Painted Signs in LH!

One of the first things gentrifiers do when they move into a neighborhood they plan to colonize is to start complaining; either about the people, trash, homes, graffiti, stores, or some other trivial thing they find of utmost importance. But I was still surprised when one of those cretins felt it necessary to criticize the use of painted signs on store fronts as “ghetto”, insisting that all stores should have some manufactured sign, like the boring plastic contraptions you see out in the shittier parts of town. Absurd! This sentiment is based on middle-class resentments for poor people’s DIY approach (otherwise known as making due with what you’ve got) and from an upbringing that rejects anything remotely non-conformist: is it any wonder the suburbs are packed with homes and stores bereft of creativity?

Aside from the class war issues, it’s a plain fact that painted signs are always nicer than the corporate equivalent. Well, mostly always. And in an effort to prove that fact, I thought I’d take another stroll down the neighborhood and snap some pics of some of our very own temporary works of art that serve to advertise local businesses. What they may lack in professionalism they make up for in creativity and color, and that makes them much more interesting.

Ready for the tour? Siganme los Buenos! Click here!

This entry was posted in Chanfles, Fotos, Lincoln Heights. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Painted Signs in LH!

  1. Kevin says:

    So have we decided 100% that Bob’s does not, in fact, have a plush cellar? Or are they just hiding it from us?

  2. Julio says:

    I think this is by far my most favorite blog entry.

    I’m glad someone is documenting the art that we find (& take for granted) in LH.

    “Regular” signs are so boring.

  3. Nate says:

    Another great post. And I’ve now got an assignment for myself and El Sereno. But here are some drastic examples I’ve already got (all of these would be considered art even by the gentrifiers you’re complaining about, but they do represent where the form you’re talking about goes):

    Newland’s Hardware in El Sereno.

    Mercado Hidalgo in City Terrace.

    Super Sport in El Sereno.

  4. Nate says:

    And Llamarada is good stuff. And it’s too bad I’ve missed out on Anita’s.

  5. EL CHAVO! says:

    Those are some cool pics Nate! I also like the mundos furniture one on your site. I know the Hidalgo mural pretty well as I used to live down the street from there, in glorious Shitty Terrace! That’s how the locals referred to it, and for good reason, but at least it gave us Sal Si Puedes zine!
    check this link to find out about it:

  6. Jeannette says:

    I too LOVE this entry. It’s inspired me to walk around and take more photos tomorrow.

  7. Nate says:

    Here’s my Flickr set: El Sereno Painted Signs.

    Shitty Terrace! Yeah, I’ve heard my basketball players, a good amount of whom are residents there, call it that.

    And it looks like the zine’s sold out. And I doubt that LAPL will have it for awhile.

  8. Jeannette says:

    I also peeped you on my flickr page, El Chavo! We went on a hunt for the plush cellar and couldn’t find it. I will tell you one thing, though… when you’re in the nail salon bathroom next door you can hear everything that goes on in Bob’s El Aguila’s mens’ bathroom…. EVERYTHING.

  9. castillo says:

    Nice pictures, but I noticed just about every window had steel bars over it. I guess the stores don’t want anybody stealing their artwork.

  10. Rolo says:

    what’s the difference between this type of advertisement and graffiti?

  11. johnk says:

    I like painted signs. I really like the Pet Source and that health food store with the 3-d sculpted sign. Back in the 80s, someone had painted most of the signs along San Gabriel in Rosemead, and this artist had some serious skills. One of his great ones was for an auto electric or some engine rebuilder, and it was a very detailed painting of car parts.

    Another artist did an awesome lettering treatment on El Huguin Taco on the same street – it was like classic signpainting with flourishes and shading. My father, who had been a signpainter, tried out El H, and got our family hooked on the then-novel carne asada / rice / beans burrito.

    If I ever open a little computer shop, it will have a hand-painted Tux penguin sign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *