Eastside Extension: Now Open!


Finally, it’s here. Dangerous intersections and all. I took a quick look before the crowds, click ahead to see some pics.


This man was telling us about some of the sights along the way, I think he thought we were new to the neighborhood. We agreed that the Eastside was short changed, that there would be accidents, but that we are still happy the train has arrived. Now there just needs to be pressure to get those safety fixes.


Yup, many people call the Eastside home.


One thing that is missing: a stop between Soto and Indiana. Considering there’s one at Atlantic and at the ELA Civic center, which are fairly close by. El Mercadito isn’t too far from the Indiana stop.


This is going to be dangerous. And that’s a school over on the left. No barriers here? Messed up.


Headed straight for the Civic center, where the toilets were still clean and available.


Useful map of the park and facilities. No mention of the Chicano Resource Center, but its in the library.


Balloons of East LA. Careful, they’re dangerous.


The Farmers Market was moved from Saturday to Sunday just for the Gold Line opening. Here we see a skateboard I can get into. Eso, eso, eso!




Safety on a budget. Crayons…




..and ads. Oh yeah, and some “Tracks mean trains! Look, listen and stay alive” wrist bands. Haha, that’s just awesome. If you get killed kids, well then its your own damn fault! Shoulda kept wearing that wrist band instead of forgetting it in the junk drawer. Let’s see how long it takes for the first victim. Boo, hiss!

Check out this review of the safety of the stations.


More Chavo merch.


Done by this guy, CT’s favorite cartoonist! Ha ha!


This card was pretty cool, it opens to read “and you are, congratulations!”


And some merch for the grandma set. There’s an underground economy in these doll dresses, it needs to be stopped!


The requisite Aztec dancers to kick off an event. I don’t get tired of it though.


Ha, ha! Indeed. They mean the Hollywood Bowl but I think East Los is a culture shock for many.


In the safe zone between train tracks. Just barely.


Problem solved!


Time to head back to another station. Here we see the driver fiddling with the radio stations. Nah, not really.


Lots of families were out checking out the train. I even heard one that was headed to Pasadena since they’d never ridden the older part of the Gold Line.


At Mariachi Plaza they already have the fee gates ready.


The lady throwing a baby artwork.


We don’t need no stinkin’ kitties!


Borrachitos representing.


Lots of media and attack dogs at the plaza. They go hand in hand.


Politicians and their photos. Aren’t they cute?


Ruben talking about Artes.


WTF? Don’t they know that everyone hates Chivas?


We had plans to eat at La Placita del D.F. but the small eatery was already packed. Drats.


I guess it’s La Serenata. I don’t like going here, even though the food is decent. One too many bad experiences.


The chips and salsa are good, it even comes with a small quesadilla.


I ordered the Huevos Rancheros, pues claro. Not bad but too busy with fresh tomatoes and strips of chile poblano. And cheese. But it did the job.


Back on the street, it got packed all of a sudden! I guess the crudas wore off.


Having been crammed into the trains in the original Gold Line opening, I learned its better to go early to beat the crowds. But maybe I’ll go back in a bit to see some more action at other stations.


People lining up for the chance to win Chivas merchandise. No doubt to burn it.


I asked them “que venden?” Hamburgesas was the response.


Get your wrestling hamburgesas at Chavas Cafe, today at 5pm.


AGC Frank had his booth, including these cool pan dulce bags.


And for the vatos, some hats.


On my way back to Lincoln Heights, it’s crazy packed! There’s still time to be part of the mitote.

42 thoughts on “Eastside Extension: Now Open!

  1. right on great pics and funny commentary.
    The East LA farmers market looked more like a swap meet lol.
    Love the borrachito,METRO crayons,luchadores, pan dulce bags and please real mexicanos don’t eat at La Serenata de G. 🙂

    signed…”Looks go, weight goes up and down, but stupidity is static.”

  2. I got to Atlantic station early and rode the 9 a.m. train all the way to Sierra Madre station and back. Three hours on those trains & at Jose Huizar’s bash at la Plaza de los Mariachis. Around what time where you there?

  3. Glad I was out of town—I’m not a shopper or big crowd person. My closest stop is El Mercadito. La Serenata de G(!)—really? ay. Chavo, we should definitely have an LA Eastside Lucha outting or Lucha blogero meeting (like where the flyers says). We can yell out ‘tea-bag’ or ‘reach-around’ when they get into those greco-roman strangle-holds—or we can always yell the very classic “culero!”—jeje.

  4. V, I am soooo down to have a Lucha Libre outing!
    The Gold Line experience today was fun, ran into lots of peeps even though I was there early.
    I enjoyed overhearing riders conversations. Like the suburban Chicanos returning to the hood saying things like ” Oh look, my uncle used to live there” and “That’s my old school” etc… and their kids looking all bored like “whatever.”

