The Sneetches of NoYo?

Ξ September 5th, 2008 | → 18 Comments | ∇ 90042, Highland Park, Press |

Curbed has linked to us enough times that I don’t feel guilty borrowing one of their articles.  They caught this postingfor a room for rent on Craiglist, which, despite its comical misspelling of “bur bur” rugs opens an interesting can of worms when it comes to pinning down a brief yet accurate description of our neighborhood.

Big house close to all new cool Highland Park bars: Marty’s, The York, La Casa Blue, and Johnny’s. Literally one block from Eagle Rock. [...] The home sits on the North side of York about 2 blocks from the Eagle Rock border north for York in the desirable part of Highland Park. [...]Ample street parking and the area is extremely quiet. Area is full of trees and near the hills and you will actually hear owls at night and woodpeckers during the day. [...]

New bur bur carpet was just installed. [...]

Please note this is Highland Park one block away from Eagle Rock. Please note this is not Highland in Hollywood.Please with all do respect if you think Highland Park is ghetto then please do not respond. I grew up in the ghetto; I know what ghetto is. Ghetto is the Sheriffs running thru your backyard at night chasing your uncle. Ghetto is walking home from the taco stand and hearing bullets fly by your head. Ghetto is someone coming up to you and asking if you want to buy an I.D. Highland Park has homes that range from $600,000.00 – $900,000.00 it is one of the most gentrified areas in L.A. A film editor lives across the street from me, 2 gay couples live on my street, a fashion designer lives around the corner, a lesbian couple lives around the other corner, and a hair stylist from one of the CSI episodes lives down the street, it is far from ghetto. The taco stands are being replaced by art galleries on York Blvd. I can no longer get a taco but I can tell you what contemporary art is. There is a Caucasian male walking outside my window with an Indian walking stick, it has feathers on it, he is on a spiritual journey or looking for a decent taco. You do not see things like this in the ghetto. Sorry, don’t mean to be rude but I am tired of defending this beautiful and upcoming neighborhood.  

I actually found the post pretty funny and I understand the author’s need to sell the neighborhood, but some parts of it were troubling to me.  Does one gay neighbor and another in the film industry make a neighborhood “more desirable”?  Are art galleries and a lack of cheap eats badges of success?  I suppose at some level, the answer is yes, but I like kids playing soccer in the cul-de-sac after school, the esquites vendor ringing his bell up the sidewalk, and the general lack of pretense I feel from most people on the street.  I’m not arguing for the ghetto end of the spectrum however as I don’t think this is an either/or choice.  We certainly have our problems in the neighborhood, but I like that I don’t have to listen to privileged housewives play “who is greener” with their new Priuses in the Starbucks parkinglot that consumed 113 million BTUs of energy to build.  (If saving the environment, not latching on the the cause celebre, was the real motivation, a late ’90s used car that gets 35mpg highway would consume less overall energy than a Prius for about 100,000 miles.  But nobody wants to save the environment without looking cute do they?) 

Art galleries are a wonderful addition to the neighborhood but art will make an enemy for life if it ever displaces La Estrella, El Huarache Azteca, or My Taco. 

 Also, are we now differentiating between the “more desirable” NoYo district (North York, you heard it here first) and the rest of the neighborhood?  Aren’t we all in the same boat?  Part of me dreads the day I have to listen to someone harp on about living in the “more desirable” part of Highland Park but on second thought, all the Northeast Sneetches drink at Marty’s anyway.




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