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Boyle Heights

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Tell us what Boyle Heights means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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I moved to boyle height when i was 10. I lived on 3rd street. I have friends from compton they think its scary lol! They are so wrong, its best place to live. I am now 26yrs old still live here. I love boyle height, wouldnt trade it for the world. Peaceful no problems.

— luvanahI
June 14, 2013 at 12:06 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights, I have the most fondest memories living there, I would never deny I grew up there, I am proud to have the opportunity to live there in the 60's,70's and 80's, all my friends are still friends, some are gone, some moved on, but the ones I know I have known for over 50 years.

People judge Boyle Heights because they never lived there, but it was just an ordinary life with many ups and many memories of establishments that are no longer there...IT was a wonderful place to grow up.

— Michael J Alcala
June 11, 2013 at 8:29 a.m.

I was raised on 4th Street. I attended St. Marys Catholic School. My memories of Boyle Heights are all fond except for when my classmate friend was shot and killed. His name was Henry Cruz. I remember having Japanese neighbors who kept a beautiful garden in their backyard. I remember Silvermoon Market, Brooklyn Theater, Brotherhood Market, and so many other places. I would live to see my hometown again. Boyle Heights was a pretty town back in the 60' and 70's/.

— S.M.
June 5, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

still attend the Friday nights lights at Roosevelt the downside the gangs from First st to Marengo st no bueno

— Manuel Mendoza
May 26, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.

On October 13, there were about 10 police cars with sirens that rushed by my house on 10/13/12. I live on (No Mathews) Mathews and Michigan were blocked off as were Cesar E Chavez and Fickett...I don't see a crime which took place in the Times or on the LAPD website...What happened? It began at 4PM and continued through 10PM or later...what the heck happened?

— Olivia
October 16, 2012 at 9:22 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights on Dacotah St., one block away from Fresno Park (also known as Garcia Park). Great memories growing up there. Went to Sunrise Elementary (previously known as Jackson High, a juvenile hall type school) Stevenson Jr High and graduated from Roosevelt HS. Grew up in the 80's and 90's. Played Lil league baseball at Fresno Park and I remember Mike Brito (Dodgers scout who discovered Fernando Valenzuela) owned a home across the street from the park. He would speak and throw out the first pitch at our "opening day" ceremony. Playing outside w/ neighboorhood kids on our dead end street (like a ghetto cul-de sac). Freeze tag, football, baseball, you name it, we did it. I can close my eyes and reminisce about those hot summer nights. The 1987 earthquake had everyone sleeping outside due to aftershocks. I was a young kid in the late 80's and used to admire the cholos w/ their swagger: Slicked back hair, pressed white t-shirts and khakies. Nice cars w/ loud music, bumping "Too Short". They had nice looking females, too. I admired the guys like 'C' admired "Sonny" in the movie "A Bronx Tale". I'm glad I never joined the local gang, as I leaned towards sports during my adolescence. Both my parents worked hard and bought a home in La Puente, so we moved when I was 14. A couple of years later, my parents divorced so me and my siblings moved back to BH w/ my mom and stood at my grandma's house near Boyle Heights Park (The Hole). We would walk to Foster Freeze and Johnny Shrimp Boat. La Mascota Bakery, 24 (Carnitas Michoacan), Pioneer Chicken. Attended Mass @ St Isabel Church. I remember going to Sears on Olympic and Soto. Also "La Brooklyn" (Brooklyn Ave now known as Cesar Chavez Blvd). Grandma would take us to Hollenbeck Park and us kids would roll down the grass hills and come up dizzy. We would jump through the water sprinklers at the park. Good times. Mom and Grandma still live in BH. I am proud to say that I am from Boyle Heights. It may not have been the safest place to grow up, but I have street smarts AND book smarts. Not a lot of people have both.

— Will
September 1, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.

I was born in Boyle Heights and lived on 3rd & Evergreen on the deadend with all the palm trees until I got married and lived for awhile in Highland Park. But we moved back to the neighborhood about 6 mos. later. My mom still lived on 3rd St. so we moved into one of her houses. That was home to me. My kids were all born in BH and so was my former husband. He grew up on Pecan St. I went to First St. School, Hollenbeck, & Roosevelt. My main place away from home was Evergreen playground. We would hang around with the guys that practically lived there: March (we named him that short for marshmellow),Bons, (another nickname), Gilbert, Stick, Joe, & Anthony, just to name

a few. We would go to Sam's on 4th & Soto. on Fridays cause everyone was there. We hung out @ the Dip on Brooklyn or we ate Chinese across the street from Roosevelt. I normally went there with the girls I hung around with: Olga, Gloria, Alice, Christy, etc. My mom passed in 1983 so we sold the homes but to this day that is still home to me.I still keep in contact with friends I had in kindergarten! Boyle Heights runs in my blood and I've read all the post that other people have sent and it was like taking a walk down memory lane. What I wouldn't give to go back about 50 yrs.!! I now live a very quite life in Fullerton and sorry to say but it doesn't hold a candle to my precious Boyle Heights. Thank you for creating this fantastic site! To the people that live in Boyle Heights. Take pride in the best part of the best city of the best part of the best state in this GREAT country! GOD bless all of you! Tears of joy, Josie

— Josie
August 28, 2012 at 5:48 p.m.

Our family moved there around 1952. We lived on the top of the hill on Savannah Street, across from Evergreen Recreational Center. I went to kindergarten at 1st Street School. We lived there for about a year before moving to Gertrude Street, across 2nd Street School. When they tore the neighborhood down to make room for the Golden State Freeway, we moved to 1909 E. 1st Street at the corner of State and 1st. Where our Gertrude Street house was is now something that looks like a cul de sac next to the freeway. Our 1st Street house is also gone and is now a Jim's Burger place. After they tore down all the houses for the freeway, as kids, we used to play in the ruins of the old houses. That was great fun. As others have said before, in those days, we'd stay out late, roaming the neighborhood, and never worry about the things that parents have to do nowadays. We'd never have supervision for Halloween!

Across the street from our 1st street house on the corner was a store called May's Market. You could buy pickles in a barrel for a nickel. Down a ways on 1st Street was Kano's 5 and 10, across from the old Miralta movie theater. A little farther down was the public library. I think it still might be a library. We used to play at Hollenbeck Park. There used to be an old, green, wooden bridge across the lake that we would climb under. That was always scary. They used to have electric boats that you could rent there. I had a friend who used to live in the apartments across the street from the park.

I went to Second Street school. Teachers: Christina Maguiness, Fern Williams, Winifred Best, Marie Behrle, Catherine Dillingham, Vernon Melton, Ingwald Sherry, and Lodi Galassi. I remember Mr. Melton telling us a story of how he became bald when a flying saucer shot a ray gun at him and burnt his hair! It sounded a lot like the space ships when the first movie, War of the Worlds, came out. Mr. Sherry, we called "Turnip Head", and Mr. Galassi we liked. He took me and some of my friends to the movies. At the time, the student body was about 1/3 black, 1/3 Hispanic, and 1/3 Japanese. There were a few Chinese, and a couple white kids, but being kids, we never gave it much thought of how we were different.

