Regarding this weekend's Sunset Junction Street Festival and the addition of an admission charge to go with the VIP-only reception area:
Shame on the organizers (and the sponsors) of Sunset Junction for continuing to use the motto: "To live in harmony with our neighbors,"
while charging a mandatory $12-15 admission fee.
From the festival's launch, the Street Fair for many years was a true community event, open to all, regardless of income, and a noble attempt to bring harmony between the gentrifying neighbhorhood with the long established Latino community, including the gangsters who resided there. The gays, the gangsters, the gay gangsters, the hipsters, and plenty of stroller-pushing family units let their collective hair down, ate some grilled corn, got drunk on draft beer, rode carny-staffed rides and listened to indie bands or danced in one of the several dance areas. The admission was typically a "suggested donation" usually around $ 5 - 8, yet a donation still. It was the event where you saw friends you've had for over a decade - or met new friends, and their friends. It was the annual event you didn't think was really possible - gays & heteros of all colors, the poor, the monied, junkies, trannies, 12-steppers, lawyers, couples, the waitresses from Millies, singles, nuns, your ex-boyfriend, your new wife, homegirls making out with nerds, rock stars, kids, gangsters trying to still flex some muscle, movie stars, the guy who hung out in front of Cafe Tropical with the fucked up guitar, people visibly ill from HIV / AIDS, the Silver Lake Walker, that guy who was in the movie you just saw at the Vista....
They were all there and you thought, "This is why I'm in Silverlake."
Smells like this $12-15 admission fee is an accurate reflection of how Silver Lake is headed and the organizers of the festival should be looking for another motto. Something like "To live in harmony ONLY with our neighbors who can afford it. But definitely not the rest of
you. This is the new Silver Lake. Another 'hood of exclusion."
I'm sending this to the organizers of Sunset Junction. If anyone feels the same, feel free to write them at:
A resident of Silver Lake for 13 years