12/5/13

VARRIO SLOGANS

SLOGANS OF THE VARRIOS

MI VARRIO ES PRIMERO

A TODA MADRE, O EL PURO DESMADRE

TRUCHA CON LA CARRUCHA

SMALL BUT STRONG

SOMOS POCOS PERO LOCOS

____ GANG OR DON'T BANG

BIG TIME SAME CRIME

WE KILL FOR THRILLS

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

CLICK CLICK BANG BANG

SO RUFF SO TUFF

MOVE OVER OR GET RUN OVER

KICKING UP DUST WHEN WE BUST, CAUSE IT'S A MUST

‘TIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF

‘TIL THE CASKET DROPS

TERRIFIC AS THE PACIFIC

FRANTIC AS THE ATLANTIC

THE NITTY GRITTY, ____ CITY

THE ____ IS THE BEST, FUCK THE REST

FUCK WITH THE BEST, DIE LIKE THE REST

NO WARNING SHOTS

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK

WE DON’T DIE, WE MULTIPLY

WE CONTROL

WHERE WE STAND WE COMMAND

RIFAMOS Y CONTROLAMOS

CON SAFOS

DEDICATION WILAS

Remember member, those letters you used to compose for your rucas incorporating oldies song titles!?



Case Example;

“ONE SUMMER NIGHT” YOU “LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER” THERE I WAS “WISHING ON A STAR” THEN YOU KNEW WE WERE MADE TO BE “TOGETHER” PERO I WAS JUST FUCKING UP IN THE CALLES, SO NOW YOU FIND ME IN THE TORCIDA JUST HAVING “TEARS ON MY PILLOW” HOPING YOU WERE STILL “HYPNOTIZED” OF MY LOVE, BUT NOW MY TIME IS OVER AND I’M “BACK ON THE STREETS” PERO WHERE HAVE YOU GONE SINCE I’VE BEEN “A THOUSAND MILES AWAY” I JUST WANT TO BE “SITTING IN THE PARK” BEING WITH YOU, PERO I PUES, IT WAS JUST “LOVE ON A TWO WAY STREET” SO ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS I’LL “CATCH YOU ON THE REBOUND” AND ALL THE “MEMORIES OF EL MONTE” SO JUST “SMILE NOW AND CRY LATER” AND “DON’T LET NO ONE GET YOU DOWN” I HOPE YOU “CALL ME” ONE OF THESE DAYS BECAUSE “I’LL BE AROUND” PERO JUST REMEMBER ME EL “NITEOWL” AND “THE TOWN I LIVE IN”

MISTER
NITEOWL
V=EMR=1

The First LA Barrio Gangs

The first L.A. gangs in the barrios were not called gangs. Most of the barrio kids got together to have fun and play together, games that had been brought from Mexico, games that the kids today do not play anymore. There were some games that would take five to ten kids to play. All of the games that were played then had names, like El Encantado, which is now called "Freeze”. The difference was everybody would stand inside a circle, and one kid would stand outside the circle, and they would run outside the circle and you would run after them and you would freeze them .This was only one game .There were other ones like the Culebra , Las Virgenes for girls, Tagwar for boys, and some other games that were played in the U.S. like kick the can, hide and seek, and so on .

Toys that were used then were spin the top, marbles, and flying kites; and for puppy lovers, there was the game called Spin the Bottle. Most of these games needed five to ten kids to play. All the toys were homemade .Another favorite pastime was singing with guitars, old folksongs, especially in the summer .As kids grew up a strong friendship was created .These were the Depression years of the 30's.

If you were lucky, and your father was working in the fields, construction co. or W.P.A., which is like C.E.T.A. jobs today, which were government programs, and if there was a little money left, you might get a nice old second hand toy from the Goodwill or from a second hand store. This included clothes and furniture, too.

One of the favorites home entertainments was a Philco. This was an old radio made then .The family would get together and listen to the Philco and hear the programs coming in from Hollywood ,programs like the comedy shows of Jack Benny ,Red Skelton, and Amos & Andy. You would also hear suspense shows like the Whistler and the Shadow Knows and also the Inner Sanctum. There were other shows like Sky King and Lone Ranger. You are wondering why I am mentioning all these shows. . .well, the first time that most barrio people heard the word "gang" was on the radio. The program was called Gangbusters. This program was on every week. It started with police sirens and screeching sounds and machineguns firing. But as far as the homeboys in the familias, they would never call their homeboys and girls "gang members". Like I said before, you would see the word "gangs" in the newspaper, that is if your father or mother would buy it, or else you might see it on the newspaper stands .Then, like now, how many homeboys or girls do you see buying the newspaper to read the news? Maybe some funny books, or movie stars magazines, but not newspapers. Besides most of the fathers and mothers couldn't read English very well. This was in the 30's.

I remember the first time I saw some homeboys imitating and acting like the Eastside kids of the movies, but it was all in fun, at first. Later on I saw my first gang fight between La Mission homeboys and the Hicks's & Hays homeboys. It was what they called then "clean fighting”. This meant no kicking, no knives, and no guns, only fist fighting .Later on in the 40's there was a big gang fight where all Hell broke loose, in a big free-for-all gang fight. This happened in a place called El Rancho de Don Daniel, which was across from El Barrio "La Mission." Tu sabes this barrio was wiped out in the 40's. About two hundred familias lived there at one time .Now it is a very well known park called Legg Lake. For the Chicanos that don’t know where Rancho De Don Daniel was, well this is what they now call Marrano Beach. The only barrio left now is Pico Viejo. There were at one time, three other barrios called Las Flores, Canta Ranas y La Mission.

When we came back to Los Angeles in 1941, after the Pearl Harbor bombing, we moved to First Street and Vignes. At that time Little Tokyo on First Street was a ghost town, all the Japanese people had been put in camps. By this time you could see the Zoot Suiters all over town in the barrios por la First Street y por la Brooklyn Avenue and Whittier Boulevard, riding their old 1936 V8 Fords.

As for barrio cars in 1940, well, the barrio people were not working as much as the whites. Not until the beginning of World War II around 1942, alot of Chicanos were working in shipyards or in sheet metal shops or for manufacturing companies .Some cars being driven around the 40's actually were made in the 20's ,like your 1924 Ford or your 1927 Chevy,1936 V8 club coupe . . .also the '37 Ford , '37 Dodge and Plymouth. There were still alot of Model A's and Model T's .Most barrio people had not been working since 1929, when the Depression started ,except for W.P.A. jobs and farm work ,picking grapes ,walnuts and cotton in the summer , which is why most cars were ten years older or better. The first vato loco cars were called hotrods in the years of the 30’s. Back then the in thing was speed.

In the late 30's and the 40’s, up until the middle of the 50's, there was no place to race your cars , nor were there freeways.


It was done on your highways .The cars were fixed this way- a'36 Chevy club coupe would get its fenders taken off ,no spotlights or skirts on it ,usually a '34 Ford would get its front fenders and back fenders taken off .The best ones were two-door convertibles. Chicanos started fixing their cars .They would put dual pipes, rubber flaps with reflectors on them that went on the back of the rear flaps or license plates, skirts for the cars, one or two spotlights, and whitewalls. If you wanted a low rider, the only thing you could do then was put sandbags or cement sacks in the trunk to make them heavy . . . that was before the metal shocks .Those were the first low riders in L.A. in the 40's.Because of the war you could not buy gas. They would give you stamps to buy gas, food, clothes, and shoes. Most of the cars ended up being parked, because of the gas ration. Alot of people ended up walking on the street or taking the streetcar. If you lived out of town, you would have to take a streetcar called P.E. which stood for Pacific Electric.

