Quantcast

Highland Park businesses respond to anti-gentrification protest

Cafe De Lech on York | Nathan Solis

Cafe De Leche on York | Nathan Solis

By NATHAN SOLIS

Highland Park — You could call it public performance art or you could call it a protest. Last Saturday, members of the North East Los Angeles Alliance  marched down the sidewalks of York Boulevard as well as Figueroa Street, posting “eviction” notices on the storefronts of businesses “for not complying with the needs of the working class.” The protest against displacement and gentrification targeted a number of newer businesses that have come to symbolize the demographic and economic changes sweeping across the neighborhood.  We have collected responses from employees, owners and the landlords of these businesses.

Mark Trombino, owner of Donut Friend

I haven’t personally experienced any animosity from residents of the neighborhood [before]. We regularly donate to local schools and fundraisers, and we hire people that actually live in Highland Park. I might be a little biased, but I think we are a much better addition to the neighborhood than the massage parlor we replaced.”

Food vendor on York | Nathan Solis

Food vendor on York | Nathan Solis

Yolanda Noguiera,  landlord  of Café de Leche

I came out and had a conversation with some of the protesters. I let them know that the building has been Latino owned for several generations. And the protesters were looking at me like I was crazy. My father’s business has been here for years. I told them to ask their parents, because they probably know the history of the building. And Anya and Matt (Schodorf) work hard here. The protesters were nice for the most part. I feel for them though. It’s certainly a changing face in the neighborhood. Their protest could also be a reflection on the residential changes in the neighborhood, the evictions there.”

4

Gerri, General Manager of The York on York

I’ve been living and working in this neighborhood for the past 8 years. Gentrification has made York Boulevard and surrounding areas safer to walk down, more enjoyable and more lively. Everyone we employ at The York lives in NELA. We are trying to help the community. I don’t have a clue as to why we are targeted.”

Mateo Glassman, owner of The Greyhound Bar & Grill

After they came down to Figueroa and started protesting us, I got really hurt. I mean, the only reason we opened here was because of the community. There are a lot of great neighborhoods, we just loved the people here and wanted to open something we thought the neighborhood wanted. And after ten months, we were right! The neighborhood has been amazing. So why were they out picketing our business? We work so damn hard to make this place tick, and now we have to defend ourselves against people that have clearly never been here or have some other ax to grind that has nothing to do with the product we sell but what we look like? It hurt a lot.”

2

Photo by Nathan Solis

Zane Landreth – Mount Analog

Honestly, it was a real bummer, and I bet that most of the folks involved in the protest would really like the shop.”

The Eastsider reached out to the North East Los Angeles Alliance for comment, but did not hear back in time for this deadline.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.



Eastsider Advertising

252 comments

  1. I support these local businesses and shall continue to do so regardless of the opinions of a select group of citizens who should all refocus their energies into more creative and positive enterprises.

  2. The protesters need to be called out for what they really are: Racists of the most unrepentant, despicable order.

    • Ryan -The protesters need to be called out for what they really are: Racists of the most unrepentant, despicable order.


      Hey, I don’t live in HLP, but thought I’d chime in and bring an outsider perspective since I have many friends who participated in the protest as well as many friends who have more money that are new residents (and enjoy the wine bars, record stores).

      Jumping into conclusions like this may feel like the easiest option, but I share the following chain of thoughts (sorry, a bit disorganized one):

      First, keep in mind the history of California. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California#History)
      I also recommend you reading about history of colonization in different forms and contexts. (from conquistadors to westernization of Korea after the war, etc.)

      1. A community with certain way of lifestyle (what some people consider “ghetto” may just be a way of life, a struggle within the community to be overcome)

      2. Middle class from a different (and more privileged community) wanting better life, finds cheap properties in these “ghetto” communities for new business or way of life. (with an intention to share this “better, more advanced” way of life)

      These two different communities may collide for following reasons:
      – unfortunately the new “cool” way of living may not be the kind of life the existing community want to follow
      – however the new residents from a more privileged community has more financial resources (and let’s face it – in this country money is power.) to make changes they want, and this may not reflect the need of the community.
      – Question: can you really do whatever you want if you have more money? what happened to thinking about cause/effect of your action?
      – Solution ? : Members of the new community making an effort to realize the effect of bringing “the better way of life” by staying connected to the sentiment of the neighborhood. (like the protest that happened last week) Also the pre-exiting community exercising their rights to communicate and protect the needs of the community.

      —–>The protest is a way to communicate and express the voices of those who are powerless. Current protests and revolts, as distinctly as they are formulated in their specific local contexts, are implying a renewed importance of, and urgency for, oppositional strategies in civil society as well as in the arts. In this new context it seems worth re-evaluating our understanding of oppositional strategies. Buoyed by a discontent majority, new forms of protest are developing. Provocation is becoming increasingly prominent as a means to break with conventions and to introduce a new spirit of the “doable.”<——

      because you never know, what you call "gangbanger houses, shady massage parlor" may just be someone trying to make a living in their cultural context. Shady things can happen even in the suburbs of Torrance (remember they found a white supremacist headquarters in the suburbs of Torrance several years ago?) as well as the "Ghetto" neighborhood,

      Most people just want to live the best life within the means of what they have. Wealth has not been distributed well all over the world. However, the community has power to revive itself, as it was happening in HLP before gentrification. Maybe NELA can inform the newcomers what the community was all about before the trendy shops, so they can drop their preconceived idea of HLP being "a ghetto saved by new "cool" businesses."

      • So Magali wants new residents to stay connected to the sentiment of the neighborhood by protesting Latino-owned businesses that have been there for several generations. Got it.

      • I understand the colonization reference for CA but HP has been home to many different cultures over the years. Generations of my family lived there for before being pushed out in the 60’s and 70’s due to the increase in gang violence.

      • Magali KR. My family has been in HLP for many generations. As an admitted outsider. Please keep your nose out of our business.

      • Well stated, Magali.

      • Great response. You might want to add, The way in which the trendy people aquired the properties, is because the City of Los Angeles red flagged them in order to make room for the trendy people.
        Remind them that back in the 60’s we had the “GREAT WHITE FLIGHT”, and now that they are tired of the long commutes they want it back. Highland Park for one was mostly a rental district after they left. Hence SLUM LORDS, which create Barrios and Ghettos.

        Food for thought.

        • Can you explain exactly what red-flagging is and how it works? Do you have specifics on the landlords and lease agreements?

          These are all small, independent businesses not Starbucks or Walgreens. Speaking of which, why did they only protest independent shops and not big corporations?

        • LOL! ‘slumloards’ are the root problem for the ghettoization of the inner city. This board is chalk full of idiots.

      • A bunch of strawman arguments at its best.

    • @ Ryan

      Magali KR has done you a great kindness.

      • Trying to stop gentrification is as futile as trying to stop the sun from rising. It is natural market forces at work. Governments may impose things like rent control, that’s like holding an umbrella up and insisting you have stopped the sun.

    • tecuani tlalli tecolotl

      OK Settlers get out . …

  3. “Yolanda Noguiera, landlord of Café de Leche
    I came out and had a conversation with some of the protesters. I let them know that the building has been Latino owned for several generations. And the protesters were looking at me like I was crazy. My father’s business has been here for years.”

    WHOOPS! Guess you missed that one protesters! Great job!

    • I personally know Yolanda and yes her father was there probably before some of the protesters were born. My point is if you really knew who’s of Highland Park then the protesters would of known Yolanda’s family been on that corner for a very long time. I’m proud of to call her one of my few childhood friends that have stepped up to do good things in our community. Keep up the good work Yolie.

    • A much more diverse Highland Park. People just getting along…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsZLrHF4l6U

    • The point is that a richer class is coming in and running the poorer classed out. The landlord is reaping the benefit by skyrocketing the rents — whether business or residential. The issue isn’t who has been there longest; it is what one class is doing to victimize the other — as Magali said, with no consideration of cause and effect, more with the attitude of get out of my way, money is coming through.

      • are you retarded?

      • People who move to the neighborhood are not trying to victimize anyone. People are displaced as a result, but new residents don’t move somewhere in order to displace people, they move somewhere because they want to live there. It is not productive to antagonize people by saying they have evil intentions when you know that is not the case. I think most people are good and want to do good, (or at least can be shamed into doing good!) If you know of a business being unfairly evicted to make way for something trendy or someone with more money, make it known and people will band together to help that business. If anyone knows of something like this happening, let it be known and we can all work together to help.

  4. I went right down to the Town Pizza and spent money there the other day just to spite these “activists.”

    (and it was damn good pizza)

    Why don’t you activists hang eviction notices on some gangbanger houses?
    I can’t think of anyone more “not culturally welcoming” than gangsters.

    • @McNasty

      Really? Just to spite them, huh? You are some kind of big man that sure showed those stupid kids! Way to go!!!

