Goodbye to Hollywood
Hollywood's revival? Ha! As Patrick Range McDonald reported last week, more than 12,000 working-class residents were displaced from the neighborhood between 2000 and 2010, all in the name of redevelopment ("Hollywood's Urban Cleansing").
Reader v_rodrigues_lima is unimpressed. "Did any of you live in Hollywood in the '80s? I grew up there, and while it was gloriously shitty, it also wasn't safe, or conducive to thriving. Lower-income families were confined to Hollywood because no one wanted to live there, but had to thanks to financial hardship. I mean, it gave me my love of diversity and my fantastically hackneyed worldview, and an endless font of nostalgia. But let's not kid ourselves. Save for the douchebags who flock to the bars/clubs, it's a lot cleaner and people-friendly nowadays. I mean, people actually walk in Hollywood past 10 p.m., even the shittier parts."
Hekebolos snipes, "Patrick Range McDonald continues his crusade against everything good and decent (like the L.A. subway) by apparently proclaiming that Hollywood was so much better when it was a low-rent, crime-infested neighborhood, instead of once again being a destination worldwide like its name SHOULD imply. But because McDonald has pet wars that he likes to wage, I'm sure this is the first of many anti-Garcetti articles we'll see from this publication between now and May."
Melanie Pinkard also is unimpressed. "It seems that every two weeks or so, there's some kind of article about how unfairly Latinos are being treated. While this recent article was well-written, it reeked of maudlin sentiment. So, the new owners of a property want to raise the rent. Well, if the previous tenants can't pay, they need to move. Very simple. But the Weekly wants to turn this situation into yet another 'Illegals vs. White America' song and dance. Honestly, you people are becoming so predictable."
But many readers felt differently. Born in Hollywood writes, "Latinos are not the only people being forced out of Hollywood. The developer-accommodating Hollywood Community Plan, pushed through by Villaraigosa and Garcetti, and their 'vision' for Hollywood, was never intended to take into consideration any Hollywood residents.
"Your article blows the lid off of 'the elephant in the room.' Of course Garcetti won't talk about census stats — he won't talk about anything. His poor staffers are always thrown to the frontline, protecting him and enabling him to hide out, and sadly they don't know anything."
Joseph Treviño agrees. "Amazing story," he writes. "This is an example of what great community, investigative journalism is all about. Congratulations to McDonald and his editors for doing such a great job, despite the problems that have plagued journalism for decades. I am glad that the Weekly is still committed to doing this style of awesome work that is a model to follow.
"As for uncharitable comments that criticize former Latino Hollywood residents for not having money to remain in Hollywood's Brave New Gentrified World, I can only say that we shall see when the time comes that YOU are evicted — and it is only a matter of time, be it for lack of money or that when you grow old, even your relatives abandon you and put you in a nursing home because they can't stand your selfish behind anymore. Perhaps then you will finally realize that the only people who have charity in their hearts to take care of your wretched, egotistical butt are people like Hollywood's evicted residents, who just happen to work taking care of the elderly or the sick. Oh, but wait a minute, if they are no longer around — thanks to people like you, they had to move to another place: You will not even have THEM to take care of you!"
Readers also reacted strongly to Joseph Lapin's First Person piece about his quest to rediscover his love of California by driving Route 1 ("The Road Dreams Are Made of," Jan. 4). Some bridled at Lapin's confession that L.A. had begun to wear on him. "The only people who hate L.A. are transplants, and yet it only sucks here because of all the people trying to come here and capitalize on their 'California dream,' " Alexandria Ramirez writes. "If you are born and raised here, you always have a love for it."
But others saw Lapin's love for his adopted state.
"And that's why I'm moving back in a few months," Mikel Satana writes. "I'm a 'transplant,' but I have realistic expectations of life in Los Angeles. After growing up in NYC , moving to L.A., and then to Florida, I know there's no place like California. I'll be back!"
Pat Dazis writes, "This made me cry. I miss California so much. Having been born there, I discovered too late that California isn't just a dream, it's an attitude — and more than an attitude, it's a feeling. And for me, I can only have that feeling when I wake up in California, step out the front door and take a breath. When I have taken that first outdoor breath, everything snaps into place because I'm home." Oh, Pat — now you're making us cry, too!
The story "Hollywood's Urban Cleansing" incorrectly stated the number of groups suing the city of Los Angeles that are represented by attorney Brad Torgan. He represents one. The story also erroneously described Eric Garcetti's ancestry. His father is Latino and a number of his father's ancestors were Latino. Also, Garcetti's great-grandfather moved from Italy to Mexico alone, not with his family as reported. We regret the errors.
You Write, We Read
Please send letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or write us at ReadersWrite@laweekly.com. Full name and contact info preferred.