Storytime along the L.A. River

Photo by Nicole Possert

Note: The Eastsider welcomes Highland Park resident Nicole Possert as a contributing writer & photographer covering neighborhood history and preservation.

By Nicole Possert

Capturing and documenting contemporary life is arguably the first step to creating our shared history.  On Saturday in Elysian Valley, the L.A. River StoryShare initiative was doing just that with their first recording event.  The team at KCET’s Departures program recorded audio and video interviews of a broad spectrum of people who shared their stories, memories and experiences with the Los Angeles River.

“Our goal is to create a collective narrative cartography of neighborhood stories by exposing the subjective and personal history through the eyes of community members,” stated a press release issued by Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, who has partnered with KCET and the L.A. Conservation Corps for this history-making initiative. “During and following the LA River StoryShare events, the public can upload personal stories to the KCET story platform.”

This recording event was done in conjunction with the celebration, hosted by Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, to officially open the Elysian Valley Pedestrian/Bike Path – just under three miles of shared pathway along the bank of the L.A. River from Fletcher Drive to Barclay through Elysian Valley.

Nicole Possert is a contributor writing about home and history. Questions or ideas? just email her at hello@theEastsiderLA.com

One comment

  1. I think you’re project is wonderful and I would like to add my story to the project, video as well as oral. I was raised in Elysian Valley and I still live here. The Los Angeles River is as much a part of me as my physical body.

    If I can be of assistance, feel free to contact me.

    One comment I do have (especially being a native of the area) is the continuing misnomer of communities east of La Brea Ave. as “the Eastside”. Growing up in Los Angeles, the Eastside was Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles; the Westside was anything west of Fairfax to Santa Monica; and everything in between was known by their communities’ names and, very rarely, referred to as “Northeast LA”, which I’m glad to see you have listed on this page. The continuation of calling the communities of Northeast Los Angeles as “the Eastside” displays a Westside-centric view of Los Angeles and it doesn’t accurately reflect what this area was called throughout its history (though there was the Eastside Beer company in Lincoln Heights at one time :-)) by its residents or by the City of Los Angeles. When I hear someone call “the Eastside”, to this day, I think of Soto St. and Whittier Blvd., not Sunset and Echo Park Ave.

    Great job with the “Eastsider”. I look forward to reading more issues of it.

    May I submit my blog of Los Angeles as seen by a native: MrLA, at: http://www.angelinonativo.blogspot.com This may be highly irregular to post that here but I believe my blog serves as a needed guide to Los Angeles from one who was born, raised, and lives here. Contrary to myth, there are millions of us throughout Southern California, just not on the Westside or in areas new arrivals to Los Angeles live in first.

    Happy New Year!

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