10/9/13

HARBOR AREA VARRIOS

L.A. HARBOR AREA VARRIOS ~ Past & Present

RANCHO SAN PEDRO
Santos,
Locos,
Midgets,
3RD Street Locos,
8TH Street Locos,
12TH Street Troubles,
16TH Street Locos,
Santa Cruz Street Locos,
Rancho Projects 2ND Street Locos.

PARK WESTERN LOMA SAN PEDRO
Malditos,
Locos,
Chicos.

LELAND PARK SAN PEDRO
Hoods,
Boys,
Locos.

BARRIO SAN PEDRO
3RD Street Locos,
11TH Street Locos,
Los Guayabos,
Los Uniteds.

SAN PEDRO LOCOS

SAN PEDRO STONERS

YOUNG CROWD

EAST SIDE WILMAS
Ghost Town Locos,
Lumber Yard Malos.
L ST Locos,
Mahar Street Boys,
Hyatt Street Locos,
Chain Gang,
Banning Park Locos.

WEST SIDE WILMAS
Willhall Park Locos,
Dana Locos,
Lil Rascals,
C Street Locos.

NORTH SIDE WILMAS

HARBOR CITY RIFA
Baby Locos,
Tiny Locos,
Lil Locos,
Peewee Locos

VARRIO HARBOR LOMA

VARRIO LA LOMA RIFA

VARRIO CARSON RIFA
Peewee Locos,
Deathman Locos,
East Side Carson Locos,
Catskill Street Locos,

Ravenna Street
Locos
Tiny Locos

Realty Street
Locos
Peewees
Gunners

NIGHTCRAWLERS RIFA

VARRIO KEYSTONE

VICTORIA PARK
Locos,
Tiny Gangsters,
Park Locos,
Peewees,
Midgets,
Niteowls.

DOMINGUEZ VARRIO 13
J Street Locos.

EAST SIDE TORRANCE
Lil Raskals,
Diablos,
Peewees.

204TH STREET
Peewees,
Locos.

VARRIO CENTRO TORRANCE
Locos

T x FLATS
Dukes,
Snipers,
Peewees.

VARRIO LA RANA

NORTH SIDE REDONDO
Los Nietos,
Lil Winos,
Sycos.

DEF BOYS
Chicos,
Killas,
Babys.

DEATH CROWD
Locos,
Lil Boys,
Riders,
Termites.

EVIL KLAN 13

HAWTHORNE 13

LAWNDALE 13
Chicos
154 ST
147 ST
Traviesos
Firmona Boys
Malitos
Baby Dukes

LIL MOBSTERS 13

CYCOS 13

DOG TOWN STONERS

LIL WATTS
Demons,
Dukes,
Winos,
Traviesos,
The Underground.

GARDENA 13
East Side,
West Side,
Baby Gangsters,
Lil Locos,
Cyco Locos,
Balas,
144TH The Fourth,
The Dead End.

LATIN TOWN PLAYBOYZ

BARRIO SMALL TOWN
4TH Street,
Locos,
Tiny Winos.

TE TOWN FLATS

BARRIO VIEJO
Old Town Longo

BARRIO POBRE
16TH Street.

PLAYA LARGA 13
10TH Street.

8TH STREET MADNESS
Midnites.

VARRIO 9TH STREET

CRAZY LATIN BOYZ

MID CITY STONERS / CRIMINALS
Long Beach Locos 19TH Street.

NORTH SIDE LONGO
Baby Gangsters
52ND Street,
Vagos,
Machos,
Market Street Locos,
Ninos Surenos,
Youngsters.

WEST SIDE LONGO
Cyclones,
Termites,
Stoners,
West Side Playboyz,
Summit Canal Street,
Sequina Street.

EAST SIDE LONGO
Chicos Malos,
Dukes,
Tiny Locos,
Stoners,
East Side Playboyz,
Lonely Boys,
Peewess,
Barrio Viejo (Old Town Longo).

10/8/13

VARRIO LA RANA

LA RANA

Everyone in the Harbor Area knows or has heard about LA RANA in Torrance.