In the 40's they stopped making cars. By 1943 the automobile companies were converting their manufacturing to make armor cars and trucks. The last model was 1942.They stopped making whitewalls and many of the parts that were needed for the cars .In fact most civilian manufacturing companies went into war products.

By 1943 most of the people in the big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. were working, and in any industrial city, even farming was up. Everybody was busy working, making money.
Thousands of Chicanos had volunteered for the armed services and thousands more were drafted. Everybody had the G.I. fever .Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles Pachucos were getting harassed by the "man”. You see, they saw him like some kind of an oddball while everybody was using G.I. haircuts; he had long hair, plus the fact that everybody that was from a big city was dressed in the same styles. While the Pachuco had the peg pants, chain on the side, they measured 17 inches on the knee, and 12 inches on the bottom. In fact, some pants were so right on the bottom they had zippers right at the bottom by the ankle. Most of the clothes were tailor made .At that time there were alot of tailors in the barrio to get your suit made right. It was the thing; you would see them walk into the shops, check out materials. There weren't that many different kinds of materials to choose from. The most popular was shark skin, the gabardine, the flannel cotton shirts, silk shirts, silk socks, and wide ties, thin belts, and double sole shoes. The double sole was put on the shoes because it was easier to put a double sole on your old shoes, than to buy a new pair because the shoes were rationed. Shoe companies were making combat boots. The girls wore short skirts, blouses with puffed sleeves or no sleeves, and off the shoulder blouses, knitted stockings, flowers in their hair and very white oxfords, and bunny shoes. You see, this is how the Chicano dressed, very neat and clean. They did not conform to the square look. This bugged the law and the school and the restaurant people.

In 1943 there was this incident that happened between the Pachucos and the sailors. By June 3, 1943 sailors were searching the streets for zoot suiters .Although most Chicanos were not wearing zoot suits, they were all considered zooters. There were approximately 200 sailors that were picked up by taxis at the naval base and taken to the barrio .The police arrested nine sailors to make it look good .However, that still left almost 200 sailors to riot and attack on the Chicano community .And on June 5, sailors, soldiers, and marines, along with some civilians, adding up to several thousand turned into a mob and attacked the Chicano communities. The rioting got out of hand and other minorities were also attacked .This was connected with the Sleepy Lagoon Case.

I know for a fact, because my uncle at that time wore the threads that were worn back then. He and several friends of his that had recently come from Mexico and El Paso, Texas were coming out of the Aztec Recording Co. which was on Third & Main when they were attacked by a gang of sailors. These men were all composers and writers and singers that had just arrived from Texas and Mexico. They were not Pachucos . There was another time when I was coming from Olvera Street walking on Main, and I got to Second and Main .A cop, the man with the star hat of that time which was made out of cloth, was choking the Pachuco with his club and had him against the window of a liquor store. While he was choking him, the poor homeboy was slipping and sliding because the thick soles and taps on his shoes were wet from the rainy night. It was pouring, I felt helpless .All I knew was that he was a carnal, and I couldn't help him later on as I walked down on Main Street. I passed the boxing gym , passed the penny arcades and then I made a left on Seventh Street when I got to Seventh and San Pedro , I saw my mother crying and angry .She told me that a marine and sailor had jumped and kicked my brother down .She said that my sister and she fought off these jive punks .She might of not have used those words ,but you know what I mean .You see ,my mother owned a restaurant and bar on Seventh St. and San Pedro Streets .My mother bought this restaurant-bar from a Japanese family that had been thrown in the American made concentration camp. They had to sell this place to my mother cheap. Prior to that, she had a taco restaurant on Second and Spring Street which she bought from a Filipino man. You see, he went to war not by joining the army, but by flying to the Philippine Islands to help his people. I never saw this man again .This is how my mother got the money to buy the restaurant-bar on Seventh and San Pedro from the Japanese family.

In 1941 I didn't think all my Japanese farm working friends were going to be put into concentration camps. What I am really trying to say is that First St. from Vignes and First to Main St., that all the Japanese people were gone .You see; we rented a hotel on First and Vignes. From there on from 1941 to 1945 I made the rounds to the different barrios. For five years I saw the changes in the barrios, I saw the blacks come into First Street, which is now called Little Tokyo. At that time they used to call it Little Harlem. I used to walk down the street hearing blues in the juke boxes and the boogie woogie and see them dance the jitterbug. Walking up and down the different barrios like the Flats, La First Street, La State, La Diamond, La Temple, and La Alpine which was right next to the Angels Flight (streetcar).

We used to cruise on our low riders to Tin Can Beach, on Alameda Street. We used to pass Clanton, 38th St. and El Jardin and used to stop and trip and also cruise through Willowbrook and Watts, and stop at the radio station and listen to Hunter Hancock's rhythm and blues and we would dedicate songs and listen to them while we were cruising to Long Beach and the Pike. We would also hit the games, get on the ferris wheel and walk down to the penny arcades and get on the roller coaster.

This was the big thing to do. They used to call it The Cyclone. It's like the roller coaster at Magic Mountain today. After blowing our money, whatever we had, the vatos and the whisas would get on their hotrods or low riders and go to Tin Can Beach (Bolsa Chica State Park) and have a weenie bake. They would take their old portable radios. They were king size, weighing about ten pounds. I would get my guitar and play some barrio Chuco songs, after jiving and tripping, we’d start making it back home, all the way down Alameda St. to the barrio in L.A. Usually we would end up making a bonfire by burning a tire or some wood. After hours we would end up in a barrio party that had very dim blue lights. You would call it the house of blue lights parties. The records that were played were the old 78's; they were sounds of ballads by Billy Eckstine, soft and easy with the home boys and girls dancing to the mood. This was at the old Macy Barrio. To change the mood we would play some swing records like Pachuco Hop and also Joe Higgins and Honey Drippers. They would also dance to the big bands. The most favorite sounds were Glen Miller's "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", "Tuxedo Junction" and also "String of Pearls", and "In The Mood". Only the Chucos that knew how to dance jitterbug would get up and dance. Another famous big band was Tommy Dorsey and his record was "Boogie Woogie". Some would get up and do the dirty boogie, or the camel walk. Then we would play a slow piece and everybody would make it home .This was around 1948.

At that time Dogtown and Alpine, Hazard y La Clover would go down to Olvera Street to a place called "The Pachuco Inn”. It was a small club next to the post office. Here is where you would see alot of jitterbug contests. Most Chucos would trip around this area.

By Manuel Cruz

11/24/13

THEE LA RIVER in VARRIO LORE

The City and The River go hand in hand
Can’t have one without the other

What is it about the L.A. River that ignites a spark in old LA’s raza’s hearts?

