Ξ February 20th, 2009 | → 7 Comments | ∇ 90041, 90042, 90065, Beyond Northeast, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Press |
Thanks to the posters on our Mapping LA article for illuminating a few things. First, either the map is already being updated or I misread it (more likely) as the Eagle Rock post office is not within the Times’ boundaries of Highland Park. Drawing boundaries is inherently divisive, but the extent to which some pigeonhole themselves borders on comical. To wit, two residents of Mount Angelus take umbrage at living in Highland Park on the Times’ comments page:
“Mount Angelus should not be considered part of Highland Park on the map. Mount Angelus has a different crime rate, neighborhood feel, property values, etc., than the rest of Highland Park.”
“I do not think that Mount Angelus should be considered part of Highland Park. Mount Angelus has its own neighborhood feel, which is inconsistent with the surrounding areas of Highland Park, and is really viewed as a separate neighborhood by those that live there.”
A self-proclaimed resident of Eagle Rock, who was foolish enough to list her home address, also objects to living near Highland Park:
“I live at [REDACTED] East of Figueroa in the hills of “Eagle Rock”. Our neighborhood, culturally, socio-economically and emotionally is Eagle Rock NOT Highland Park. My daughter will even attend Eagle Rock High School. Some people say that Eagle Rock residents must have 90041 zip codes- this is not true! I am about 2 blocks from THE EAGLE ROCK itself- how dare people try to consider it Highland Park! I applaud the way LA Times has drawn the boundaries… it certainly matches-up with what we were told be our Realtor!”
This balkanization of our neighborhood hurts and feels latently sinister. The Mount Angelus posters proclaim something called “neighborhood feel” while the poster in the east hills of Eagle Rock invokes “emotional” and “socio-economic” differences from Highland Park. Why not just come out with it? “I want to call my block something else because I don’t want to be associated with poor and working class hispanics.” Aren’t these the same neighborhoods that voted overwhelmingly for Obama? So we’re for helping the working class as long as we don’t have to live with them or risk losing property value? This attitude frustrates me because it’s a cause of so much of the urban sprawl that characterizes this city. Instead of working to improve the neighborhood, so many of us are too ready to simply secede, put up high walls, and pretend that the world disappears when we close our eyes. A “Mt. Angelus” sign doesn’t disassociate one from Highland Park any more than living near Figueroa makes someone a resident of the Paseo Figueroa Corridor. Sorry to preach, but try taking some ownership of your city and neighborhood. The first step? Admit you live in Highland Park.
On a lighter note, Mt. Washington resident Pat Morrison makes a pretty strong case against the Silverlake “Eastside”. While Mt. Washington (and the rest of Northeast for that matter) is east of the river, I’m not sure that Morrison’s neighborhood has quite the gritty chic she imagines Echo Park is trying to brand itself with. If it did, all of our elected representatives would probably move to Mount Angelus.