by Rio Contreras
Rio is Echo Park Born and Raised. Resisting Displacement, Aiming to Decolonize, and Youth Educator
Where the hipsters roam the streets
with a cafe late in the day
and a PBR at night
Where the vatos still walk home
from a dodgers game
with an Eko Parque pride on their face at night
and an oveworked/not enough work face at day
Where many people who are immigrants work the streets
with an an apron for fruits to sell at day
and an apron for tacos to sell at night.
Rewind to the 1980s…
Donde las familia imigrantes bought their first home
With overpacked 2 bedrooms filled with twelve
with broken roofs that let in that once in awhile rain from LA
with thin enough walls to hear your neighbors wail
with overworked faces
with long missin’ mi tierra faces
with stressed out fearfilled faces
with blood shoot eyes
that blanket the gaze
over so many of us kids and abuelas alike
Staying up because the chopper is flooding your patio with a violating light. Searching for a “ganster” and announcing it over a loud as mic.
now seen as the new white
the hip place to move into
the hip place to displace familias
the hip place to step into your new hollywood image.
Hipsters streaming Echo Park pride on their shirts.
The same hipsters back then would have been screaming
get me out of this brown haven because it hurts.
Si, Echo Park
has always been a beautiful brown haven.
A mix of Central Americans, Mexicans, Pilipinos, Chinese and so many others.
The food and culture always abundant, despite the stress.
- Mexican quebradita parties across the streets
- Central Americans interchanging tamales weekly
- Chinese kids going to their Chinese schools
- Pilipinos created the lotus festival with an Asian Pacific Islander pride
A glimpse of the world is what we truly received.
A bad name of all being gangsters is what was wrongly perceived.
Si, Original Echo Parque was beautiful then and NOW!