  5. Thanks for stopping by the ARTES booth. It was a fine day for a block party. Now the trick is to keep the party going without gentrification. GENTI-FICATION SI! Now!

  6. I love how the local newscasters keep talking about being on the “Eastside” and how excited the “Eastside” is etc. In your face LA Curbed! That site refuses to refer to the Goldline as the “Eastside Extension” like somehow they can deny it enough, it won’t be true.
    By the way, MTA will be having “safety ambassadors” monitoring key intersections for the next three months but insist the line is safe. Overheard on the train yesterday as we passed through Indiana and Third: “This intersection is the big stink everyone’s upset about.”

  7. I just overheard a coworker say he rode it this weekend. In his words:

    Very clean, nothing broken or broken into YET.

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? That’s so racist.

  8. I heard some suburban LATinos talking to white friends like they were all viewing some strange new lands.
    “Look and over there is taco truck, people just line up and order food.”
    “That is one of those overcrowded LAUSD schools!”
    “Notice how a lot of the signs are in Spanish (wow)”

  9. Rail transit in LA tries to be everything at once. The East LA extension is part streetcar and part subway. It’s similar to the rest of the Gold Line. The route to Pasadena is sometimes elevated, in a tunnel, in the street or in the middle of a freeway.

    In LA you have to put the train where you can and you’re restricted by geography, money, technology and most importantly, politics. Even though the line is open, the debate is definitely not over. You can be sure that everyone and their mothers will be talking about what should have been, what is and what will be.

    At the end of the day, all that really matters is that people ride it. If you can use it to learn something new, go somewhere new, see a familiar place in a new light, or simply make your life a little more pleasant, then I guess it was worth it.

  10. i rode it, it was fun but i did noticed that it creates lots of traffic over by el mercadito where it curves onto 3rhd st.
    Whats up with the bands playing over at Civic Center, very mellow bands and after a morning of tamales and other carbs, this bandds put me to sleep. I had no idea the park was so nice. .
    IM so glad this line is up and running, i can take it to the lil cave and back with out the worrie of a DUI. yey

    when is the lucha outting?

  11. I went to a talk by Art Kunkin, and he said he was involved in starting a paper called the Eastside something-or-other in the early 60s. I’ll find it. There was also a paper called the Eastside Journal in the 1960s. Maybe the same paper. Two names that come up with the name EJ are Al Diaz and Al Waxman.

  12. Say what? You gotta be funny to be a cartoonist, no? What’s next? I listen to Ozomatli? I watch Gregory Nava films? I read Valdes-Rodriguez “books?” I eat at El Tepeyac? El Chavo, I don’t want to be cool, please don’t let out my secrets. (followed by pure, demented howls of laughter)

  13. More ammo for the Eastside word-wars. The paper was called the Eastside Almanac, started when Art Kunkin was studying at ELAC. He had been a printer in the past, and had run some movement newspapers, so, people asked him to start it. I believe he and his family were living in Wyvernwood at the time.

  14. Spokker, what can I learn from riding a train?

    Anyway, and with all due respect, your comment sounds like a preemptive swipe at organized efforts to make the line safer. “everyone and their mothers”. LOL. Nobody has ever applied that description to a group of people that they didn’t feel was a public nuisance. Look at Chavo’s picture of those tracks coming around a blind corner, in front of a school. Imagine if your kid attended that school.

  15. “Spokker, what can I learn from riding a train?”

    That’s for you to figure out. Personally, I’ve managed to broaden my understanding of LA County through Metro Rail, and I’ve seen a lot of things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The system also gives me broader access to libraries, museums and cultural centers and all that good stuff. Sounds corny, I know, but it’s true.

    “Anyway, and with all due respect, your comment sounds like a preemptive swipe at organized efforts to make the line safer.”

    I agree with efforts to install gates and fencing. I have no problem seeing money spent on that sort of thing. On the other hand, I do not think the current setup is unsafe.

    “Imagine if your kid attended that school.”

    I imagine he or she would know how to behave around trains.

  16. What empirical data do you have to prove your delusional claim that your kid would be smart enough to dodge a train zipping around a blind corner? Until you come up with some, I’m calling bullshit. If your kid went to that school, he’d get tagged by that train, too. But of course, your kid doesn’t, which is why you don’t give a shit.

  17. I absolutely love these photos and their accompanying commentary. Right on, Chavo!
    By the way, Lalo Alcaraz – wow. I would’ve bought something from him to support his art but I changed my mind within a minute of approaching his table. If I had the cojones – if I had cojones – I would’ve told him, “Dude, I was gonna buy something but I don’t like your personality.”
    Maybe he was just pissy because not everybody at the Goldline festivities were there to see him.
    Dang, I’m harsh.

