Botanitas: August 20, 2009

Victorian house on North Broadaway, Lincoln Heights. A perfect place for a Lincoln Heights Historical Museum, dontcha think?

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!

Click thru for a stories about the hardly-working class, DIY cheese, firme rolas, Flamenco therapy and ghost trains. Woowoo!

Update 8/21: Honk 4 Health Care Vigil 5pm Today Cesar Chavez @ Soto

Honk For Health Care Barrio Vigil Rush Hour Today 5pm – 6:30pm at Cesar E Chavez Blvd and Soto Street – help rally Latino support for Health Care Reform – Support President Obama against right wing attacks!

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Separate but Equal Treatment via Rail Lines in L.A.

The Rail around Indiana

If you look at this photo you wonder what is this? And how did anyone think this was safe?

Why is the safety method on the Eastside going to be of the “pull yourselves up by the bootstraps” variety via cameras to blame personal drivers and old men in yellow vests reminding people to “be safe,” while the City of Los Angeles west of LaCienega get the “silver spoon” variety of safety with expensive barriers and elevated stations?

Why will there will be no testing out Darwinism theory of survival of the fittest on the Westside?

Only the neighborhoods with higher concentrations of poor people and brown and black people are tested with sink and swim theories.

The rail dips just one mile into the magic dividing line of LaCienega and the people on that side of LA who don’t walk or even use public transit as extensively as people on the Eastside get all of our tax dollars spent protecting them from being hit by a train that most of them won’t even take or even be near outside of driving by its protected barrier.

(This is an excerpt of a very long post entitled “Cameras Aren’t Going to Make Fewer People Die.”)

by Browne Molyneux

La Crisis: Recycling Lines

(Click on pic for a larger version)

I’ve spent time waiting in recycling lines before, but this one struck me as being massively long. You must take into account the other waiting people outside this frame, towards the left of the photo, whom left a gap to allow car traffic to come in and out of the parking lot. We were turning a corner and I just barely managed to turn on my camera to snap this one pic, but I’d say there were at least another 5-7 people waiting to turn some cans and bottles into a few dollars.  Consider also that this was on a Tuesday around noon, not a common time for the casual weekend I-want-my-money-back recycler. These all appeared to be jobbers. Also note that is was just off Atlantic Blvd in Monterey Park, certainly not a place I’d expect this scene. Monterey Park, Montebello, and the areas beyond always seemed like neighborhoods that represented a first step beyond urban poverty, at least to me. I don’t know what’s happening out there right now but I’m seeing some familiar sights.

When the non-wino class starts getting into this less than lucrative business, that’s when you know things are getting tough.

Los Angeles: What’s in a name?


Someone (cannot remember who at the moment) once remarked on the lack of historical memory in our city and used the example of how we’ve taken our original city name, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula and reduced it down to the abbreviated: L.A. It’s sort of telling and profound, no?
At one point in my life, I ceased using the term L.A. and switched to Los Angeles. At least for myself, a fourth generation Angelena, I felt that I should acknowledge the history of the city by using the official name.
How about you dear Eastside readers? What is your term of choice for our fair city? El Lay? Tongvaville? Trafficstan? Chalinotitlan?

Bone-shaking volume

CDs by Mr. Sánchez. Mexicans know him as a valiente, a brave one: armed, dangerous and doomed (he was ambushed and executed after a concert in Mexico in 1992). Comparisons are superficial, but you could think of him as part Billy the Kid, part Bill Monroe. Photo: Eric Grigorian for The New York Times

Photo: Eric Grigorian for The New York Times

This past weekend, the N.Y. TimesTravel section revisited Los Angeles, focusing on narcocorridos and venues that play an important part in its spread throughout Los Angeles. It went better this time than the last time they visited L.A.

