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!