In those days, the biggest gang was the Flats. Another was White Fence. There were some others, but not that well known. These vatos did this thing called a "penny stomp", where they would throw some pennies in a group of innocent people, and then they would go in there kicking the hitting the people to get at the pennies.

Though gangs were a problem, I don't remember there being a lot of violence. I do recall a stabbing at Roosevelt High School, but getting beat up wasn't something that we worried a lot about. Maybe it was just because I was so young. Our family moved out of L.A. in 1960.

— James
August 23, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.

Was born in Lincoln hospital and raised in a drug gang crime police infested street on Wabash and Levagreen and boy what a 9 year old saw and got into was too much but thank God i was looked upon by the holy spirit cuz it was more than one can see R.I.P mom from VNE and now im in Orange County though i recently visited the old neighborhood i just love the graffiti art something i adopted as a wild ass kid shout out to Chaka Oiler Sleez Nacho Vade Void Skil Lod NFL Ftw Ftl Bus Cab back in 85..L.A 4 life!

— East Side Wabash Ave
July 25, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.

Boyle Heights is a diamond in the rough!

— Cyndie
July 22, 2012 at 3:57 a.m.

The best place 2 be .somethings wrong i did not know it was the best place with no crime and violence i tought it was the worse place in hollenbeck i guess i was wrong

— Rose hills 90032
July 21, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.

Aliso Village Projects / Boyle Heights

I grew up at the projects of ELA attended Utah Street School

-2nd grade teacher Mr Noonan

-3rd grade teacher Mrs Ford

- Mrs Hardy after school Supervisor playing board games, learning to square dance and also the Hokey Pokey!

-Mrs Valley and Mrs Grajava taking us to the lake bringing back frogs and placing them in folks mailboxes.

-Ma Jackson (as everyone called her.)

She would cry and pray for everyone.

-Jo Ana Ball and I walking to the store on Mission road. The smell of the Pato Factory.

-Playing house outside with a blanket as if we were camping.

-Ya-Ya everyone was afraid of him!

-Molly always high on something.

-Hanging yr clothes outside only to find out they got STOLEN!

-Gangs, roaches and more roaches...

-Ice cups ...

-Walking to get everywhere

-Taking the 26 bus to downtown and

wondering if the whole world shopped

there?

-Being afraid and not talking about it.

-My purse got cut off with my 1st paycheck on the corner of 1st and Clarence St.

-Walking to Hollenbeck and Roosevelt High rain or shine.

-Witnessing fights breaking out and running home as fast as I could and being terrified!

-Realizing for once we were poor and wondering...

-Getting the 2nd hand toys for Christmas from Dolores Mission Church.

-My mom being on welfare...foodstamps.

-Realizing that the only way to get out of this Twilight Zone Episode was to get a good education!

-Having to carry those heavy groceries

from the market up the hill.

-Being embarrassed to bring friends over my house cause my dad was drunk or passed out!

-Loving the Arts and Museums..

-Teaching the neighborhood Spanish kids English...Realizing I was a teacher.

-Helping my teachers was my way of escape. (0ften wishing they would take me to their house.)

-Wanting a place where love abound and feeling cared for.

-Realizing I needed a Savior!

-I accepted Christ as my savior in 1979 in the Projects of Aliso Village!

-My life changed from that day on...

Finished school. Iam Married, happily for 31yrs. We now Pastor a Church in Long Beach Ca.

-As I look back I realize it was not "Mr Rodger's Neighborhood" I realize I was sad most of my childhood life with y mom always working hard.

Being left at home in a crazy neighborhood where gangs ran wild, seeing folks die in front of me and hearing the police helicopters at night is something no child should have to go through.

-Aliso Village,

A place where folks did the best they could to survive.!

-As I look back .... The only good that came from living there is that the Christians came and introduced my to Jesus Christ! John 3:16

— Glo V.
June 29, 2012 at 5:36 p.m.

I love Boyle Heights I grew up there and I LOVE the streets, there my life and there the best. Growing up there made me the person I am now. Boyle Heights to me is beauty. I'm only 15 and I know everything from Boyle Heights from streets names to Gangs... Well my whole point is that I love Boyle Heights and everything about it, it's the best palce to be.

-Susanaloks

— Susana
June 8, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.

I love Boyle Heights. My grandmother and various aunts, uncles and cousins (at one time or another) all lived in a house on 1st St. between State St. and Bailey. I have so many good memories of that neighborhood. Hollenbeck Park, the Plunge, the Meralta Theater, the Projects, the streetcar. I used to fall asleep to the music coming from Pentrolli's across the street. Boyle Heights will be in my heart forever.

— Olivia
June 3, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.

Beauty cannot be seen in Boyle Heights by a common man with a closed mind, but the true beauty of Boyle Heights can be felt by the spirit of community one feels when he is truly immersed...

— C DakotaWofford
May 31, 2012 at 3 p.m.

I'm making my history in Boyle Heights and I love the place. We bought our house here about 10 years ago and love every inch of this beautiful city. I am a Microbiologist, have an MBA, and could have pretty much purchased a home in another city, but chose to stay here because nothing beats Boyle Heights. Those who say Boyle Heights is dangerous are just crazy. Crime is everywhere, and even the "best" neighborhoods may harbor criminals, so we just use common sense in order to stay safe. We look out for each other in this neighborhood. My daughter was born at White Memorial Hospital and currently attends Bridge St. School. We feel very lucky to live in such a great place. I love BH!!

— Argentina Guerrero
May 30, 2012 at 8:55 a.m.

Boyle Heights is my hood straight up love dat city eastside WMK

— SANE
May 24, 2012 at 7:43 a.m.

I was raised at this area. It was world of different nationalities, we all got along , no name calling. Broke my heart when my friend Masako were all taken away to camps during WW II. Made us all grow up. We all had our way off fun & understanding. Boyle Heights was a place you had to grow fast, lot of good people, I miss the old Boyle Heights. Was 15, met my future husband, went to 2nd St. to Hollenbeck, to Roosevelt, quit 6 mo's before graduating from R, biggest regret, still married to the same man. lived at this 4 house old apartment that is not there no more, between Mott & Saratoga. Love the Jewish bakery around the corner of Soto & Ist. st. Kept in touch about the war at the news stand on the corner of Soto & Ist. Loved my schools , no one ever bother us. To bad you all now Never knew old Boyle Heights. My class was S- 43 to 46 at High School. Miss my old times, & friends.

— Gloria ( Luque) Olivas
April 14, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.

to answer jim t 's question,

Yes I remember the big red building, it was sisters of charity st. vincent de paul's convent and orphanage, if you type in those words on the internet, alot of pictures will come up, I lived there as a child for 4 years, that's how I knew about it, it was for what they called "orphans of the liveing" in other words we were mostly girls that were either unwanted or our parents were unable to take care of us. and yes it was in Boyle heights.

— BARBARA H.
April 13, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.

