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Let's show these fools how we do this on that westside - A South LA's Westside primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 29, 2011 08:54pm | Post a Comment
A TALE OF TWO WESTSIDES

Just as Los Angeles has two Eastsides (one being the largely Latino enclave east of the LA River and the other being South Los Angeles east of the 110 and/or Main St) it also has two Westsides. One Westside is a collection of LA's westernmost neighborhoods (such as Bel Air, Brentwood and Venice) and the area's enclosed cities (like Culver CitySanta Monica and Beverly Hills).

The other Westside is the area of South Los Angeles (and the surrounding communities) that lie west of the 110, south of the 10 and east and north of the 405 (although some of those are can make the historical argument for being part of the South Bay, despite being separated from the Santa Monica Bay by miles of land and other cities). This westside, after white flight in the 1950s to the present, is also colloquially known as "The Black Westside" and indeed, it's still, as of 2011, home to most of Los Angeles's black residents and businesses despite changing demographics.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Map of South LA's Westside
Pendersleigh & Sons' Map of South LA's Westside

The region of South LA's Westside is a large area bounded by South LA's Eastside to the east, The Harbor to the southeast, The South Bay to the west and south west, The Westside to the northwest and Midtown to the north. Definitions differ of exactly what communities constitute the region with several also claiming the South Bay and/or The Harbor. No doubt part of the reason these neighborhoods are in question are due to residents of and developers in those communities eager to disassociate themselves with South LA, which carries negative connotations for many.

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Gardena - The South Bay's City of Opportunity

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 8, 2010 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Street in Gardena
A typical street in Gardena with strong Japanese character

This here entry’s about Gardena. To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be the subject of future entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

Gardena Sign Map of South Los Angeles
                                                                                   Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Los Angeles

Lou & The Trece - Baseball Stories, Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 9, 2007 05:36pm | Post a Comment
I grew up in the seventies and early eighties in Gardena, Ca, a town in the South Bay sandwiched between the hoods of South L.A. on the north and east and the suburbs of Torrance on the west and south. The Mexican gang in my neighborhood growing up was GX13 (Gardena Trece). Most people in the city either feared or loathed GX13. They would graffiti the town overnight with names straight out of a Luis Rodriguez novel. There was Killer, Joker, Puppet, Tiny, names taken out of a Cholo 101 handbook. The local paper would write about Gardena’s gang epidemic and everyone in our small town would get scared. The truth was a lot of these guys in GX13 were young guys who just liked to party and were about as dangerous as puppies. But there were a few snappers in the bunch that were very dangerous and would turn on you in a second. When you hung out with those guys, you always had to keep your guard up.

At the age of twelve, I started to hang out with some of the little brothers of some of the older gangsters. Then the gangsters started to hang out with us at the park. They always seemed to be having a good time and they were proud of who they were. They spoke neither full Spanish nor English, just a concoction of the two languages mixed together adding slang that they picked up from relatives and other vatos. They had Mexican iconic tattoos and drove primered lowriders, ready for the next step into their car’s evolution into lowriderism. As tempting as it was to join that life, my friends and I were intercepted by a man named Louis Marchese. Lou, as we called him, was one of the original members of GX13 when it was a car club in the fifties. It was full of vato locos that smoked marijuana openly in a time before the hippies made it social. He got out of that life when he had a son, who was my age and also playing baseball on our team. Lou spent several years coaching us in little league and playing ball with us every day during the summer in order to deter us from getting into trouble. After long hours of catching and batting practice, the last thing I wanted to do was run around town with the gangsters. I was too beat.

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