Narcocorridos, and by extension, any form of Mexican music that is born and nourished in Los Angeles, are not covered much in the United States. Almost every time narcocorridos are mentioned in media, it’s tied with the current Mexican Drug war fiasco and spoken about negatively. I once sat in on a discussion with a well-known Mexican journalist at a university and she all but blamed the whole situation in Mexico & the Americas on narcocorridos. The whole time I sat there, I shook my head, unable to comprehend how someone could explicitly blame corridos for the “drug war” in México.

Coverage of narcocorridos in the U.S. is much different than in México. The United States is much less subjective than México in its coverage of narcocorridos. Mexican journalists have bought the Mexican government’s argument that narcocorridos are to blame for the drug trade and must be banned from radio play. American journalists have gone further into narcocorridos, documenting its rise and popularity among Mexicans in the United States and the constant airplay in radio. It’s a musical form that allows the children of Mexican immigrants to become immensely popular, though the singing is sometimes sub-par. Continue reading

The LA Eastside in the Movies


The famous 1954 thriller ”THEM” about the giant ants, changed by an atomic bomb blast and who migrated and set up their colonies in the LA storm drain system, filmed in the LA River and Lincoln Hts. I watched them film some of those scenes in the river with actor James Arness before he became Sheriff Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke”

As a kid, I also witnessed some filming of the movie “Six Bridges To Cross” starring Tony Curtis and Sal Mineo, done on Sichel St. and around the Main St Bridge in 1955.

In the 1950 film noir classic “DOA” there’s a scene shot on the old wooden pedestrian bridge that took you from Elysian Park to Dog Town.
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Seen around Lincoln Heights


A highly customized paint job on a regular looking old van. The best thing about this type of detailing is that you can get yours for free as well, just make sure to keep your ranfla parked in the same spot for a long enough time. Eventually people will notice and you will be signed up for the treatment. It’ll be ready for pickup before you know it!

Imagining Revolution, 2019..what do you think?

Originally posted at
by Sandra De La Loza

Imagining Revolution, 2019..what do you think?

Some quotes from responses to what a revolution in Los Angeles, 2019 (the year the film Bladerunner, was set in), might look like…

We find the cop inside of us all… hold onto him as if he were the mouse in the trap and than we fucking kill him.
..cops that manifest in judgement, in self criticism, I would kill the cop inside of me and hope that everyone else could to in the name of revolution.

Raquel Gutierrez

The process is already in place to screw out any dissent and to starve out creative thought. That combination of creative thought and action poses a great threat to a fascist lifestyle.

To be successfully revolutionary one will have to internalize it, and live with it as a concept as a way of life, while participating in daily life.

Harry Gamboa

I think of olmstead’s original plan for the LA river as this greenway that connects the city. The freeway may be that, and each little pocket park along of olmsteads plan for the la river is the neighborhoods along it and the neighborhoods could travel up and down the river trading food and fruit with each other… that’s a green vision for a radical revolution that could totally redefine the city.

It’s just amazing to imagine this city that’s just so defined by its freeways actually to be defined by its little neighborhoods and its pockets and as the freeways begin to erode like the New York City skyline, the freeways themselves begin to erode, the freeways themselves become garden passageways for the local neighborhoods to flower and feed themselves.

Robby Herbst
For more info on architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s 1930’s vision of a green LA check out:

For more:

-Sandra De La Loza

Teocintli is closing down

This is one post I thought I would never have to write and as much as I hate to write it, it’s the way things are as Teocintli is closing its doors. After four years of being a community space for local artist to have a place to get their start and offering great merchandise. I know that the kids from Roosevelt will miss the place just as much as everyone else. However this is just another bump in the road. Talking to Nico about the future of the place, he said that even though they’re closing down their doors, the heart and spirit of Teocintli is still going to be around. He me ruined that now they won’t be confined to a store front and be able to conti ue to grow by taking that very spirit that helped them unite the community to other spots that needs it. They’re still going to be having workshops and selling their unique brand of goods all over the Eastside so don’t count them out. With that being said they’re in there last week and are having an everything must go sale. Stop by for the first time or the last time and check it the spot. It’s going to be sorely missed, but they’ll still be around.