Concept drawing of new apartments courtesy of wyvernwood.com

The lastest update from the proposed redevelopment project of the Wyvernwood Apartment Complex comes from the City of Los Angeles releasing the final environmental impact report. The entire report, which can be read here, and is available in Spanish and English, can be read at one of these four libraries.

Central Library
630 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Benjamin Franklin Library
2200 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Malabar Library
2801 Wabash Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Robert Louis Stevenson Library
803 Spence Street
Los Angeles, CA 90023

The report will be reviewed by Council Member Jose Huizar, but also by Wyvernwood residents who are eager to read what the report says and whether the proposed redevelopment will continue forward or come to a halt. In a community forum held in September of 2012, I reported on how Huizar heard public comment from residents against and for the project. From that meeting, Huizar and his staff explained to residents that once the final environmental impact report was released, he would host another community meeting to hear folks out and to gauge if the project should continue forward.

You can also attend the public hearing scheduled for Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Artwork from Jose Pulido. For more of his work, check out his Etsy page at Mis Nopales Art

Originally posted in Los Angeles Streetsblog

More than 40 Día de Los Muertos Celebrations have been happening this month in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. Today marks the first Day of the Dead Celebration happening at Grand Park, set with live music, altars and artwork.

While Day of the Dead has taken off around the city, the standard for its celebrations was made in the Eastside at Self Help Graphics and Arts, a chicano arts and cultural institution (it’s their 39th year putting on this event). And with their move to Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics and Arts has become even more central to Día de Los Muertos’ evolution as newer events bring different interpretations to the celebration. Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso’s “Night of the LUVing Dead” will have an outdoor festival atmosphere by closing down a block, setting up a beer garden, and providing quality live music. Ceci Bastida, and former members of Oingo Boingo playing on the same stage? Yup.

With all the celebrations being close to the Metro Gold Line, and numerous bike rides arriving at the venues, there’s plenty to do and plenty of ways to creatively arrive at this year’s Día de Los Muertos events in Boyle Heights this weekend.

Day of the Dead/Día de Los Muertos – November 2, Friday

Night of the LUVing DEAD at Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso and Mariachi Plaza

Self Help Graphics and Art’s 39th annual Día de Los Muertos celebration and procession

Eastside Bike Club’s Día de Los Muertos Bike Ride from El Sereno to Boyle Heights; Meet up at 3:30 p.m., ride out at 4 p.m.

Crank Heads Día de Los Muertos ride; Meet up 4:30, ride out 5 p.m.

Casa del Mexicano’s Friday Night at the Casa presents: Día de Los Muertos

November 3, Saturday

Día de Los Muertos at Proyecto Jardin

Montebello Bicycle Coalition bike ride to Community Education for Social Action’s Día de Los Muertos celebration

Community for Social Action’s Día de Los Muertos celebration

November 4, Sunday

Boyle Heights International Farmers Market’s Día de Los Muertos at Mariachi Plaza

Photos by Photojeninc

Cesar Chavez and Breed St was the first José José print I saw in Boyle Heights. I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew the man’s music, mostly from watching Siempre en Domingo as a kid with my parents, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a fan of the Mexican crooner.

Once I started spotting more pieces around the hood, it was intriguing. I realized I had seen other stencils and wheat-pastings in other parts of town as well. I asked myself, “What kind of person has an obsession with José José?”

His name is “Fever… Jose Fever” he says. Tonight, Jose Fever will be showing a few prints at the grand opening of Espacio 1839, a collective providing books, radio, vinyl and tapes, and clothing.

Although he plans to attend, he will remain anonymous. So if you’re on the hunt for Jose Fever this is the hint he gave on Facebook: “Ladies don’t be fooled by guys saying they’re Jose Fever at the show. Say no to Pirateria! One way to be sure its really me, check the abs, if they’re rock solid and have a tattoo on them that say “wash clothes here” that’s me!”

