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Thread Box:
Gentrification chases problems away.
Thread started by bentstrider at 06.12.09 - 2:03 pm

Moreover to my hardcore LA natives (who are probably only in LA via gentrification), whether you know the streets or not, only the over-confident tight jeaned hipster would think his pocket knife and U-lock were enough a defense in the event they get lost in the area.

If you want to kick around "Im from LA, I know my way, I can ride all the streets" jargon, then you're really not FROM LA.

Its like having a conversation with a kid living in the "new" Echo Park claiming how much they love it, love the scene, and love LA. When you talk to people who lived there before your retard 80's sunglasses (which werent even cool then) were in fashion, they will usually explain WHY the wanted to leave LA.

As a result of gentrification of formerly, violent neighborhoods, the problem tends to just get chased out.

Yeah, off-topic, Antelope Valley, a bit harsh, but there's been a critical spike in general crime up here ever since cheap-housing began to explode in the early, 2000's.

Couple this with low-work opportunities for this area, and you've got your explosion.


But on the plus side Bent, houses are getting RIDICULOUSLY cheap.

We keep seeing threads about Bike House on here, how about we do Bike Vacation House instead?

[ur] http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lancaster/16715-Valeport-Ave-93535/home/6237523 [/url]

This 3bd/2ba house is $41,800.

If we get 40 people to throw in $1k (or 80 people to throw in $500), we'd have a PERMANENT cyclist retreat. No rent, no mortgage, we'd own the thing outright.

06.12.09 - 3:45 pm


location location location...

responding to a comment by JB
06.12.09 - 3:50 pm


Well, I do get around and talk to some people whenever I happen to be at the store, gym, movie theater, pizza-place.,etc

Majority of people I do talk to seem to have only been living up here for about 4-6 years now.
I ask them where they originally came from and the response I get is "those places that were re-gentrified" and such.
Anywho, while they enjoy the cheap-housing, they complain there isn't any work up here and now for what they were paying on rent in say, Echo Park, they're now spending the same amount of money on fuel and car-repair.

Trade-off wasn't too good and of all Passes in the country, I'll probably be one of the first to start a "Nuke the Cajon Pass" campaign.

That thing is nothing but a catalyst for frustration up here.

06.12.09 - 3:58 pm



06.14.09 - 9:24 am


where did you get that quote? i want to try and read the entire article

06.14.09 - 9:33 am


Yes, there is less crime. Because who moved in? Some cat from the midwest or somewhere else that is not a majority enthic wise. So they have to protect them. The cost of living goes up and so does everything else. So the inhabitants have to move out because they can't either afford or deal with the police presence.

I grew up in Boyle Heights and East LA and also in La Puente (SGV). It was not safe to grow up in Boyle Heights or East LA back in those days. I mean I got bike jacked by some cholo from Primera Flats in from of my grandfathers store! Then we moved to La Puente and it was cool and then with the gentrification of those areas (E.L.A. and BH)and other "non-anglo" dominated areas the ese's and other cats moved out to the 626 and it became the new Cholo-landia.

Not until recently has there been a lot more homeless people in La Puente too...why? Gentrification of DTLA. Just like what they did for the 1984 Olympics. Oh no a lot of anglo people coming in we gotta ship these undesireable people out!

Its like the King of the Hill episode with the salmon tacos...no bueno in my opinion.

06.16.09 - 4:52 pm


Well, I'm not trying to turn this into a race-thing, but with the rise in crime due to many "down-the-hill" transplants, we sure could use more big-city policing up here.

But apparently, San Bernardino county, the biggest county in the country has dick for a sheriffs department.
Everytime I see these guys, they use downtown Victorville as their personal drag-strip, blowing through stop signs and avoiding any real crime.

All of this just to nab some poor fool whose tags expired last month.

If anything, I'm giving it a few, more years so I could either get into a good trucking job again, or have some type of degree by then.
After that, I'm either coming closer to you guys, or I may see about settling in one of those small towns on the AZ side of the Colorado river in a houseboat.

Rio Bravo is about to be overrun and I'm ready to abandon post!!!

responding to a comment by mfinite
06.16.09 - 5:19 pm


First, I want to stipulate, dont take my posts on MR too seriously. I tend to talk shit and dont really bother about proof-reading. These are just anonymous posts, I dont take them too serious, so...

