How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Changing times on Boyle Heights' E. 1st Street (Video)

#loveLA from Steve Saldivar on Vimeo.

How do you love L.A.? An entry submitted to KPCC's #loveLA crowdsourced video feature by multimedia journalist Steve Saldivar captures a slice of L.A. in transition.

Next to Boyle Heights' venerated Mariachi Plaza, a 60-year-old mariachi sits for his portrait - which happens to be a mural of his likeness adorning the wall of Eastside Luv, a wine bar next to the plaza that opened in 2006. The video subtly captures the generational and cultural divide taking place on a gentrifying E. 1st Street, where the mariachis who have worked there for decades now find themselves elbow to elbow with upwardly mobile second- and third-generation young Latinos who frequent nightspots like Eastside Luv and the M-Bar.

The mariachi is Rafael Rubio; the muralist is Robert Vargas, an up-and-coming L.A. artist who grew up in Boyle Heights.


Boyle Heights, the 'Ellis Island of the West Coast'

Today's Patt Morrison show on KPCC featured a segment on one of my favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods, Boyle Heights.

The neighborhood has been a part of my life since childhood, having grown up not far away in Huntington Park. We shopped at the Sears on Olympic Boulevard, took our sick to White Memorial Medical Center on Cesar Chavez Avenue. For all its problems, this is a part of town that holds memories for many an Eastside-raised Angeleno. The show dedicated a special interactive web page to the Boyle Heights segment, with video and other elements, and this description:

It’s the Ellis Island of the West Coast, the community in which the first immigrants from a myriad of different ethnic and religious groups settled and one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Boyle Heights, at one time home to Jewish and Japanese immigrants and now predominantly Latino, is the focal point for how the city of Los Angeles has served low income families and whether future development will protect those most vulnerable residents.