    • If that were the case, gangbangers would be targeting these businesses NOT politically-engaged and law-abiding youth. It’s that type of vile stereotyping that extends to anybody who remotely fits the profile of a “gang banger” (i.e., not white) that long time residents find so offensive.

      • LOL!

        *** law-abiding youth. It’s that type of vile stereotyping that extends to anybody who remotely fits the profile of a “gang banger***

        Another silly strawman by BS aka Broken Spears…

  5. These protesters should have picketed the real estate house flippers that buy houses and sell them for more than double.

    • Home flippers pay a steep tax penalty (capital gains) when selling a home that isn’t their primary residence. I’m talking in the $10,000 to $20,000 range for this neighborhood. That in turn goes into the district for things like infrastructure. When a associate of mine sold his HLP condo he payed $10,000 in relocation fees and $10,000 in capital gains. Home flipping isn’t a blood sucking racket by any means.

      • @Moody

        Maybe not “bloodsucking,” but they definitely drive affordability out of our neighborhoods. $10-20K is a pittance.

        • Maybe you should educate yourself on the ins and outs of real estate investment? Higher property values is the desired effect for those who bought houses in this area.

          • @Moody

            Yes, yes. As a homeowner, all I want are higher property values ! As long as they continue to outpace wages, all is forgiven.

          • I find it fascinating and also troubling the persistent assumption that anyone who owns a home in neighborhoods like EP and HP are ecstatic about the ridiculous rise in property values. Not only my neighborhood but my street has been inundated with swarms of entitled young people with a lot of disposable income, buying homes at twice or three times the value they should be. For the most part, they don’t make good neighbors. They could care less about community issues that affect those that are marginalized. Their children don’t attend our neighborhood schools. Although I don’t agree with the protesters focusing on small businesses, I understand their anger and their frustration and I support their willingness to raise their voices. And for a white person to call them racist is despicable.

        • You are such a dummy when it comes understanding basic economics especially in real estate matters, Broken Spears.

          Do you know why there is a demand for the ‘fringe’ areas of LA such as Echo Park and Highland Park? Global money is being recycled back into the US in the form real estate purchases. The preferred areas such as West LA have become cost prohibitive because in part, global investors are parking their money there. The migration of middle class Anglos, Asian, Latinos, and Blacks is the knock on effect of a global economy.

      • 10-20k is nothing when you are making 200k+ profits and driving up the cost of homes to the point they are unaffordable to the average family. Yes, entitled rich people can still afford them but not the general populous without working themselves to death.

        • Tax laws allows someone to make $250k in profit without paying tax on that if they use the money to buy another primary residence. Up to 500k for couples.

          • Homeowners don’t have to purchase another primary residence in order to be exempt from paying taxes on $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for couples). They just need to have lived in the home for two of the past five years before the sale.

        • No one can unilaterally drive up prices. There is a demand for homes in the ‘fringe’ areas. A ton of middle and even upper class latinos, anglos, asians, and blacks have been priced out of certain blocks because of global money.

          Developers and flippers are responding to a need…

          • @Eon Long

            This “absolve those who are simply following the market” mentality is played out.

            Clearly, there are people who are no longer able to afford to live in Highland Park. That may not feel like an injustice to you, but where exactly is your horse in this race?

          • yo dummy aka la-agog.

            keep on hoping from one topic to the next. at times, i do enjoy playing whack a mole

        • flippers don’t set the housing prices: the buyers do.
          If there are no buyers at these higher prices, then prices fall.
          However, there are plenty of buyers, apparently, who can afford these prices and are willing to pay.

      • Capital gains taxes do NOT go into the district. They go to the federal government, at a top rate of 15%, less than most people pay in income taxes. And to the state at a much lower percentage rate. They do not go to the local governments, or to the district in which the property was sold.

        • Oh, and they don’t pay any capital gains taxes if they roll the money over into a “like kind” investment, which is exactly what flippers do, immediately move on to the next property.

          • ***they don’t pay any capital gains taxes***

            not true. deferred taxes(1031).

          • Investors who “flip” a home often don’t qualify for the 1031 tax-deferred exchange, because for the sale to qualify under the tax code, they need to hold on to it for a certain amount of time (I think it’s a year). If they flip the home a few months after buying it, they probably have to pay capital gains taxes.

        • an investor is taking a huge risk ; they should be rewarded for that risk; encouraging investment is a good thing for the economy.

  6. Now, I stand firmly with our small businesses, but just one question… Mateo Glassman thought that the neighborhood wanted a BJ’s? I mean, really. For a local spot it sure feels (and looks) awful corporate.

    • Where do you get BJ’s from? The Greyhound is a great local place with good food. It doesn’t feel corporate at all.

      • @Bubbles

        Totally get what Skeeter is saying. Stopped in to check them out and I walked away thinking, “No soul.” Too bad because, on paper, everything they have going on there should “click.”

    • They hired local fabricators from the area to build out the inside of the place. Greyhound is a awesome bar to have a beer and great food. Last time I checked, BJ’s didn’t offer barrel aged sour beers.

  7. White people started it, then they white flight’ed when the brownies came in, now they are coming back. Stay put white people!

    • Dear Moderator,
      How do I flag some of the insulting and ignorant comments ? As an avid reader of the Eastsider, I don’t appreciate this at all.

      • Co-sign but the most rabid instances of bigotry are reserved for murder victims (e.g,, True Freedom) . That is when all hope of civil discussion goes out the window.

    • @monkeyman : you’re definitely the front runner for the “most ignorant post of the day” award.

      • Frankly, I see valid points on both sides of this discussion.

        While I don’t fully support the sentiment of monkeyman’s post, it seems his statement is a fairly accurate representation that describes the process of the early suburbs, white flight, and the now much discussed gentrification.

        Why is that ignorant? They can’t have a thin-skin, but you can?

        • The white folks moving in are not the same groups that ‘white flighted’ (it hurts to write that) in the 60’s. And the gentrifiers are just as likely Americans of Asian, Latino, African, etc descent. But the fact that its the whites that are getting the hatred and that the protestors want the neighborhood to remain Latino, that is racist.

          And people bring up a valid point about why these groups don’t protest gang bangers. How many chases/shootings/deaths have we had in NELA in just the past week alone? Go protest on the front lawn of those people. See how that works out.

          The protestors are bored and grasping for any cause in our current everybody-is-a-victim-and-oppressed landscape.

          • The LA RAZA paradigm is slowly fading like the Pol Pot version of communism. Similar to the white power crowd. I see latinos, asians, blacks, and anglos socializing and dating with one another on a grand scale. Ethnicity of the 21th century is all about syncreticism.

        • Because you should get your point across like an adult if you want to be part of a constructive conversation. Otherwise you are just a knuckle dragging caveman.

        • It’s not about having thin skin. It’s about calling out overt racism. As in, “stay put, white people!”

          This protest really was just thinly veiled racism. If you doubt that, just imagine white people wearing masks (or not) and parading down San Vicente in Brentwood putting eviction notices on Mexican restaurants claiming they’re not “culturally welcoming.” Racism is racism is racism.

          • Educate yourself.

          • The notion that the people of neighborhoods didn’t protest or try to fight gangs is a fallacy. The neighborhood tried to fight the gangs for years. Unfortunately for years the gangs terrorized the good folks of the area many innocent decent people fell victim to violence. It’s very disingenuous to claim that the neighborhood wants gangs and not whites. People of the neighborhood always wanted a safe and affordable place to live.

          • ***It’s very disingenuous to claim that the neighborhood wants gangs***

            another silly strawman

      • “you’re definitely the front runner for the “most ignorant post of the day” award”. Don’t worry True Freedom. You are the perennial champion when it comes to ignorance. You don’t even live in NELA but are the most notorious know-it-all on these threads(?!?).

    • Actually white flight occurred due to the Watts riots. Don’t worry protesters, next riot or earthquake and they’ll be gone again.

      • Yeah ms sassy with 4 s’s, we’d leave a broken neighborhood because we have options. Not because you somehow have more grit. So go ahead and shhiit on your own neighborhood with a riot. We’ll leave you with your mess that you’ll never clean up. VIVA LA RAZA! Right?

  8. I think the protesters are completely misguided.
    Gentrification is a real issue, but the business owners are hardly the people to target. They are (for the most part) working class people themselves who employ other working class people. That is a good thing.
    Restoring old beat to shit houses to their “original” glory is a good thing. People contributing to their local economies is what you want, right? Isn’t that one of the foundations of a healthy community?
    Where were these protesters before Highland Park’s “come back”? Were they lobbying for more parks? Beautifying the neighborhood? Forming neighborhood watches? Highly doubtful.
    I am a Highland Park homeowner and I am grateful to the new businesses! Keep up the good work!
    ps-
    Protesters, I do not mean to be harsh, I applaud your community involvement, I really do. I just wish it were directed to causes that contribute to the community, not to take away.