La Rana is one of those Varrios that have been dying off, but never really goes away. You hear about them, but you never really see them, or so it goes. Even so, they’ve managed to make the headlines from time to time. La Rana must be a real tight-knit family oriented varrio these days. Their neighborhood history goes back to the 1920s/30s, but the varrio is more well-renown for its crazyness during the 1950s and 60s. It managed to stay active well into the 70s, but by the 1980s it was mostly gone, mainly on account of the heavy industry that blew up around their neighborhood. Even though the barrio did grew up amidst industry; Nevertheless, the new industry took over more and more lots and pieces, and its streets disappeared, with many of its homes done away to create new and wider streets., To where eventually all that was left of La Rana is the strip between Van Ness Way and Crenshaw along Del Amo Blvd. That’s all that remains today of the old La Rana, some 100 homes along that strip. That’s if you don’t count the neighborhood area where V204ST (Southwest Village) is located at.

La Rana once roamed all the zone in-between Dolanco Junction (TxFlats) on the east; 190TH on the north; Torrance Blvd on the south; and west to Madrona/Prairie Avenue. But VLR has always been centered on Del Amo Blvd. The place is completely surrounded by industrial plants and business parks these days. Mobil refinery on the north, Dow Chemical to the west, PS Business Park and Honda R&D to its south, with Van Ness Avenue and another business park cutting it off from V204TH.

La Rana is said to have adopted the name because of a near-by little lake or pond; some have even called it an old swamp area, where you could hear the frogs croak and sing through out the night. That little lake of a pond was there going back to the 1800s.

The area was known as El Pueblo; hence the name of the Pueblo tiny little Recreation Center , dead smack in the middle of the neighborhood. In fact, Del Amo Blvd was oldenly known as PUEBLO street (Camino del Pueblo), when it was still a small dirt street back in the (Mexican Village) days.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/80643375@N00/280246500/

I’ve never known what cliques La Rana ever spawned, but looking at that rare Flickr picture of that gutted and worn out small market wall, there’s a placaso next to all the La Rana hit ups that read “ROAD GENTS”; Thus I wonder if that had anything to do with Del Amo Blvd ~> The Road to La Gente de La Rana (?)

On a hot sunny weekend if you pass through there you’re bound to see firme ranflas on those driveways of the strip, not in every house, but there’s some, even though today those homes on that calle don’t look ghetto barrio looking shacks or anything like that.

La Rana you could say is the only true "City of Torrance" Varrio because the other main Varrios in Torrance are really L.A. “Harbor Gateway”.

La Rana (Del Amo Blvd.) is technically in the section of town which is considered “East Torrance”. East Torrance goes from 190Th to Plaza Del Amo ~> entrance to the village of “Barrio East Side Torrance” on the southernmost tip of the town. I wonder if that has anything to do as to why there’s some real animosity documented between VLR & BEST (?).. since they’re both really from the same “SIDE” of town, on opposite corners, of course.

La Rana most definitely hates TxFlats, and they have also been known to put the clamp on V204TH.

V204ST is something of an abnormality in the area politics, since both La Rana & TxFlats are said to claim suzerainty over them. Both Varrios claim to have spawned V204TH, but I would lean more towards VLR getting 204 started, because I used to work with this vato from La 204 who told me so. The thing is, eventually, and like it happens everywhere else, V204TH went on a solo career, and then they went on to make the headlines that you all have read plenty about. But if 204 would of stayed VLR, it would of most definitely kept La Rana on the mainline of the streets in the Harbor Area. But as it stands, La Rana is the enigmatic old Torrance varrio that refuses to go away.



...................................

Old Neighborhood Has Long Outgrown Barrio Status
El Pueblo Thrives, Surrounded by Workaday World

May 05, 1985|JULIO MORAN, Times Staff Writer

TORRANCE — The face of industrial Torrance is changing after nearly 75 years. So, too, is El Pueblo.

Surrounded by industrial activity, El Pueblo--which means "the town" in Spanish--remains a residential island in a sea of warehouses and factories. But rather than being deserted or rezoned for industrial use over the years, El Pueblo has blossomed into a vibrant, well-kept, close-knit neighborhood.