We managed to squeeze out a bit from the self-proclaimed romantic… Check it out!

MN: Where did the name Jose Fever come from?
JF: From an emotion I felt after rediscovering Jose Jose’s music and not being able to detach from it. When things escalate to an uncontrollable fire that continues to spread I call it a fever. It could be anything from a current type of food you’re into at the moment that you must keep having, to a crush on someone that you can’t remove from your mind- it’s called running a fever.

In my case it’s the daily celebration of listening, enjoying and dissecting Jose Jose’s music. I am a romantic and passionate person and so are his songs and that combination is Jose Fever.

MN: What’s your obsession with José José?
JF: I admire his vocal skills. His technical abilities at his prime were unmatched. I personally connect with pretty much all of his songs. They describe situations in my life. He is a man that has been through the toughest times hitting rock bottom with drugs and alcohol but turned his life around during the darkest time of his life to stay clean and live a humble, spiritual life. The level of kindness, compassion and humility he practices are an inspiration to me.

MN: Where was your first Jose Fever piece posted?
JF: Crenshaw and LaBrea

MN: So you like to remain anonymous, why? Will that change at Espacio 1839’s opening tonight or ever?
JF: I do not want to interfere with the original goal, which is to bring awareness of this living legend through my artistic abilities in the streets and to contribute some of my cultural upbringing into the mix. Things always change and considering the love I am experiencing from Boyle Heights/East LA and the tight family community it is, well it seems natural to contribute in person and every day I grow eager to reveal myself and join in on the fun.

MN: Will Friday be your first-ever showing?
JF: This event is more about Espacio 1839’s grand opening, a collective of brilliant and talented people that bring quality products and events to the community. I was invited to show a selection of the posters that I am putting up in the streets at the moment. It was a last minute invitation and I said yes because I am currently experiencing a romantic love affair with Boyle Heights and I want to help Espacio 1839 and the community anyway I can. This is not a Jose Fever solo show but we have hinted at one possibly next year were I can have ample time to produce originals as opposed to just street posters and prints. I am actually happy to say that along with the street posters and prints I was able to finish an original canvas that I just delivered to Espacio 1839.

MN: You like to use quotes from Jose Jose songs in your work, what’s your favorite song? Quote?
JF: I have 5 top favorite songs. “Lo Dudo” El triste” “Voy a Llenarte Toda” “Almohada” and “Amar y Qeurer.” My favorite quotes that I seem to keep writing are “quisiera gritarte que vuelvas conmigo que si aun estoy vivo solo es para amarte” “Tu no debes quererme yo soy pecado” “El que ama no puede pensar todo lo da, todo lo da” “Esa noche entre tus brazos cai en la trampa” and so many more I cant think of right now!??

MN: Tell us a little about yourself– where did you grow up, what do you call home (specific LA area), when did you begin street art?
JF: I was born in Los Angeles near Pico Union. When I was a kid I would look forward to our weekend trips to Boyle Heights were my pops would take us to a park known as “El Hoyo” and we watched soccer games and he bought me ice cream and we loaded up on Pan Dulce from la Mascota for the week- the chorizo from there was bomb too!

I’ve been doing art for a while. Under Jose Fever, the idea started towards the end of 2008 but I went forward in 2009.

MN: What’s your favorite spot to eat in Boyle Heights?
JF: There are a few but I’m still looking. Please have your readers recommended some spots to me!

MN: Can you list other artists you admire?
JF: I try to have an open mind when it comes to art. I listen to a wide variety of genres when it comes to music so I approach art in the same manner. I can go from Diego and Siquieros to Kofie and Basquiat. Currently it’s Jaybo Monk and Paul Botello.

Take advantage—10 miles of streets will once again close to car traffic for CicLAvia on Sunday! This time, enjoy a slightly different route with new extensions and five new hubs, including Mariachi Plaza and Soto Station. That’s right, this time it’s for real, no misprints like April.