It is Iconic

It is Symbolic

Not only did the Old Pueblo grow up close to it
But the whole modern mess of a County Megapolis grew up around it because of it
Not to mention the whole bunch of Old Barrios that grew up along the sides of it

The River starts out in the Valle, out there by Canoga Parque
Picks up a little bigger going through Barrio Van Nuys
It then creeps through North Hollywood
Before it gets heavier going down past Berbank
Then it takes a winding curve of a turn heading around the bend past Riverdale (Glendale)
It tumbles through Toonerville / Tropico and Atwater
Then it begins to turn the corner just past and around old Elysian River Valley (Frog Town)
And right about where the old Dayton Avenues neighborhood used to be..
..it heads into the East Side of LA
It then flows through Dogtown and The Flats
Before it start flowing Southeast
Past the L.A. core
Making one last curve at the Old industrial Colonia of Vernon
Before it turns straight south to make its long dash towards the ocean
It hits on that last stretch past Maywood, Bell Gardens, Cudahy and Lynwood
Touching the banks of Paramonte and Unincorp East Comptone
And at last, reaching the sands of Longo

Along the way
Other waters join up with it
Coldwater, Riverdale, Arroyo Seco and Rio Hondo
All flowing down to meet with it like as if it was their destiny
Each one with its own history and carrying their own side of town stories
Stories from A Million things happened – A Million Stories
Stories happened along its river banks

Happy stories and sad stories
The stories of the Barrios
The stories of the Times
Ever changing Times
Somehow, someway, all kinds of stories connected to the River
Past, Present and even the Future yet unwritten, but future stories already felt and known


From the days when vatos hanged out by the River and roamed around
From before there were no River concrete levee walls
To the days when all the puentes spanning it got built
And then into the times and days growing up on the streets branching off on both sides
Calles flashing off like rays from the River like spokes on a wheel

Old neighborhoods grew up next to the River
Old neighborhoods got all torn up next to the River
And then some neighborhoods later went and got rebuilt close to the River
While still some others were not there from before, but rose up afterwards
Some were there, some went away, some got resurrected; still some came along afterwards

But never mind all that, because..
All Barrios in central LA still owe some sort of allegiance to the River

Without the River there never would have been an Old Pueblo de La Raza
Without the Old Pueblo, there never would have been an LA Metropolis
And without an LA, maybe things would have turned out differently
And history might not have been what it is this very day..
..as it related to the Varrios

Maybe things would have started out somewhere else

Maybe(?)

Maybe the center of this South Side Lifestyle could have started out in El Passuco
or San Antone
maybe even La Finiquera
or maybe even in San Pancho up North

Who knows where it would of headquartered at without the LA River?

But as it turned out, it picked up Big right here in LOS
Alongside the banks of the Loco & Nostalgic Wandering L.A. River

The River has been like the Vato Loco from the Barrio
A Wanderer
Wandering through the Land
Wandering through the Times
Wandering in the Minds

Like a Lost Soul
A Lost Angel
Fallen from Grace
Seeking Redemption
Seeking A Comeback

Just like an Old Vato
Grown up with the river real close by
And then that vato becoming like a mirror image of it
Almost like a reflection of its lacking waters
A Wanderer lacking in many metropolitan socio-economics ways
But A Vato never ever dying out
Refusing to go away

Like the river, the vato is remade, reconstructed, rebuilt and forever being resurrected like the phoenix
Dies to Live Another Day!

Just like in the movies..
..The River just like the LA skyline is iconically stamped in movie stardom and people’s minds

The River is inked on the subconscious Heart & Soul of LA’s Southland Raza!

10/15/13

EL CHUCHO CHUCO

EL PACHUCO CHOLO

To understand who the real chucos were, and how they came to be, or even what chuco means, you have to get into the history, the attitude, and of course, very much the talk that they expressed themselves with.

The Pachuco has gifted us modern day raza with the old aged calo talk; a talk that is continuously being re-invented, but still firmly understood by the average mexican or mexican-american from the lower barrios.

From that way of speaking we get slang like cola de raton, which today we more commonly refer to as brocha (Eng. Brush) in reference to a mostachon, a big thick brush like mustache; the kind you see in those pictures and images of chicano heroes like Emiliano Zapata or the arch-type vato loco from the varrio.

To simply label a chuco as a swaggo zoot suiter swinging to el tango all wango on the dance floor, would be a critical mistake. It would bury under falsehoods the true heart of a rebel tribe (raza).

El Pachuco has been popularized and glamorized under the spectacle of hollywood type folklore trying to sell it to the world as a latin boogie woogie mexican–american gang member. The pachuco under this type of looking under the microscope becomes the pinnacle of perdition according to the never-ending dope mainstream thinking.

It is well known that El Paso Texas has carried the moniker (el placaso) of El Chuco for at the very least, since the 1930s or 40s. And it is historically credited with having been the birthplace and the progenitor of the Pachuco gang style. But what is not so commonly known is that the true Paso (pass) was once known as El Paso Del Norte, the very one which in present times is the unequivocally city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico. The true El Paso was south of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo as Mexicans call it), and not the present days El Paso. Later on in history, the town on the north shores of the river came to be known as such, but originally it was the Mexican side that carried the name of El Paso.

The names for these twin cities later took their modern form under their own respective modern era organized governments, but it was in Juarez that the “tirilones” (suspenders) first started out. It is said that from the Juarez barrios of La Chavena, La Mariscal, El Chamizal, El Tango (downtown), and other colonias, that from here the first chucos (tirilones) would cross over -the Puente Negro (Santa Fe rail road bridge) -heading over to El Paso’s Mexican barrios of La Chihuahuita, Magoffin, San Francisco, and El Segundo (The Second Ward). And it was when they would head over to El Paso that it was heard say “vas para el paso?” (are you heading to el paso?) Which soon after, in the technical simple terms of calo slang, it was shortened and simplified as – ‘vas pal paso?’ And el paso became passuco, as in the old pass – el ruco paso. Passuco then became pa’chuco in simpler terms. Here then, there it is, the birth and coinage of the name Pachuco.

But why if the first pachucos on the Mexican side were called tirilones, why would they then carry over and become pachucos on the American side? Pachuco is one thing, but what does chuco mean? And how were the tirilones baptized with the moniker of chucos in the first place?

The term Chuco was already there before El Paso was baptized with the tag name; note also that pachuco had nothing to do with the City of Tears (Pachuca in the Mexican State of Hidalgo), but it does have a lot to do with the indian language and how the Aztecs, and then the Spanish, and later on the uppity Mexican elites applied derogatory terms for the poor lower class of peoples of the country.

The Aztecs called the Chichimeca people from the mostly un-conquered surrounding areas of their empire, “chuchos” (perros sucios y pordioseros), (dirty vagrant dogs). The Aztecs considered the wandering warrior tribes of the chichimecas as being from a lower class of inferior types of people – uncivilized and unruly.

Chuchos was short for Chichimecas

Chichimecas, Chuchumeca, Chuchurrios, Chuchurria, Chucheria, Chuclas, Chuclos, Choclos, Chuchos, Chucos. All of these names and terms became synonymous with the underclass.

Later the Spanish hierarchy would adopt the Aztec derogatory reference to the “chichimecas” and apply it to all Indians in general, and they referred to them using the same apodage of chuchos, but with the added inference of having a dark color, plus the connotation of being dirty.

After Mexican independence, the following aristocracy of Criolos (Spanish Mexicans) continued to refer to the natives with the same, and then they even expanded it to include the masses of people living in the barrios of the urban sprawls; hence la lengua india was introduced to the urban cosmos where it grew and took on more derogatory appendages.

A chucho became a chuco, a man of bad disposition; categorized as a dirty scoundrel, prone to drinking and alcoholism, of a continuous bad criminal thought process, and a slave to a lower carnal pleasures instinct. As such, el chuco became of use and adopted by even the people from the same barrios, and el chuco became the worse of the worse. A chuco became the boogie man of the barrio streets. He became the one who drinks a lot of mierda, a mariguano, a chueco (crooked one), a depravado (a depraved one). He became everything that a mother wished her children not to become, and warned them to steer clear of.

