure out where the “river” was that was west of Silverlake, painful as that is, among other such examples of willful hipster ignorance.

    But what it comes down to is this, they don’t give a fuck. They are camping in the “LA” of their minds, they don’t live in Los Angeles, even while their bodies are paying rent there. If they gave half a shit about history or place and not television and movies, they might know what they are talking about, but of course not.

    Anyway, all I’m saying is, it isn’t just that they’re new here, you can learn a lot in a year or two if you have the slightest curiosity, which the hipster kids do not possess.

    Thank you all for pointing out facts like why Western is called Western, I know this from looking at old maps (thank you downtown library!) and by using my eyes and mind as I explore the city, but somehow it escapes these fools, they’re either trying too hard to score drugs or look cool or avoid eye contact with anyone not as hip as them or something while they lock the doors of their cars against whatever it is that scares them so.

    I’d suggest MacArthur Park/Pico Union etc, oughta be called the “inner Westside” but fuck em, it seems like Echo Park is called Echo Park. Doesn’t need to be called part of anything, it was/still is (except the hipsters) a beautiful community northwest of downtown, right?

    Once the “Nu Eastside” idiots all showed up in Echo Park in such force that they began to destroy my enjoyment of going over and eating tacos and walking around stoned in the first neighborhood I loved in Los Angeles, I knew there is a God, because God would not let me live around those hipsters, I would have had to be put in jail, that’s why I ended up in Boyle Heights. So it all works out, if you discount the assholes trying to whitewash your entire history and remove you from the mental map of the city…

    They think that the center of Los Angeles has something to do with being in the middle of the sprawl, not the core of the city. Everyone writing here already knows the obvious fact that the city did not extend further east than Boyle Heights, though very obviously it could have done, as it did to the west, because it would have meant including more Mexican Americans, Japanese, African Americans and Jews and other (mostly)non-Caucasian people since that was who lived on the Eastside, the people they would not have on the Westside. Which is why it insults and offends me, even as a newcomer, to hear people cop something they have no right to whatsoever…

  25. Such good comments, and Al, having gone to school/worked with many of “them”, I’d totally agree that this whole naming BS is the direct result of priveleged kids never being told no or having to compromise for someone else. They never had to experience real hardship and sacrifice and our society and country basically has catered to them and their ilk for centuries, as opposed to us folks whose lives and communities are perpetual sacrifice and comprimise for survival. They look at us as a bunch of mudpeople and loser whites who couldnt afford to leave or live somewhere nicer, therefore we are expendable like a maid or the century old term eastside.

    In fact, beyond the history (or a part of it), the beautifullest thing to me about the eastside is the communities flexibility and ability to comprimise in order to survive and sustain. Few communities have experienced so much negative actions against it (within it) and maintained such a strong charcater and sense of identity than eastlos, or the eastside or BH-ELA proper.

    Like I said before, being an bonfafied east la resident I have scolded resdients of the SE cities and NELA for using that term, but i think eastsider is more of a uniting term for those barrio dwellers east of the river. It transcends race and even demographics, and is the community these folks are looking for but refuse to become part of.

  26. Born n’ raised in Echo Park (1970’s-90’s) I’ve always referred to anything east of Highland Ave as “the eastside,” (mostly in the urban cultural sense)… but after working for years in Boyle Heights and observing the gentrification process in my own neighborhood over the last 15 years — I must concur that “EASTSIDE PROPER” IS east of the LA river. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    I think it’s great that the obvious geographical east side (BH-ELA) is sticking up for themselves and their identity. However, let’s not hate on gentrifying transplants just because they’re newbies. Take to heart those words from our most famous LAPD beating victim spoken in 1992, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  27. Dave M. & Art, Love your comments. Thank you!!!
    I find it so funny that to some of these hipsters, WE are now the bad guys in this debate. I presume for having the temerity to speak up and defend ourselves! Well, Excuuuuuuse us for not bending over and keeping quiet. The most obvious example of ignorance I see here is from those who have never known being treated as second class citizens and being exploited and f’d with for generations. Ours is not paranoia. It’s experience. We know damn well what a dis feels like and we can see it coming a mile away. Those who are accustomed to acquiring all the hipness money can buy will never understand this because they’ve never had to. It’s also funny that for the most part, we were BORN into the real Eastside. We never asked for it, or looked for it. It’s simply who we are. Eastsiders. Wanna know a funny irony? there are actually real Eastsiders who’d rather NOT be known as Eastsiders! It’s cool. To each his own trip. My point is that we’ve never had the need to proclaim ourselves as such and wear an “Eastside Nopal” on our foreheads because it’s our indelible identity like it or not. A simple little moniker. One of the few things we can actually claim as our own in our foresaken east-of-the-river community. And now some trendoids want to snake it out from under us because it sounds “cool”…….
    -Now do you see what all the Pedo is about???

