Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The documentary film East L.A. Interchange will makes its world première this Sunday at the Downtown Film Festival L.A. The film is an eight-year labor of love from director Betsy Kalin, and follows the evolution of Boyle Heights and how the neighborhood survived the construction of the largest and busiest freeway interchange in the nation. The film features interviews with people like Xavi Moreno (pictured above in a photo by Chris Chew/Bluewater Media), will.i.am (The Black Eyed Peas), Father Greg Boyle (Homeboy Industries), and Josefina López (Real Women Have Curves). There’s also an original song by Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli) and voiceover from Danny Trejo.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Watts Waits is a short documentary film by Drew Bachrach that explores the changes coming to South Central L.A.’s Jordan Downs, the best known and housing project in the Western United States. The trailer was released last month, and you can watch it above.
After surviving two riots and the crack wars of the 80’s and 90’s, the 700 low-income housing units that make up this development are being torn down. What will happen next? Who will be welcome in the remade South Los Angeles?
This film serves as the last look at this cultural icon that was immortalized on-screen in Menace II Society and has played a central role in the tumult of South Central Los Angeles since it was built after World War II.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Everyone knows that the wizards at Rockstar Games did an incredible job with their version of Los Angeles (Los Santos) GTA V, but now the people at Corridor Digital have returned the favor. Using just the right physics, camera work, and locations, they’ve recreated GTA in real life. Shot at iconic locations in Los Angeles like Venice Beach, Griffith Park Observatory, and the Arts District, any fan of the game will be blown away by this 3:22 experience.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
This video, which at the time of this writing has been viewed 561,000 times since it was published, shows a confrontation between a motorcyclist and BMW driver near Beverly Hills on March 26th. The incident starts when the guy on the moto, who made the video, tells the driver “put down your fucking phone”. The driver did not appreciate the remark and drives aggressively near the motorcycle, culminating in the motorcyclist getting knocked off his bike in the middle of the street. Here’s how the motorcyclist describes what happened:
Monday, June 1, 2015
It’s all over for Hollywood Park, and yesterday they blew up the grandstand to smithereens. They grandstand was built in 1950, and used to draw big crowds from all walks of life, include literary luminaries like Charles Bukowski. Now the land is in the process of being redeveloped by owner Stan Kroenke, who wants to build an 80,000 seat football stadium. The stadium could become home to the St. Louis Rams, also owned by Kroenke. For now, you can enjoy the destruction…
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
One thing I like better than beer is a great cause. Come out and support an incredible one on Thursday, April 9 at Ebano’s Crossing (http://www.ebanoscrossing.com) during the Downtown LA Art Walk with the one-and-only SAND ONE (www.sandoner.com).
Monday, February 23, 2015
Sam Quinones is an author and journalist who lives and works in Los Angeles. He spent many years with the Los Angeles Times, and has done some of his best work since leaving the organization, including recent pieces in the New York Times, National Geographic, and Pacific Standard magazine. The author of several books, including the forthcoming Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, he is also the originator of the Tell Your True Tale workshop which we have featured here on L.A. Taco (here, and here). Sam is a nationally known as an expert on gangs in Los Angeles, and we wanted to get some basic information that could be useful for all Angeleños…
You recently said that the Mexican Mafia is something all Angelenos should know about. What are some basics that you can share with our readers?
That’s a big topic. Basically, the Eme is perhaps an enormously important institution in the lives of people who live in Latino barrios across Southern California. It is so because two decades ago it began organizing, from prisons and county jail, the Latino gang members on the streets, ordering them to tax drug dealers in their areas and funnel part of the profits to whatever Eme member controlled the gang’s area, or his associates or family members.
This new system was instituted by one or two, then copied by many other Mexican Mafia members. The taxation system transformed a prison gang into a mafia on the streets. It transformed local neighborhood gang members from guys who strictly were about controlling their turf into guys far more interested in making money and acquiring power.
The local Eme member, from his cell in Pelican Bay or Corcoran maximum security, could in broad terms control things on the street, ordering a gang to kill its own members, which is something that never happened before. They also have ordered some gangs to tax certain businesses that have nothing to do with drug sales but are on the edge of legality – like ice cream and fruit vendors, cantinas and bar operators.
Some Eme members have ordered what amounts to crime waves in their areas. Many have let it be known that they didn’t want blacks operating in their territories, leading gangs to go on ethnic cleansing crusades for a several years. (Continued)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Living next to a hotel in a quiet residential areas has its challenges, and apparently living near a “sexy” hotel offers its own special issues. Westside Today has produced the above video which goes into the issue of horny hotel visitors in Santa Monica getting too loud for one (somewhat unhinged) neighbor’s liking.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
A petition on Change.org is asking State Senator Kevin de Leon to improve the on/off ramps of the Arroyo Seco Parkway at Avenue 43. As of this writing, the petition needs around 300 more signatures to reach its goal of 1,000.
Anyone who has driven on the 110 North or South near Avenue 43 knows the problem– the entry/exit ramps put you right onto the freeway without room to accelerate, and provide limited visibility of fast-moving freeway traffic. The group thinks that making the exit/entry lanes dedicated lanes would solve the problem. Taking away a lane may cause problems of its own on the two-lane Parkway, but the petition stresses the safety issue as the primary concern.
As the petition (brought to our attention by reader Annie M.) mentions, there are extensive changes likely happening to the 110 Freeway, including new on/off ramps for Avenue 43 and others, but it will take years to complete. The petitioners want one of the potential changes put in place immediately.
The petition reads in part:
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
This week Dodgers First Baseman, Mexican citizen Adrian Gonzalez, was in Mexico City and met with the country’s embattled president, Enrique Peña Nieto. A photo was posted to the Dodgers’ Instagram account showing Gonzalez giving Peña Nieto a customized Dodgers jersey. Almost immediately, a firestorm of outraged comments rained down on the photo, with almost all commenters taking the Dodgers to task for associating themselves with the President of Mexico in the current climate of fear, anger, and “Ya Me Canse“. Dodgers fans are now (according to the Instagram comments) calling the Dodgers PR department non-stop, demanding that the photo be removed.
As of this post, the photo has 4,300 comments. An average photo on the Dodgers instagram photo gets at most a few hundred comments. A representative comment: “I can deal with you guys losing in the playoffs. I can deal with you guys having the highest payroll in the entire league. We will not put up with you associating yourself with such scum.”
People are asking others to report the photo, unfollow the account, and are using hashtags like #AYOTZINAPA #ayotzinapasomostodos #yamecanse to express their fury at this representation of perceived support for the Government of Mexico, its President, and his party. It’s going to be very interesting to watch this unfold today and if the Dodgers will end up removing the photo or making some kind of statement. The most important number in the history of the Dodgers is Jackie Robinson’s 42, but today fans are making it 43.