    • I do believe that gang activity and police corruption is what keep many working class people from trying to form crime prevention groups that are common in middle to upper class communities. Cities unfortunately do not listen to poorer communities until newer more affluent property owners move into a neighborhood, that is the unfortunate nature of gentrification.

      • ****I do believe that gang activity and police corruption is what keep many working class people from trying to form crime prevention groups***

        the no snitchin rule is quite quite strong among certain blocks.

    • @sabrina

      People are not aesthetics. The idea that a house is more important that than the family living there is foolish.

      Misguided or not, I think that what was being “protested” is a lack of both affordability and recognition. The “new” businesses are simply the easiest and most visible targets.

      These young people obviously felt motivated to take some action. Maybe we all try to approach this as a dialogue?

      • Isn’t that what this is? Dialogue? And so far, all I hear is excuses for ignorant people who targeted small business owners who are trying to provide needed services for the community (like ice cream, pizza and records). Educate yourself.

    • “he business owners are hardly the people to target. They are (for the most part) working class people themselves who employ other working class people. ”

      What delusional world do you live in? The business owners are hardly working class people. They may have started being working class, but moved up and are now upper middle class to flat out rich.

      I’m not taking the side of the racists protesters.

      • How many small business owners do you know? They most assuredly are not rich, and most of them aren’t upper middle class either. Most store owners are very lucky if they can pull in between 70 and 100k a year — and most stores fail after the first year. 70-100K a year is middle class.

  9. Protesting Wal-mart stores for refusing to raise the minimum wage and failing to improve working conditions makes sense. Assuming you represent a dominant opinion in your neighborhood and victimizing small business owners and its employees does not make any kind of sense.

  10. Well intentioned demonstration, though I wish it was focused on the real driver of displacement: an unregulated real estate market. It’s silly to think Highland Park residents don’t deserve options for “nice things”, quality food, nightlife, entertainment, dining, etc., and york blvd offers options for whatever prices different people are willing to pay. LA needs more of these kinds of corridors to maintain a healthy economy without having to rely on big box retailers. Either way, I appreciate of a good shake up to get people thinking about their priorities. Business owners know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, I hope that no hard feelings linger.

  11. The protesters are racist. End if story. Racism is racism. The Klu Klux Klan wore masks and so did these protesters. All the same.

    • Educate yourself.

      • How about more than two words, la-agog? Although I already see your motive in trying to rile up this discussion with your tiny jabs here and there.

      • Maybe you should educate YOURSELF. There is clearly a racial element to these protests.

        • @Moody

          No, these “reverse racism” folks don’t need any riling up. They’re always ready to blow.

          How many times does the difference between systematic racism and personal prejudice need to be explained?

        • The primary “racial elements” are that the majority of long-time residents are working-class people who happen not to be white. Otherwise, any community that is suddenly being saturated by class-exclusive businesses that doN’T cater to their daily needs is going to result in antagonistic responses. The other is the constant references to “gang bangers” as if any of these businesses, transplants, or hipsters would dare relocate to a neighborhood saturated with gang violence. Most of you never even heard of Highland Park unTIL it became safe enough to explore NOT the other way around. Finally, the insecure bigotry consistently displayed by the likes of outside agitators like True Freedom, Moody, Eon Long, et. al. and their lazy default reactoin to anything they deem as undesireable or “gang-related”. As if they had a clue about either. Otherwise, EVERYthing expressed by the protesters alludes to class-related inequality NOT race. Asians, hispanics, and whites have ALways co-existed in NELA.

          • As a lifelong resident of this area I am well aware of the reality of gangs. Where we differ is our perception of their perceived role in our working class culture. As a former target of gang oppression, I refuse to acknowledge them as guardians of our hood and only see them as domestic terrorizers.

            In regards to your charge that I’m a bigot…. I think you should look in the mirror. You are always the first to post from a racial perspective with a “ours not theirs” standpoint.

            I love the mix and support HLP businesses old and new. Had my first slice of pizza at folieros 30 years ago.

            You are a troll, a bully and a false prophet, Proper Doh!

          • “. . . You are always the first to post from a racial perspective . . .” in response to the blatant bigotry expressed by others. Otherwise, I’ve always felt comfortable among Angelenos of ALL races and ethnicities even when the opposite hasn’t always been true. That’s the reflection I see in the mirror.

        • BAD LATINOS!

          Humbly seat yourself at the Harkness Table so the people who’ve invaded your neighborhood can instruct you on why you can no longer think the way you do!

          Remember, you do not have a Masters Degree. You did not write a thesis on the Transformational Urban Imagery of Superman Comics. Dare not question your Betters until you too write a thesis, develop food allergies and become a Vegan!

    • The protesters might be prejudiced but it is impossible for them to be racist. Racism is a systematic and institutionalized oppression that is embedded into society’s fabric. The dominant cultural group is, by definition, not oppressed. Prejudice, by definition, is forming an unfavorable opinion on a person based on race, religion, sexuality without knowing all the facts. Racism and prejudice are not interchangeable words. After reading the comments on this topic over the past months, I feel this really needs clarifying.

      • what is the dominant cultural group in HLP?

        • American(?). Or is there a color-related criteria that must be met before claiming that identity?

          • sooboo said “The dominant cultural group is, by definition, not oppressed”
            And Proper Dos says the dominant cultural group is American.
            Therefore, no American is oppressed.
            Thank you.

          • Your deceptive response is designed to falsely claim equality that actually facilitates inequality and discrimination, e.g., Hernandez v. Texas, A landmark supreme court case that exposed the cynical practice of classifying Mexicans as “white”, which undermined their claims that they were being unfairly excluded from jury pools for Mexican defendants, i.e., Mexicans are white and the jury is white. How can any white person claim that they’re being discriminated against? You would fit right in in 1950’s Texas.

        • Highland Park is not some oasis within America. We all know white men set the rules in America. I guess it’s your business if you want to make silly arguments so that you can hold onto your privilege.

          • aw, I was just goofing around with pooper doos because he’s a dolt.

            Out of curiosity, which rules, set by white men, would you choose to change if you were in power?

      • What does espresso, pizza and donuts have to do with racism? Where these businesses planted here by the illuminati?? This systematic racism argument is spinning around in circles and has nothing to do with Highland Park before or after these businesses arrived. Where then were the black protesters??…. The LGBT protesters?? Seriously, find a better excuse!!

      • @sooboo: Semantics. This is the real world, not a classroom. And in the real world, racially prejudiced and racist are just two different ways to say ‘gigantic A-hole”

        • @really?

          Um, no, Don’t dismiss this as simply “semantics.” This being the real world and all, maybe you could step back a little when someone takes the time to help you understand something you clearly don’t.

      • Your definition of racism might work for a cultural studies term paper, but in any other setting it’s absurd. Here’s an actual dictionary definition of racism: “1) poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race. 2) the belief that some races of people are better than others”

        Ask yourself this: Can Asian-Americans be racist towards other non-white groups? the answer is obviously yes. Or, closer to home, was the violence against blacks in NELA committed by Latino gangs in the 90s racist? Pretty sure it was! I guess what I’m saying is you’d do well to drop this whole “only white people can be racist because of, like power and the system maaaan” attitude.

        • You are utterly and absolutely IGNORANT about the targeting of Blacks by gang members in NELA (as if you even cared other than to post your rhetorical response), which is an extension of prison politics that was triggered by the targeting of non-blacks for assaults during the L.A. riots, e.g., everyone remembers the name of Reginald Denny. Does anybody remember the name of the hispanic immigrant filmed being beaten, robbed, and had his face spray-painted black by the very same thugs who beat Denny? In fact, the only tension between hispanics and Blacks is among gang members. Otherwise, name the other demographic group that has been willing to open businesses, purchase homes, and raise their families next to black neighbors? Certainly not hipsters or gentrifiers, which begins to clarify precisely who has a problem with different races.

        • @Laveta

          What exactly are you arguing here?

          • That attempting to characterize those who resent or protest against gentrification as “racist” by directly associating them with gang-violence towards Blacks in the past. The real reasons are well-documented common knowledge in several articles over the past several years. Pluck race out of the equation and we may begin to get to the real causes of increasing insecurity among many long-time NELA residents who are NOT violent gang members, which makes no sense(?). After all, violent gang members don’t protest with signs.

      • You’re wrong. Look up the word “racism” in the dictionary.

  12. I wish the protesters would consent to interviews. I’ve been trying all week to speak with them for a story I’m doing and even agreed to a time to meet. Still no dice! It would be great to hear what they have to say and move from hostility (on both sides) to dialogue and, maybe, some understanding.

  13. This is blatant racism. I don’t think the protestors would be upset if the neighborhood was suddenly filled with new latinos from other areas, but since many of the new folks are white, that’s the issue.

