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Arts and Entertainment

Map: This Mural Calls 'Skid Row' By Its Name, Not That 'Central City East' BS

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In 2006, Jones v. City of Los Angeles defined Skid Row's borders. It's the 50 blocks east of Main Street, south of Third Street, west of Alameda Street and north of Seventh Street. But the team behind a new mural that maps out these boundaries says that the name "Skid Row" isn't on any official L.A. map—the city prefers to all it Central City East—which is what inspired them to paint their own. Skid Row activist Jeff "General Jeff" Page recruited Winston Death Squad, a group of street artists, to create a "positive Skid Row mural." Work began in February starting with a neighborhood sign and leading up to the recently finished map on San Julian Street And Sixth Street. In a video Page posted on YouTube, he professed hopes that the Skid Row mural will be become the equivalent of the Hollywood sign for the neighborhood.

"As long as history knows of Skid Row, the politicians and the other people outside of this community have never wanted to respect us and honor and acknowledge us as being Skid Row," Page says in the video. "So today what we're gonna do, we're gonna paint a positive mural."

Stephen Zeigler, a photographer and downtown resident who was also involved in the mural's production, said in a release that this mural is the first mural in the neighborhood to be funded entirely by residents and the only place where you can see the name "Skid Row" in the area. Fire Station 9 was required to remove the name 'Skid Row' from their trucks in 2006, and have a website where they petition for the ability to put the name back on their five trucks.

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Despite the apparent dislike by the city of the name 'Skid Row,' the mural was sanctioned through the Department of Cultural Affairs using the city's recent legalization of murals, so hopefully it will stay put, unlike Foster the People's downtown mural, which got painted over due to some bureaucratic technical issues. (It was considered an ad for the ban's album.)