So if you haven’t already taken note: the route will no longer travel to Hollenbeck Park–it’s 1st Street getting most of the action in Boyle Heights.

I haven’t missed a CicLAvia yet, but I may just have to this time. At 39 weeks pregnant, there’s a possibility I’ll pop this baby out before Sunday. For safety reasons, I will leave my two wheels at home, trek my way down Soto and 1st to Mariachi Plaza, and see how far I can go. Although there’s a group organizing WalkLAvia, a two-hour walk ending at Exposition Park, I plan to stay mostly on the Eastside. So join me if you wish, and let’s see if CicLAvia is as cool (and safe) as they say it can be on two feet.

I’m hoping the little one stays in the oven through this, otherwise headlines might read: “Mother gives birth at CicLAvia”

Check out the map:


William Acedo and workshop participants ~ Courtesy of SHG

Self Help Graphics and Art will be hosting their free Día de los Muertos Community Art Workshops again, starting this weekend. The workshops will be held every Saturday in October from noon to 3 pm. All materials and teachers are provided by Self Help Graphics, participants are encouraged to be on time and wear clothes that they won’t mind getting dirty. Workshops being offered include the following:

• Flores de Papel/Paper Flower Making
• Papel Picado/Mexican Cut Paper
• Dia de los Muertos Mascara Decorating
• Paper Mache Mask
• Paper Mache Procession Calaveras and Calacas

SHG is also in need of volunteers for their upcoming Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the community workshops or in future events, can contact SHG at volunteer@selfhelpgraphics.com

This Friday, Espacio 1839 will be opening their doors for the first time to the Boyle Heights community. Described as, “The Voltron of retail and community radio, Espacio 1839 is a collective collaboration between Marco Amador (radiosombra.org,) Elisa Sol Garcia (Imix Books), Nico Avina (Teocintli), & Gomez Comes Alive (Discos Inmigrantes).” The space will also be hosting an opening reception featuring the art work of artist Jose Fever. The artist has been sharing their love of Mexican singer Jose Jose all over Boyle Heights and other parts of town.

ESPACIO 1839 is located at:
1839 E. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Doors open at 8 pm

It’s Monday, and people still can’t stop talking about the huge hoopla at last Friday’s Boyle Heights Farmer’s Market- look at us, we still are…

As I learned, Jack White and his people booked the “secret” show two weeks ago, but not much was said since BH Farmer’s Market peeps were unaware of this man’s multiple albums, bands, productions and Grammy awards.

So when it was announced on Twitter and KROQ that the White Stripes’ former frontman would be performing on the Eastside, at least 50 KROQ-listening hipsters (and a few other lucky ones like @GoEastLos who was tweeting live) swarmed Mariachi Plaza.

Vendors tell me they were puzzled by the unusual multitude, and mariachis- who according to the LA Times ended their set with Besame Mucho- may have questioned this guy’s musical ability and odd sense of fashion, except they probably thought the white shoes were fly.

Anyway, by the time I headed over, things were back to normal. It was a hot, dry, quiet day at the farmers market. The fans were gone and locals slowly began preparing for the night’s anticipated performances: Buyepongo and Cihualt Ce.

Pssst: I heard Jack might make another appearance on the Mariachi Plaza stage, perhaps Día de Los Muertos?

Watch a video of the action below or a performance of Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground here.

Featured photo by Twitter user @GoEastLos

I can go on and on about what makes Boyle Heights unique: The East Los Streetscapers’ mural El Corrido de Boyle Heights; the newsstand on Soto and 1st; the many musicos that roam… I’m sure everyone has a place, a piece of art, a person, or a representation of cultural value in their neighborhood.

Recently, The Alliance for California Traditional Arts and The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities- Boyle Heights have partnered up to compile an inventory of cultural treasures in Boyle Heights, and they’re looking for more of your suggestions!