When at the height of the Mexican Revolution, when the throngs of lower caste people from the barrios escaped Mexico City and the urban areas of the country, and traveled north en-mass to the borderlands, the diaspora included among its hordes, a great many so-called chucos.

These chucos fused and blended together with the rural bandit types, the ragged mutts, the outlaws of el norte; they fused the urban working class bato with the romantic rural bandido, and together they sang la cucaracha and other ruffian mariguano ballads while climbed up on the rufo (the smoking freight train). And so the many outcasts of society who arrived at el paso del norte (ciudad juarez) soon became exposed to borderland survival. These bad youngsters who had formed the rank-and-file of many revolutionary armies, especially those of el centauro del norte (Pancho Villa’s army) became bolas de chucos en las calles (gangs of grimey street kids). And when these street kids would find ways of making money on the colonias and streets of the biggest and most populous border crossing of the American continent, they soon developed a taste for a style contrary to their long poor background upbringing.

They soon began to chuchear (chuquiar), to trap and to hunt; to make a living off the streets. They became like chuecos chicos rucos (old young crooks), vividores, chulos guapos (dandys), popular in their circulos de ambiente, gente de mucha occurencia (wiseguys), con actitud de lambusios (regionalist), knowing all the antros (dives & holes), present in all the reventones (parties) and rumbas (dances) of the city. And when they began to cross the border back and forth during the decade of the roaring twenties, they satisfied their longing for fine trapos (dress clothes), they enhanced their old hidden love for art and theater. They morphed the attitude of the lower classes of people from Mexico and glued it with the knowledge and modernized ways coming in and being brought in to El Paso by the hordes and tons of repatriates and deportees that the US was sending south from all over the land during the years of the great depression.

The cities of Juarez and El Paso swelled with the numbers of people being sent south, while at the same time with the people heading north in search of a better tomorrow. El Paso became like the illegal Ellis Island for Mexicans, as well as the Tombstone and Dodge City for the Americanos; the town became filled with vice; filled with the worse that both countries had to offer. Soon thereafter the gringos termed el paso as “el shit hole,” and the gabachos started calling the notorious Mexican people of el paso by the same name that the old Mexican oligarchy had called them ~> chuchos. But the gringos, in their english pronunciation ways could not get themselves to pronounce chucho correctly, and they pronounced it as chukuo -the shit hole, the place of bad people. So that’s how El Paso became known as el chuco -under the wordplay of chicano chuekadas.

But just like in everything else that the raza touches and incorporates into its world, el chuco became a badge of honor and pride. La raza took el chuco and transformed it into el pachuco; they called the Rio Grand Valley as el valluco, and Corpus Christy as corpitos. They called themselves Rucos (old horses), Tucos (night owls) and before not too long, Pachucos became cholos.

Chucos turned everything they came into contact with into a mutt; a mixture of language, dress, style, music, dance, culture and attitude; their warfare against the ruling class and its system became eternal. They became true rebels of society!

Chuco has the traditional CH of chicanismo words, and with it comes a long history of indian terms of endearment.

You see, in indian ways and in later Mexicanism ways of talk, everything derogatory can be made a term of endearment; for example a fatso (gordo) can affectionally be endeared as chonchito; and so el gordito chonchito becomes no longer derogatory, but an acceptable affectionate way to refer to a fluffy chunky spanky.

So, the bottom line is that El Chuco is basically the same as El Cholo in terms of being a derogatory term used by upper and mainstream society in referencing someone of low status and/or of an undesirable element; as in a cholo “dirty drunken Indian," but under the attitude of old and new chicanismo, those deragatory terms of chuco and cholo, became terms of endearment of sorts by those who carry the names with pride!

To be continued…

10/7/13

CHUCOS e PACHUCOS

what does "pachuco" means to you?

a lot of people have associated it with the zoot suit and the 1930's - 40's era

and when you read most of what's out there on the web and in popular writers books
you come out with the same referencing, that pachucos came from El Paso, Texas
and that, that's where it all started

even myself didn't know any better than to take it only that far back

the whole key to the matter lies on ~> what does "chuco" mean?

yeah, chuco, instead of pachuco

pachuco is simple

el paso was nicknamed el chuco
and people from juarez mexico heading into el paso would say
vamos para el chuco
shortened under mexican ways of speech as
~> "vamos pal chuco" .. (heading over to el chuco)
and eventually shortened the -pal chuco- even more so, to say it as pa'chuco

so we know el paso was known as el chuco early on in the last 1900s century
and el chuco gave rise to the pachuco name for mexican gangsters of the 1930s - 40s LA era

what does "chuco mean?

^ ^ that is the key to the whole thing

chuco was originally something which had very little to do with the american zoot suits & drapes
something/someone with a whole lot more meaning than what the american media of the times
and even today, have cared to address or understand

and without that understanding., all is void and null
relegated to misunderstandings of the chicano mind

IMO

so the question is, what does pachuco mean to you?
and like a high school book would ask.,
how is it relevant to today's history?

9/9/13

SD VARRIOS DON'T THROW UP THE 13

I'M NOT SAYING THAT THEY AIN'T TRECE, ALL I'M SAYING IS THAT THEY DON'T GO THROWING UP THE 13 NEXT TO THEIR PLACAS ON THE WALL ALL THE TIME LIKE THE SURENOS IN OTHER PARTS., OVER HERE IT IS WELL UNDERSTOOD AND KNOWN THAT EVERY VARRIO, EVERY VATO OUT THERE IS DOWN FOR THE 13. SO THERE' S NO NEED TO PLASTER THEIR WALLS AND ARMS WITH A BIG TRECE EACH AND EVERY TIME., CHALES., SAN DIEGO IS DOWN WITH THE SUR., NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, PERO COME ON, BE SERIO...

SD VARRIOS KEEP IT ORIGINAL WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR VARRIO INITIALS POSTED UP ON THE WALLS., SO IF YOU SEE SIDRO, OTAY, NESTOR, CHULA VISTA, OLD TOWN, SHELL TOWN, LOGAN, MARKET, PARADISE HILLS, ENCANTO, OR ANY OF ALL THE OTHER BIG TIME VARRIOS DOWN HERE, THEY ALL THROW UP THEIR ZONE AND THAT'S IT.. SY, DS, NST, VCV, OTNC, VST, LHTS, VML, PHR, VELs, AND THE 13 STAYS OUT OF IT BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY UNDERSTOOD TO BE A PART OF EACH AND EVERYONE OF THE VARRIOS.,

THERE'S NO NEED TO PLASTER IT ON EVERY TAG. SO QUE PASO IN L.A. AND IN OTHER PLACES WHERE EVERYONE FEELS THE NEED TO THROW UP AND ADD 13 TO THEIR INITIALS?

IT AIN'T LIKE ITS FROM THE OLD SCHOOL OF THINGS., AND IT AIN'T LIKE SOMEONE IS QUESTIONING THEIR AFFILIATION, RIGHT?

I MEAN, IF YOU SEE WF, YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT IT IS WHITE FENCE; AN L.A. VARRIO DOWN WITH THE SOUTH SIDE FROM THE GET GO.

SO WHY DO THOSE PLAYERS OUT ON THE STREETS OF SO MANY TOWNS AND NEIGHBORHOODS FEEL THE NEED TO ADD A 13 NEXT TO THEIR VARRIO INITIALS?