It's where raza is more at home.. It reminds us of who we are and to many of us Xicanos it's Aztlan or lil Mexico~ the violence will eventually end because la raza is getting more on point and the new generation is starting to love themselves and their roots more...and with that comes change..good change for everyone...

— Cempoalli 20
April 8, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.

I grew up in Breed Street and it was hell on earth. I never thought violence could be over the top in this street. The street was full of Breed Street Gang members. The entire block was covered by graffiti. There was frequent shootings, drug selling, fights and raids from police. There was murders and it was hell.

— Breed Street
April 6, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.

My family moved to the Aliso Housing Projects after my dad had an industrial accident. True story, never saw a black man before..was a 5 year old scared kid. But soon made friends and had a great time. All the diversity in the projects helped me to respect other races. Attended Dolores Mission from about '55 to '63. Went to Salesian from '63 to '66 then graduated from Roosevelt in '68. Our family bought the old Jenny's market on 4th & Gless and openned up "Ramona's Coffee Shop" and every one love my mom's chile colorado burritos and pineapple upside down cake. Gil Cadilli use to frequent the restaurant..he lived on Pecan St. Soon the Pimentals were eating our Menudo and Carne de Puerco con chile verde. All the truckers off the 5 frway were regulars. Can you imagine..hamburgers 19 cents, big coke 12 cents..bacon and eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee $1.09! Yea, lots of crime but a strong family will overcome everytime. Lots to share.

— Raul Jose Mesquita
March 11, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights as were my parents. My Mom attended Hollenbeck Jr. High, Roosevelt High and graduated summer of '42 married my Dad at Our Lady of Talpa Church in '43. My Dad went to war, returned safely and I was born in '47 and my brother in '50. At the time it was the best place to live because my neighborhood was a real mix of all races. I had Japanese neighbors on 4th St., Jewish people on Brooklyn Ave. (Canter'sDeli, Karl's Shoes, Raskin's Bakery) Black families like the Garrett's (famous Mike) on 1st. near Evergreen and the Russian bath house across from the Franklin Library on Chicago. What great memories. I attended Our lady of Talpa School and went on to Bishop Conaty H.S then graduated from Cal State L.A.

I don't remember it being a high crime area at the time. We'd play outside until 9:00 p.m. on summer nights, we'd ride our bikes to the cemetery not being afraid of kidnappers or perverts. There were no "drive-by's, noisy helicopters, blaring music, rude people, graffiti, etc. Different times, different people.

I guess the present residents are having to deal with the downsides because when I lived there it was the best childhood a kid could have ever had. I'm still very proud to say that I am a native Angelino and Boyle Heights still flows through my veins!

— Suzy
March 2, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.

Its hard to say. High crime rates. I here the helecopters almost daily. But i dont seen any reports in the news. why do theuy hold back such info. 16 year resedent and I am fed up with the gang violence. what are we going to do????

— Lisa
February 8, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.

Growing up in boyle heights was a pretty sad story. I grew up between pico gardens and aliso village. It was in the middile of a gang war. I attended secound street school, hollenbeck, and stevenson jr high. My childhood years were noting more then watching drug dealers sell and also do drugs. I used to see the police helicopter fly over my house on a daily basis. We called it the ghetto bird and was just part of my daily life of hearing gunfire, gangs killing each other on a daily basis. It got to a point were it was normal to hear police sirens and the ambulance comeing to my neighborhood on a daily basis. I live out of state now but miss my childhood place so much.I had a chance to go to high school out in granada hills and that help to change my prospective of how to see life in a whole new way. Sometimes it helps to be a leader and not a follower. Drugs, gangs and bad people will always try to bring u down but u need to sometimes think outside the box the world is a very big place. From my point of view I became a very hard working man great husband and dad. And I fill privileged to have been part of the boyle heights memories.

— frank herrarte
January 10, 2012 at 9:23 p.m.

I moved to Boyle Heights in 1985 to some nasty apartments on 4th and St. Louis, in front of Hollenbeck Park. I hated those apartments because I couldn't go outside without feeling violated by perverts whistling or saying degrading comments. That's how it was all the time. You would always see men sitting at the front steps drinking, staring, and doing nothing.

Regardless, I still have Boyle Heights very close to my heart, and always will.

I remember going to Hollenbeck Park a lot and hearing stories about people worshiping the devil and sacrificing chickens at that park. I did actually see some chicken parts a few times, so those stories might have been true. haha.

We used to go eat at Jim's on 1st st., McDonalds, on Soto and Brooklyn, Carnitas Michoacan, on soto and whittier, and of course, La Favorita Bakery. How could I forget La Favorita. They have the best bread I've ever tasted. We used to also buy ice cream from Don Jaimito's ice cream truck. So cheap and so good. What ever happened to him?

I lived on 229 S. Chicago St. on the top floor of this Income Tax place. haha. We always had some kind of infestation: roaches, mice, wasps, you name it. I went to Breed St. School, Hollenbeck Jr. High, and East L.A. College. I didn't want to go to Roosevelt High School. I have very fond memories of My Breed St. School teachers: Mr. Faulkner, Ms. Gartner and Ms. Duvernay.

I was part of the YMCA after school program with my teachers: Ofelia Rodriguez (RIP), and Dolores Romero (RIP). I didn't want to go home. I just wanted to stay at the YMCA every single day of the week! The YMCA, Iglesia Del Nazareno, and The Community Center (on 2nd and Breed) were my refuge and ALL I looked forward to during those years.

I also played softball at Evergreen Park.

After school, Laura De Santiago and I used to pass by the Liquor store on Soto and 4th st. to buy Flaming Hot Cheetos and we would also buy some hot chips that looked like french fries. Sooo good. We would take our lemon and salt to go with it.

In those days-from, 1985-1998, there were a lot more gangsters on the streets and more shootings. I do remember dodging bullets on my way to Hollenbeck several times. I don't see much of that anymore today, which is good.

Boyle Heights has a rich culture! I get so nostalgic every time I go back. It reminds me of Mexico in a way. Only Mexico and Boyle Heights give me that nostalgic feeling. Nothing else.

The experiences I had there shaped who I am today.

Boyle Heights was where I fell in love for the very first time (with Pablo Balcazar, the love of my life).

Boyle Heights was where I lived through painful moments that scarred my life forever.

And Boyle Heights was also where I lived the happiest and the best years of my life.

I'll stop being dramatic, haha. I wouldn't change anything about my childhood. I'm very proud of where I grew up and everything I learned in the process. Boyle Heights will always be "home" to me.

— Liliana Contreras
December 30, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.

The food alone makes this the cornerstone of los angeles. Everything from Tamales to Carne de puerco en chile verde were there. I remember the delicious aroma of freshly baked sweet bread from La Favorita bakery on 4th street every morning as I walked to Hollenbeck Middle School. After school it was the OK Chinese restaurant on 4th that was the ideal place to grab a packed bowl of unmatched Chinese fast food cuisine. On the weekend it was all about Lupita's restaurant on 1st street and the tamales from Liliana's across El Mercadito. Boyle heights holds plenty of fond memories. My childhood is there. The friends I'd give anything now to see once again were all there while growing up. The ice cream trucks in the hot afternoons. The planes soaring rather low over the city. So many memories. A lot of things have changed since then, especially the people. The youth especially seem greatly influenced by the "hip hop scene", and have forgotten much of the culture. But the food is still amazing. The place to go to eat.

