Although there are lots of interesting places to visit here in Lincoln Heights, we do get the occasional bad apple, the thorn in our side we can't ignore despite our best attempts. We figure it would be best to deal with these atrocities and name them for what they really are: Abominations!
As a general rule, most of the offenders are the usual culprits: capitalists and their salesmen bent on shaping this area into another potential market. The Market Men that make their money off of this area never decide to live here, they just come by to pick up the checks. That's why they are constantly (if not deliberately) making this place uglier, with no consideration of the qualities that make our community an engaging place to live.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Culprits!
Exhibit A: Saint Vincent De Paul Thrift Store
210 N. Ave 21
Once a friend of the working class and other marginal patrons, St. Vincent has now shifted it's focus to the greener pastures of the recreational shopper: the droves of credit card wielding Hipsters will flood the Saturday morning cash registers quicker than it would take a local to excavate a crumpled dollar from the abyss of their worn pockets.
Though it has been a general trend for thrift stores to raise the prices on their merchandise (which they receive at no cost as it is all donated; guilty leftovers of an overindulgent society) St. Vincent's has crossed the line that separates the costly from the ridiculously expensive. Worn stained shirts sell for $9.00 when new ones can be had for less. Rusty desk lamps priced at a dollar less than a new one just a block away. Tattered sofas, out of place in anyone's home, are tagged with extra zeros. Overpriced and obsolete computers wait for the next naive victim hoping to jump on the train headed for the cyber age.
Once it was feasible to find a half-decent wardrobe at the thrift store for those of minimal resources, now it is almost impossible to purchase a single item of quality. The vultures (otherwise known as Purveyors of Vintage Clothing) have descended onto this place to find their next cheap item which they can then turn around and sell at a 500% price hike. They have no problems paying the exorbitant fees since they are weaned from the Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, and Gaps of the world. St. Vincent's ends up catering to a distant population while the rest of us have to either accept the new price scheme or wait to find a good yard sale. The charity they once claimed to provide has now become an enterprise that feeds on the gullibility of those wanting to do something "good". St. Vincents: Fuera! Fuera! Fuera!
Exhibit B: Von's Market 2511 Daly St.
Grocers (or is that gross-ers?) to the ghetto, the local Von's is stocked with the items they figure "ghetto" folk consume: isles of Kool-Aid, Instant Noodle cups, bargain brand sodas, cookies, and chips. And they sure do get consumed as those are the only items they put on sale every other week. But despite the fact that the locals spend their cash and food stamps at this warehouse of carcinogenics, the Von's bureaucrats are still scared by the events of 1992, the potlatch of commodities that nullified the exchange economy, and have equipped their local outpost with the imagined defenses against bread riots. Yes, this Von's is surrounded by the giant black gates meant to keep out rioters and looters. As residents of the neighborhood, we are expected to accept the siege mentality they invoke, it is assumed we will become accustomed to the concept that goods have to be kept in prisons, carefully guarded against any intrusion that attempts to surpass the commodity equation. It is no longer enough to watch your property in the retail showcase, you must follow it to the outer limits of the property guidelines, the lines that define the edges of a parking space. It feels fucked up and it looks even worse. Down with the Prisons of mediocrity!
Exhibit C: Pink House of Horrors
This is one ugly "house". What was once a Victorian home is now a stucco cave of rooms and enclosures, all done in a wonderful shade of vomit pink! It seems the "car" now has a much better space then the humans do! The saddest aspect is that most likely the owners of this place split it up into separate units to bank in more rent money, while they surely live in some nice digs out in the suburbs. Just one of the many cases of landlord imposed misery.
Exhibit D: The Brewery at 2100 Main St.
What once was a great factory producing a drinkable product the masses could enjoy, has now become the living quarters of our modern day gentry, the artisto-crats that hash out a product only they can swallow. They are the technicians of Art, the professionals of creativity, but more disturbingly, they are the forces of gentrification. What does that mean? "The restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by the middle classes, often resulting in displacement of lower income people". That painting ain't so pretty now, is it? While some of us live in these neighborhoods because of our sense of community, because we like the neighbors, or cuz we just plain enjoy it, these fucks come in "for the cheap rent" (which I'm sure it is compared to what these suburbanites usually pay) to stay isolated in their "artist colony" and would just as soon spit on us rather than dare have a chat. I see them around more and more (there is now an art gallery on Broadway and on Daly!) but I hope soon the tide will turn against them and we can resist the SilverLake-ification of our neighborhood. Want more proof they are bastards? click on this link HERE