  18. “What empirical data do you have to prove your delusional claim that your kid would be smart enough to dodge a train zipping around a blind corner?”

    I guess it depends on whether or not they are jaywalking across the tracks or waiting for the little man to appear on the crosswalk signal. I will construct a simple regression model and publish a study for you.

    “If your kid went to that school, he’d get tagged by that train, too.”

    Do you suppose that enrollment at that particular school will drop to zero in a few months because all the kids got killed by the train?

  19. I’ll await that study. I want to see proof that your kid is so smart and disciplined that you can guarantee he would never get hit by a poorly designed light rail system that goes right by his school, as you insinuated earlier. Construct a regression model and publish it, please. Until you do, I’m unconvinced. No matter how disciplined children are, no matter how much train safety you teach them, their brains aren’t fully developed and they’re going to fuck up on occasion. That’s why every possible effort should be made to make sure light rail lines are safe near schools. The picture above demonstrates that not enough effort was made in that instance.

  20. “The picture above demonstrates that not enough effort was made in that instance.”

    What is enough effort? Perhaps they plop down gates. Kids will go around gates right? Perhaps they affix more signs. Kids don’t like to read. Perhaps they put up more fencing. Kids can climb.

    Interesting thing about 3rd and Indiana is that there is a big red railroad crossing light facing pedestrians as they cross the tracks. I think many kids can handle this one, seeing as most children are adept at playing red light/green light. Here, they took out the green light. All you have to do is stop on red. It’s fun for the whole family.

  21. It’s obvious you don’t give a shit if people get injured by this train, Spokker. Your point is taken.

  22. Bottom line to end this argument- the light rail is really bare bones and is unsafe in a lot of areas not just for kids but also for adults and motorists and that intersection at 3rd and Indiana is a prime example!

  23. My ride looked much different -without people. I couldn’t make the party because of familial obligations. Oh, what a drag man… (Just kidding wiffie) I caught the 1st train at 3:40. Proud to say I had the 1st bike on the train!

  24. “Bottom line to end this argument”

    You haven’t been on the Internet very long if you believe arguments ever end.

    “the light rail is really bare bones and is unsafe”

    I have to question how people survive in the rest of the city, then.

  25. Are the lines in the rest of the city built at the same safety grade as the gold line extension, Spokker? Everything in downtown is either elevated or underground.

  26. No, but the rest of the city has cars with gate-less intersections and the whole thing operates on the implicit trust that the thousands of individually manned automobiles will obey all traffic laws.

    I live in an area where there is no street-running light rail. I am frequently a pedestrian as I have to walk a mile home from a bus stop and it could be tragic if not for my defensive walking skills (for example, making eye contact with, say, a driver planning to make a right hand turn, before stepping off the curb and into the crosswalk). If I didn’t do these things, if I got “confused,” if I decided to jaywalk or not pay attention, *I WOULD BE DEAD*.

    However, if I ask that streets be put underground, if I ask that intersections be gated, if I even ask that speed limits are lowered, I would be laughed the fuck out of the city council meeting.

    Trains, on the other hand, operate on a fixed guideway. They do not suddenly serve off course and hit people walking on the sidewalk. Their approaches are often signaled by horns, bells, whistles and flashing lights. The train operator likely received more training than the average driver. The operator is drug-tested. The operator has to answer to a supervisor. The entire operation is scrutinized to the nth degree. Over in Car Land, there are people on their 3rd DUI and still driving.

    Considering all that, I would much rather deal with light rail trains than automobile drivers.

  27. When it comes to rail, you just have to watch out for texting Metrolink engineers infatuated with young, male railfans…

  28. Vince, A bag boy? LOL. What is that?

    Anyhow, Spokker, your sarcastic safety lectures aside, are you willing to at least admit that the particular part of the route we’re discussing (the picture above, the school), is dangerous? Can you do it without personally insulting potential victims? Can you just admit that it’s possible a child might run out into that street and not see the train coming around the corner, without assuming the child to be abnormally stupid for his or her age, or a product of poor parenting? If you can just admit to that, Spokker, you have my utmost respect, and I’ll assume all of your points made in this argument were for the better good of society, and not part of an agenda to downplay the message of organized efforts to make the train safer, or to bait such people into an argument for your own personal amusement.

  29. “are you willing to at least admit that the particular part of the route we’re discussing (the picture above, the school), is dangerous?”

    I am familiar with the intersection depicted in the photograph and I do not think it is in any way, shape or form dangerous.