— Gerson
December 30, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.

I see a lot of you guys lived around Camulos Street. Do any of you remember the drive by shooting on Camulos around 1970 that killed my St. Mary classmate, Henry Cruz. He was about 10 years old, sitting on his porch playing the trumpet. I believe it was one of the first widely publicized drive-by shootings. I think about it to this day. Does anyone know if they ever caught up with his killers? Many more good memories than bad. La Mascota, Foster's Freeze, Salesian Sock Hops, Roosevelt-Garfield games, Sano's 5 and 10 on First Street...

— tony
December 26, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.

My Brother came accross these comments and called me right AWAY! the most exciting part of this is seeing a comment made by a lady named -Ester-

Ester, my dad bougth the house at 3242 Winter St in 1979. We also thought it was a HUGE house and loved it all the years we were there! I had such a great childhood at that house. Recently one of my nieces that lived there too, found a picture of the back of our house on 3242 winter st. in an article and it gave me chills to see how it looked in 1937. I bet that is when Ester's family lived there. It was from a pbs show called "who moved East L.A.?" showing the history of how things changed. I recommend you guys go check it out, and for those of you interest in seeing the back of the 3242 winter st. house it is the 11th picture down in that article labelled 106-B.

— Matty
December 17, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.

What's going on around Hazard Park in Boyle Heights right now? There are squad cars all up and down Norfolk & San Pablo, and helicopters continually circling the area. Anyone have any info?

— Curious
December 7, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.

I was born in white memorial hospital, off of César Chávez ave, in BAD ASS BOYLE HEIGHTS..

I love it here, I've moved around a lot, but always local like sereno, city terrace. Pero I always end up back in BOYLE HEIGHTS. It has being getting hectic around here lately, type of sh!t that ppl are dropped from left to right...its sad n all, but regardless of how it is around here, I love being from, n living in BOYLE HEIGHTS!!!!!!!

— LA PURPLE
December 6, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.

I will never forget Boyle Heighs, that is when I met my Grandmother for the firs time, i was about 10 years old, my mother put me in a bus on hacienda and La Puente, Calif she told me that my grandma on my Dad's side wanted to see me she told me that my grandma would be waiting for me on Broklyn in Los Angeles, I did there was my grandma waiting, that was the first and last time I seen here, my stepfather was mean and did not ever let me go back to see her, I wish I knew where she was buried, all i know was her name was Maria Marino, and had a son his name was Ignacio, but i don't know his last name that was in the late fiftys or sixtys, i would like to know what Cemetarys are near buy to look for her, I heard that she had other kids, my Dads name was Tony Diaz that was her son, and a Daughter name Carmen Diaz that was a mute could not talk or hear, another one her name was Tina Diaz ,my Grandma married again so I cant even find her in Ancestry. Maybe someone can remember her and let me know she was a such a sweet Grandmother I will never forget that day. She was born in Mexico was Married to Donaciano Diaz he lived in watts, in Los Angeles. Rachel

— Rachel Diaz
November 6, 2011 at 4:34 p.m.

I remember many of the things/places mentioned. I lived on 6th Street, near Euclid, in the 40's, 50's and early 60's. I have not seen anybody mention something I remember from my childhood on 6th Street. Also, I have never seen any mention of it in other writings about Boyle Heights. ------ Does anybody remember, and better yet have a photo of, the "junk man" that would come around on a horse drawn wagon. He would ride around, making a clanking sound by hitting an auto brake drum with a hammer, and he would buy your scrap metal and other junk. I remember he would pay 5 cents for an old car tire. I remember this from the 40's and maybe into the early 50's.

— Rafa
November 1, 2011 at 2:13 a.m.

I was born in Montebello, but when I was five, we moved to my grandparents' house on Michigan and State and I was essentially raised there. I have great memories of Boyle Heights, and still visit often, as one of my closest friends still lives there; went to Roosevelt High School on Matthews, and loved the gig and Heavy Metal scene when it was still a big part of East LA. We moved to Pico Rivera, and then I moved to Whittier, and it's just not the same. I go to school at Rio Hondo College rather than East LA College, and the differences in people and the way they carry themselves is huge. I went down 1st street the other day and visited an old seamstress who still looks exactly the same as she did when I was six, and bought guitar strings and picks from the store on 1st and State, and ate at Jim's... it was the same routine as before! I used to be around there all the time!

I will say that I've noticed things are getting different there, and not in a good way. A young man was raped and murdered; my best friend was grabbed and almost raped or who knows what else on her way home down a street she's walked down all her life without experiencing anything like that; I was cursed out and threatened for not going the VERY second a light turned green, since my car was being difficult. I used to say I'd move back to East LA when it came time for me to settle down and raise my family, but not anymore. Something is different, and it makes me uneasy. And this is coming from a female who used to walk home at 2am from gigs being thrown in gang infested areas; the gangsters never hurt anyone who didn't hurt them, and I doubt they've begun to take their issues out on the people (they rarely did) , so I guess we have overcrowding at the jails to thank.

I'd never wish to disrespect all the people I grew up with, though. I still have my East Los attitude; growing up there gives you something no other neighborhood does. It's hard not to drive by JUST to drive by and remember. And the food at the Jim's on 1st and State just tastes different than at the Jim's in Pico, or Commerce. I even go to walk through the halls of my old elementary, Bridge St, just to see the changes. Like I said, I'd never settle down there; but I'd be a totally different person if I hadn't been raised there.

— Daeger
September 28, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.

My grand parents came from Russia and moved from Boston 1922 lived in Boyle Heights, and in 1945 when we moved back to LA after the war I used to take the bus to Boyle Heights to visit them and my grand dad opened a market there when they moved there from Boston . And we spent the Jewish holidays there for many years...back then is was all Jewish neighborhood...I am sure it has changed many times over now and I wouldn't reconize it if I went there now...

— Sydney Braverman
September 24, 2011 at 7:24 p.m.

There is a section of Boyle Heights called Brooklyn Heights. It’s the area North of Brooklyn Ave (now Cesar Chavez) and west of Soto St. [ If you look at old maps you can still see the name]

— Vic
September 16, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.

Al and Beas's Combination Burrito

— Amos K
September 12, 2011 at 8:11 a.m.

Brooklyn Heights is located in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City. Brooklyn was the former home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cesar Chaves Ave at one time was was known as Brooklyn Ave. Hopefully this answers your question.

— Gilf
August 28, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.

i grew up on first and chicago st what ever happen to the Tiny Boys Gera, Andrew, junior from east la. All these guys were cool with me.

— ivan
August 20, 2011 at 6:09 p.m.

