How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Shared memories of Boyle Heights' Wyvernwood

Screen shot

A post from earlier this week featured a video produced by the Los Angeles Conservancy telling the story of the Wyvernwood Garden Apartments, a unique 70-acre Boyle Heights complex built in 1939 that, for much of its existence, has been home to generations of immigrants and their Los Angeles-raised families. Much of the footage was contributed by residents who are trying to save the complex, eventually scheduled to become the site of a new condo, apartment and retail development.

In passing, I mentioned a fascinating Facebook page on which former residents, some of whom were raised amidst Wyvernwood's sprawling grassy lawns and winding paths, share memories of growing up there. The most recent entries are a few months old, but they provide such a rich slice of Eastside life, both good and bad, that they're worth sharing in detail. Here are a few, unedited.


In the news this morning: Dream Act update, one SB 1070 challenge dropped, an Armenian genocide property lawsuit and more

Harkin: Dems will try again on DREAM Act - The Hill From Iowa Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin: If there is a GOP filibuster, "well then, we'll have to be in here after Christmas."

Another challenge to AZ immigration law dismissed - The Washington Post On Wednesday in Phoenix, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton granted the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit challenging SB 1070 filed in July by the League of United Latin American Citizens. The lawsuit alleged that training materials provided to law enforcement promoted racial profiling.

With a bill all their own, Marine's widow, son can move to U.S. - The Washington Post The rare success of a private bill will allow Hotaru Nakama Ferschke, whose husband was killed in Iraq, to apply for permanent legal status and move here with their young son.


In the news this morning: Dream Act vote still in the works, deported mothers, the Fox-Cruz 'anchor baby' debacle and more

Reid Still Planning to Hold a Vote on the DREAM Act - Fox News Latino Just when is still unclear, but the Senate Majority Leader has promised a Senate vote. It's now possible that the vote could occur next week.

Deportation Pushes Mothers Into Endless Cycle of Illegal Crossings -KPBS When mothers with young children are deported, many feel they have no choice but to come back.

Dumpling-throwing, Purse-snatching San Gabriel Ex-Mayor Won't Face Charges Since Victim Fled the Country - LAist Former San Gabriel mayor Albert Y.M. Huang will not be facing domestic violence and robbery charges now that the alleged victim, Lu Chen, has left the country.

Fox News: ‘Penélope Cruz is Having an Anchor Baby’ - ColorLines The immigration debate reached a new low when a headline screamed that the wealthy Spanish actress, who plans to deliver in Los Angeles, is having an "anchor baby." A Latino Republican group has complained to the network.


Video: Boyle Heights' Wyvernwood apartments

The Los Angeles Conservancy has produced a video that tells the story of Boyle Heights' historic and unusual Wyvernwood Garden Apartments, a sprawling 70-acre complex built in the late 1930s where generations of immigrants have raised generations of Angelenos.

The complex, which I visited a while back, is unique in that its buildings are set among vast grassy fields, giving the place a sense of space and breathability while housing about 6,000 residents. It's an anomaly in Los Angeles, especially in this dense part of the city.

Regrettably, the complex faces the wrecking ball. The Florida-based investment company that owns it announced plans in 2008 for a $2 billion redevelopment in that would replace its 1,187 existing units with 4,400 condominiums and apartments, including high-rises, and retail space. The developer has said that demolition is not imminent, but residents have mounted a resistance.