    They need to get a grip. The local businesses are working hard. Go protest the new Starbucks, not honest renters.

  14. Tina Gulotta-Miller

    Highkand Park can breathe a sigh of relief that it is coming into its own once again. It is a great community and has a lot to offer people of every walk of life. Supporting small businesses is vital to making our community better and safer. We support many businesses along York and Fig. The protestors appear misguided. Learning about civics and economic recovery is essential in any community. So we will continue to experience many more shops and businesses opening along our commercial corridors and look forward to shopping in our own districts for a wider variety of products and goods, Happy Holidays.

  15. “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.” ~ Pema Chödrön

  16. I agree, the house flippers and property investment groups are who they should blame. Though I can see why they might not like some of the businesses, most working class people are not going to spend $8 on a beer, $5 on a coffee, or $20 on a meal, the new businesses are not targeted to them. They feel like an outsider in their own neighborhood.

    • I don’t think we should blame the flippers or developers (actually, I don’t think we should *blame* anyone at all).

      Remember, flippers don’t set the prices for homes… buyers do.
      Also, $8 beer places and $5 coffee places won’t survive unless there are sufficient buyers that buy their products at those prices. The fact these places are thriving and more popping up, means there are sufficient number of buyers around who WANT this stuff.

    • To be fair, plenty of working-class people spend a lot more than $8 on (a) beer; however, instead of buying one fancy microbrew, they’re picking up twelve-packs at the corner liquor store. Just park outside any liquor store on a Friday afternoon from 3:30 P.M. onwards, and you’ll see plenty of working-class men buying plenty of beer.

  17. Two things
    1. These protests help boost property values; rumors or signs of gentrification just acts like a big magnet for further change
    2. Maybe the protestors are being paid off by real estate people, because these protests are the kind of press you can’t get anywhere else

    The more people stomp their feet in opposition to the demographic changes, the more HP will gentrify

  18. I’m happy the small businesses spoke out about this misguided protest. I think it would have been a good idea if they all picked a night, closed their doors and blackened their storefronts so everyone can have a little reminder of what was there before.

    Just because you don’t like the prices or don’t care for what these businesses have to offer doesn’t mean they should go away. It also doesn’t mean they are participating in this so called conspiracy of systematic displacement of barrio culture.

    I can’t afford to shop at Urban Radish on a regular basis but you don’t see me asking them to close up shop because they are not welcoming to my working class income.

  19. While the “protesters” are misguided, I don’t see this as a looming battle in Highland Park — rather an outburst of youthful and misplaced enthusiasm. Most people commenting on this blog are no longer teenagers, so it’s hard to remember bing SO MAD about something you can’t control, and wanting an outlet to make yourself heard.

    I used to rent in Echo Park and a few years ago (now own in Eagle Rock) and there were similar protesters with young kids holding anti-gentrification signs on Sunset Blvd. No riots ensued.

    Methinks, this is ultimately, much to do about nothing.

    And to those that are really upset about their neighborhood becoming more desirable, less violent, with nice places to eat and shop — what do you want to happen? That’s never been articulated in the 300+ comments on the last post on this topic, and I’d be curious if there is any solution that would make them happy.

    Nostalgia is a heavy drug — but the future of NELA and Highland Park is a bright one, and everyone who lives here has the opportunity to embrace the change and become a part of it!

    • @Eagle Rocker

      The first two paragraphs of your comment are spot on.

    • “And to those that are really upset about their neighborhood becoming more desirable, less violent, with nice places to eat and shop — what do you want to happen?” Inclusivity. Honoring the history and long-time presence of residents who are primarily responsible for increasing safety in NELA. This revisionist narrative of gentrifiers making the community safer is offensive. NObody invests in or relocates to violent and crime-ridden neighborhoods. The opposite scenario is what finally made NELA safe enough for investment and improvements. Otherwise, there are communities closer to downtown (and the beach) that are experiencing no signs of improvement or gentrification of any kind.

      • @Proper Dos

        “Inclusivity” is a hard concept as we have so very little examples of it to go by.

        Your point about this neighborhood as opposed to others is an astute one. Why people want to deny the positive attributes of Highland Park while moving in is beyond me.

        • “Inclusivity” is a hard concept as we have so very little examples of it to go by”. I get it but on another thread somebody asked why presumably “hipster” businesses like Eastside Luv or Guisados have not been targeted for protests. The answer is simple. Their business model is inclusive and represents a community evolving towards improvement not simply ignoring or erasing what came before even before it’s actually gone(?!). HLP’s flavor has always been working-class for whom cheese and “charcuterie”(?) are foreign if not completely exclusive items that imply “stay out”. There must be a better way to include everyone in the introduction of a variety of new products and services that are also affordable. I believe that’s the compromise we should all advocate for IF we want to avoid feelings of mutual hostility.

          • @Proper Dos

            I wish I had easy answers, but I don’t.

            A legislated living wage and universal healthcare would do wonders for our national wellbeing.

          • There’s nothing about cheese and charcuterie that should imply “stay out” to anyone, including working class people. You can spend more money drinking beers and eating tacos than having a nice glass of wine and some cheese. If some people aren’t comfortable walking into such stores, no one is forcing them, but let’s be honest, it’s because of their own insecurities, not because the new business owners aren’t welcoming. Guisados is great, but does every new restaurant in HP have to be tacos in order to be culturally welcoming? They’re not cheap tacos either.

      • Personally, I’m not trying to write any history by saying the neighborhood has improved, merely pointing it out. There are are a myriad of reasons why this area is a nice place to live in Los Angeles, no individual, or group can truly lay claim to an entire neighborhood’s success, or failure. It’s a community. I think the vast majority of the people that live in the area want the same things for their family and their neighborhood. I think it is a very inclusive and friendly neighborhood which is why I think there is some dissonance and confusion between vastly different reactions to pizza place opening in an old Italian restaurant. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • Every “old Italian”, Jewish, Russian, Japanese, etc. L.A. neighborhood included a significant minority or majority of Mexicans especially in NELA. I’m not certain(?) why Mexicans are consistently left out of the narrative but to do so is historically inaccurate.

      • i have a question. where can i buy those cool mexican mask that the youths were sporting? i like them a lot.

  20. I support the businesses up and down York (I’ve shopped at numerous restaurants, Future music, etc.). It’s a great stretch.

    I applaud all of the hard-working owners of these shops and hope more open up!!!

    I understand the concerns of the protestors – but their energy is mis-directed. As many posters have pointed out, they should be targeting McDonalds, Walmart, and other crappy, corporatist and faceless entities. Not boutiques.

    Neighborhoods change, demographics change. What’s happening on York is POSITIVE! Keep it up, business-owners, you have my 100% support.

  21. The renaissance of DTLA is rippling out to Highland Park, Glassell, even Cypress Park. Not sure exactly what the vision for the future the protesters have, but if it is for “no change” their cause is lost. If they want HP’s existing community feel/ethos embedded into future development, they need to take part in the development.

    Making their voices heard via protest is fine, but it needs to be backed with a viable, articulated idea for the future; and one frankly that has appeal to a broad range of interests, if they want others to carry for the banner for them.

    • Totally agree. The evolution of downtown LA will be significant and will change the historic districts surrounding it. Great post!

    • “. . . they need to take part in the development” Excellent point because inclusiveness is at the heart of resentment among those NOT opposed to improvements only to being excluded.

      • Of course the reason that Highland Park is such a great neighborhood is because of the hard work and wonderful active involvement of the community for years. The neighborhood organizations and civic forums aren’t going anywhere. Plenty of politcial avenues. Anyone who has ever been to any community meetings here knows the discourse is invariably lively, to say the least. I think it is a disservice to the long-standing active community of Highland Park to suggest they can be excluded. There is a reason there has been nary a peop about the ‘hipster’ mom and pops opening up on Fig and York: other than vague fear of change, they are beneficial to the community. Now, if you want to talk about the massive condo developments in the works on Fig, thats something. Protestors might want to make sure to grab a mask and get down to the next city council meeting. But, in Highland Park, its just hard to see how anyone has been ‘excluded’.

  22. Why doesn’t The Eastsider/Nathan Solis do some actual investigation and find out if there is any demonstrable basis to the claims of displacement by the NELA Alliance.

    On the one hand there are people investing in/creating NELA businesses, hiring NELA residents, providing services/goods desired by the community and probably investing in a home here.

    On the other hand I see masked people saying, “I don’t like how this makes me feel”, engaging in possibly threatening political theatre and demanding under market rent for the rest of their lives. They also appear to be unaware of the historical diversity in HLP.

    Who are you gonna give credence to? Seems clear to me.