Brooklyn Heights is a New York neighborhood. The only connection between Brooklyn Ave and Brooklyn Heights in New York and Los Angeles Brooklyn Ave is they lost the Dodgers. Los Angeles lost the Rams, but the Rams are from Cleveland. I'm a Ram fan and Dodger fan.

So to clarify Brooklyn Heights is a neighborhood within the New York City Borough of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Ave is in Boyle Heights.

— GILF
August 19, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.

There's people who care about our community and wilimprove it for the better! :)

— Itzel :D
August 15, 2011 at 12:42 p.m.

Boyle hieghts is a humble place however my teachers parents and family encourage me and my siblings to make our dreams come true. I'm start my first year of high-school. At Roosevelt and I think that it's up to you what your future will be. You could join gangs go to jail or graduate college and form a career for yourself. We have to try to reach our goals and improve our community. My parents both have good jobs and instill values and morals in us. Without them I wouldn't of been able to take algebra geometry and algebra 2 by the end of middle school. Just keep focusing on your goals and don't let anyone tell u that u can't do them prove them wrong and show that

— Itzel :D
August 15, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.

I been living in Boyle heights since 1977, and I never heard of Brooklyn heights I remember Brooklyn Ave so I'm curious of where it came from. Is it something new or from the past. Does anybody know

— Robert
August 15, 2011 at 1:09 a.m.

I was born in 1961, General Hospital of course. I was raised on Camulos and Inez St. The block we use to call it. My favorite place to play was Blueberry Hill. I know I'm a girl, but who cares. My block mostly had boys and I wasn't going to sit around at home playing with dolls. We would hang out on the hill and swing on the palm tree over the stairs, play rock fights with those big hard dry rocks, but if I got hit and cried the boys said I couldn't play, so I held it in. My mom would call us from the bathroom window to come and eat dinner. You could hear her voice echo in the wind. I remember going to Ordonals meat market for 5 pounds of 99 cents hamberger for are big family of 7 so my mom could make hamberger helper. I remember when one of us would have a birthday we would go to the Mosquota bakery on Whittier bl. and buy a great big cake with food stamps. And who can't forget Harry's burgers and the foster freez with the chocolate covered cones. So many good memories in my childhood. Lot's of love in the Yellow Apartments on Camulos and Inez St.

— Nancy Navarro
July 27, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.

WOW, just happened to have a moment thinking about the past and came accross this...

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights. It was home until I married in 1977 and moved away but BH was never and has never been far from my heart.

Born in 1955 and attending St. Mary's from 1st to 8th, leaving the neighborhood to attend High School on the West side I never feared waiting at 6am for the RTD on 1st and Chicago... Why because BH was home and those who beloned where protected.

Sure I'm not going to glorify it and say it was East Los version of Bel-Air but it was what it was and that was home with tons of history to make her special.

Boyle Heights was home to my Grandparents and Parents then us but as they grew old and died and we married and moved away the stories now spoken to my child and grandchildren was that of what was a good life back in the day.

When Summer was about getting up late, doing your chores, going out to play and listening for the whisle from someone at home that it was time to eat... it was about playing ball in the streets and knowing your watch to go home was when the street lights came on.

Boyle Heights was about walking to Brooklyn Ave to go buy a new outfit or go and buy shoes or Hell just go catch a movie on a Saturday at the Brooklyn show.

It was a time of when we saw some of our neighbor boys leave to Viet Nam, and a time we spent as friends giving comfort when they didn't come home. It was a time when making Tamales with friends during the holidays meant a warm fuzzy feeling throughout the community... bottom line unless you where from Boyle Heights you'll never understand it, Boyle Heights was what it was... "It Was Home and will always be home even now with me living in Rialto."

So to those who speak in negative terms, to those who seem to think only aliens are what run the city, the city is run by those who care for her and believe in her and with our thoughts and memories we keep Boyle Heights a topic of pride.

She is my pride now and forever!

— Rachel
July 11, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.

I Love Boyle Heights. Yeah im only 14 but ive lived here since i was born. Its a great place to be and there are so many places to go. Im surrounded by friends and family. Never wanna leave. ♥

— Anonymous (:
June 21, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.

Grew up on Brooklyn & Savannah, use to go to Jacks Market and my uncle owned the auto parts on Saratoga & Brooklyn (El Progreso Auto Part) across the street was 7mares. I attended First Street School, Hollenbeck and Roosevelt…. I LOVE MY old neighborhood. Use to kick it in Michigan St with the GUYS!!!! Q-VO!!!

— Bryan
June 21, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.

We grew up in BH in the 60's n 70's. Both my parents first gen from Mexico. Earliest memory is living in the projects on 1st street, just west of I-5. The playground with the rocket. Waiting in line at the health center to get our immuniztions. Then moving to City View, followed by Brooklyn, Rowan/3rd then City Terrace. Both my parents worked very hard to raise us and put us in private school. In hindsight, cant fathom how they did this for us 4 kids. Eventually we moved out to Riverside. The ELA diaspora hit and all us kids left Cali. For college I came out to the east coast and realized there are so many other people like us, just from different countries. The Irish are the closest- they have just as many kids and are catholic too. Now I live in Florida. Very different. Miss the east LA thing, but realize it was/is part of me that I will never have again. There is a whole 'nother world beyond BH. Last time I was out there, I saw how much it has changed. Couldnt read some of the Korean and Chinese signs I saw. Gentrification-it happens. Happy to have my roots in BH, but enjoying the after life too much

— bubba
June 3, 2011 at 8:02 p.m.

I am a white girl from the east coast, moved to CA back in 1982 and lived in the Pasadena (or, the 'Dena) area until two years ago, when I fell in love with an old craftsman in Boyle Heights and bought it. My first house. Yah, I was scared initially but I got over it....the history is amazing and my neighbors really look out for me. In some ways, living in BH reminds me of growing up in a rural New England state where everyone knows each other and looks out for one another. The difference being that I had woods, streams and fields growing up and the kids in my barrio play on the street. But, I know them all and they know me. There is a pride and closeness here in my barrio and I worry less about gangs and more about air pollution (given BH is so close to industrial areas). I worry about the kids, too.

I am growing to really love the area and I continue to explore the family-owned stores and shops and the culture. Yah, sometimes there's drama but that is anywhere in LA, really. For the most part, the gangs leave us alone.

This white girl is glad she moved there.

— Katymurta
June 3, 2011 at 4:29 p.m.

I lived in Boyle heights all my life. My family moved from south central to the PICO GARDENS projects on 4th and Gless St when I was 3. I remember the old projects before they tore them down to make the new ones. There was also a big yellow and green building that they tore down. I also lived in the PICO ALISO projects on 1st because they were moving the family's around during the construction. This area is known as the flats and was considered the slums of Boyle Heights for many years.

I was there for the gold line extension. I worked in down town for a while and I used to love the art graffiti. Before I moved they were painting over it. I thought it made the bridge look plain. I have fond memories of Hollenbeck Park. I remember sitting in the bleachers at Roosevelt HS and being able to see the mountains in the distance covered in snow or walking home from school and seeing the skyscrapers in downtown including the new Ritz Carleton/JW Marriott hotel.