Anyhow, I found it funny the quote was posted.

Let me just say this to qualify my post, and to sum up my view.

1. The post was a reaction towards the idea it is fun, safe, good, etc, to get lost in LA. I was asking for a route post because we were riding near skid row, and you dont want people breaking down especially if only a few stop. Some responded as if LA should not be treated with caution. I disagree. I tend to see this attitude among urban *ahem* white kids who are from out of town. I also tend to see this attitude from kids who have pick up a book or two on social justice, and think they know enough about impoverished neighborhoods, so as to think (im speaking loosely) -- bad people are misrepresented, neighborhoods are misrepresented--so all is good.

2. Gentrification is awesome. Why? When it is occuring, it creates an awesome diverse environment. vague and short.

3. The downside, as Ive seen, is that and let me speak loosely--you get a kid from out of town to attend USC, UCLA, FIDM, he/she hears Echo park, Silverlake, and the like are the places to be. They have cash from their $$$ parents, so they can afford to push the rent up, up, up. Now they have a cool pad, in a cool neighborhood, but dont have any clue about what made it cool. And let me emphasis--WHO made it cool. Dont get bogged down on the term "cool". This lack of history, creates a lack of understanding others. Think about how the new kid on block is afraid of the resident with baggy pants, a hoody, and his dog... They just dont get it... They want who they fear out of the city. Cops get called more often, rent is increased, and a lot of time--the struggling artists, who made areas great, cant afford the increased value of the area they helped create.

4. Blacks were pushed out of LA, they had an amazing Jazz movement, and people feared them, so they pushed them south. Now look what is happening. The Adams district has some amazing homes, but only because Crenshaw looks bad (some of it like near stocker is), people fear going down Crenshaw. However, for the smart buyers, alot of middle eastern folks are buying up property all over the Adams area. Amazing homes. guess what is happening--the black folks are being pushed out again. Its happening, its sad... but what bothers me is this---

5. Guess who doesnt seem to really care: A. The new kid in town, and B. The landlords. (A) gets his/her hip spot, (B) gets paid.

6. Lastly--you didnt just remove crime, you removed people who were law abiding, creative, and unique--but now cant afford the increased rent (welcome rent control). Oh, now landlords just need to relocate you, and they can renovate, and jack up the price... No wonder your spot looks so dope.

Disagree as much as you want, this isnt a thesis paper. But LA is not the place to get lost in, talk to a number of victims of rape, theft, a other shit, whether losing yourself amongst a city filled of great people, and crazy people is the thing to do. Gentrification might be making the streets safer, but its at a price. Current downtown regulations are a perfect examples.

06.16.09 - 5:36 pm


I probably get shit for this...

BUUUT... the end result tends to be this:

Echo Park, Silverlake is really *ahem* white now. Some understand this point, others wont... Sure Im a reverse racist.

Where are all the El Toritos? They're coming.

This is difficult to discuss, but in general, the part of LA wild West was riding... is partly safe(r). Hence, post a route so we know where were going, but if brit boy, our zealous crime watch committee has their way, then their egos wont allow a routed posted because--they'll guide us and yell at us, and turn riders into the police. Thanks.

06.16.09 - 5:47 pm


You struck all of the nails on the head.

Only thing I like to continually emphasize that alot of the trouble is just displaced towards the outer, outerlying communities like where I live.

Unless serious measures aside from "dumping our problem onto someone elses doorstep" are undertaken, that gentrification will be meaningless once the residents of Victorville, Lancaster and all other cities on the other side of the mountain give LA city leadership the finger.

