Riddle me this batman…

where am i?

Some people consider “eastside”, the city of silverlake and its surrounding area. Other people consider downtown the westside. Well, they both can’t be right…or maybe they can, because I guess its about perspective. But you know, I don’t really have time to figure out where the hell everyone lives and hangsout in order for me to calibrate my directional senses. So consider this:

1. Looking at a map of los angeles, you notice “hey, many of the freeways interesect in the downtown area”. Maybe, theres something going on there, Like maybe its the center of all things going on.

2. If you take the 10 freeway west – its called the santa monica freeway. If you take the 10 freeway east – its called the san bernardino freeway. Where do the names change…according to the map, downtown la.

3. You know the movie “Born in East L.A” Well, Cheech doesn’t try findhis way up into the hip side of town. He’s trying to get back to boyle heights/el monte.

4. East l.a. college. Guess where. Not in silverlake.

5. Mid wilshire is call mid wilshire, not because it the middle of the city but because its the mid point of the long street. Wilshire starts in downtown la and ends in santa monica.

6. You know what street is longer. Sunset. So damn long that they changed the name…to caesar chavez. Where does it change. Off figueroa. In downtown la.

So my friend says, oh the tem “eastside” isn’t relegated to the geographic terms. But i really wasn’t clear as to why silverlake is considered “eastside.” So could you guys explain to me? Thanks in advance.

13 thoughts on “Riddle me this batman…”

  1. silverlake = east hollywood maybe.

    you are exactly right: ELA, monterey park, montebello, whittier (fill in your own), THAT is eastside. you gotta be east of downtown.

  2. I think the thing is, in most cities downtown is the center of activity, but in LA the center, or at least the center that most people think about is west of downtown, and a lot of people still think downtown is an empty wasteland.

  3. Like mentioned before, there’s the “eastside” and then there’s East LA. They’re not used interchangeably usually (as you don’t see any Silverlake hipsters claiming “East LA, esse!”). Geographically speaking, the “eastside” is pretty far off from the westside, so its not a far off designation. But I guess East Hollywood didn’t catch on (and Hollywood doesn’t share city/municipal designtaion with the eastward areas of Silverlake/Los Feliz/Echo Park). I think what really happened was the term “eastside” arose from the artists/hipster migration over from the Westside, eastward. Since its so close to downtown, its not completely off to say its on the eastside of a city where it’s downtown has not been a central part of the city’s activities in decades. Separate the terms of East LA and eastside, and maybe its easier to accept.

    The designation “eastside” is somewhat like street name “Rodeo Drive”….everyone pronounces it incorrectly, but its close enough for everyone to understand and keep using it.

  4. Not to mention in most cities you can drive from east to west side (on surfact streets) in 10 minutes, in LA, after driving for 10 minutes from Santa Monica you are still very far west, LA is it’s own animal.

  5. Guess there really isn’t a right or wrong but lets just say if there’s a fight over the term “eastside”, no way in hell is the guy watching my back going to be wearing a sideways trucker’s hat.

  6. “Eastside” is probably a backformation–like “gruntled”, or “ept”. There’s a Westside, so at some point people to the east of it but identifying both with it (demographically) and against it (geographically) adopted a similar but distinct name. It’s probably a reaction against attitudes like that expressed here so succinctly by “Boifromtroy”–because those of us who live and work east of West Hollywood have infectious diseases and no personality or something.

  7. i still don’t buy the eastside definition as described here outside of the idea that you (formerly we) needed to be “something,” and we sure don’t want to be the westisde. central city, north central, east hollywood, los silver echo, just use something that is factually “more” correct.

    and i’d actually guess that troy boy has spent a decent amount of time east of fairfax, probably actually east of vermont, just like many of us in this discussion. dude should just admit it and be proud.

  8. “Eastside” is the result of psychological insularity.

    The cool and hip people of Los Angeles don’t really think that anything exists east of the Jewelry district. For them, the world begins and ends at Grand and PCH.

    So from this mindset, “eastside” really is east side… it’s the east side of everything that matters, everything that is relevant and important.

    Likewise, down in Compton, you get “eastside” crips and “westside” crips. They’re talking about the east and west sides of their relevant universes.

    So ultimately, what you call a place has a lot more to do with the sort of people you hang out with than anything about the place.


  9. I don’t understand this argument. Everyone knows that east and west are defined by MY current position at the time.

    Everything to the right of me is East. Everything to left is West. If I spin in my chair, the magnetic poles go all haywire.

  10. eastside: hollywood and everything east of it (and directly south of it).

    westside: beverly hills west to the ocean (and most of the stuff south of it)

    in the middle: west hollywood and things south of it

    the valley: the valley

    and that’s the straight poopoo!

  11. I believe michael said it best east depends on where your at, or where your from.

    In this case I don’t know who would call silverlake east side.

    geographically this doesn’t make any sense unless your west of silverlake.

    Unless your a gangmember that moved to silverlake and your from an eastside neighborhood.

  12. I think some people used to call everything from Boyle Heights all the way to Pomona the eastside. I think it was a way to expand on the “East LA” designation that implied mostly the area formally called East LA.

    Today, it might cover everything from BH to West Covina. I’m not sure. The SGV is splitting into the east and west sides too. I suspect the east SGV people consider the west SGV to be an extension of LA.

    I always thought of Silverlake as “west”, and connected to Hollywood. And Hollywood is connected to the stuff happening in Santa Monica.

    So, it’s all perspective.

    However, do not call Silverlake “East LA”. East LA is the name of the unincorporated area east of the City, and west of several suburban cities. It’s in every map. Within that area, I remember that East LA was generally referred to as “Los Angeles” as well as East LA. BTW, the adjacent community is not El Monte. The cities there are Commerce, Montebello, and Monterey Park to the east, and Vernon to the south and west.

    This is a well defined, and long established area, and to appropriate the name is pretty darn arrogant.

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