Eastside Lakers Street Party Part 1

After the Lakers won the championship last year, I watched the news coverage of the street celebrations that took place on the Eastside.  I decided that day, that if the Lakers won the NBA crown once again, this time I would witness the street celebrations firsthand from the “Belly of the Beast.” Continue reading

Riots as Celebration

While the media pundits start on their predictable perspective regarding the celebrants of today’s various sporting events, I’m going to offer a counter explanation. For whatever its worth.

If you grow up in one of the various under served communities (aka poor) of Los Angeles then you’ll know all about social control, the method by which they keep humans in check. The city offers no social space, no gathering spots for celebration, no common grounds on which we can all gather to mark a significant moment. What to do? You make your social territory. You reclaim the space in which you can connect with others, consequences be damned. Thus, the motley congregations the helicopters are following tonight.

Isn’t the bullshit LA Live complex supposed to be our new destination spot, the center of LA cultural life? So why are people not being allowed to expend that jubilant spirit in this so called center of Life? Because its just another corporate park meant to further profits, not to enhance our social lives. Yeah, there was lots of stupid people out there tonight acting like jerks, but I put the blame squarely on a city that makes no concessions to human needs, that demands euphoria only come with a paid ticket.

In backwards Mexico, they have El Angel, a random spot where everyone knows they can go to celebrate, to expend energy, to be amongst others that just want to scream and shout for a few hours. In LA, they’ve got nothing. Just a sidewalk and whatever street you can use for a few minutes, ’til the cops come to take the party away.

No doubt there’s some jerks doing stupid things out there. But this wouldn’t be happening if you treated LA citizens like human beings with human needs. If we had a proper social space to congregate, our own Zocalo so to speak, then maybe we would be better equipped for something as joyous, and mundane, as the victory of a local sports team. Instead we get bullhorn messages regarding an illegal assembly and an order of dispersal. Just don’t be surprised when the jubilants shout out a wholly understandable ‘Fuck You’.

Whittier Blvd: Still the Heart of East Los

Whittier Blvd, East Los, June 17, 2010. Photo by ciscorocks*

While the fate of the Lakers is still up in the air, there was much celebration around the Eastside today with the stunning win of Mexico over France in today’s World Cup game. This win helps Mexico reach the next round, which in turn gets them closer to the almighty World Cup championship.

All over the Eastside, cheers erupted from restaurants, bars and houses for Mexico’s two excellent goals. Here at the LA Eastside HQ, the cacophony of twirling, clacking matracas resounded through the streets. Who needs vuvuzelas?

Many commented on how June 17th is our new Cinco de Mayo, the day Mexico defeated the French at La Batalla de Puebla.

If Lakers manage to pull through, expect more celebrating folks to spill onto Whittier Blvd to celebrate tonight. LAPD has already shutdown buses along the boulevard.

*ciscorocks tweeted earlier “RAIDERS NATION is gonna be amped for the LAKERS championship if Mexico wins!” We love it, only in Los Angeles!

UPDATE: Lakers win! (I don’t like basketball but I do love happy Angelenos!)
Huntington Park: Crowds on Pacific Blvd get police attention and dispersal this afternoon.

Red Hot Kitchen

I have yet to eat at the Kogi truck or any of the “new” catering trucks. I will not dare turn my back on my beloved loncheras, so I haven’t had the opportunity to taste their food, a fusion of Asian and Mexican, enter The Red Hot Kitchen. I never thought that eating a tofu burrito would be so delicious. And the salsa ? Mathematical.

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New mural at Antigua Coffee house

This weekend, The L.A. Works program, along with hundreds of volunteers from the community were in Cypress Park cleaning up the neighborhood. They were painting and planting plants at three neighborhood schools, cleaned up graffiti from store-fronts. Artist Raul Gonzalez, Ana Castillo, who’s art work is currently on exhibit inside Antigua, and Carlos Callejo were also commissioned to paint a mural at Antigua, receiving help from other artist and volunteers as they painted the wall this weekend.
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Frankie Fan

Spotted at the parking lot of my local Big Saver, where the light poles double as an information exchange board. The sign and the marker linked website don’t have too much information on the situation, besides letting us know that Frankie Gamez, of Los Apson fame, needs some monetary help. Plus there’s a bank account number and an Arizona prison address in case you are inclined to write to Frankie.  But the fact that someone took the time to hand make this sign hints that this aging 60’s rock group still has some caring fans.