Just seems that ever since I started venturing out from the desert-area in the last, two years, my eyes have been opened up as to why a once nice, rural community like the one I live in is going to shit at a rapid rate.

responding to a comment by mrk
06.16.09 - 5:49 pm


hmmm maybe my disagreeing sounded funny but its pretty much of what you just wrote...you just elaborated and made good points. Or maybe I read the first post wrong. either I agree with this post. I wasn't reading the first as a sarcastic one. ehh. Its just my two cents. and of course "loosely"



responding to a comment by mrk
06.16.09 - 5:49 pm


you are basically arguing about the influence of commerce on culture.... commerce and trade are things that have influenced immigration patterns since the dawn of time. it's all about availability of labor, resources and trade. civilizations went to war over these issues in america since humans existed in america and in the world. why get all worked up about it. so a bunch of white people moved in to echo park and silverlake. areas change... what you should be worried about is keeping businesses honest so that workers can make a decent living in healthy unionized work environments. that way the tax revenue from labor and business goes into things like public education and public safety for all in the community not just into white people's areas.

responding to a comment by mfinite
06.16.09 - 6:01 pm


oops that was for mrk not mfinite

06.16.09 - 6:02 pm


I am not arguing. I have a personal attachment to a few parts of LA (not all of it) since my grandfather had several stores throughout the city and seeing them change from when I was a kid going around on his routes and how it feels now, its different (of course duh). I don't have a problem with any kind of people coming in. I have a problem with people saying that gentrification is a good thing. Its not always a good thing. I love all people and hearing stories of how different one state can be from another and what not, or what country they are from etc etc. Its more of the memories for me than the people.

like the Mighty Mos (Def) sang with DJ Honda.

"Memories don't live like people do
They always remember you
Whether things are good or bad, its just the memories

Memories don't live like people do-o
Baby don't forget me, I'm a travellin' man
Movin through places, space and time
Gotta lotta things i got to do
GOD willin' I'm comin back to you
My baby boo"

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.16.09 - 6:09 pm


ok imma stop writting in this one already <3 to all.

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.16.09 - 6:11 pm


In all honesty, its not the "white" thing... I know youre a light skinned bro, but I figured you would know more or less what Im referring to.

In one sense you commit an is-ought fallacy or whatever you want to call it. Basically saying, this is how it is, so its okay. I agree with the first part, but (not neceesaary disagree) but question the second part (i.e. ought it be this way).

Let me put some of the question this way:

What does an affluent hispanic neighborhood look like in LA?
What does an affluent black neighborhood look like in LA?

Dont know? I dont either.

Let assume, we ask, what does an affluent white neighborhood looks like?

Any takers????? I got a FEW guesses

Since the dawn of time, shit has been fucked up... I just want it to be different.

Also, Im surprised you said we should worry about business being honest. Isnt housing a business? Moreover, unions arent always the answer, they work in some industries, not all.

Speaking of taxes, did you notice that most of LA's impoversihed neighborhoods are being cut off from educational funding? Guess how many teachers were laid off in the wealthy LAUSD areas?

UCLA grad students are being laid off, though their programs had them teaching in south central... many of these grad students are protesting and getting arrested because they see the injustice in front of them. Who is getting the better education next year? Who is being staffed next year? Who is more likely to afford that cool house in the future?

So Im not racist, I just think your history lesson favors one color of skin than others.

Also, its not the economy, there are many factors involved, but its sooooo apparent that a trend is clearly: it is easier to deal with crime by removing a color of skin, than fighting crime.

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.16.09 - 6:45 pm


short response:

Downtown LA was a dumping ground for homeless people. The police from surrounding suburbs would take their homeless people drive to skid row and dump them off. It happens both ways, and always by force. I feel for you in a sense... people dont like to be pushed out of their homes, where they grew up. Its a different world when you get to choose (afford) where you live.

responding to a comment by bentstrider
06.16.09 - 6:53 pm


wow.... The race card gets played. I knew it was coming.
It isnt about race genius. It is about capitol. Money, dinero ducats, clams.
It all boils down to the haves and the have nots. If you are of the latter group, you have no say. Your net worth in America is what warrants a voice or a little bit of influence.
If you dont believe that, then you tell me who owns most of Hollywood.
the Getty family.
Do the research, you will begin to see. Almost all of your favorite places in L.A. are owned by major money corporations, and families like the Gettys.
They do these things (gentrification) for one reason, "property value."
These properties are investments to the rich, nothing more. Whereas these same locations are our homes and neighborhoods.
Americas motto should be "Get rich, or get fucked!"