I went to second street elementary, Hollenbeck middle school, and Roosevelt High. I also went to East LA College for a while after that. I joined the navy and no longer live in Boyle Heights. I currently live in Oahu, Hawaii in a nice neighborhood called Waipahu. I have been to a few places since I joined but nothing compares to Boyle Heights.

This neighborhood was amazing. Yes there were some bad things about it like gangs. But for the most part they left everyone alone. Nothing can compare to the rich culture amazing food, the feeling of closeness and family and also the great sense of community. I still hope to move back one day and buy one of the beautiful Victorian style homes that are located on Boyle Ave.

Boyle Heights is a very unique neighborhood full of rich history and culture. My favorite quote that describes Boyle Heights is "All roads lead to Boyle Heights." This applies because as people from Boyle Heights know many freeways go through Boyle Heights making it a great place to live.

— Carmen Hernandez
May 18, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

And speaking of helping the community, many new cool businesses are starting up there! Good to see the same residents standing up and making a difference in the community. One place, in particular (and fave!) is Arctic Hotspot, right across from Roosevelt High School, a Bakery, Cafe & Catering place! Brings new light to the area! Stop by and give it a try and support the local economy.

— Jimmy
May 4, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.

Born and raised in Boyle Height. My family lived 4th and Evergreen. Grandma's house for many years. Mom and dad moved to Aliso Village when we were very young. Went to Hollenbeck Jr High, then got involved in the Bad Things, gang violence (PFLATS) and drugs. Moved away for many years when I was 17, and began a new life. Moved back in 1990. Met my wife and lived on Matthews, between Cesar Chavez(always Brooklyn to me) and Michigan. It changed my whole world when my kids were born. Too hard to raise kids there when bullets are flying by your windows. Moved to Montebello for 4 years, then bought our home in Valinda. We often go through Boyle Heights to see the old house and occasionally run into a friend. I miss my old neighborhood. Have so much love for Boyle Heights. Help as many people as we can!!!

— Ruben
May 3, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.

To Juan C, you asked about what ever happened to the Chaparro's living in Pico Gardens, I married one, his brother Lorenzo Chaparro lives with my dad and we live on 2nd & Breed, I never left my beautiful City of Boyle Heights, I am active in my city and proud to say that I survived alot of gang violence and mentor kids at Juvenile Hall whenever I can, you can find us on Facebook, just look up Chaparro and you'll find me and Angel Chaparro, I was born in 1961 and lived the chola life, I grew up though and love all the memories God has let me have, there are alot of nice places to live, but I love my community and love knowing that I am making a difference as a landlord, and a contributor to my community, take care and God Bless all who read this, Boyle Heights is now on the map !!

— RChaparro
April 29, 2011 at 12:55 p.m.

Yes ,such nice memories, our painted walls some call grafiti is not such .most of it is ART you just need to look at it from another prespective, with the exception of the gang signs of course. And then again that is the only downside of Beautiful Boyle Heights which is the downside of every other city cause every city has then.

— Martha Perez
March 26, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.

great memories there GILF, thanks for sharing them

— former gangster
March 2, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.

I was born, raised and educated in Boyle Heights. I was born in 1961 at Lincoln Hospital.

My family lived at the Camulos St. residence and then moved to the Lanfranco Street residence by Savannah St. We called it the Flores Castle. It was the back house up a long driveway next to pink apartments. Around 1979 we moved back to the Camulos St. address to live with my uncle.

I attended Euclid Avenue Elementary School from Head Start thru 3rd grade. I saw them knock the brick building down with a steel wrecking ball. Orme St. use to go thru the middle of the school. But no longer does as the school playground was enlarged. I had classes in the brick building and in the new building that was built at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Whittier Blvd. I saw the teachers on strike and I was shown on the TV news looking at my teachers picketing. The Roosevelt Walkout riot passed by the school as the LAPD chased the Roosevelt Students past the school. Thanks to Ms. Brown and Ms. Crushell for teaching me to read. (Sorry for misspelling your name Ms. Crushell.)

I left Euclid in the 3rd grade and attended Our Lady of Talpa School from 4th thru 8th grade. I saw the old church torn down and the new church being built. During this period, masses were held at the school auditorium. I was baptized and completed my First Communion in the old Church. I remember going to the Church on Saturdays to get Bolo. That was fun. Believe it or not I was an Altar Boy and served in Baptismals, Funerals and Masses. Movies were filmed at the old Church. I played baseball catch with actor, Alejandro Rey. My sister said there were two movies filmed at the church. I was confirmed and graduated in the new Church.

Our Lady of Talpa School has an Annual Fundraiser with Dinner, Music, Auctions and Raffles. In 2010 it was held at Salesian High School.

I played flag football for three years at Talpa. I played two years on the A team. Chasco and Beefy were my coaches. Around 10 years ago I was passing by Evergreen Park and saw the Talpa football team was practicing at the same place. We use to practice at the Evergreen field closes to the corner of 4th St. and Evergreen. I stopped and went to the practice and to my surprise Coaches Chasco and Beefy were still coaching! Chasco thought I was my younger brother. I guess he was a better player.

I attended Salesian for the 9th and 10th grade. I played C football my freshman year and ran track my sophmore year. I ran for the great coach, Brother Tom Keegan. (All right Lads…) Brother asked me to come out and try out for Cross Country my Junior year. I told him I wouldn’t be returning and he said he would get me a job. I informed him that I didn’t want to come back. That was the end of that conversation.

— GILF
January 3, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.

Salesian had great dances with live bands every two weeks. There was also an annual carnival.

Salesian now has a new Football Stadium where the old gym and practice field were located. The street that ran between the hole and the school no longer goes thru. It dead ends at the stadium. The hole is something else. If you remember how it looked back in the 70’s, you wouldn’t recognize it. It’s a state of the art soccer field.

I attended Roosevelt for the 11th and 12th grade. I played JV football for one year and ran Varsity track for two years for Coach Telliano. I also ran Varsity cross country for Coach Telliano. One time we were at Griffith Park running at a cross country meet. While running in the meet, I saw my old team mates from Salesian. They were practicing. Brother Tom and some of my old team mates recognized me and started cheering me on. That inspired me, but I was to far behind. :D

Although I wasn’t attending Roosevelt at the time, I saw the building of the B building on Mathews St. and the practice field at the corner of 6th and Mott being built.

I also worked as a Teacher’s Aide at Roosevelt for the ESL Department from October 1979 thru March of 1984. I met my wife while working at Roosevelt High School. She is the Principal of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet in Boyle Heights. This school became a Blue Ribbon School in 2006. Imagine a Blue Ribbon School in Boyle Heights! Who’d believe!!!