  23. It speaks volumes that the North East Los Angeles Alliance has not officially commented in response to these posts. I for one, would be very interested in what they have to say specifically because I found this performance/protest not only in bad taste but ineffective. All it has drummed up is overwhelming support for diversity, new business and safer streets…. and, of course, the extremists whose opinions on gentrification/white priveledge/institutional racism etc. etc. will never change regardless of where they live and the enemy they believe they’re fighting through internet comments. In short: I am sure that in organizing this protest NELAA’s reasons are justified and their intentions WERE to provoke dialog… but then why let these extremist internet trolls bogart and distort your message into oblivion? Speak up!

  24. Yeah — our diverse happy neighborhood, where the Latino couple each making minimum wage but happy that they found an affordable house for their young family will, of course, mosey on down to Ba for a delicious Friday night dinner (Stewed Lamb Shank is *only* $24.00!) and dessert at Scoops (at only $3.25 a pop!) before the re-convene at the York for some after dinner shooters! Whoa! Too bad they had to sell their car!

    No Fear! The walk back to York on Saturday morning is short and sweet, and after a full week where they work and clean for others, they get the chance to work and clean for free as volunteers sweeping the streets!

    And they are happy!

    And the ant eaters in fedoras are happy!

    Housing prices just went up another 10% and the owner of the young couple’s house is raring to sell!

    • No, you are right. The minimum wage family is going to be hard pressed to have nice dinners and many of the other luxuries of life. Do the developments on York have to cater to the economically least well off lest they be bad for the community? Is that the vision you are trying to get people to buy into?

    • @Emily D. You’re right, our neighborhood is diverse. We’ve got everything from parking lot taco stands to fine dining, and that’s not a bad thing.

  25. The Urban Dictionary calls L.A. “a massive tangle of highways and roads, also rumored to contain people and houses.”

    For at least half a century, however, Americans have suffered a case of automotive and suburban remorse in the form of angst-ridden cris de coeur in the vein of Richard Yates’ “Revolutionary Road” (1961). A notable architectural reaction against sprawl was/is the New Urbanism movement that began in the 1980s, an attempt to recreate the small-town vibe documented by Anderson by increasing population density in new developments centered around pre-fab mini-downtown business districts that seek to be pedestrian-friendly.

    Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets” program follows this tradition, though at a scale whose ambitions are currently constrained by a lack of “the money and the space to add the types of transportation that would significantly reduce traffic congestion, such as widening streets or adding expensive mass transit,” write David Zahniser, Matt Stevens, and Laura J. Nelson in the Times.

    “In a process the mayor describes as ‘urban acupuncture,’ the city plans to add bike racks, plazas, crosswalk upgrades and other amenities aimed at drawing in pedestrians and attracting new businesses” to 15 thoroughfares.

    Some Angelenos are skeptical. Some worry Great Streets will fail, as have similar initiatives attempted by Garcetti’s predecessors. Others worry it will screw up traffic, a perennial problem in the city. Then there are those who worry it will work:

    “In Highland Park, once sleepy York Boulevard has become a magnet for an array of middle- and upper-middle class needs: coffee, comic books, vegan ice cream, and $5 donuts. Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, once favored mainly by locals, is now a regional tourist destination with prices to rival Rodeo Drive. Backers of the Great Streets program hope to achieve similar success.”

    Overpriced coffee, pretentious deserts and overpriced pastries spell one thing: gentrification, the process of “improving” a neighborhood by driving up rents and expelling long-time residents, many of whom happen to be poor and/or have brown skin. (I’m OK with stores that sell comics, though.)

    Aside from inconveniencing poor people and minorities with evictions and forcing them to commute from more distant suburbs to their jobs, gentrification makes neighborhoods strips ethnic flavor and makes them bland. Surely it should be possible to attract pedestrians to city streets minus gentrification — a mix of commercial rent control, curation of businesses and guarantees to long-term residents that they will be allowed to remain over the long run — but it hardly happens after the developers get involved. Given this history, it’s far more likely that Great Streets will become Great Streets for Upscale White People. — Ted Rall

    http://rall.com/2014/07/31/los-angeles-times-cartoon-great-streets-or-just-gentrification

    • Emily, would you please provide us with some real data? Number of people evicted/displaced, number of long time Latino/working class families selling their homes at a huge profit, number of non white families buying homes in HLP, percentage of new businesess started by non white people & number of babies sacrificed to the dark lord of gentrification by white hipsters. We need real data in this conversation and less shit stirred up by the NELA “Alliance” and folks who just completed sociology/poli-sci 101.

      • There’s no “real data.” You can’t track the damage gentrification does in other than census decade blocks. That is what making targeting these poor areas so lucrative — there are no blood stains cataloged for many years hence, and by the time it is, that blood is long dried and faded.

        And the ant eaters in fedoras have long gone to the next block to bust, and like you said, smacking their lips over “babies sacrificed to the dark lord.”

        • I get the sense that your real problem here is with fedoras. Let’s have a dialogue about that.

        • So Emily literally has no facts to back up her wild assertions. This is the downside of an easily influenced mind reading one Howard Zinn book.

        • Emily, here’s what I suggested earlier:

          “Why doesn’t The Eastsider/Nathan Solis do some actual investigation and find out if there is any demonstrable basis to the claims of displacement by the NELA Alliance.

          On the one hand there are people investing in/creating NELA businesses, hiring NELA residents, providing services/goods desired by the community and probably investing in a home here.

          On the other hand I see masked people saying, “I don’t like how this makes me feel”, engaging in possibly threatening political theatre and demanding under market rent for the rest of their lives. They also appear to be unaware of the historical diversity in HLP.

          Who are you gonna give credence to? Seems clear to me.”

          Data is super important.

          • The main thing the Northeast Alliance must understand about the people who have invaded the neighborhood is

            1.) Some invaders think they deserve explanations.

            2) Other invaders might might know they don’t deserve explanations but demand them anyway.

            3) Calls for dialogue place the invaders one up in the discussion. Don’t answer them. Notice these people don’t invade places like Compton and certainly don’t demand explanations from black people, because the blacks understand the damage such invaders do, and often kill them.

            4) Never provide facts to invaders as they will appoint themselves referee and declare your facts null.

            5) Invaders demand facts and dialogue so you will be forced to appeal to them. Do not appeal to them. They are the invaders. Wait long enough and there sort tends to be rounded up and killed, or thrown out, unless they sneak away after damaging the situation. In any case, they are rootless and when pushed back, will run.

          • Emily D, you will be reported.

        • Anteaters in fedoras? Couldn’t you conjure up a less comical boogeyman in your imagination?

    • In other words, let’s keep LA a dangerous and unpleasant place for pedestrians, small businesses, children and the elderly, in order to ensure gentrification doesn’t occur? What an idiotic argument… perhaps the reason property values rise in areas of the city that are actually zoned for human beings is because the majority of the city is not.

      The reality is the middle class is moving back to Los Angeles, and instead of whining about it, the working class should be advocating for more infill development to offset the crushing demand for urban housing (traffic and parking be damned.)

  26. I don”t see why everyone is flipping out over the new businesses. If you don”t want to patronize them, fine, but don’t go bullying and intimidating them for exorcising their legal right to operate. For once we have options around here besides the same old same old, that is a positive for Latinos too. And for all you Communists making these idiotic arguments on behalf of the “the poor working class”, I’d like to point out that they are more capitalistic than you think. I get hit up all the time at Food 4 Less by someone selling tamales, blankets or DVD’s out of the trunks of their cars, dealing all in cash with little overhead and no taxes to worry about. Not to mention the Elote and Raspdo guys making the rounds (how many of them do you think are licensed?). Then there’s that whole cottage industry of yard sales that are all the rage around here lately (what’s up with that anyway). No one’a a victim, and I have yet to see anyone in my neighborhood “displaced”. If anyone leaves it’s because they are selling their homes willingly or moving on as most normal people do, and believe me, a lot have chosen to remain. So far the biggest complainers here appear to be the deadbeats living in their parents garage, worrying that the For Sale sign is gonna go up at anytime, or are outsider troublemakers looking to fight some imagined class war. No one important in short.

  27. A 2005 study by Harvard and the Urban Institute found that only 54 percent of Hispanic males in California graduate from high school, compared to 71 percent for all students. This has a direct correlation to income, which has a direct correlation to what kind of a loan you can get, etc There are systemic issues as to why this is the the case which are not fair, and favor white people. White privilage is a real thing but so is hispanic lack of respect for education in favor of family. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but its true and the downside is less income. I don’t think it should be incumbent upon tax payers to offset the true value of housing to keep prices artificially low. We can’t build a wall around Highland Park and say this area is to be immune to the realities of economics. Why didn’t all these long time residents buy in when anybody could have gotten a loan, and the prices of those houses was next to nothing?

    • Here is my 2 cents. That I just posted to the Alliance.