Check out the track by Immortal Technique, "Homeland and Hip-Hop"

ONEpedalDEATHkick 818
06.16.09 - 7:06 pm


backpack beat poetry has NOTHING to do with this topic, bro.

06.16.09 - 7:25 pm


Great discussion. MR needs more threads like this. The 10-or-so year cycles of gentrification were explained to me for the first time during a Ride-Arc ride. "And now we are now riding through Historic Filipino town..." Wait, what, where did they go?? WTF does "Historic" mean?? :)

Half of my knowledge of LA's history comes Ride Arc, the other half to Mike Davis.

(oh snap, mfinite quoted Travellin' Man... one of my fav. jams)

06.16.09 - 11:50 pm


hee hee its one of my favorites too! Its dope!

responding to a comment by jericho1ne
06.17.09 - 1:41 am


I already knew about that one, I mean, all we get for news in this desert is either the local paper or tv news from the typical networks.

As far as homeless, or "houseless" I should say, they really aren't all that harmless.
These guys usually either keep to themselves or go away when you tell them to.
The ones myself and all other veteran desert-dwellers consistently bitch about are the ones that illegally obtain public assistance, then drive from the county office in a shiny-ass, Escalade.

I'm a dark-skinned Asian guy that's been living in the desert for 22 years, but now it's basically a form of reverse-gentrification up here.
Instead of real-estate markets putting hipsters into an urban market, it's low-prices putting suburban and urban trouble-makers into a semi-rural market.
All the guys that used to own horses and shoot their guns off freely out here are now being bitched at by code-enforcement and sheriffs department due to some former, OC-suburbanite not liking it.
Or, the local Jazz or C & W diner-club being format-switched over to some generic place that bumps G-Unit bullshit all night.

responding to a comment by mrk
06.17.09 - 9:23 am


You're absolutely right, LA is not a good town to get lost in. It is like every big metropolis, you have to be ever vigilant. I use to feel sorry for every fool who got their bike stolen or got jacked in DTLA. I hate to say it but some of these people brought it upon themselves.

I grew up in Echo Park in the 70's and 80's, things are different now. But even when I visit my brother, who still lives in Echo Park, I don't let my guard down.

responding to a comment by mrk
06.17.09 - 12:57 pm


what about "reverse gentrification?" in which an area goes poor.... does that happen as well?

06.17.09 - 1:32 pm


Yes, that's called Degentrification (learned from Ride-arc). i.e. Echo Park started out as a nice neighborhood then it degentrified and recently regentrified.

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.17.09 - 1:41 pm


i was just cycling down temple and alvarado and then i went up vendome to get sunset... and i saw a bunch of ppl cleaning the streets (mainly white), picking up trash and making the streets look nice... anywhere you are, San Bernardino, Echo Park, Silverlake, and so on... a big part to assist any community is community involvement... the community wanting and willing to take action to clean their streets, to beautify their neighborhoods, to take care of their surroundings and take responsibility as a whole...

my point is that ppl just complain or say things are not right but they do not organize or mobilize their community... set up a cleaning day every month in your neighborhood... gentrification or not... we must take action in our neighborhoods and community and get participation to keep things nice... poverty has nothing to do with respecting your community and cleaning it... you can be rich or poor and have a nice clean neighborhood if ppl want it...

06.17.09 - 2:00 pm


Another thing I consistently hear from those that were here waaay before even I was, is the fact that crime used to be considerably low before the 90's due to the Air Force base being right along the edge of town.

With that, it brought more disciplined people, alot of jobs, and sense of security if you could call it that.
But, then once that closed, there was a temporary drop in population until some real-estate genius decided to start pushing properties to people in the LA and OC areas.

I dunno about everyone else, but it was probably more comfortable with base personnel rolling around town, as opposed to clueless Suburbanites that bitch about someone raising goats next door.

06.17.09 - 2:02 pm


When a person is looking to find his or her next fix, why would they want to clean up shit?

Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by dayone
06.17.09 - 2:12 pm


Hard to say really if it was the discipline or if it was the well paying secure jobs that the airforce provides to the military personnel (paid off the government's teet), and supporting industries in the area.... as well as loan guarantees and other benefits you get from the military (paid from the government's teet)

Crime is pretty low wherever there are jobs and money so I'm guessing it had nothing to do with the discipline.

responding to a comment by bentstrider
06.17.09 - 2:51 pm


Not all broke people are drug addicts. In fact most are probably not. In fact, when your area is poor there is less tax base funding to pay street workers to clean up and people doing 2 jobs fulltime cleaning up for rich people are just happy to be home and rest rather than go right back out and clean again....

responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
06.17.09 - 2:54 pm


I'll stick with the discipline part due to the fact that a majority of all the kids I grew up with up here were deathly afraid of what their military parents would've done to them.

But, on the other hand, the local jobs and money did most likely play a large part.

Now like so many other, former industrial areas, all we have are fast-food, Wally-World(WalMart) and Starfucks.

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.17.09 - 3:21 pm


well said.

it also costs money to paint your fence, to buy manure, to water your lawn, to install nice lighitng, to dispose of trash and debris, and to prevent shady businesses and people from dumping their trash behind your house.
not saying that people don't try to take pride in their neighborhoods with what they got and make do- sometimes, its just tougher. it gets even tougher when you do make it nice with what you got, because then your neighborhood has flavor, and all of a sudden rent jumps because its a hip and desirable place to live.

responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.17.09 - 3:35 pm


moreover, i think the real issue is that of renters vs. owners. owners have an incentive to improve their neighborhoods because it will improve their property values, whereas renters have a disincentive because the landlord can just raise their rents.

06.17.09 - 4:13 pm


The gentrification of Echo Park and Sunset was not entirely started by white folks. The hippies and artist have always been there. It was when gay couples moved in that property values shot up. They moved to Silverlake then Echo Park and Elysian Heights. Everywhere they went the neighborhoods got better. As they left, white relatively affluent families moved in.

06.17.09 - 6:52 pm


if that was the case then affluent apartment/renter areas like Wilshire @ Dunsmuir would be run down too... that area and many around the city are well kept regardless... it's economics...

responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
06.17.09 - 7:45 pm


The issue of "gentrification" is way too over simplified ... to the point of not really meaning anything.

Most of the time the talk turns to "hipsters" and "white people" which seems to gloss over the fact that our society is extremely complex and things are rarely if ever black & white (so to speak),

I have friends who live in Echo Park for about 8 years they bought their home form a latino artist who bought it from a white guy who i think has been living and working echo park for 30+ years.

One of my friends is a first generation mexican, the other is jewish and her grand-parents were from boyle heights (east L.A.) when there was a big jewish community there.

How do they fit into the "gentrification" scheme?

Across the street is Echo Park Bikes with local folks that grew up in the neighborhood with friends from the bike messenger scene ... actively serving the bohemian cyclists as well as local kids whose families have been there for a generation or more.

More often than not ... in rent controlled L.A. people do not get "pushed out" of their neighborhood ... if conditions improve in a neighborhood property values tend to go up and if people need or want to move they sometimes get priced out of a neighborhood. It is also true that some of the long term home-owners in Echo Park decided to cash out when the property values got over-inflated.

The only people I know of that were actively pushed out of Echo Park were gang members who were evicted under some gang injunction or dope peddaling laws.

And yes ... less crime and less shootings = higher rents and higher property values.

And yes ... (bohemians that include artists, musicians, creatives, gays and hipsters, often white but definitely of an eclectic number of ethnicities and identities) do tend to move places where they can find cheap rent/ housing. If they are good neighbors property values will and do go up.

I do think that there should be proactive efforts to prevent good people from being displaced from there homes (such as the rent control laws that l.a. has).

But really what we often call "gentrification" is really an over-simplification of the recognition of the evolution of communities and culture.

Usually by the time we feel like we understand a cultural trend and can put a name to it , the dynamics of the society have changed so much that that cultural trend is being looked at through an outdated filter.

Echo Park and Mac Arthur Park used to be rich white neighborhoods ... over the years they have evolved many times.

One of the reasons L.A. has black upper/ upper-middle class neighborhoods is that it used to be that wealthy black people were not always welcome in other neighborhoods. Often cases of "white flight" would quickly change the demographics of a neighborhood. Nowadays most people under 40 are MUCH MUCH MUCH less racist/ prejudice/ discriminatory as the previous generations. Therefore families of color have a much easier time moving into "white" neighborhoods or visa-versa.