  28. I had an experience in grad school that blew me away and taught me to never undersestimate the historical/geographical ignorance of some folks.This whole faux eastside debate is perfectly consistent.

    About a decade ago, I was at a party with some of my husband’s business associates, many of whom were new/tranplants to mostly West LA. Someone asked me about the research I was doing, I replied that I was documenting the African-American community in Boyle Heights at the turn of the last century. I saw the confused look on her face at the mention of BH and named the freeway intersections (a lazy geographical descriptor) that I thought might help her place the community. The response…oh, yeah, that’s on the way to Las Vegas!

    All of this was delivered with no sense of shame or guilt about being so damn ignorant!!

  29. Here’s a typical case:
    I recently had a mandated meeting on Hill Street & 4th, Downtown L.A., with a Silver Lake building owner who lives in Brentwood. As she and her group arrived at the meeting offices, we exchanged greetings and then she commented with wide-eyed awe; “You know, I’ve lived in L.A. for over 25 years and this is the first time I’ve ever been here to Downtown! What an ‘interesting” place!”

  30. It’s simple willful ignorance as others have pointed out. Nearly every day at work I have this conversation:

    co worker/client/associate: “Where do you live?”
    me: “East L.A.”
    co worker: “What part?”
    . . . long pause . . .
    me: “East L.A., you know, East L.A. proper…”
    co worker (confused look on their face): “Uhh, like Silverlake?”
    me: “No. East LA. Off the 710 and 60 freeway. You know, 90022”
    co worker: “Oh…”

    I have never once had this conversation with someone that actually knows where I live. Yes, I work with mostly educated, mostly westsiders, but some of the people I’ve had this conversation with were born and raised in Pasadena and the valley. Even they are totally unclear on where East LA is!

  31. The hipsters are fake/
    they’re from westlake/
    real fake/ like silverlake/
    they’re just to scared
    to be real/ they don’t know how the Real Eastsiders
    feel/posers and pretenders/ they should check their genders/ born on the westside/ with little pride/ they don’t know what it’s like/to be the REAL Eastside!!

  32. honestly, i haven’t seen where and who in echo park and silverlake are referring to the area as “east side” I think this is debate is being blown up as a way to create friction between different racial groups. I would much rather see people getting upset about the injustice of prop 8 instead of blaming goth?hipster? white kids on neighborhood divisions. where will that get you? do you want some symbol of hipsterville to announce “this is not the eastside” day? I’m a white woman living east of the river. my family’s been here for forty years. before that they were escaping yugoslavia, so many apologies for not living in a place where others like me are, because i don’t know where they exist. does that make me a gentrifucker because i see this arguement as a lot of hot air when there are some many more important issues to address?

  33. dear eee,
    I’m sorry that you are so way off base and missing the point here. You are entitled to your opinions of course. But by the same token, I could say that just because I may have been out of touch with the problems in Yugoslavia years ago, that does not mean those issues did not exist.
    BTW, Congratulations on living in the Eastside for 40 years. So, why are you apologizing? no one is attacking you obviously, and I’d further guess that your Eastside neighbors don’t really care if your White, purple or whatever, as long as you’re a nice person and not an evil battle-axe. That part is entirely up to you. I’m gonna guess that you’re the former, because most of us Eastsiders are nice like that! Sabes?

    By the way, yes there is a world of other issues out there, but this little blogsite happens to be about the Eastside of L.A. May I suggest that you surf the web! You’ll find alternative issues addressed that may suit you!
    Have a dobar dan!

  34. Again, no mention of the REAL NAME-YANGA or the original inhabitants-the TONGVA. The internalized colonial mentalities on display in this naming debate is ironic on many levels, as I have point out before. Now we have a picture of studio gangsters claiming the “Eastside” frito bandido style attached to this blog, being the pretenders they are criticizing the other pretenders to be. Maybe we should start looking into the real roots of appropriating the colonizers language and then look into deconstructing it, because unless you have personally asked a Tongva elder permission to inhabit their land, you have nothing to claim as your own, unless your doing it in the name of the crown, at which point that makes you Cortez.

  35. I love how they conveniently move the “central LA”/”east LA” border to get Echo Park into “east LA”. You can clearly see downtown falls in the Central LA range, then suddenly the border bends west bound north of downtown. Money talks, and power does what it wants.

    And what’s up with the SF Valley? North and South, now? I’ve heard people say East and West Valley, but not North and South Valley. Wonder if this has anything to do with the attempts to make the SF Valley its own city.

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