"Gawd daamn!' I said to Richard, my co-worker and Amoeba Hip-Hop specialist, thinking I was Ice Cube for a moment. "This bar reminds me of...'
"The Short Stop," he replied.
"Yeah," I replied. "But when it was still a cop bar." By now the tequila in my drink hit me pretty hard.
"It's because it is the same owner...'' he answered, as my thoughts trailed. What was worse? A bar full of corrupt Rampart police or lame hipsters? To me, it's all the same.
Footie's was part of the hipster's exodus from the Silver Lake/Echo Park area and into Highland Park. The first steps occured at Mr. T's Bowl back in the early 90's, followed by such places as The Cave. The Cave is now a bar full of annoying 20-somethings that wish they lived in the 80's. The latest gentrified bar is The York, located on York near Ave 56. It is so tame and boring there that it might as well be located in Pasadena.
For all my shit-talking, I have to say I like Footsie's. It still retains some of that neighborhood hole-in-the wall appeal that it once had. DJ Ant, or Antony Valadez, spins there every other Sunday night. He is one of L.A.'s many underrated DJ's. All the clubs know about him because he can flat out rock a club. In fact, The Little Temple has him on lock down every Friday, along with fellow Deejay Sloe Poke, for the very popular Resident Fridays. It's a mean pick-up spot if you are newly 21-years old. It's the night they play the commercial shit for the ADD generation...with a slight slant to throw them off, just a tad.
On Sundays, Antony gets to play whatever he wants. One minute he is on a Isley Brothers/Meters trip, then he is on a Sa-Ra/Bowie trip, followed by classic Hip-Hop and Reggae tracks. The genre breaking mix matches the crowd at the bar. Soon all the heads are bopping. The bartender dances with glee after every deep cut. Vato Locos, hipsters, bikers, Post Laker and Dodger game sport freaks, lost east coast girls who came to L.A. to find themselves and the Midwestern boys who love them, conjoin in one room.
I sit back and watch as all the stories unfold. Antony provides the soundtrack.
2640 N. Figueroa
Highland Park, Ca. 90065