And except for the shadows cast by the Mobil Oil refinery towers on one side and the frames of multistory warehouses going up on the other side, the 111 homes along Del Amo Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue are typical of other middle-class neighborhoods in this city.

"When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we are Torrance," said Ruben Ordaz, 57, a lifelong resident of the area and president of the Pueblo Homeowners Assn.

Early Reputation

The neighborhood is also called Del Amo and La Rana, which means "the frog" in Spanish and got its name because a nearby pond was once full of frogs. The neighborhood has overcome a reputation as a poor, tough barrio and come to be considered a community of concerned homeowners whose votes are courted at each local election.

"The politicians know that we got about 100 votes," said Ordaz with a smile. "We usually vote in a bloc, so when we call we get a quick response."

Getting a bloc vote is easier, Ordaz said, because many of the residents are related. Ordaz's father, who moved here in 1925, still lives on the block, as do his uncle, aunt and several in-laws. When a family member dies, property is usually passed on to a relative.

Property values are slightly lower than in other neighborhoods in the city, but it still costs about $120,000 to buy a two-bedroom house here. An empty 50- by 100-foot lot has recently been appraised at $20,000.

High Offer for Home

"What do you think, just because I live in La Rana that I live in a shack?" Irene Ordaz, Ruben's wife, said she told a friend recently after the friend expressed surprise over her four-bedroom home. Ordaz said they have received offers of up to $150,000 for their home.

And the crime rate, once a major problem, what with youth gangs and drug dealers during the 1950s and 1960s, has dropped. Last year, a community watch program was organized.

Torrance Police Sgt. Wally Murker, a community relations officer, said the area may still have more drug problems than many sections of Torrance, but other neighborhoods have more burglaries. "I couldn't say it was any . . . different than other neighborhoods in Torrance," he said. "There are a lot of good people living there and they've got a good community watch program."

For the most part, living in the midst of industries has not bothered the residents. In the early years it was a matter of not biting the hand that fed them, Ruben Ordaz said, so residents tolerated the industrial noises and smells. Today, tighter pollution controls have eliminated most of the concerns, and the residents have learned to live with what remains .

Grew Up in Area

"Sometimes you wonder if your coughing is not because of Mobil or if your house is not going to blow up," said Joe Torres, 42, a receiving clerk. Torres grew up in El Pueblo, and except for a few years right after he got married, he has remained in the area.

But the possibility of industrial accidents is not a major concern. "My kids talk about it sometimes, but they also talk about nuclear wars and earthquakes," Torres said. "It's at the back of your mind, but it's a way of life here."

Surprisingly, there has never been any serious talk of rezoning the street for industrial use, city officials said.

"It's almost like a historical area," said Jeff Gibson of the city planning department. "I don't think it will ever get rezoned."

But city officials did not always look so kindly on what was originally referred to as the Mexican Village.

According to the book "Historic Torrance," land in the 1920s was designated for five uses: business, residential, industrial, unclassified, and "special quarters for non-Caucasians." It was in the "foreign quarters" that El Pueblo developed as the residential district for the Mexican labor that worked at Columbia Steel and Pacific Electric Railway.

Treading on Constitution

The book says Jared Sidney Torrance, the city's founder, admitted in his autobiography that segregation in his fledgling town "tread pretty hard on the toes of the Constitution of the United States."

Even former Mayor Albert Isen, whose father and uncle built the homes in the 1920s so workers could walk to the steel plant half a mile away, said the houses were "substandard, because that's all they really wanted and all they could really afford."

Ordaz, a former steelworker and now a custodian with the Torrance school district, said the homes remained in poor condition for many years, primarily because of language and cultural obstacles that kept residents--most of whom came from the small Mexican town of Purepero, Michoacan--from acquiring building permits for remodeling their homes.

Now those houses have been passed on to family members who are U.S.-born and who speak English. Many of the homes have been improved, and Del Amo, once a dirt road, is now a four-lane street with a center divider.

Spanish, once the only language spoken on this street, is hardly ever heard now. Even the one weekly Mass celebrated at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at the end of the block is said in English.