An event this Saturday will feature some of the cultural treasures identified by a group of community volunteers and their outreach efforts. There will be musical performances, poetry by Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara, workshops for all ages including son jarocho and zapateado, and food by local street vendors.

Stop by to enjoy the fun and to nominate your Boyle Heights cultural treasure. And if you’ve got a bike, you can join the Ovarian Psycos Bike Brigade on Tour DE LA Boyle Heights where they will lead the community through 10-20 points of interest or, cultural treasures, happening immediately after the event.

Saturday, July 28, 20102–10am-1pm
Self Help Graphics and Art
1300 E. 1st St, Los Angeles, Ca 90033
*Bike tour leaves at 1pm

For three months, Nancy Meza and I, along with one other young lady, filmed our everyday lives for a film project titled ‘Limbo.’ Partnering up with director Eliot Rausch and producer Mark Schwartz, we wanted to share and lay bare our reality of being undocumented in the United States. Both Nancy and I shared our stories because we know that only by putting a face behind the multifaceted issue of immigration in the US, we can change the dialogue of what it means to be an immigrant. Immigration is nothing new for Boyle Heights or East LA, both communities have thrived and changed over the years as a result of all of the families that have come from Latin America.

Both Nancy and myself still continue to work in our communities to fight for the rights of undocumented immigrants. Whether it is a high school presentation of how student can continue on to college or organizing protests and rallies fighting for the Federal Dream Act, we know what it’s like to grow up undocumented in this country and know that there are more students coming behind us. While this film only shows a brief window of what we do in our everyday lives, at the end of the day, we’re just like everyone else, trying to make a dollar outta 15 cent.

As I was making my way east on First Street about a few weeks ago, I knew that Hugo Martinez Tecoatl was at work. The use of bright and energetic colors, his distinguishing use of silhouettes and the familiar faces of Zapata confirmed that Hugo was working on something. Most folks will know Hugo as he was the one that painted Casa del Mexicano a few years ago. He was also part of the ‘Jornalero Papers’ exhibition at Self help Graphics on May 1st.

And every other day as I passed by the mural near Savannah Street, I would see more colors and shapes taking form. I started seeing a jaguar, Zapata, an olmec head and another face I couldn’t recognize. It felt like I was unwrapping a present one painful step at a time, the excitement gradually building as more and more was added to the wall. That’s when it clicked in my head to take pics so I would be able to share them online and later on in a blog post after Hugo finished with the wall. But problem is, it got buffed.

Just like all the other times I had passed by the mural on my bike, I slowed down to check out some of the progress he had made, but this time around all I got was a ugly guacamole green wall in place of where the mural used to be. Turns out that someone called the ‘art police’ on Hugo and his art, leading to the removal of the piece. It wasn’t till I got a hold of Self Help Graphics program manager, Joel Garcia and Boyle Heights artist/muralist Raul Gonzalez, that I got the scoop.

See wad had happened was that a community member didn’t like what Hugo was doing, they decided to call the cops and the cops talked to the building owner, who then painted over the mural. Both Joel and Raul talked to Hugo about what went down immediately after it got painted over. Turns out that Hugo talked to the building owner, who gave him permission to paint on the wall. That being said, the person who called the cops and the officer involved in the event, both scared/intimidated the owner with threats of citations, fines for not having permits, the art being described as gang tagging, etc.

The owner, not wanting to deal with the cops or even risk getting any kind of fine, complied with the police and painted over the wall. So, since when is LAPD in charge of what goes up on walls? The person who called the cops must have a special number cause when I call LAPD to take down tagging, they tell me to call the city cause that’s not their problem. But if it’s some ugly ass billboard, the cops will defend that to no end.

Joel and Raul are working with Hugo on resolving the matter personally at Jose Huizar’s office. At the same time, the talks on getting a new mural ordinance passed are still that, talks, as more art continues to be erased from the walls of Boyle Heights. And all because one person didn’t like what was on the walls and decided to call the cops. Some folks just can appreciate beauty.

