Long weekend equals time to catch up on some L.A. blog reading. Here's a few; may be more later:
Jasmyne Cannick drove down Crenshaw this morning to MLK, thinking she would join in the Black Friday quest for a bargain. When she saw the giant line outside of Wal-Mart, she kept driving: "Luck was on my side, I was the first one in line this morning at Eso Won Bookstore! Eso Won is a popular Black owned bookstore in Leimert Park. I figure if I am going to buy gifts, I am going to give the gift that keeps on giving, a book. Not a video game, not a HD television, not an iPod, not a pair of Nike's. A book."
L.A. Stories writes about the dearth of non-chain bookstores in Santa Monica, pegged to the closure of the Kulturas branch on 4th Street. (There's still one on Ocean Park in the Sunset Park section.) "These days, the promenade is filled with the same chain shops which dominate every high-end mall. No more animation cell store, no more pesto postcards, no more used CDs."
Here in Van Nuys observes an outbreak of post-housing bubble blight in Van Nuys (pictured), and also dreams of a fantasy city somehow being overlaid upon the real-world metropolis of nine million that's already here: "I want to live in a city where I can ride a train anywhere from Santa Clarita to Palm Springs, from Camarillo to Anaheim. I want to live in a city where Van Nuys is lined with big oak trees along Van Nuys Boulevard, and billboards and wooden power lines are gone. I want to take a breath of air that doesn't stink of diesel exhaust, or hops from the Budweiser plant, or Woodley Park sewage, or smell of the Vietnamese restaurant down the street. I know it's a lot to ask, and for now it seems beyond our capacity to build, so I will be dreaming of bicycles instead."
Chanfles flashes some resentment at the hipsters who call anything east of La Brea "the Eastside," disenfranchising the traditional Mexican side of town: "I grew up in Boyle Heights, a part of the Eastside that is still in LA city proper and not part of East Los. There is nothing cool about being from the Eastside, it’s just a place crammed with overhead freeways, lacking public space, and needing much to make it habitable. But it very much placed you, it was a way for others to understand literally where you come from, and maybe even what to expect. But now, with these bullshit “fluid” demarcations that mean nothing and are being imposed by people that are just passing thru the city, the term Eastside is being used to differentiate between cretins that stay on one side or the other of La Brea/ La Cienega, as if anyone cares how hipsters try to define themselves separately from their parents."