I then attended CSULA from October 1979 thru December 1984. I earned a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Anthropology. When I went to CSULA, the mascot was a Diablo. It was changed to the Golden Eagles my first year. President Rosser started his tenure at CSULA and I believe he is still the President. I did a lot of studying at the John F. Kennedy Library located in the heart of the campus. I went back to CSULA about eight months ago. I was hoping my son would attend CSULA. The Student Union has been remodeled or rebuilt. The bookstore is located next door to the Student Union. The walk from the Student Union to Salazar Hall has not changed. Cardiac Hill is still there, but now leads to dorms. They started building them while I was attending and finished them in 1984. I remember when I would park my Vette and walk up Cardiac Hil to my classes in King Hall. The car was a Chevette.

— GILF
January 3, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.

A lot of my uncles and aunts lived within walking distance of my homes in Boyle Heights. In fact, We lived with two uncles in the house located on Camulos. An aunt and uncle lived in a two bedroom house downstairs. (It was a Duplex.) I had another aunt and uncle that lived on Camulos St. by Eagle St. Unforunately many of them now are located in Calvary. RIP.

There were many friends which were with in ten years of age of each other. We were brothers and sisters. It was mainly Mexican families and a few Japanese families. There were gang members from Evergreen, but we got along. Although we weren’t a gang, we called ourselves the Lanfranco Boys.

One of the guys went by the name Naka (Eddie Nakasaki) He had a back yard that was a jungle. He played the electrical guitar. Sometimes his friends would come over and an impromptu jam session would evolve on top of his garage roof. Pretty soon people were coming by to party and listening to rock music. Other times Naka would make a dummy out of old clothes and newspaper. Strings would be throw over telephone wires and attached to the dummy on the legs and arms. The dummy would be put in the street. When a car would pass by the dummy was manevered to make the dummy sit up, stand up or move an arm or leg. It was so hilarious to see the reaction of the drivers. One time someone stopped the car and took the dummy. LAPD came a few times and took them too. We were bad!

Sometimes we would go to Blueberry Hill and get card board boxes to slide down the hill. Blueberry Hill is located on 6th St., one block east of Mott St. There are stairs that go up Bluberry Hill and 6th St. continues.

I still drive thru Boyle Heights on the way to work. I follow the Gold Line thru 3rd St. to Indiana to 1st St. to State St. Paul Botello, Salesian class of 1979 completed the Iron art work at the Indiana Metro Gold Line stop.

I still go to Haru Florist to purchase flower arrangements. One time I was calling to purchase a flower arrangement for an uncle who had passed away and the phone message stated they were on vacation. I read in the Los Angeles Times that same day the owner of Haru’s Florist had also recently passed. The business was already being runned by his twin daughters. Unfortunately he passed while they were really on vacation. RIP. Their arrangements are beautiful! Two weeks ago I went to La Mascota and picked up two dozen tamales.

I could go on but have to stop. There is so much to say. After reading what people wrote, I felt that I should include my great memories of growing up in Boyle Height. There were bad times but the Good times were more. Happy New Years.

— GILF
January 3, 2011 at 11:17 a.m.

Boyle Heights What is up? Whats up with the police cracking down on the parties, can't even party with out a neighbor complaining.

P.S. Jonathan G. Stop complaining.

— Bet0
December 16, 2010 at 11:04 p.m.

I loved living in the Big B. H. born and raised in Ramona Gardens Projects was Like having one big family we all shared the same recreation center 'THE GYM' we all shared the the neighbor hood markets NICOS marketand LA PALOMA market AND jew owned JACKS market those were the 3 little so called markets in the hood !whats really crazy is that now im 45 yrs old and everywhere i go i always run in to people that where born and raised in BOYLE HEIGHTS and every body i talk to about it always seems to have alot of good memories about the hood yea we had some tough times with the gangs but that was every where! But let me tell you RAMONA GARDENS is one of a kind ghetto neighborhood we had ONE gang in the whole projects and that gang is a well know gang called BIG HAZARD and it is one of the oldest gangs in BOYLE HEIGHTS !i always laugh when people say that the projects is ugly and the worst place to live haha....RAMONA GARDENS was ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY that watched each others backs !! like the saying goes and the songs say "if your not from the hood stay out of the hood!!haha

— Ray Martinez
December 12, 2010 at 10:18 a.m.

I have lived in Compton, South LA, and now Boyle Heights. According to the LA TIMES, South LA has more Violent crimes than Boyle Heights, but Boyle Heights has more property crimes than South LA.

I haven't seen the "tough", "dangerous" part of Boyle Heights that some of you have described. I honestly have no idea what you are talking about(Perhaps, I'm lucky? I don't know). Not to sound insensitive, but I think South LA and Compton (as I mentioned I have lived in both) is actually more dangerous. Boyle Heights? Not really.

Stop complaining. All cities have their share of crimes. Instead of bitching, you should have, or should be, the difference you want to see in your neighborhood. Don't close your eyes & run away, or as some of you like you call it: "escaping" to a better place *rolls eyes* Oh, please! Be part of your community, wherever you live now, and contribute in a positive way.

Stop bitching. You don't deserve to complain, especially if you haven't(or didn't) do anything to improve the community. No city is perfect. But any city that has a low crime rate is the one with active community members.

— H.G.
December 9, 2010 at 1:34 a.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights. I hated it growing up because it was rough, but today I am proud to say I survived and would go through every shooting on Gless St. all over again if there were no innocent bistandards. My brothers, sister and I were much more scared of my mom than any Vato on the street. That's probably why we survived. Boyle Heights represents, resistance, resilience, social injustice, family, unity, love, friendship and cultura. I love this place and its people.

— Brenda Ulloa Martinez
December 8, 2010 at 6:25 p.m.

We are the Boyle Heights Historical Society. Our Mission is to engage the public interest to collect, preserve, appreciate and share knowledge relevant to the diverse social, ethnic, cultural, geographic and architectural heritage of Boyle Heights.

Please visit our website at boyleheightshistoricalsociety.org and our blog:

boyleheightshistoryblog.blogspot.com

We hope you join us in preserving the history of Boyle Heights - Past, Present and Future.

— Boyle Heights Historical Society
December 2, 2010 at 7:45 p.m.

boyle heights was going to dolores misson church for mass and the fiestas with anthony quinn and scat man carrauthers and father coffiel. it was going to utah street school and playing tetherball and other games with my friends and family. it was going to the old soda fountain shop on the corner of 1st and clarence to get an ice cream soda. it was going to the new swimming pool and becoming a junior life guard. it was walking to the central market up on the hill and then to the maralta movie theater on 1st and chicago to see "king kong" and "frankenstein" and chubby checker in "the twist". it was walking to the benjamin franklin library and the little burrito stand nextdoor to the maralta movie theater. it was getting picked up for curfew violation and taken to the hollenbeck police station and getting booked by the desk sergant joseph wambaugh. it was going to dances at the state ballroom, the carpenters hall, the all nations center and many more. it was a million memories and many more. it was being with my friends john, danny and jerry. many, many memeories.

— frank ramos
December 1, 2010 at 10:06 p.m.

well i just got my car robbed on tuesday from 2nd and fickett, hate to say it but scumbags are in boyle heights watch your belongings

— Jonathan G
November 18, 2010 at 4:33 p.m.