I woke up to Mariachi music this morning.

Yes, I’m Mexican, but no, I’m not a mother, at least not yet :). It was the sound of my neighbors serenading their mothers because although this country celebrates the holiday on the second Sunday of the month, those Latin American momas won’t forgive us if we dare forget to recognize “el 10 de mayo.”
 
So to my beautiful mami, and to all the mamis out there, Happy Mother’s Day, from yours truly and Don Chente.

Boyle Heights artivist Nico of Los Poets del Norte and Merkado Negro, designed a special “Z is for Zapata” cut out mask for this Sunday’s Marcha por Zapata. The annual march will start from Ross Valencia Park, on 1st and Chicago, at 9 am. Folks will then march out at 10 am to El Parque de Mexico, an area in Lincoln Park, where a cultural program will be held from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Last year’s Marcha por Zapata was held the same day as CicLAvia, which made many choose one event or rush back to catch both. The streets of Boyle Heights were filled with bikers, marcha supporters and danza azteca! But that won’t be the case this year…so if you’re going to the march, I highly encourage you to print out the mask and wear it.

Que viva Zapata !!

Here’s a video we produced on last year’s Marcha por Zapata. Read more about the march here.

I’ve noticed lately that Mariachi Plaza on First and Boyle has been used as a political rally point for protests. For the third time in two months I’ve come across large protests taking place at the 3-year-old Metro station– and those haven’t been the first. From gatherings on immigration to education, the space has been put to use by those who it was meant for: the people.

While one side of the plaza acts as a worksite for mariachis, the other end is used for a weekly farmer’s market, a meeting point for bike groups, a spot for break dancers and your occasional skater. The large, open space is conveniently close to downtown, sits atop a metro station, and has a stage, perfect for demonstrators, entertainers and anyone else willing to use the space. I think we’ll see even more people making use of the plaza in the future, especially with the recent opening of Libros Schmibros and the soon-to-open Boyle Hotel Apartments.

I took a few pics at last week’s rally, where hundreds of people gathered to protest against the major cuts adult education currently faces in Los Angeles. Watch my slideshow below.

In a double whammy of sorts, both Guisados and Mariscos Jalisco have been crowned as the official 2012 Taco Madness winners.

LATaco.com counted almost 1,500 votes in this contest of gluttony and delicious tacos. But truth be told, the real winner is Boyle Heights because both restaurants are based here. And in honor of this tasty victory, Guisados is going to be taking 15 % off your check today and Thursday if you mention that you voted for them in Taco Madness. How awesome is that?  If you mention you heard about it through Mis Neighbors won’t actually get you anything, but we’d appreciate the shout out none the less :)

Photo of mis-printed flyer by El Random Hero

If you’ve seen CicLAvia flyers around town you might’ve gotten a little excited about the tiny, but significant extension in Boyle Heights. The flyers for April 15 show a spur going north on Boyle Avenue toward Mariachi Plaza, the same day the Mariachi Festival is being organized.

Yesterday, Mis Neighbors contributor El Random Hero blasted the possibility on Twitter. Immediately, I questioned it. Along with Random, I was part of the outreach to bring an extension to the Eastside, and to my knowledge, this wasn’t happening in April, WTF?

Today, LA Streetsblog confirms flyers are indeed a mis-print.

From the post:

    The April 15 CicLAvia route will follow the same path as the October 9th route, without an extension north to Mariachi Plaza.

    Initially, CicLAvia planned to extend the route to Mariachi Plaza, but the costs to extend the route proved too high for the upcoming CicLAvia, explains Joe Linton, CicLAvia community organizer. Linton added he didn’t know how many flyers were printed with the error.

Oopsie! La regaron! Let’s see if we actually get the ball rolling to make this come true at all. They say maybe October, but don’t hold your breath…

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