Maybe this video will remind you of some of the hits by Los Apson.

Midnight rida

It’s been about a good month since I joined the bicycle community. I have always loved riding around town on a bike and now more than ever I find zen like pleasure when I do it at night and when I do it with friends. I do ride around primarily for transportation because I’m tired off the bus and because I need to get rid of the situation, and by the situation I mean my pansa. I’ve been getting around town just fine and just last night I biked 15 miles from UCLA to Boyle Heights. Nothing compared to seasoned riders, but I’m proud of myself. It’s not like when I decide to do the marathon with P3000 out of the blue. Since I started riding more actively and around town I’ve noticed a few things.

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Ole, ole, ole!

Cute video made by the Afghan Football Support Organization giving a brief overview of the Mexican team

We here at the LA Eastside headquarters are frantically preparing for early morning festivities to celebrate the World Cup opener tomorrow. Our beloved team Mexico will face the home team South Africa in what will surely be an exciting match. It’s rumored 20,000 Mexicans found their way to the African continent to cheer on El Tri. I knew we could cross rivers pretty good but a whole damn ocean? That’s impressive! Even more impressive is the cheer the Mexican fans are bringing to Soweto, literally pouring out of the airplanes with mariachis and fanciful costumes.

So how about you folks? Where are you watching the game manaña? Perhaps you all are already asleep or maybe you’re gonna do it paisa style and stay up all night drinking tequila so you’re in the perfect state for partido viewing in the morning. Wherever folks are, expect the sound of cheers, matracas and whistles to ring through the early Los Angeles morning air.

By the way, someone please tell me Huntington Park has finally came up with a good solution to accommodate the thousands of fans that show up on Pacific to celebrate. Every four years, it’s riot cops and stun guns. H.P.. listen up! You could actually make some money off this, be smart and forward thinking for once!

Que Viva Mexico, cabrones! Ole, ole, ole, ole!!!

P.S. I’m excited for Honduras and the US team too, go CONCACAF! Who are you all supporting?

More music to get you in the mood…

Save the Spring Street Bridge!

Photo courtesy of Bridgehunter.com

Despite the city going through one of the worst financial times in it’s existence, they are pushing forward on tearing down the perfectly fine historic Spring Street Bridge to spend tons of city funds to build a brand new one. Very few folks who live in the adjacent communities support this project but despite their protests and objections, the Board of Public Works approved the bridge demolition. It’s now up to the City Council Transportation Committee to approve the project. The Los Angeles Conservancy is asking folks to show up at a hearing tomorrow to protest this unneeded new project and to call for the protection of our beloved little Spring Street Bridge.

Here’s more info from the Los Angeles Conservancy:

The city’s Bureau of Engineering (BOE) is rushing to approve a project that would dramatically widen the 1929 North Spring Street Viaduct — nearly doubling its width, stripping away all historic ornamentation, and eliminating the bridge’s eligibility as a city landmark.

After years of inaction, the BOE is now scrambling for quick approval of this project in order to qualify for $5 million in state funds.

The Conservancy has been advocating for an alternative that would retrofit the historic bridge and construct a separate pedestrian-cyclist bridge alongside it.

The Conservancy, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, and residents from communities on both sides of the river are protesting the project. Yet our voices have been largely excluded from the planning process.

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Drill Baby Drill

The Arrivals-Drill Baby Drill

We’ve mentioned them before but one of the finest music publications in print at the moment is Razorcake Magazine published locally in Highland Park.

The Arrivals new 7″ is one of their latest releases and their song “Drill Baby Drill” is quite timely considering the infuriating news coming from the Gulf region these past weeks.

By the way, I wonder how that cap is working out?

The circus is in Boyle Heights

So uhh the circus is in Boyle Heights. I’m kinda conflicted by its presence here though. I mean it’s awesome that there’s something for families to check out on the weekend or during the week. To have the opportunity to see acrobatics, crazy stunts of some kind, clowns making fools of themselves and animals. Since the last two weeks it’s been here I’ve seen families leave with huge smiles on their faces and kids painted like kitty cats, eating their cotton candy, mesmerized by the show they saw. That part I love, but the part about the animals being kept in small confined cages all day until they perform, that’s the part I hate.

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