CASE EXAMPLE ~> CERCO BLANCO, WF (WF13) ?? ..

SAN DIEGO VARRIOS DON'T FEEL THEY HAVE TO GO THERE YET., SO I'M WONDERING WHY DID SOME L.A. VARRIOS AND MANY OTHERS AROUND WENT THERE?

QUE PASO? WHAT'S THE MENTALITY?

8/2/13

A SHOUT OUT TO LA's 1970's VARRIOS!




Back in the 1970's un guato de Chicano VARRIOS were already posted up since Olden Times representing the Old Stilo de Vida everywhere and in every SIDE and sub-division of the City and the County of LA.

Those varrios around from way back then were not nearly as numerous as they are today; especially since the Gang explosion that took place in the 1980's with all those varrios that got it together from the Football Teams, the Tag Bangers and the Stoner Locos generation eras..

Most LA varrios prior to the 1980's claimed a much larger territory; Mas Grande than those which followed up later in the decades of the 80's and 90's.,

Aside from the West Central LA, the East Side and the South Side LA areas, few other sections of the urbanized county streets were as congested with that many a mess of varrios.

The Harbor Area (HxA), the North Valley (SFV), East Valley (SGV), West Los (WLA), North East (NELA) and South East (SELA) had some very old old varrios representing from way way back, but there were whole wide tracks of streets in all those areas and parts of town hat were scant of any varrios claiming.

Back then, the same as nowadays ~> if a varrio was known about and heard about in all the crazy corners of the county, that carried some real heavy weight behind it; it meant that the varrio was recognized as being among the most chingone; So being in the list of the "heard about" varrios was of utmost importance; because in the varrio world ~> it is a sign that the varrio has made its mark ~> Se dejo caer and has been around!

 So, "Importa Madres" to get your varrio up on the roll-call; and it matters most of all that you hold up your Varrio with pride!

Most of those 1970's Varrios are still around still kicking up dust; so in a ways ~> a roll-call from the 1980's or 1990's varrios lista would seem like you're repeating the same old ones around since back then; Never-the-less, those 1970's varrios in my mind, and then maybe because of my generation, I feel like they deserve their own page in history; They deserve their names to be remembered., and a shout out for each and every one of those old varrio names with respects would be a start; Que no?

From the 1970's era ~> starting out with the North East LA area: A shout out to friend and foe Varrios alike

No Dis-Respect Meant

DOG TOWN RIFA
FROG TOWN RIFA
43RD AVENUES
CYPRESS AVENUES
CYPRESS PARK BOYS
NELA 13
TOONERVILLE RIFA
CLANTON 14 STREET
HIGHLAND PARK

From the Lincoln Heights and El Sereno area . .

DOG TOWN RIFA
EL SERENO RIFA
EAST SIDE CLOVER
HAPPY VALLEY RIFA
ROSE HILLS
EAST SIDE EIGHTEEN STREET
BIG HAZARD RIFA

From the Boyle Heights East Side area . .

BIG HAZARD RIFA
PRIMERA FLATS
CUATRO FLATS
ALCAPONE
EAST LA TRECE
EAST LOS TRECE
PRIMERA CHICOS
THIRD STREET
SOTO STREET
EVERGREEN
WHITE FENCE
VARRIO NUEVO ESTRADA
VICKYS TOWN
LIL’ EAST SIDE
VARRIO KING KOBRAS RIFA
EAST SIDE CHOPPERS 12

From the Unincorp East L.A. area . .

LA ROCK MARAVILLA
JUAREZ MARAVILLA
LOPEZ MARAVILLA
MARIANNA MARAVILLA
HOYO MARAVILLA
LOTE MARAVILLA
ARIZONA MARAVILLA
LOMITA MARAVILLA PRIMERA
WINTER GARDENS
GERAGHTY LOMA
CITY TERRACE
LAGUNA PARK VIKINGS
LITTLE VALLEY RIFA

From the South East area . .

SS MONTEBELLO
POOR SIDE (SGV)
JARDIN 13
HORSE SHOE
SUNRISE
WHITTIER 13
WHITTIER VARRIO LOCO
QUIET VILLAGE
JIM TOWN
PICO VIEJO RIFA
LA MIRADA
VARRIO LOS NIETOS
CANTA RANAS
VARRIO NORWALK 13
CARMELAS 13
PEACEFUL VARRIO NORWALK
DOG PATCH
PARAMOUNT VARRIO 13
HAWAIIAN GARDENS
ARTESIA 13

From the South Side of L.A. .

CLANTON 14
38 STREET
FLORENCIA 13
SOUTH LOS
WEIGAND COLONIA WATTS
WATTS VARRIO GRAPE
ELM STREET WATTS
HICKORY WATTS
TORTILLA FLATS
LARGO 36
CE VE SEGUNDO
ONE FIVE FIVE
CE VE SETENTAS
CE VE TRES
LOS PADRINOS
YOUNG CROWD
LYNWOOD VARRIO PARAGONS
BARRIO SOUTH GATE

From the South West area . .

HARPYS
LENNEX 13
LOS COMPADRES VARRIO 3

From the Harbor Area . .

RANCHO SAN PEDRO
PARK WESTERN LOMA
LELAND PARK
VIVA BARRIO SAN PEDRO
VARRIO HARBOR CITY RIFA
VARRIO KEYSTONE
VARRIO LA LOMA RIFA
LA RANA (TORRANCE)
T x FLATS (TORRANCE)
VARRIO CARSON 13
VICTORIA PARK
EAST SIDE TORRANCE
EAST SIDE WILMAS
NORTH SIDE WILMAS
WEST SIDE WILMAS
NORTH SIDE REDONDO
WEST SIDE GARDENA
EAST SIDE GARDENA
DOG TOWN STONERS

From the Long Beach area . .

EAST SIDE LONGO
WEST SIDE LONGO
NORTH SIDE LONGO
BARRIO SMALL TOWN
BARRIO POBRE
LATIN TOWN PLAYBOYZ
BARRIO VIEJO RIFA
TE TOWN FLATS

From the West Side . .

WEST SIDE EIGHTEEN STREET
WEST SIDE CLANTONE 14
TEMPLE STREET
VARRIO VISTA RIFA
VARRIO ALPINE RIFA
ECHO PARK
WEST SIDE WHITE FENCE
WEST SIDE KING KOBRAS
LITTLE WEST SIDE
CINCO LOMAS (FIFTH & HILL)
PLAYBOYS 13
REBELS 13
DIAMOND STREET
SATANAS
HARPYS

From the West Los area . .

VARRIO CULVER CITY
VENICE 13
SOTEL 13
SANTA MONA (MONICA) 13

From the North Valley . .

VARRIO SAN FER
LATIN TIMES PACOIMA
PACOIMA FLATS
PACAS TRECE
BARRIO VAN NUYS
CANOGA PARK
BLYTHE STREET
SOL TRECE RIFA
NORTH HOLLYWOOD LOCOS
NORTH SIDE CLANTONE 14
BARRIO BERBANK TRECE
NORTH SIDE EIGHTEEN STREET

From the East Valley . .

