Saturday, May 30, 2009

What should we call the non-Eastside?

Not really food-related, but it's a question that often comes up in restaurant discussions. Can we find a better name for the Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park area? It's not the Eastside; this article from today's L.A. Times A Title Bout Between Two Eastsides makes that clear, although the ironically misspelled iconic burrito purveyor El Tepeyac, the epicenter of the true Eastside. Last night I met Abel Salas, editor of the new arts magazine Brooklyn and Boyle, and we agreed it was time for the greater Silver Lake area to get its own name. I've been trying to push for the near-Eastside, but it hasn't caught on yet. The non-Eastside? The faux-Eastside? Greater Silver Lake? Vote in the poll in the left column, or leave your suggestions in the comments, and try to be civil, please.
(And yes, I suppose it's also ironic that the Eastside event to take back the neighborhood's name was held in a wine bar.)

23 comments:

mo figuls said...

greater edendale?

Joshua Lurie said...

Up until December, I edited a magazine called New Angeles Monthly, which was dedicated to covering the "Eastside." Before I arrived at the magazine, the publisher divided the city in half at La Brea, which was probably too far west. Some people think the Eastside can only exist east of the L.A. River. I'd set Silver Lake as the western boundary of the Eastside, but finally, it's pretty arbitrary.

amanda said...

I like the idea of bringing back Edendale as a name--it's interesting to see on older maps how much further south Echo Park was before the 101 sliced the area.

But to be honest I think it makes more sense to refer to the east of the river Eastside as Historic Eastside because the reality is that most people who didn't grow up in Los Angeles view K-town/Hollywood as the center of the city (which makes sense geographically and I'm guessing wrt to population density). I know that makes me a hegemonic asshole, but the reality is that neighborhood names and borders are a fluid thing.

When people ask me where I live, if they don't know where Echo Park is, I tell them I live north of downtown.

Anonymous said...

having lived in LA since the early 80's and in the following neighborhoods: westlake (mac arthur park), koreatown (before it became the koreatown we know today), in a loft downtown on olympic @ santa fe ('83-'87, way before lofts became chic), silverlake, mt. washington and now back in koreatown..............

i personally consider anything east of western and north of melrose up to downtown, to be the "eastside". i consider anything east of the LA river and also east of downtown to be "east LA" (boyle heights, etc). i consider neighborhoods east of the LA river and around the 110 (mt. washington, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, & Montecito Heights) to be NE LA.

my 2 cents on the subject......

sku said...

Come on Pat, you can do better with the names. Here are some suggestions:

Los EchoLake
Hipsterville
South Camelot
Intelligenciatopia
That Neighborhood Where Yuca's Is
Isla de Los Tatuajes

Anonymous said...

Here's the AAA map (from 1916) I was talking about above.

Annie said...

How funny... my friends and I were actually trying to think of new "hip" nicknames for cities in the greater Los Angeles area last night! We came up for "The Shoaks" for Sherman Oaks and... dun dun dun... "LoFi" for Los Feliz! Maybe we should call it The LoFi (pronounced Low-Fee). What do you think? Haha.

anna b said...

Annie, you and your friends sound fun!! I'm in Atwater Village and I used to say I was "Silver Lake Adjacent" or "just over the bridge/5 Freeway from Silver Lake!" but now I just say I live near Glendale. Whatever.

EL CHAVO! said...

Thank you Pat! If only more people would be as understanding about the weight and meaning of the term Eastside, then we could get beyond it, explore our commonalities, and sharing our food! ;)

I think Silver Lake is a good name. As is Echo Park. Or Los Feliz. We don't have to come up with an over-arching name to define the region as each place is quite unique. For example, I always refer to my neighborhood as Lincoln Heights, or mention Boyle Heights specifically by name, or East LA for that matter.

But if you do want a regional sorta name, I'd suggest the one lots of city workers still use for that area: Metro.

Jess said...

Maybe it's just my naive impressionistic sense, but as a Los Angeles native I don't recall "Eastside" ever being used to describe the SL/LF/EP neighborhood suite as such until about 12-15 years or so. At least we never called it that. Each nabe had its own identity. That being said, I think it's an important issue since the Westside refers to a large area (Brentwood, W'Wood, Sta Monica, Mar Vista etc.). So why shouldn't we have a useful term, too?!

@amanda, I still generally consider K-Town-Hollywood the most central part of the city b/c it's where I grew up. :) See, experiential bias again.

Anonymous said...

I love this debate, even though I'm personally pretty much in the "non-issue" camp. Although I was born in LA, I didn't move back here until the early 90's. I've always lived in what I consider to be the "eastside", Los Feliz, Silver Lake and now Highland Park (which is fortunate to be part of NELA). Although SL, EP and LF are all different from each other, they are all tightly linked and I think an over-arching name for the area is good. I love the AAA map that was posted, though "Edendale" sounds a bit pretentious to me. "Eastside" to me means east of Western toward downtown. In my mind, this is very different from East LA, which is a whole entity unto itself, including Boyle Heights, etc..... So, for me "East LA" (capital E in East) is different from "eastside" (no cap). It's telling that Western Blvd is no where near the "westside"! That's how things have changed since the names of Western and Eastern Blvds were meaningful in that way. I think Intelligenciatopia was a pretty good suggestion.

Colleen said...

I'm also a native, going back many generations, and when were defining regions and neighborhoods for the book EAT: Los Angeles, I talked to my dad (who grew up in Los Feliz in the '30s and '40s) and others. The other area that really needs a name and doesn't have one (my dad said it was just called "Los Angeles") is the Beverly/Third/Fairfax/Melrose area, between Hollywood and West Hollywood. So once we settle this eastside business, can someone please name that larger area?

As for eastside, even though purists complain, I think it is now solidly in the vernacular that "eastside" in L.A means east of Western, or perhaps Vine. It encompasses Echo Park, Los Feliz, K-Town, downtown, Atwater, Eagle Rock, East L.A., etc. It's the eastside the way the West L.A./Westwood/Brentwood/Santa Monica region is the "westside." East L.A. is its own place, but it is part of the eastside.

Anonymous said...

East LA is the east side by definition, there is no way to argue with that. However you can consider the silverechowater area (formerly known as hollywood adjacent) the eastside of the west side.
Having worked for the city in the past I have to agree with El Chavo that this area is the LA Metro area, and it works, it's a helluvalot better than the vagueness of Mid-City....Maybe we should call it Chavez Ravine Adjacent...

Anonymous said...

sorry to say peeps, but hollywood is the epicenter of LA for better or worse. therefore, anything east of zone is the eastside. take it, and like it.

Al Desmadre said...

To that last anonymous entry,
Your one-person opinion is laughable and ignorant. But, thank you for sharing! It's nice to hear from the crackpots.

Anonymous said...

If Hollywood is the epicenter of LA, what's downtown?

solson said...

In San Francisco they have the Inner Sunset, the Inner Richmond, and Lower Pacific Heights. I think we should call the "non-Eastside" the Inner Eastside. Makes sense I think.

Mike said...

Eastside is east of the river. It really isn't an arbitrary boundary. It is the word "side" that shows we're talking about the river. The 'east side' of the river. All the other areas in LA that have directions (West LA, South LA) don't use the word 'side', because they're not talking about the river.

Edendale was an old name for the Los Feliz / Silver Lake / Echo Park area. That'd do but it isn't that commonly used anymore. I'd just go with "Silver Lake and Echo Park."

I've become more and more militant about this whole Eastside business because the people driving the renaming of Eastside to include Silverlake tend to be newer arrivals from other places. I'd never have the arrogance to stroll into NYC and rename Manhattan as "Mike Town".

But if you rename Manhattan to "Mike Town" I'll let you rename whatever neighborhood in LA you like.

Annie said...

What about "Silver Park"? Or... "Echo Lake"? :)

I love this debate!

Robert90033 said...

The area between Downtown L.A. and Western Ave. is the old westside. It is the "western Addition" to the City as it initially pushed westward towards the ocean. Western Ave. does not mark the beginning of the westside, as so many erroneously believe, but rather marked the western boundary of the City.
So a few names which would be appropriate for this area would be West-Central L.A., Old Westside, Historic Westside, Near Westside. And if anyone insist on still calling it the eastside then call it the eastside of the westside, because that is exactly what it is. It's the eastern portion of the Greater Westside region of the City.

Frenchy but Chic! said...

Hipsterside. Easy.

HerbyN said...

i agree that it's a misnomer of misnomers for the loosely associated communities of los feliz, silver lake, highland park, echo park, eagle rock, atwater village, western downtown et al to co-opt the traditional and logical association of the term "eastside" or eastla with the region east of the river and influenced by the historically hispanic, specifically chicano, culture. so... that said... i think these things have a way of evolving without there being any sort of "name contest"... some of the suggestions seem fine here, but why not just say echo park when you are referring to echo park, highland park when referring to highland park, etc... just for fun though... why not take the name of the LAPD "division" that covers most of this area in question and call it: "Northeast" or "Northeast LA"? just my 2 pesos... (er, i mean "cents")...

Miles said...

Also a native here, who has lived in Atwater Village, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the Valley. Home for the last 11 years has been Atwater Village and am pretty sure that the best term to describe the Atwater/Silver Lake/EP/LF is Greater Atwater. You're welcome.