Blogging (in) LA: The Eastsider LA

Eastsider LA screengrabI have a love-hate relationship with The Eastsider LA blog. I love it, unconditionally. I hate its name, conditionally. But the conditionals were reversed when veteran journalist Jesus Sanchez debuted his blog in July 2008, pretty much at the latest boil-over of many long-simmering battles in the never-ending Eastside vs. eastside border war waged between those adamant few of us who will over-zealously know and protect and defend the Real Eastside of Los Angeles calling bullshit against the legions who roll their eyes at our protestations, either ignorantly not knowing and not caring — or worse: ironically knowing and not caring.

Jumping into such a fray allied with a dismissive westside-influenced gentry to defiantly plant his flag several miles off-target in the city’s historic Westside was a bold move, and at first I huffed and puffed and blew it off off, vowing somewhat petulantly to ignore Sanchez and his online efforts.

But try as I might, I couldn’t. Because not only was The Eastsider LA a bold move, but it boldly went where few other blogs were going in the area. It covered crimes, schools, business, homes, history, and happenings, with a dedicated focus and professionalism that’s led to the creation of a vibrant, diverse online community that I’ve long wanted to see in my section of the city.

This? From a person who gaaah’d and grrrrr’d most recently over the previous weekend’s “Taste of the Eastside” event (more like L’eastside) that took place in Barnsdall Park, featuring eateries primarily from Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz and Atwater Village?

Yep. So how did I go from full-on rejection of The Eastsider LA to utmost respect? Well, by rationalizing a bit; by seeing the title of his blog not as representing any strict boundaries or an obstinate rejection what I consider with equal stubbornness to be The Eastside. Rather, the title has come to represent a broadened state of place and sense of citizenry, a bigger picture. Such a stance was aided by the fact that Sanchez was born in Boyle Heights, grew up in East Los Angeles, and attended East LA College. Though Echo Park has been his home for more than 20 years, he is a product of The Eastside — and a proud one. And he brings that history and that knowledge with him.

But before y’all go thinking that I’m humming “We are the World” in complete assimilation, I recognize The Eastsider LA’s wider reach is economically motivated, designed to tap not only more eyeballs on this side of the river, but more advertising dollars as well. There’s nothing wrong with that in my book. But even if there was, the bottom line is that Sanchez has worked hard cultivating The Eastsider LA into a dynamic, dependable and go-to resource for news and views on things that are happening in the historic Eastside and Westside, regardless of whether one thinks those places exist in the present or the past.

10 Replies to “Blogging (in) LA: The Eastsider LA”

  1. Agreed. Sanchez does a great job at what he does, but I actually avoid The Eastsider L.A. just because of the cognitive dissonance I experience every time I see the title. Now if we can just convince the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce to remember that Silver Lake is two words, not one as seen in their ad.

  2. i too like th eblogg, but hate the name. But what are you going to do, he covers the stuff that matters to me.

  3. I still think of blogging.la as LA Metblogs…what’s in a name? He gives credit where credit is due, has been responsible for getting local things done (I got in an email argument with Ms LAist about giving credit…she gave the props to another news source that was half a day behind Eastsider LA…).
    Since it’s filed in my favorites under blogs/local, I don’t even really look at what I’m clicking…
    Neighborhoods….when I first moved to Mt Washington the neighborhood sign was a couple yards up Mt Washington Drive; then it was moved to Mt Wash Dr & Marmion Way—now they’ve moved it halfway down Marmion Way closer to Figueroa…and that’s NOT the school district—just a way for the real estate to be appraised for more because it’s in a better area…
    All I know is I don’t live on the Westside and for that I am thankful every day (at least once a day, often more).

  4. see and this is why i’ve gone over a year without reading a single metblogs/blogging la post: eastsider breaks news, and over here they stare at their shoes and pat themselves on the back for being geographically correct. and “la females: how to meet them,” which speaks for itself.

    until the next piece of desperate hit-generating snark!

  5. Not a fan of the eastsider mostly because he posts comments he see’s that fit with his message. A true blog welcomes the positive and the negative and for some reason, he take on the role of Judge. And don’t give me, “It’s his blog, he can do what he wants.” A true blog isn’t afraid of free speech.

  6. I’m with Morris. No longer read LA Metblogs or Blogging.LA. Got burned out on the super fun “parking tards” pictures (remember those?), someone else pushing bands that their company is promoting and excellent posts like the one about someone in a bathrobe (gasp) at Trader Joe’s.

  7. Morris said it. As an Angeleno who has lived on both sides of the river, I used to read LA Eastside at least weekly — and I still agree that Eastside means beyond the river — but I got tired of wading through the self-indulgent reactionary xenophobia disguised as conscious politics and harmless nostalgia for the Eastside’s mythic utopian past. Sanchez’s blog, on the other hand, actually has gotten people in my neighborhood more interested in their community and its history. Plus he actually updates it more than once every three days.

  8. I live in northeast LA and look forward to reading the Eastsider LA on a daily basis. I like it because it has local news from my area as well as neighboring communities. And Josh, whenever I’ve commented, the comment goes directly up without any monitoring.

  9. “Historic Westside”, that’s exactly where this new eastside is located. It is the eastside of the westside.

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