VARRIO PUENTE 13
TOWNSMEN
LITTLE HILL RIFA
VALINDA FLATS
BASSETT GRANDE
EAST SIDE DUKES
VARRIO HAPPY HOMES
VARRIO LOMAS
SAN GRA RIFA
BARTLETT WOLVES
EL MONTE FLORES
EL MONTE HAYES
EL MONTE HICKS
NORTH SIDE MONTES
EL MONTE RIFA
NORTH SIDE PASA
SOUTH SIDE PASA
BOLEN PARQUE
DUARTE RIFA
SAN DIMAS COLONIA PARQUE
LA VERNE RIFA
POMONA 12 STREET SHARKYS
HAPPY TOWN RIFA
CHERRIEVILLE RIFA
CLARA MONTE RIFA


Feel Free to Add any that you know from the 1970s!

THE FIRST L.A. BARRIOS

The first Chicano Varrio Gangs in Los are said to have evolved from the Palomillas (Boys Crowds) of the Barrios & Colonias (Neighborhoods), many of which first emerged in those immediate neighborhoods surrounding the old Plazita Village of Los Angeles – present times affectionally named “La Plazita Olvera” located in-between Cesar Chavez on the north, 101 Freeway on the south, Broadway on the west, and Alameda Street on the east. The first Barrio that sprung out of this town/village was called Sonora Town, and it lay just due northeast, centered on Spring Street. But the Mexican community was never solely limited to any one particular area or section of the city, and many urban villages existed spread out all over the L.A. basin. Nevertheless, many of the Central Los Varrio Gangs that can be counted in these present times can in some way or another trace back their lineage to those early 1900’s Mexican communities which expanded out from the Central L.A. area.

This Central Los area quickly became inhabited by both Mexicans and other ethnic groups, such as Filipinos, Jews, Russian Molokans, Chinese, Italians, Blacks and others. But within a very short time span between 1900 and the 1940’s, the Mexican population became predominant above all the others and turned the Greater East Side --which in old white-Anglo terms, included everything east of Broadway/3Rd Street and Elysian Park Hills—into one continuous Mexican/Chicano Barrio per say.

The white-Anglo ruling elite basically relegated all the non-white ethnic population into the most undesirable lands and crowded them into the poorest sectors of the ever growing metropolis. To the Mexican/Chicano population, the ruling elite’s self-serving urban development programs and reclusive residential laws became known as “Barrionization”. The young Mexicans in these Barrios and Colonias faced with a hostile environment of discrimination and living in contested grounds, soon bonded together and formed tightly-knit groups for mutual assistance and cultural survival. They cliqued up for self-preservation if you would. It suffice to refer you, the reader, to the much documented historical data which sheds much insight as to the reasons which not only forced these young Chicanos into such a stance, but also as to the cultural pride that demanded no less from them. Out of this Barrionization process emerged many of the Varrio Gangs which adopted and carry the particular name of their original neighborhoods. These Varrio Boys went on to structure themselves with codes of conduct and rules of warfare, together with a style an attitude that survives even onto this present day.

In the world of Chicano Varrio Gangs, much value is given by many, as to the age and generational lineage of their respective Varrios. Those Gangs that can trace their origin to the earliest of times, pre-dating their neighbors, their rivals, other ethnic groups or even their allies, “proudly boast” of their olden history and hold it close to their heart as a badge of honor. These olden Varrio Gangs have endured with the test of times many trials and tribulations. They have suffered dear loses, but they have also grown strong and hard by enduring such hardship and pains. They have come together and forged a “family” of Homeboys and Homegirls, young and old, happy and mean, independent but dedicated to one another, surrounded by friends and relations, raza from all walks-of-life which serves them well as a social support group. This camaraderie of the extended family fills them up with ever good times and beautiful nostalgia.

But which are some of those Barrios that go back to them early times? Which are the Gangs that trace back their roots to those early urban villages? It is extremely hard to be able to pin down all of them in a chronological timeline order, and that is due because when dealing with Chicano Varrio Gangs, most have not and do not leave a written record of their events and happenings on account of the underground aspect involved in their history which for obvious reasons “must fly under the radar”. Most Varrio Gangs do however have a decent record of their history which is passed down by word of mouth amongst the gang membership, and shared with associates and those trusted faces from the Barrio. Other than that, one is hard pressed to learn-up about the individual Gangs origins. Therefore, keeping in mind the aforementioned, I don’t assert to be 100% correct with the following information, for it is merely an attempt to reconstruct a path of evolution of some of those early Barrios. Hopefully it will stir up some memories from those who have first hand knowledge and serve to encourage them to share some firme story, so that it can be placed down for the ages “in letras”. Maybe then, all we who have come up in them streets of Aztlan can join up in minds and be all together proud of our common Varrio heritage, so that we may never become “a dyeing breed” nor forgotten by the generations to come, que no?



Previously we left off with Sonora Town as the first Barrio in Central Los.



Sonora Town in turn gave rise to the Barrio Palo Verde located around the area of present time China Town on the southwest part of the Elysian Park Hills. Here in these hills emerged the Chavez Ravine (Lomas) community which was born out of the many displaced residents of Palo Verde and an older Mexican Village called Las Animas. This Chavez Ravine A.k.a. Lomas Barrio was in essence “3” separate Barrios that grew out in different sections of Chavez Ravine. The first was around the old Palo Verde Las Virgenes Road and became known as Varrio Alpine. The second was located over by present day Cathedral H.S. around Bishops Road and became known as Varrio Bishops. The third one was centered in the Solano Canyon area next to Elysian Park off of Broadway; this last one became known as Varrio La Loma. The main Chavez Ravine community was displaced in 1953 by the shysty evil-minded city urban redevelopment scheme which turned over the land for the then Brooklyn Dodgers to build their stadium, as enticement to move to Los Angeles. The older Las Animas west side ravine hillside was turned into mostly parkland. South of Solano Canyon before crossing the river was the Barrio Buena Vista. This Barrio is now all Elysian Park off of Broadway.

Over to the west of Palo Verde/Varrio Alpine, the Bunker Hill Barrio stretched all the way to meet with the Market Barrio on 3Rd and Broadway. Bunker Hill together with the adjacent Temple-Beaudry area emerged the Varrio Diamond. Bunker Hill survived until the late 50’s when the area was targeted for urban renewal. The build up of the Civic Center and the subsequent construction of the 110 Freeway, destroyed not only Bunker Hill but a large section of Varrio Diamond as well. Further west of the Temple-Beaudry area arose the mixed Filipino and Mexican Gang of Varrio Temple, born in an area previously known as Lindero and Triunfo Canyon’s. Due northeast of Varrio Temple and Varrio Diamond, the Echo Park community grew to become largely Mexican and from it the Varrio Echo Park emerged. On the riverside of Echo Park, in-between Elysian Hills and the wandering L.A. River, the Varrio Frog Town was born in the Elysian Valley A.k.a. Little River Valley extending all along from Figueroa Street, north up to present day Atwater Village.

Northeast of La Plazita was “The Cornfield”, covering an area that stretched almost all the way to the Buena Vista Barrio next to the L.A. River by North Broadway. This Cornfield in time gave way to the ever growing rail yards of Mission and Naud Junctions. South of the Cornfield was the community called Dog Hell A.k.a. Dog Town, which gave birth to the Varrio Dog Town that stretched all along the riverside from Buena Vista to the Macy Street Varrio. Due east of La Plazita, the Varrio Macy Street grew extensively in the immediate area until it too was hit with urban redevelopment and it’s residents relocated far east across the river to the newly emerging Belvedere community. Both Varrio Macy Street and Varrio Dog Town (except the DT projects off of North Main) were torn down to make way for the new Union Station, the Department of Water & Power plant, the growing rail yards and warehouses, the many industrial plants and the L.A. County jail over by the Clara Street neighborhood.