The core of a lot of these problems is a general societal lack of equity when it comes to economic opportunities the more that we can make a fair, just, society the more we can level those economic inequities and trends that lead to things like gentrification.

The more that people fuck and make multi-ethnic babies the more that out-moded ideas like "race" will start to melt away ... or at least people will start to recognize that talking about black/ white/ asian/ latino people in generalizations is really useless because we are having more and more people that don't fit into any of those categories.

06.17.09 - 8:20 pm


This is a very interesting thread. Here's my 2 cents for what it's worth. I think gentrification is a mixed blessing. It's good in that it makes neighborhoods look better and tends to bring in more services to a neighborhood. On the other hand, I think neighborhoods that are undergoing gentrification tend to lose something. As the chain stores and whatnot move in, the neighborhood's character goes away. This is probably because a lot of the characters can't afford to live there anymore. As far as getting lost in L.A. on a bike, I highly recommend it. I've seen so many cool parts of this city that way. To keep from getting jacked in bad neighborhoods you just have to be street smart, and you need that everywhere, not just in "bad" neighborhoods. If you grew up in Mayberry that's a skill you might not have. Sure, I'll ride though the jungle at 1am, I just ride a little faster than normal. I've lived in south L.A. my entire life, and it's only rough because that's what we want you to think. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. One of these days I'm going to plan a "tour de hood" ride, I'm tired of going to the westside or east l.a. for everything ridazz-related.

06.18.09 - 1:44 am


If you want to go way back with everything, then I'll point and say that Victorville had its humble beginnings as a "Jerk-Water" town for when steam locomotives had to fetch water from any nearby water source.
In this case, it was the Mojave River, before the Army Corps of misEngineers dammed it up and created SilverWOOD Lake.

Prior to Victorville being the big shit in the desert, it was Barstow as the main town and transfer point for all early mining operations in the Mojave Deathlands.

To put it simply;
Natives>Miners>Railroads>Army Air Corps>USAF>Civilian Suburbanite Penny Pinchers.

06.18.09 - 6:38 am


4. Blacks were pushed out of LA, they had an amazing Jazz movement, and people feared them, so they pushed them south.

Actually black folks were pushed *in* to the part of LA (south Central Avenue, hence the name "South Central") where the jazz scene that you're referring to sprouted up. Restrictive deed covenants, which prevented the sale of houses in certain neighborhoods to blacks in particular and nonwhites in general, along with the outright refusal of landlords to rent to nonwhites in the suburban (and, at the time, white) areas of South LA further out from the Central Avenue neighborhood, dictated that it be a "black" area. In 1920, forty percent of LA's African-American population lived in the neighborhood around Central between Tenth and Fiftieth; by 1940 it would be more like seventy percent.

When the Central Ave jazz scene and the clubs and neighborhood that supported it began to decline around 1950, it was from a combination of thing, none of which had very much to do with gentrification. Police raids were a big part of it; so were changing tastes in jazz (away from bop and toward "cool jazz"), Musicians Union politics, and, ironically, the Supreme Court rulings that banned restrictive deed covenants and made it possible for black people to move into previously white suburban areas like Compton and Lynwood.

And what happened to the area around Central Ave after the jazz scene died away? Well, I don't know if you've been out there any time since 1950, but it didn't exactly fill up with trendy boutiques and yuppie restaurants. Why you would use it as an example of gentrification or forced demographic change* is beyond me.

Disagree as much as you want, this isnt a thesis paper.

You can say that again. I just have to wonder where you get your "information" from, and why you don't bother to learn about any of this stuff so that you can...oh, I don't know, have at least some vague idea of what the fuck you're talking about. Your heart seems to be in the right place (even if you have a funny way of showing it), but all you're spewing is bullshit. Whom does that help? You? Me? The people reading it?

*Of course, as I pointed out, it was an example of forced demographic makeup, but much earlier and in the opposite direction from the kind you're claiming.

responding to a comment by mrk
06.18.09 - 2:59 pm



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