      I realize my privilege as a white woman. Although “woman” may be a bit of a contradiction to that. None the less the advantages of being white in the U.S. are clear and recognized. There is no mistake that privilege in this case is directed at being white.

      My question is who are the land lords selling their properties to the highest bidder? Are they to be held accountable for the displacement at all? I only hear about the white buyers. There were 3 houses on my block alone flipped all of the sellers were of color is that important or not? I bought my house from a local Latin family am I to blame for displacement are they to blame for displacement? This issue is bigger than privilege it is bigger than the sum of it’s parts. Targeting white owned businesses is not the solution. You are on the right track with tenant rights workshops and helping those to afraid to help themselves. That should be the focus. Getting everyone (whites too) on board with these kinds of programs etc. Perhaps helping your neighbor to keep their homes, shop local, etc. Gentrification is inevitable I think communities like Highland Park can be an exception and with the right leadership be an example of progress for All of us. We focus on solutions quit blaming and hating, come together.

      Gil Cedillo has just announced a big $$$ trip to Asia to drum up business for HP, huh! There is an 18 house development on West Point Place that has has crucial environmental impact reports waved by the city in the name of development to encourage it’s Chinese investor. These are the kinds of issues that need to be targeted not mom and pop businesses. What is a trip to Asia going to do for Highland Park such a misuse of funds for a Councilman. Take a look at who is really lining their pockets in our community. It’s not the small businesses who ever owns them.

      This is a problem that can not be ignored. I personally would like to help. Please feel free to call on me anytime if there is something I can do to help. Or correct me if I’m wrong when it comes to accountability.

      • Interesting about the trip to Asia to lure investors.

        While I support the free market, I do not support the political class changing the rules (via variances, zoning changes, etc) to favor overdevelopment. Now, there’s a problem I can get behind.

      • Umm Kelly, did you miss the part where the protesters DIDNT target white owned businesses? These idiots put up eviction notices at a place that’s been Latino-owned for generations.

      • “All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction.” Dalai Lama

      • Great points Kelly. This whole protest was using a worthy cause like tenant and worker rights as a disguise for bigotry or at least fear of change. If they have an example of a business or tenant being unfairly evicted or workers being treated unfairly many of us newer white residents would band together and try to right the wrong. No idea how protesting independently owned businesses is supposed to help people. At least there isn’t a Starbucks! There is a McDonald’s, did they protest it?

  28. This is pretty sad. My husbands family has been here since the 30’s, mine since the 60’s. I don’t recall the people who left in the 60’s & 70’s go out and protest against those that “displaced” them. They simply cut their losses and left. I can recall when North Figueroa had department stores and this is where you went to “shop” if you lived in NELA – like going to the Americana. Those that own their homes should be glad that their property values are escalating – sell and reap! Try spending your energy on something that really matters, like mentoring these young men out shooting each other dead.

  29. As a longtime resident with roots in Highland Park I can say overall this neighborhood has been a great place to live. I understand people’s frustrations with increasing cost of living expenses. The facts are that Los Angeles has a housing shortage and all coastal urban areas are becoming expensive. Many people feel the current state of real estate is not sustainable, prices will drop.

    I can also understand the distain for “hipsters” but this racism argument that has come up is ridiculous, there is more diversity for sure. The only true racism I’ve experienced was when the Avenues gang had a “green light” on African Americans some years back. Pointing the racism finger is inflammatory and unrealistic on both sides. Let’s not go down that road.

    The local business owners I know work very hard for what they have and their prices reflect the quality of their products and an attempt to provide a living wage for their employees, most of which live locally. Before places like The York and Cafe de Leche there was plenty of vacancy. You can still get some of the best Mexican food in Los Angeles right down the street. It would be a tragedy if can’t get my burrito though.

    As for the protesters, there is definitely some local degenerates in the group, I’ve seen them around the way drunk and picking fights. I feel like those characters are angry that mom is finally giving them the boot. There is a very real point to standing up for the overworked lower income class, many of which is afraid to stick their heads out sometimes due to immigration status. This is The United States of America, most of us descended from someone desperately seeking asylum and freedom. Let’s all get along and share the money we make off of people from Pasadena looking for a fancy doughnut because you can still get a badass neck tattoo next door.

  30. We opened a gallery on Figueroa 6 years ago in a store front that had been vacant for years. Next door Kitchen Mouse opened a cafe in another store that had been vacant for years. Actually, before Kitchen Mouse leased that spot a fly by night car title loan place occupied the store front and disappeared in the middle of the night ripping off countless HLP residents.

    Which would you rather have? Places that might be too expensive for some but loved by others or vacant store fronts?

  31. As a member of the group, a community activist, community manager, community healer, I was holding palo santo during the performance. NELA artwalk was on and we contributed to the event by having a few members wear mask of the animals that reside in the surrounding area that we as humans displace. We spoke about our experiences and shared by the power of music. YES! We evicted businesses, but at the same time, I flyered and handed them all an invitation to the eviction workshop and none showed up. The fact of the matter is, that these privaledge folks are never going to go through an eviction, because they have the money to displace at all cost. How will our community heal if we are never allowed to set our roots in a set location. Like the Tongva and Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles Navites, we are in danger. Our community is struggleing and some of y’all hipster care more about your dogs. Then, when we express our sentiments, y’all get threatned like when you see a coyote in the hills. Dont, get offended or defensive, your getting called out because we believe that your not helping the situation and your helping the oppression of others. We are not interpreting your actions the wrong way, I understand that y’all are just trying to consume, but the way you consume affects others. Next time, instead of replying via media, you should of gone to the workshop and dialogued about the eviction notice. Instead, everyone is trying to put the blame back on us and shame us, when real people are being evicted.
    The personal is political, check your privalege.

    • Please give us some facts: number of people evicted/displaced, number of long time Latino/working class families selling their homes at a huge profit, number of non white families buying homes in HLP, percentage of new businesess started by non white people & number of babies sacrificed to the dark lord of gentrification by white hipsters. We need real data in this conversation.

      • We are currently working on oral histories, but please refrain from making this about race, its about privaledge. As a property manager, and working with a developer, I understand the way lending works. Most of the folks in the area are working people of color who could not afford to own, so they rent. Banks refuse to lend and when they do, the rates and prices are high for our wallets. You see, working paycheck to paycheck is the way that some of these families survice, yet y’all want to throw them out and make them someone elses problem, then brag when we become “gangsters”. Democracy starts from the bottom up, we invite you to participate, there is room for everyone.

        • I am participating and investing in the community. I am a stakeholder. Spend my hard earned $$ in this community at businesses all along the spectrum.

          If a person is renting a house they did so under the rules of their lease and the policies of the city of los angeles. Take some responsibility for your circumstances and stop blaming priveledge or the lack thereof.

    • Are you really surprised that none of us evil gentrifiers wanted to attend your “eviction workshop”? It doesn’t sound like you’re interested in dialogue, Lis, just pointing fingers and “calling us out.” Well, sorry, I don’t think we have to apologize for wanting to move to a new neighborhood. I don’t think buying a house that I can afford or opening a business in a formerly abandoned storefront is “oppressing” anyone. Yes, I have sympathy for people who are living paycheck to paycheck and can no longer afford to live in a gentrifying neighborhood. I’m sure that sucks. But I do not accept any blame for that. And spare me this “y’all just trying to consume” nonsense. As if working class people don’t consume. Donuts or pan dulce, craft beer or cerveza, charcuterie or tacos — what’s the difference? I’ll check my privilege when you check your sanctimony.

      • We don’t need your simpathy, we need your solidarity, but that’s too much to ask for. Some people can’t even look beyond spelling. No need to apoligize, if don’t even mean it, thank you.

        • If your goal was to win our solidarity, maybe you shouldn’t have labelled us cultural oppressors and put eviction notices on hard working people’s stores. Just a thought.

        • @Lis, There are many readers seeing the true faces of the trendy facade with these comments. Never forget : there are many folks standing by you. Some of them may not have the resources to leave comments here or share their voices – but they are living and watching.

        • Lis, Antagonizing people is not going to bring solidarity. Handing out “eviction” notices to independently owned businesses is not productive and you can’t blame people for not attending an event after you antagonize them. Also, hardworking people who run their own business might not have time to drop everything and go to an event they were given very little notice for. Why did you only target small, independent businesses? We should all be working together to prevent Starbucks and Burger King from coming here. If you know of a struggling business that is being evicted unfairly, tell everyone and we will band together to help.

        • Spelling and grammar are important because they ensure your message will be understood correctly.

    • Lis’s comment is so illuminating in its ignorance and tone deaf-ness. If she is representative of the organizers of this protest then it’s no wonder they accidentally “evicted” almost all minority-owned small businesses. “I protested and mock-evicted you! So why won’t you show up to my workshop???” It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Then you have the classic modern professional protester mixed message problem – oh it’s about gentrification, no it’s about humans pushing animals out of their natural habitats – until it’s a jumbled mess that doesn’t get any of the points across.

