July 24, 2007 at 3:15 pm in East Side
This post was easily the hardest Eastside 101 post I did, going back to an area that scared the shit out of me as a kid, to try and document it properly as an adult. Everything was fine but the ghosts of the past sure do haunt you.
This next installment of Eastside 101 takes us to the Boyle Heights corner of Olympic and Lorena and into the housing project known as Estrada Courts. Though there’s a sign on the corner of one of the buildings that warns it is not open to the public and you need to ask permission to enter, I don’t think anyone will notice a quick visit. At least that’s what I’m counting on. But it’s not the housing authority I’m worried about, it’s the local gang that will keep me looking over my shoulder. I’m going to squash my gut instincts as there is something about Estrada Courts I want to show you: the walls.
(Warning: lots of pictures)
FYI, these republished Eastside 101 posts are old posts from blogging.la that lost their photos, just trying to keep them alive on the internet. Carry on.
June 9, 2007 at 12:55 am in East Side
For this second installment of Eastside 101, we take a trip to El Mercadito, that one-stop shop for all your south of the border needs! Even though the place is actually named El Mercado, everyone knows it as El Mercadito (the little market) because its so big, relative to most other shopping places on the Eastside. It’s one of my favorite spots to take out-of-towners since they can be entertained gawking at all the weird stuff while I get to stock up on some essentials. Want to see what this place might have for you? Well hop into the virtual ranfla and lets take a ride to find out!
(Warning! MANY crappy, out of focus pics ahead! Warning!)
June 3, 2007 at 12:41 am in >East Side
This was the first of the Eastside 101 posts.
Ed Fuentes of View from a Loft pointed out a new publication to hit LA, a monthly that imagines itself as “a meaningful upscale magazine” for the Eastside. A quick look at their site and it suddenly feels more like a slap; their Eastside is nowhere near to the one I grew up in, that vast expanse of mostly Latino humanity on the other side of the river. Ugg. Here we go again, the re-imagining of our city in a historical vacuum. A cultural demarcation by terms. Just have a damn flag planting ceremony already, make a few decrees about the new Easternmost territories held by the Westsider Cultural Empire, declare East LA to be inconsequential (until further notice) and call this vision the new LA. At least that way we will have something to work with, or something to fight against.
I’m tired of this “debate” since it mostly consists of Eastsiders fighting to preserve a semblance of place, informing newcomers from the far off West or beyond that we, on the other side of the river, do exist, and that (at least to ourselves) we do matter. Before I raise my army for the coming culture wars, and before the divide between the two LA’s gets even wider, I figured I’d do some preliminary bridge building: I’m going to embark on an occasional series of posts to highlight aspects of the Eastside that I know. Mostly it’ll be about places you can visit but sometimes there’ll be posts that are based on the map of memory. Maybe it’ll help some out there to take us seriously. (Ha, ha!) But even if it has no effect, and people still insist on erasing our identity, it’ll be a record of the Eastside that actually means something to me, the place I call home.
For our first lesson, turn to the page marked Hollenbeck Park!
Back in 2007, when we tried to rectify the fake Eastside concept over by Silver Lake, people thought we were just being territorial and ridiculous. Now that utter bullshit has come to pass, I hope you can all appreciate our attempts to stand up to the powers that be and value our concerted resentment to being dismissed as a nothing part of the city. Even Eastside Latinos gave us shit for sounding the warning about this territorial makeover, cuz they were too slow to understand what was happening.
Where you at now mensos?
September 15, 2007 at 3:00 am in East Side
Yes, I harp on this Eastside thing, I’m not going to let it go. That beautifully coarse landscape East of the River is an expansive terrain that encompasses such a variety of stories and interpretations that it’s absurd to accept the Westsider Cultural Empire knocking it out with a weak punch of irrelevance, arbitrarily deciding that Silverlake/Echo Park are the easternmost regions of the known LA universe. Just because you don’t live here, just because you refuse to get out of your car here, that is not sufficient reason for you to decide that we do not exist. But anyways, I’m preaching to the nonconvertible.
For whatever it’s worth, this next installment of ES 101 is going to focus on two Eastside eating establishments, and hopefully this post will shine a bit of light on why I love this geographical area so much. I know many of you just think the Eastside is simply where the Mexicans live, dumping it into a cerebral corner of cultural homogeneity, but the reality is a bit different; under the surface there is still a vibrant tug and pull that keeps the area interesting. For one, there is a major difference between Mexican food and Mexican-American/Chicano food, and our first stop at Lupe’s is a shining example of Chicano eats!
Near the outlet for El Chapo’s favorite shirts, a participant in the Tiny House movement gives it a go with the challenges of abstaining from creature comforts and being off the grid. He probably doesn’t even bother browsing those fine satin shirts available in the Alley, they’d just take up more space. I bet all his environmentalist friends are super jealous that dude is actually living the life, not just talking the talk.
The sun door is a nice touch, no need for wasteful bulbs. Lean and Green! The square footage on this place seems very minimal, I wonder if he will get featured on Tiny House Magazine?
Oh wait–maybe this is a homeless shelter?!? Ugh, gross, they shouldn’t let these things happen on our city streets.
But if it really is certified as a Tiny House by the movement leaders, then this is Super Awesome and we should totes be supportive. So cool.
But if it is not then we should send in the Health Dept to determine if it is safe for the poors to be living like this. So worried about their well being, prob not safe for them to live in these hazardous structures.
Can somebody please let me know how I should feel about this? KTNXBYE.
“I had the Huevos Rancheros and it had a nice presentation and cool touches (like cheese sprinkled over the top). The taste was wonderful and looking forward to trying something else here.”
I found this place on Yelp. Ugh. I mean, it’s occasionally useful but goddamn is it so often annoyingly wrong.