In Search of True Identify: Eastside Vs. Eastside

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In Boyle Heights | Photo by Scani - Salina Canizales via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

You've got the original Eastside—LA city neighborhoods east of the LA River including unincorporated East LA—and you've got the newish Eastside—Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park—battling it out for their title. Tomorrow in the LA Times a feature, which is already posted online, dives into the issue head on:

It's a threat to their community's identity, the [original] Eastsiders said. They argue that the term Eastside is synonymous, in California and beyond, with the Chicano movement; home to working-class immigrants and the city's first Latino mayor in more than a century. It's the Eastside of social justice battles in the 1960s, Spanglish and taco trucks. In pop culture, it's the Eastside of Los Lobos and Cheech Marin's parody song "Born in East L.A." It's Mariachi Plaza, Garfield High School and El Tepeyac Cafe.

And the longtime, indisputable dividing line between east and west, the original Eastsiders said, remains the Los Angeles River.

About a decade or so ago, outsiders began arriving west of the river.

They settled beyond the skyscrapers and up the road, where Cesar E. Chavez Avenue yields to Sunset Boulevard. Boutiques and art galleries soon pushed out many discount stores and mini-marts.

The newly gentrified area started to collectively call itself the Eastside — as in east of the riches of the Westside. Their east-west dividing line is La Cienega Boulevard or La Brea Boulevard, even Western Avenue.

As usual with any story about this subject, comment sections gets nasty, yet fun to read. A good number are already posted in the Times' comment section. As for LAist, how should we use the term in posts?