      It’s also sad that Lis thinks that small business owners, who take on *incredible* personal risk, are somehow not in danger of ever being evicted. It really doesn’t get more ignorant or sanctimonious than that.

      Lis – You are an embarrassment to yourself, an embarrassment to HLP, and an embarrassment to left wing organizing, How about stopping and listening to the DIVERSE community before you get on your high horse and try to “save” it. We’ve read Chomsky and Zinn too. You aren’t special.

    • Lis, before you ask others to “check (their) privalege,” I’d advise you to check your spelling.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if most of these “protesters” are millennials. The level of entitlement and false ownership, without being able to articulate a clear argument with correct spelling worries me about the future, y’all.

      • Beverly D'Angeleno

        @Lis, if you’re unable to spell the concept, you will never be considered an authority on it.

    • Lis, have you checked this out? Seems like it might be good to know some history:

      http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/highland-park/franklin-high-school-yearbook-highland-park-snapshots-1916-1988.html

      Highland Park was, from the very beginning, a forward-looking community when it came to education. Benjamin Franklin High School was founded in 1916, originally on the campus of Monte Vista Elementary School. The Arroyo Seco Branch library had already opened around the corner in 1913, and the following year saw the opening of the Southwest Museum. Throw in Occidental College and Free Methodist Seminary, and you have an area thick with institutions of leaning.

      At the time of its founding, the school served the area’s suburbanites; a quick look at yearbooks from the 1910s reveals a student population that was predominately white. Interestingly, the school’s first club was the Spanish Club, perhaps bringing awareness to the area’s early settlers. But it remained that the student body included only a sprinkling of minorities, mostly Asians and Latinos, as was the case even when future Chicano Movement activist Rosalío Muñoz attended Franklin High in the early ’60s.

      By the 1970s, Franklin High students had formed a MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlán) chapter, bringing to their campus the national group seeking empowerment and unity for Chicano youths. MEChA had come together in the late 1960s through a consolidation of several entities with similar political aims, such as the Mexican American Youth Organization and the Brown Berets. MEChA exists to this day, with several conferences held annually on college campuses throughout California and rest of the country.

      Eventually, Latino students outnumbered white students. Today, Franklin High School has 2,600 students—more than ten times as many as it did when founded almost 100 years ago—and educates the core of Highland Park’s Latino community.

      Here are photos from Franklin High yearbooks through the years, showing the changes in student body demographics, along with fashion and hairstyle trends of the day in Highland Park. Images courtesy of the Franklin High School Library.

    • I’m picking up what your laying down. It’s about displacement and respecting the unseen changes that our community can cause.
      As an artist I would call it an investigation into the many perspectives of the idea of progress. It does seem a little obtuse to compare this area to Chavez Revine, nobody wants it to end there. Maybe we all would like to think that we’ve all evolved since then.

      I feel like the recent diversification of Highland Park has also opened some new doors for the longtime locals of highland park. I see new and old residents working together all the time for the good of everyone.

      We all need to keep the conversation open about neighborhood progress and it’s effects on the people around.

      Many of you kids don’t remember how it used to be. The gangs used to pick on their own kind the most and parading around with a megaphone would’ve gotten you shot. It was a ghost town at night and you had to have a car to get around.

    • your vs. you’re, an important distinction.

  32. so “not culturally welcoming” isn’t about race?

  33. Just checked my privilege; it’s doing fine, thankfully.

  34. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then “we” win. -Gandhi

  35. One thing’s for certain, “gentrification” is good for business at the Eastsider… I wonder how many Better Shelter banner impressions an article like this rakes in?

    • I just saw a post on Twitter referring to Highland Park as the Ferguson of Southern California. Will real estate valuations drop due to this race/class/privilege, entitlement war? Will buyers now invest in this “line in the sand” area in which there is a potential for dangerous unrest and hostile action? Once prices go down to reflect the current social, political, and economic volatility, sales should resume. Some who felt they are priced out of their desired neighborhood might be able to afford something. For them the protests will be a success. For others it’s time to sell before the values are sabotaged once again. Interesting questions for The Eastsider’s advertisers, sponsors, and readers. Are there demonstrations tonight?

      • Ha ha ha — wait, you were joking, right?

      • “hostile action”? Are you suggesting there will be hostile action? Is the NELA Alliance threatening this community? Big words.

        • There certainly is hostile language emanating from the many facets of the angry community. Doesn’t seem like a relaxed peaceful place to live. Highland Park is currently one of more more interesting places to observe. Many trending issues/movements are meeting resistance in the area.

      • Some of you just aren’t going to be happy until this neighborhood turns back to shit. There is just nothing rational anyone can say to people like you. Luckily there are only about 5 of you in this stupid little cliques.

  36. History lesson:

    http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/highland-park/franklin-high-school-yearbook-highland-park-snapshots-1916-1988.html

    Highland Park was, from the very beginning, a forward-looking community when it came to education. Benjamin Franklin High School was founded in 1916, originally on the campus of Monte Vista Elementary School. The Arroyo Seco Branch library had already opened around the corner in 1913, and the following year saw the opening of the Southwest Museum. Throw in Occidental College and Free Methodist Seminary, and you have an area thick with institutions of leaning.

    At the time of its founding, the school served the area’s suburbanites; a quick look at yearbooks from the 1910s reveals a student population that was predominately white. Interestingly, the school’s first club was the Spanish Club, perhaps bringing awareness to the area’s early settlers. But it remained that the student body included only a sprinkling of minorities, mostly Asians and Latinos, as was the case even when future Chicano Movement activist Rosalío Muñoz attended Franklin High in the early ’60s.

    By the 1970s, Franklin High students had formed a MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlán) chapter, bringing to their campus the national group seeking empowerment and unity for Chicano youths. MEChA had come together in the late 1960s through a consolidation of several entities with similar political aims, such as the Mexican American Youth Organization and the Brown Berets. MEChA exists to this day, with several conferences held annually on college campuses throughout California and rest of the country.

    Eventually, Latino students outnumbered white students. Today, Franklin High School has 2,600 students—more than ten times as many as it did when founded almost 100 years ago—and educates the core of Highland Park’s Latino community.

    Here are photos from Franklin High yearbooks through the years, showing the changes in student body demographics, along with fashion and hairstyle trends of the day in Highland Park. Images courtesy of the Franklin High School Library.

    • Thank you! My grandfather went to Franklin around that time! There’s so much talk about this neighborhood but so little about its roots and history. There’s a ton of photos online at the library’s website too.

  37. Beverly D'Angeleno

    Protesting gentrification? Might as well protest the tide for rising.

  38. Lis’ name is actually Luis. He operates in the house in between the Hermosillo and Sonny’s hideaway. I saw him coming out with his eviction posters.

    How about he removed that trash put of his front yard ? I evict that eyesore.

  39. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

  40. Emily D’s comment above really crosses a line and I can only hope that the other opponents of gentrification will publicly disavow this:

    “5) Invaders demand facts and dialogue so you will be forced to appeal to them. Do not appeal to them. They are the invaders. Wait long enough and there sort tends to be rounded up and killed, or thrown out, unless they sneak away after damaging the situation. In any case, they are rootless and when pushed back, will run.”

    Rounded up and killed. I would hope we can have a spirited discussion without calls for genocide, or class-icide? Or is keeping a certain group of people out of your neighborhood so important that you’re willing to shed blood.

    I’d like to hear Proper Dos, Lis, et al call this person out for advocating violence. There is absolutely no room for that kind of talk.

    • Reporting history isn’t advocating violence.

      • Lets try a new tactic – clearly Emily D, Lis and the rest of the funky bunch are crap stirrers trying to get a rise out of everyone here with their cute little Marxists sentiments. What’s say we just turn them off and ignore them altogether. What’s the worst they can do anyway? Holler on the street corners, pass out flyers, stop legal commerce? Nothing they say is going to change anything or make anyone leave their homes or businesses, and any other action will just result in their arrests. They have no power, only obsolete ideology and copy and paste capabilities. So lets resume our work and lives and enjoy life. “Living well is the best revenge” – someone who doesn’t care about what jackasses think.

        • Of course you’re right, Ishamine. I guess that as somebody who’s family actually WAS rounded up and killed in Europe because people thought they were invaders, I felt it was important to shine a light on that particularly insidious comment.

    • Also, who are you, rockineagle, to start issuing directives to Proper Dos, Lis, et al. Appoint yourself referee much?

      • You referred to real people with families as “invaders” simply because they are different from you. You stated that in the past these “sorts of people” have been “rounded up and killed.” ROUNDED UP AND KILLED. Then you coyly say, oh, no I was just reporting history. What history are you referring to exactly? Maybe I don’t want to know. All I do know is that you crossed a line, your comment is beyond the pale, and there is no place for your kind of rhetoric in this discussion.

