October 14, 2006

Save Silver Lake for the East Side

Those comment-less gossipers at Fishbowl LA are simultaneously bashing a harmless parenting magazine and attempting to re-district Los Angeles:

The October/November edition of Cookie ... has a "fun things to do in Los Angeles" feature. They include Beverly Hills, but not Pasadena, and think that Silver Lake is the Eastside.

Out of towners.

Say it with us: Eastside means east of the LA River.

Really? Try asking some flip-flopper from Westwood to meet you at Sunset Junction in Silver Lake. See if he doesn't bristle.

Or dodge the squinty looks from an East Hollywood resident when you tell them they, like their Silver Lake neighbors, aren't east anything.

Geographically, Silver Lake, Sunset Junction and East Hollywood are all on the west side of the Los Angeles River. Culturally, philosophically, aesthetically, though, they're not exactly on the west side of LA.

I'm still a newbie, but it seems the river has outlived its usefulness as an east-west divider. This out-of-towner moved here seven months ago; "east" moved west years before.

Besides, follow the LA River through the San Fernando Valley and suddenly Van Nuys is on the east side of LA. Makes no sense.

How about we all agree to cut the city along Western Avenue instead? It's straight, long and has the word "west" in it. Easy enough to remember?

And when Western Ave. bumps into the Hollywood Hills, we can just draw a line continuing it through the Valley, where nearly everyone will now be considered "westside." I doubt they'll protest.

Traditionalists and Wikipedia be damned.

    P.S. - Just to confuse the Fishbowlers, East LA (not "east side" or "Eastside") still refers to the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County east of downtown.


sherru said...

I look WEST to see Downtown LA. That is eastside.

blogger said...

From Atwater Village, I look SOUTH to see downtown. But downtown isn't really in the middle anyway.


Will said...

Western Avenue does seem a logical choice for an imaginary boundary (especially given its name and how straight she runs north and south), but I still say the westside perspective sees La Brea as the border, with anything beyond it as vast and unwashed. Those of us on the other side, whether it's Los Feliz Village or Silver Lake or Echo Park or Atwater or Historic Filipinotown or Angelino Heights are doomed to be stuck in a nebulous cross section with the true westsiders and the true eastsiders looking down on us.

Howsabout we just call it Midside?

SStanard said...

Atwater eastsider and freakin' proud of it.

matthew said...

Some make the uneducated, illogical claim there is a "new eastside" west of downtown! No geographical area west of Main Street in Downtown LA should include the word “eastside.” In the early 1900's there was Main St in the middle, and two flanking streets at the outer boundaries of the city, EASTERN AVE and WESTERN AVE. Then the city grew beyong those boundaries.

I recommend you use the neighborhood name instead of vague and large geographic descriptions. Try Silverlake, Glassell Park, Windsor Square, Koreatown, etc. Or more simply a Thomas Bros map displays the proper names for areas.

AVN said...

West of Main Street in downtown? Do you mean northwest of Main Street? Downtown streets are 45 degrees off a true grid.

In the early 1900s, the population of LA was 1% of what it is today. Splitting it along Main Street puts at least 90% of today's City on the west side. Why even bother?

Robert90033 said...

The westside of The City of Los Angeles is everything west of Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown L.A. is the heart of the City, the Center and "it's sides" lie to the east, west, north and south of it. Therefore putting the demarcation of the eastside west of Downtown denies the City's Center. The main thing is that the westside region is very huge, stretching immediately west of the Center City to the ocean. I personally, being from Boyle Heights, see the westside as being divided into three regions. West Central L.A. or Near Westside is the old westside immediately west of Downtown L.A. up to about Western Ave. You can call it the eastside of the westside. Then you have the Mid City area that reaches to La Brea Ave., followed by westside proper or what is currently viewed as the westside these days, passed La Brea. But the over riding theme here is that this area, as big as it may be, is the westside of L.A. and Downtown L.A. is the City's Center.