South of the Varrio Macy Street lay the First Street and Eight Street neighborhoods in-between The Flats and Alameda Street. These neighborhoods too were forced to relocate to the east side by the ever growing industry and rail yards. Both the First and Eight Street neighborhoods lay due west of The Flats A.k.a. Russian Flats, along the wandering riverside areas which were prone to flooding until the L.A. River concrete levee was built. When that happened, The Flats Barrio was relegated solely to the east side of the river, west of El Paredon Blanco (the hillside facing west off Boyle Heights). It is here that the Aliso Village, Pico Aliso and Pico Gardens Housing Projects were built to accommodate the displaced residents from The Flatlands, and it is here that the Varrios Primera and Cuatro Flats arised. From all those Varrios of Macy Street, Dog Town, First Street, Eight Street, Clara Street and Russian Flats, people moved eastward up to Brooklyn Heights, Boyle Heights and Belvedere (Wonder City). The displaced families numbered in the thousands.



To be continued . . .

5/31/13

L.A. COUNTY SIDES

This whole east side this, west side that., it serves a purpose., but it gets just mad confusing sometimes., por ejemplo, dog town., the older gente from the proyects all claim east side., some of the newer gente starting like in the 70s, claimed west side for the mere fact that the pjs landed on the wrong side of the river when the leeve was built., but dog town has very little to do with the west side other than having some pleitos with some., and then there's the nela/monte vista side which claims nela every day, even if the ogs are all from the pjs., if anything they should of just claimed east side because at the time when dog town set up up shop right there, there was also varrio NELA 13 around., besides that, back then, nobody really claimed nela., you would not catch an Avenues claiming nela., all that nela side came afterwards., so things change i suppose., just like that whole area code deal., from 213 to 310 to 323., hope your leave a piece of your sleeves clean for the next area code., right!?


IN THE WORLD OF VARRIOS, IT'S A TRIPPY THING HOW ALL "SIDES" AND "AREAS" BREAK DOWN IN A CITY LIKE L.A.

YOU GOT THE EAST SIDE, THE WEST SIDE, THE SOUTH SIDE, THE HARBOR AREA, SOUTH CENTRAL, THE SGV, THE 818, ETC, ETC.

BUT EACH ONE OF THOSE "SIDES" OR "AREAS" BREAK DOWN EVEN FURTHER, AND SOME VARRIOS CLAIM ONE SIDE WHEN THEY'RE COMPLETELY IN A DIFFERENT ZONE, OR EVEN CLAIM ONE THING, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE CLAIMING SOUTH CENTRAL, WHILE THE NEXT DOOR VARRIO CLAIMS SOUTH SIDE.

A RIVER, A FREEWAY, SOME HILLS, A CITY ZONE, THEY ALL SERVE TO BREAK DOWN THE CITY INTO DIFFERENT SIDES, AND IT'S ALL A TRIPPY THING., I GUESS YOU GOT TO REALLY GET INTO IT TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF IT ALL.

IN OLD CITY TIMES YOU HAD WHAT THE GABACHOS CONSIDERED EAST L.A., BUT THE EAST L.A. BACK IN THOSE OLD TIMES WAS NOT THE SAME EAST L.A. OF PRESENT TIMES (MARAVILLA/BELVEDERE/CITY TERRACE), NOPES, THE EAST L.A. BACK THEN WAS LINCOLN HEIGHTS., AND THEN THERE WAS THE GREATER EAST SIDE THAT WENT FROM ECHO PARK, ELYSIAN HILLS, AND TEMPLE BEAUDRY ON TO THE EAST GOING BEYOND THE RIVER AND UP TO THE HILLS STRETCHING FROM EAGLE ROCK TO BELVEDERE., EVEN THE IMMEDIATE AREA KNOWN AS THE LOW BOTTOMS (SOUTH CENTRAL L.A.) JUST SOUTH OF THE DOWNTOWN SKYLINE WAS CONSIDERED EAST SIDE.

WITH THE TIMES, THINGS HAVE CHANGED, AND NOW EVERYONE CONSIDERS THE EAST SIDE TO BE ALL EAST OF THE L.A. RIVER, FROM LINCOLN HEIGHTS TO WINTER GARDENS. BUT EVEN THE EAST SIDE TODAY IS BROKEN UP INTO EAST LOS AND EAST L.A. PROPER.

EAST L.A. PROPER IS MARAVILLA/BELVEDERE, CITY TERRACE, EASTMONT AND WINTER GARDENS, THAT'S THE EXTENT OF UNINCORP EAST L.A., BUT THE EAST SIDE LOS AREA INCLUDES BOYLE HEIGHTS, LINCOLN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, ROSE HILLS, HAPPY VALLEY, EL SERENO, AND WYVERNWOOD.

BUT THEN YOU HAVE THE REST OF THE OLD EAST SIDERS IN NORTH EAST L.A. STILL CLAIMING TO BE PART OF THE EAST SIDE., MAINLY THOSE FROM HIGHLAND PARK, CYPRESS PARK, GLASSELL PARK, ARROYO SECO, AND MOUNT WASHINGTON., BUT THEN YOU WOULD LEAVE OUT OTHER AREAS WHICH ARE CONSIDERED TO BE PART OF N.E.L.A. POLITICS BUT ARE NOT NECESSARILY "EAST SIDERS"., AMONG THOSE ARE RIVERDALE, ATWATER AND ATWATER VILLAGE., WHICH BRINGS US TO THE QUESTION OF THE WEST SIDE.,

THERE'S WHAT IS CONSIDERED WEST SIDE, THEN THERE IS WEST LOS OR WEST L.A., WEST LOS (WEST LA) WOULD BE THOSE AREAS AND CITIES LIKE SANTA MONICA, VENICE, CULVER CITY AND SAWTELLE, AND THEN YOU THROW IN THERE WITH THE MIX THE COMMUNITIES OF MAR VISTA, PALMS, RANCHO PARK AND WEST LOS ANGELES PROPER., ALTHOUGH THEY ARE ALL TECHNICALLY WEST SIDE, ~> THE ACTUAL REDUCED "WEST SIDE" IS REALLY CONSIDERED TO BE JUST THE AREA CLOSER TO DOWNTOWN L.A. LIKE WESTLAKE, RAMPART VILLAGE, PICO UNION, KOREA TOWN, FILIPINO TOWN, ECHO PARK, LOS FELIZ, SILVER LAKE, WEST ADAMS, MID CITY, WILSHIRE, EAST HOLLYWOOD AND EVEN HOLLYWOOD ITSELF.,

EVERYTHING NORTH OF THE 10 FREEWAY, ALL THE WAY TO THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS, THAT'S THE WEST SIDE, ALTHOUGH VARRIOS SOUTH OF THE 10 FREEWAY ALSO CONSIDER THEIR AREA PART OF THE WEST SIDE, LIKE THE ONES IN THE COMMNUNITIES OF OLYMPIC PARK, JEFFERSON, WEST ADAMS AND MCMANUS.
BUT THE AREA OF L.A. BETWEEN THE 10 FWY, THE HARBOR FWY, THE CENTURY FWY, AND THE 405 FWY CAN BE SOMEWHAT OF A DILEMA. MOST VARRIOS IN THIS AREA CLAIM WEST SIDE, BUT SOME CLAIM SOUTH CENTRAL, AND SOME EVEN CLAIM SOUTH SIDE, ALL THE WHILE THE WHOLE AREA IS CONSIDERED TO BE "SOUTH WEST" SOUTH CENTRAL, OR EVEN THE WEST SIDE OF THE SOUTH SIDE, AND NOT REALLY PART OF THE WEST LOS WEST SIDE.,

THEN THERE'S THE SOUTH SIDE.,HERE IT GETS EVEN TRICKIER WITH THE WHOLE SOUTH L.A. DEAL, YOU HAVE THOSE THAT CLAIM SOUTH SIDE, THEN YOU HAVE THE ONES THAT CLAIM SOUTH CENTRAL, THEN YOU HAVE SOME THAT EVEN CLAIM CLAIM EAST SIDE., CASE EXAMPLES EAST SIDE CLANTON 14 STREET AND EAST SIDE PLAYBOYS.

