You’re not an Eastsider… you’re an imbecile
Lately, something’s been troubling my beloved city of Los Angeles and I can no longer hold my tongue. It seems that some people, 98% living in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Los Feliz, Edendale, and Eagle Rock, have taken to calling themselves “Eastsiders.” The obvious idea behind this is to draw a line between these indie artist friendly communities and the people living in West Los Angeles, “Westsiders,” who are perceived as being rich and culturally deficient Kardashians. There is only one problem, YOU’RE NOT EASTSIDERS - there is no such thing!
A quick look to the map above and you will notice the layout of Los Angeles. Right there in the middle is Downtown Los Angeles, the center of the city. To the extreme left is Santa Monica and the area known as West Los Angeles. Now look to the RIGHT of Downtown Los Angeles and what do you find… East LA. However, there are a few things you don’t see… Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Edendale or Los Feliz. Have you guessed why? THEY AREN’T IN EAST LA! ALL of those neighborhoods are located NORTH of Downtown Los Angeles (Eagle Rock skewing northeast into Pasadena). How can you be an Eastsider if you live north of the city you are supposed to be east of?!
So, what neighborhoods make up what is actually known as East LA? They are places like Whittier, Montebello, El Monte, and Monterey Park - not exactly top hipster destinations. This is the real East LA, a place with rich cultural history and diversity… a place where calling yourself an “Eastsider” would end with someone punching you in the face. People there are proud to cruise down Whittier Blvd. and say they are from East LA. I suggest listening to Cheech Marin’s “Born In East LA” or watching the movie “Colors” to get up to speed.
The bigger question here is why these non-East LA living people feel the need to label themselves as Eastsiders? Is it just a naive thing for people who are new to Los Angeles or is it something born out of desperation? Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that people started referring to themselves as Eastsiders to ward off being labeled as “Hipsters” by EVERYONE ELSE IN LOS ANGELES. After all, you can’t be a quirky, uniquely creative individual if you’re just another cookie cutter eco-friendly store bought skinny jeans wearing cog in the bohemian cliche machine. This is why I offer these following suggestions to solve this conundrum…
“NOT FROM LOS ANGELINOS”
Any of those names would be way cooler than Eastsiders. Who knows, maybe we could get Vampire Weekend to re-do “I Love LA” featuring one of these names?