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L.A. Lesson # 1 - Echo Park/Silver Lake is Not the Eastside

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 3, 2007 07:09pm | Post a Comment
It drives me nuts when I ask someone where they live and they tell me, “The Eastside,” only to find out that they live in Echo Park or Silver Lake. Yes, I know. Echo Park is east of Hollywood, and despite what publications like the L.A. Weekly might tell you, Echo Park/Silver Lake Area (for that matter, downtown) is not “The Eastside.” That title is reserved for the communities east of the L.A. River, on the other side of the bridges. Areas such Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, City Terrace and Lincoln Heights have their own culture, history and mentality that is miles away from the rest of the Los Angeles. Many people that live west of East L.A. have never ventured past those bridges that connect downtown to the East L.A., even though it’s only a few short miles away. In fact, to me, calling the Echo Park/Silver Lake “The Eastside” is like calling Culver City the “Eastside” simply because it is east of Santa Monica.

Here’s a little helpful guide so that you might be able to tell the difference:

In Echo Park/Silver Lake, it's called Sunset Blvd.
In East Los, it's called Cesar Chavez Ave.
Echo Park/Silver Lake is 40.53% White
East Los is 96.80% Latino
Echo Park/Silver Lake gave us Tom Waits, Beck & The Silversun Pickups
East Los gave us The Midniters, Los Lobos and Ozomatli
Echo Park/Silver Lake was once the home of the Walt Disney Studios
East Los is considered “the mural capital of the world” behind Mexico City
Echo Park/Silver Lake has The Sunset Junction Festival, Cuban Festival & Lotus Festival
East Los has Dia De Los Muertos @ Self Help Graphics and Festival De La Gente
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Elliott Smith, voice of a generation, died in Echo Park
East Los: Rudy Salazar, voice of a generation, died in East L.A.
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Mi Vida Loca, Quinceanera
East Los: Blood In, Blood Out, American Me (don’t look at me Lil puppet….)
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Almost completely gentrified
East Los: On it’s way if they don’t fight it

Both areas have many songs written about them. More on that later.

Note to newbies: Just because you live in Echo Park, doesn’t mean you’re from Echo Park. The sooner you learn that, the less trouble you’ll get into.

Relevant Tags

Silver Lake (10), Echo Park (9), East L.a. (6)