        • This morning I think I was asked if I was joking. No, I’m not. The rhetoric has become uglier and has gone viral. Highland Park is becoming notorious and is being compared (unfairly but understandably) to Ferguson, MO. Do the commenters reflect this community as a whole?

  41. Damn gentrification! Have you been to Beverly Hills lately? It used to be like a little village with mom & pop shops, and most were closed on Sundays! Now look at it. Get ready NELA.

  42. halfwhitehalfbrownallhuman

    For those interested in reading articles on gentrification in addition to the passionate comments:

    “Gentrification Destroys Communities: True or False?” (recently linked by the eastsider)
    http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/08/28/gentrification-in-los-angeles-highland-park

    “Los Angeles Neighborhood Tries to Change, but Avoid the Pitfalls” (“gentefication”)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/us/los-angeles-neighborhood-tries-to-change-but-avoid-the-pitfalls.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    “Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents”
    http://www.npr.org/2014/01/22/264528139/long-a-dirty-word-gentrification-may-be-losing-its-stigma

    “Mayor Garcetti Addresses Gentrification Concerns Along L.A. River”
    http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/lariver/confluence/river-notes/mayor-garcetti-addresses-gentrification-concerns-along-la-river.html

    “Gentrification and affordable housing can coexist in Los Angeles: Richard J. Riodan and Tim Rutten”
    http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20140124/gentrification-and-affordable-housing-can-coexist-in-los-angeles-richard-j-riodan-and-tim-rutten

  43. So the true faces of the anti-gentrification protesters finally peeks out from under their masks: According to Emily D, the “invaders” should be “rounded up and killed”.

    What caused this racist bile to spill forth? Simply asking for a single fact or bit of data to back up *any* of their outlandish assertions. But no, that is cause for death threats. Disgusting.

    • Now Jonathan — your sort tends to hysteria, I see. I didn’t say invaders *should* be killed, I said they *have been* killed.

      Maybe for their hysteria and penchant for twisting words around.

      In these threads, you invaders have twisted words to the point where the Latinos, often being forced to move after being asked to clean the streets for free for the new business owners crowding the streets, are being characterized as racist and uneducated. Latinos? Racist? The ones losing their neighborhood to colonizers who call them names?

      I guess Latinos are “vibrant” only when they obey the likes of you who, let’s face it, aren’t much — despite all your education and some sort of pedigree that is supposed to impress — you still have had to come live in Highland Park.

      • That you used passive tense weasel words instructing people to wait for the “invaders” to be “rounded up and killed” doesn’t absolve you of your borderline anti-semitic rant.

        The rest of your strawman is hilarious in light of the fact that YOU and your protesters tried to evict a Latino small business owner whose family have owned on York for generations.

        • Poor Jonathan — you keep concocting scenarios, maybe because you are hyperventilating. No one said anything about Jews, and they aren’t my protestors.

          But I guess Remembering the other side of the Alamo is now against the law.

          • Emily D — I agree, nothing you said was anti-semitic, just despicable and hateful in general.

            What you did do is call an entire class of people, who are simply trying to make the best life for themselves and their families, invaders and colonizers. YOU used the words “rounded up and killed.” NO ONE else. YOU injected the specter of violence into this discussion. Even now, can’t you retract those remarks? You can still oppose gentrification. But can’t you see how dehumanizing us and calling, even backhandedly, for our deaths, is crossing a major line? Can’t you see that?

          • @rockineagle : I agree that Emily D’s statements were highly offensive, even though now she’s trying to backpedal. There are a few posters who are highly irrational, making them immune to rational discourse.

            I truly believe that the vast majority of people living in Highland Park do not have the feelings of hate that some of the posters here want us to believe is so prevalent.

            In between open houses, I spent the day on Sunday randomly talking with Latino folks around HLP. In some cases I struck up a conversation, and in others, they struck up a conversation with me. In all cases, everyone was very friendly.

            There is a tiny, but very vocal minority of people who have hate in their heart … that make this about race … that harass and make to feel unwelcome new businesses and new residents … like the protesters (who now backpedal and say it was “art”) or the dopes that spray painted “gentrifiers” on Ba restaurant or on that remodeled house down in San Pasqual area.

            These people will continue to find themselves isolated as they realize that their community, even their longtime neighbors, are going with the flow living in and enjoying the ever changing face of the community

  44. They can yell on the street corner all they want but they can’t stop our entire Los Angeles basin from becoming more financially and culturally diverse. Rents will always be on the rise. They never go down. Period. It is happening everywhere. Our enclaves might not be delineated by race/age/income/sexual preference in the future and that’s a very good thing for a young city in a young country. (Yah yah, Columbus was the first gentrifier blah blah).

    So i ask the protesters, what are you going to do about sustaining yourselves for the next 70 years or so? Threats of unrest and history lessons aren’t going to cut it the long run, especially when we’ve heard it over and over again. What is the next generation of Latino working class going to stand for?

    • With the previously stated statistic that only 54% of male latinos graduate high school, I’d say it’s going to be much the same. Low wage jobs.

      Don’t oppress yourself, get educated!

  45. Document these violent, fascist and racists posts. Send them to the LAPD, I’m sure they take this shit seriously.

    Threatening businesses and by extension the public.

    Next time you see people in masks threatening people enjoying a public street, pizza, tacos, ice cream or whatever: call the cops. We don’t have to put up with this kind of behavior!

    • I think you’re exactly right, eastsidearts.

      These business owners are being remarkably cool about what happened.

      People like to laugh and shrug this stuff off as though the protestors are just misguided kids, but when you gauge the vibe on these comment sections, the anger and even hate from some people makes a person think twice.

      Now on top of doing the work to keep their businesses going, these business owners need to wonder if their comments on a website or if their mere existence is going to cause someone to do something violent.

      The “anti-gentrifiers” need to back off from this “us vs them” rhetoric. Blaming your new neighbors and making them feel unsafe is wrong both factually and morally. Your new neighbors didn’t create LA’s housing shortage problem, and everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes, businesses, and neighborhoods.

  46. I can’t afford Ba either.

  47. what exactly should these businesses do to become “culturally welcoming”? should Donut Friend start cooking in lard? should Future Music start selling shitty Crate amps at inflated pawn shop prices?

  48. Bone Thugs vs Hipsters

    I was born in Hollywood, raised in Atwater Villiage (before it was a village). I moved to Glassell Park as a very young adult in 1989. I purchase my house in Glassell Park in 1999. I loved when IT happen to Old Town Pasadena and Eagle Rock. I love that IT’s happening to Highland Park. I look forward to the reduction in gang violence and racism in Highland Park. I wish I were brave enough to have purchased my home in beautiful Highland Park 15 years ago when It was still affordable for me. Highland Park is filled with so many beautiful homes with spectacular views. I was just too chicken to put my family in the middle of the all crazy gang activity. Call it whatever you wanna call it….as long as Highland Park becomes a safer place to shop and live. I hope IT keeps going and flows over to Cypress Park and Glassell Park too. Good bye Bone Thugs …. Hello Hipsters.

  49. The protesters are just a bunch of bitter losers. Maybe they should send out letters to all the Latino homeowners in NELA explaining how they want to keep their property values down and that they can only rent to low income people. I’m sure they’ll get plenty of support. Yeah right.

  50. These protestors are unbelievable. It IS racism. It’s offensive. It’s wrong. I’m a white lady and I moved to Highland Park over 15 years ago. I was single and everyone said ‘don’t go, it’s an unsafe neighborhood’. I loved the house I moved into. I loved the neighborhood. I loved my neighbors. Still do! I’ve never once felt unsafe in my community, until now.
    Since moving to HP I’ve gotten married and have a child who attends our local public elementary school. I’ve watched my neighbor kids grow up and enter high school. We’ve spent holidays together, we’ve watched each others kids. The color of our skin never seemed to matter much. Until now. What do I tell my daughter? She co-exists and plays with her friends regardless of race and income. It’s despicable to love a place so much. To call this place my home and then to have to explain to my daughter that we are targeted and local businesses are targeted because of the color of our skin. When did this become ‘their’ home. It’s OUR home. All of us. Does it suck that people get priced out of neighborhoods? Sure does! I was priced out of silver lake, then priced out of atwater village. Did I protest? nope. Did I begin a campaign against hipsters with money? nope. I looked around for a place I could afford and a place that felt good to me. I found it but it doesn’t feel so good anymore. Does that mean I’m leaving? N way in hell. I”m here protestors so get over it.

  51. Is it already too late to save Oakland…..(or Highland Park, Boyle Heights, El Sereno, East LA)? Are they being saved now?
    http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/staff-editorials/10935/oakland-silicon-valley-gentrification/?tw=dd

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *

*