    “Can you just admit that it’s possible a child might run out into that street and not see the train coming around the corner, without assuming the child to be abnormally stupid for his or her age, or a product of poor parenting?”

    The child may run out into the street and be hit by a train. They might be hit by a car. They might be hit by a bus or a motorcycle or even a cyclist in rare cases. Those are all realities regardless of parenting and regardless of stupidity. If the kid gets hit by a car and dies, and the driver stops and wasn’t drinking, nothing happens except a dead kid.

    You really need to take care of yourself and your kids out there no matter what form of transportation we are talking about.

    If we’re going to improve safety, I think we should work on traffic calming before we work on light rail safety. That’s where I think you get the biggest bang for your buck. Let’s get some speed limits down. Let’s get some drivers educated. Let’s get drivers on mass transit instead. Let’s close *some* streets to traffic and make them pedestrian and/or bicycle-only streets. I’m not looking to get rid of cars completely, but I think cars having a monopoly on streets is kind of retarded.

    But listen, if you want my honest opinion, I think the current configuration of the Gold Line is safer than if you put up gates and more signage. Think about it. When Metro puts up gates and signs and all sorts of things in, they’ll feel like they can operate the trains more quickly. Since people go around gates and jaywalk *anyway* they are definitely going to get hit because trains can’t stop at higher speeds.

    Right now trains go slow enough that they can stop. In fact, signals aren’t even timed right so the trains have to stop anyway. The Gold Line is just as slow as a bus right now. After those safety features go in, watch for speeds to increase depending on what they ultimately install.

  30. Come on Rob don’t be such a hypocrit, you have said yourself that cars and smog are more dangerous than gangs.So cars and smog are also more dangerous than the rail system why not start there? Is it because it dosen’t fit with your argument now?WHo is baiting and who is real here just looking to argue?

  31. I think 3rd/Indiana and 1st/Indiana could use some gates, because they are non-standard (you have to stop your car farther back). Some drivers will not know to stop behind the line.

    But I wouldn’t call those intersections unsafe. Trains move pretty slowly around those corners. The school there (Ramona) is a high school, right? Those ‘kids’ are old enough to pay attention to slow-moving trains.

    If the turns along Indiana Street are anything, I’d call them inconvenient. The delays are too long. But not unsafe.

  32. Opinions on Goldline East Los Extension: Pico/Aliso Station: good for Menendez Learning Center students/Purgatory Pizza looks interesting, might stop for a slice, I saw a panederia there too./ Mariachi Plaza Station on a cold night is kind of spooky, i swear i felt my recently passed father Valerio’s spirit watching over me here/i saw some bars open but they kinda gave that paisa vibe where a pocho like me would feel out of place/ the birria place was closed already.Stop has potential./Soto Street stop, the newsstand there is cool,there were a couple of dive bars nearby; i think bars there have a certain clientele that gives them enough money to survive on and there not going to do anything at all to capatalize on the new extension or to make a visitor feel welcomed, Raza, having these kind of places that cater to alcoholics and no one else leaves us very open to gentrification/ I read about some chicano type cafes nearby but i walked for awhile down first and turned back when i reached near state street, there’s some kind of rehab place there that made me paranoid i was going to run into someone going against their program/the Benjamin Franklin Library is in need of a cleanup in the front, the dirtiness makes it uninviting/indiana st. station: has places to eat but would have preferred if the station stopped at Indiana and Soto not third but it’s probably going to be used by Stevenson Middle School students/Maravilla station of course has King Taco but I would probably go to King Taco in the Heights, on Soto and Chavez or even Pasadena before going here/ The Ela Civic Center stop is great because you could chill by the lake or go to the Chicano Resource Center in the Library, your right near the Sherrif,s Station so it’s suppose to be safe.The Atlantic Station has its share of places to eat and excellent Bus connections to other parts, Little tokoyo has senor fish and the brewery right off the stop, that’s cool.

  33. Did a little research and find that the two places i was looking for( Eastside Luv and Primera Taza) are near Mariachi plaza stop, not soto. I was riding the rails on Monday and Eastside Luv was closed that day. With it’s mix of music/poetry and different types of wine,draft beer and dress code in place, East Side Luv sounds promising and like my type of hangout. Primera Taza looks kind of cramped from the pics i saw.

  34. in response to bhhapa’s comment on lalo alcaraz:

    funny you say that. i walked up to his tent in the early part of the afternoon. he asked me to buy one of his pieces while he was counting a thick wad of dollars. i presume it was from the sales of that day. no modesty whatsoever. not even for show. lalo turned me off. i still like his work though, but his personality is lacking. i guess i like my artists humble.

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