FROM THE LOW BOTTOMS ON THE NORTH END, TO SOUTH LOS AND WATTS ON THE SOUTH END, TO THE L.A. RIVER ON THE EAST END, INCLUDING COLONIA VERNON, HUNTINGTON PARK, BELL, MAYWOOD, CUDAHY, SOUTH GATE, LYNWOOD, AND EVEN BELL GARDENS, THAT'S ALL CONSIDERED SOUTH SIDE L.A., THE GRAND EXCEPTION IS COMPTON (THE HUB), THEY CLAIM THEIR OWN, AND COMMUNITIES LIKE WILLOBROOK AND LYNWOOD GARDENS RIDE WITH THE HUB.

WHEN YOU GET PAST COMPTONE, YOU GET INTO WHAT IS CONSIDERED THE HARBOR AREA TODAY, BUT IN REALITY THE O.G. HARBOR AREA USED TO BE SOLELY THE TOWNS OF SAN PEDRO, WILMINGTON, LONG BEACH AND HARBOR CITY, THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF THE HARBOR AREA, BUT WITH TIMES OTHER TOWNS GOT HITCHED UP TO THE LABEL AND NOW ROLL WITH THE HxA HANDLE, LIKE LOMITA, CARSONE, TORRANCE, THE HARBOR GATEWAY AND GARDENA., IT BECAME SO THAT EVEN HAWTHORNE, LAWNDALE AND REDONDO MAY NOW CLAIM HxA.

HERE'S THE THING, THE WHOLE HxA IS ALL PART OF THE GREATER SOUTH BAY AREA, AND THE SOUTH BAY INCLUDES TOWNS LIKE LAKEWOOD, BELLFLORES AND EVEN PARAMOUNT, BUT NONE OF THOSE TOWNS CLAIM HxA.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE NEXT AREA WHICH INCLUDES PARAMONTE, ARTESIA, HAWAIIAN GARDENS, BELLFLOWER AND DOWNEY. WHAT SIDE OR AREA DO THEY CLAIM? THEY'RE NOT HxA, THEY'RE NOT REALLY SOUTH SIDE L.A. AND THEY'RE NOT S.E.L.A. NEITHER., SO WHAT SIDE DO THEY CLAIM TO BE?

EVERYTHING NORTH OF THE 91 FWY AND EAST OF THE RIO HONDO IS CONSIDERED TO BE SOUTH EAST L.A., FROM NORWALK-LA MIRADA TO PICO RIVERA-WHITTIER IT'S ALL SOUTH EAST L.A.

THEN YOU GET INTO THE S.G.V. CAR, WHICH STRETCHES FROM PASADENA ALL THE WAY EAST TO LA VERNE, WITH POMONA ABSTAINING AND CLAIMING THEIR OWN.

PERSONALLY, I THINK THAT BASSETT, LA PUENTE, WALNUT, VALINDA, HACIENDA HEIGHTS AND ROWLAND SHOULD GO UNDER THEIR OWN HANDLE, THE PUENTE VALLEY HANDLE, BECAUSE THIS AREA IS WAY DISTANT FROM FAR OFF PLACES LIKE LA VERNE AND PASADENA. BUT SURE THING, THE OTHER TOWNS LIKE BOLEN, EL MONTE, SAN GRA, AZUSA, SAN DIMAS, DUARTE, WEST COVINA AND ROSEMEAD/SOUTH SG. SHOULD STAY SUR GANSTRO VALLEY., BUT PASADENA IS NOT ALL THERE WITH THE MAIN SGV AREA, SO I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THEM.

THE LAST AREA YOU GOT LEFT IN L.A. IS THE NORTH VALLEY, A.K.A. THE 818 (SAN FERNANDO VALLEY), BUT THE SFV IS A HUGE CHUNK OF TERRITORY, AND IT CAN BE BROKEN DOWN INTO MID-VALLEY, WEST VALLEY, AND THE SAN FER/SYLMAR/PACAS AREA ON THE NORTH EAST PART OF THE VALLEY.

BUT WHAT ABOUT BURBANK? ALTHOUGH BERBANK IS PART OF THE 818, THEY CAN NOT REALLY BE ON PAR WITH THE REST., BURBANK SHOULD MAYBE BE LUMPED IN TOGETHER WITH GLENDALE AND SUNLAND-TUJUNGA TO FORM THEIR OWN.. I DON'T KNOW.. I'M JUST SAYING.. SOME PLACES ARE HARD TO SQUARE IN WITH THE MAIN SIDE OR AREA..


It’s a trippy thing how all that claiming this side or that side works. For most hoods it is automatic what side they fall on, and by default, what side they claim. For other hoods, it is a pride thing, like pride for their city or their town. Still for some, it is about the notoriety of a place, a place which is not really confined to city maps or government boundaries (like the southwest and mexico). It doesn’t matter where the geographic line is drawn, that’s like a line in the sand. Neighborhoods are connected to the streets, and how those streets are connected is way more than simply parallel or horizontal lines drawn on a map to define a zone. In example, the Harbor Area, in ordinary regular civilian circles, the Harbor Area can also be called the South Bay, but in the world of L.A. Condado ranflas, the HxA is way more exclusive as to who claims it as its side.

The original Harbor Area was made up of four towns; San Pedro, Harbor City, Wilmas and Longo., that was it, but with time and the evolution of claiming sides, other towns latched on to the handle; Lomita, Torrance, Carson, Gardena, and the whole Gateway. Which I might add here that nobody in the HxA ever calls it the Gateway, that’s Torrance and Gardena plain and simple.

It is clear why North Side Longo and Dominguez Varrio would jump into the HxA car, but it is not so clear, at least from the outside looking in, as to why Little Lawndale and Hawthorne would do so, or for that matter even Redondo, since they’re all out there in sort of like their own side away from the main HxA focus points east of Crenshaw. A little limbo as to what side those towns are for reals; but who calls it? Who decides what side to claim? Comptone next to Gardena ain’t never claimed nothing other than The Hub., and both Paras, Bellflower or Lakewood to my knowledge also ain’t never claimed HxA, even though they are clearly in the South Bay geographical zone.

So how does it work in the calles., when, why and who decides for a varrio or town what side to claim?

Lennox and Inglewood decided on west side instead of south side or harbor area, but why didn’t they ever create a ‘west bay’ or something like that, together with the west los towns like Santa, Sotel, Venice, Culver City and Rancho Park? That probably would have been more appropriate, but the monster has multiple heads, and it is complicated but yet simple to understand.

Me entiendes?