Boyle Heights is definately a special place with a lot of special people, special food and culture. Being a part of the "larger" society is exhausting sometimes. I'm glad to be from such a special place. Love to the Raza. Yes, you too. :)

— Richard
November 18, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.

Jon it was not your imagination; there was a house that looked like a Castle and it was off Blanchard St. I would pass the house on my walk home from Roosevelt.

Richard was making fun of you but the laugh is on him.

— Fred
November 17, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.

I was born and raised in boyle heights and I loved every minute over it. The crime was never that bad in our neighborhood particularly but it did envelop my small community.... I live in the valley now... and nothing compares to Boyle Heights!

— 91604
November 13, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.

Boyle Heights has a beautiful community garden called Proyecto Jardin at 1718 Bridge Street. Come by and plant the SEEDS OF TOMORROW. Cultivate a healthy community and don't the PROFILERS get your down

— Irene
November 9, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.

i will never even live in Boyle Heights the crime is way up thanks that i live in rosehills 90032 no graffiti and is a safe neighborhood with are neighborhood watch and graffiti watch"

— rosehill 90032
October 28, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.

Really, do many of you feel an overriding need to point out grammatical errors? This is supposed to an open exchange of ideas, a stream of thought, if you will. It's great to hear everyone's memories, but it is a shame to have to read written insults and "better than thou" remarks. We really do not need to indirectly hear about your academic or professional prowess through such blogs.

— El Gato
October 18, 2010 at 10:38 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Hts. and wouldn't change that for the world. Even though it was a tough town to grow up in, I will always treasure my child hood memories.Nothing is as it was back in the days. Still holdin down my block, Gleason Ave. Long live My Town.

— David Bueno
September 27, 2010 at 3:05 p.m.

I was born & Raised in B.Hts. i remember the little sisters of the poor building. 1st.along mott &2nd.st. The main walls had painting &murals of chicano drawings. I will never forget that time...

— Manuel Lopez
September 6, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

Whatever happen to the african americans who lived in Ramona Gardens back in 1969? Sure miss those days.

— Dewey
September 5, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.

I was born and raised in these streets. Cesar Chavez Ave to be exact. I was a kid when it was Brooklyn Ave. I miss my hood. Partying on the weekends. Gang banging for thrills, and busting missions. Chilling out at the studio after a party smoke some buddha and get chased by the juras hours later. This is a dangerous neighborhood to live in, but that is what i like about it. May Boyle Heights live forever and all the mexicans dwelling in those dangerous streets. God bless my homies and all the raza surviving the calles. Much love.

— ERICK R.
August 30, 2010 at 6:32 p.m.

I saw the castle too. There was this dark haired girl sleeping and these like little guys walking around. About six or seven of them. It did look out of place but this was Boyle Heights so I took it in stride. The little vatos looked creepy like you said like maybe gangmembers. I member the girl was like sleeping all the time. She was fine. The castle was real. The little guys would sing songs and call each other by gang names: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey, yeah, I member, you member?

— Richard
August 16, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.

I lived on Dundas and went to Malabar. in 1961. Was it my imagination or was there a castle on either Dundas or Blanchard street. When I use to walk to Malabar Elem., I use to see a little white castle sitting back in it's lot. What I mean is that It wasn't close to the sidewalk. I would pass it everyday. It was sort of creepy like it didn't belong there. Can anyone else confirm this or was it really just my imagination?

— Jon
August 4, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.

RG, decided that I will always be the "Spick" next door to my million dollar neighbors. Not a personal attack but a general thought. Try thinking positive thoughts RG. Love yourself. Lose the fat. Put the joint down. People are nice. My neighbors, I would suggest probably think i'm that guy that works tirelessly to keep his plants healthy and lawn manicured. The guy who adopted those two adorable kids and shuttles them around town. The guy that takes his wife out on dates. I don't imagine they think i'm the Spick that lives next door. But you would. Not a personal attack, just a general thought.

— Richard
July 26, 2010 at 8:33 a.m.

I grew up in the Estrada Courts Housing Projects. I lived there from 1969-1981. Like most of you, I remember the gangs and the graffiti, but there is alot more to Boyle Heights than that. I remember swimming, playing football, basketball, and baseball at Costello Park. I remember free lunches at the park, schools, and the ones handed out by the summer workers, which most of, if not all of, the teen-age kids in The Courts did at that time.. I remember, never running out of friends or someone to play with, because in The Courts, whenever a family moved out, another one moved in. And no, it was not a revolving door. Everyone knew each other, there were no strangers. Instead of gangbangers, I remember cholos. When I was 7 years old, I was riding my bike, without shoes on, I cut my foot bad and 1 of these so called cholos picked me up, told his friend to get my bike and follow us and he carried me all the way home, about 2 blocks. He didn't even know me, nor did I ever find out who he was. Not bad for a cholo.Instead of graffiti, I remember the murals that were painted by the summer workers in the '70s. Yes, alot of things have changed, and some have gotten worse, but my memories only get better

— Jorge Escutia
July 24, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.

My great-grandparents, grandparents and parents lived in Boyle Heights since the 1940's. I remember going to Foster's for an ice cream with tios and primos. I remember the ice cream trucks and corner liquor store that would sell 5 cent candies in the 70's & 80's. I remember riding with cousins in the backseat while my uncle drove down 7th Street's steep hill by Salesian before there was a Stop sign. I have many, many pictures of Boyle Heights. My family (both sides-mom & dad) took PRIDE in their yard and their surroundings. There were no cars on the front lawn dropping oil. Trash on the sidewalk. Blasted music until 2am during the week. They took pride and respected their neighbors & themselves by keeping their yards clean, kids clean and treated one another nicely. Now that my parents have left the area, the family home is still there, some of us come and stay maybe one night...it is so depressing that individuals have let this area go to caca. But what can one expect from a marginalized area. That's what many would say...but being clean, respectful of neighbors, and pride in one's home and surroundings does not cost anything...in my opinion...picking up trash doesn't require $$$$. As my grandmother would say when she was alive...'ay que gente tan sucia...porque no saben a limpiar, como pueden vivir asi...panales tirados, papeles tirados, sofas, camas tirados...Dios mio'

— cleanup BH
July 21, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.

Richard u hit the nail right on the head boyle Heights is a terrible place too live i am glad i live in rosehills 90032

— USAF
July 20, 2010 at 6:34 p.m.

Nothing makes Boyle Heights a good place to live. Bad schools, illegal aliens, drugs, gangs, violence, did I mention drugs? Alienation from the larger society leading to a lack of social skills and less opportunities. hows that? How was that? Howz that?

— Richard
July 19, 2010 at 3:36 p.m.

Born in General hospital 56' lived on Fairmount then..Blanchard...Folsom...Brooklyn ave...got haircuts at Mikes Barbershop on Wabash & Evergreen ...sweetbread nxt door or so....attended assumption grammar school with nuns full outfit !!..church...Manuel's El Tepeyac ! $25 if u could eat whole Manuel's Special burrito........then years later Cirros downhill at malabar...grandmother lived on corner duplex....ghosts at "ODD fellowship house a lil further south on folsom (mostly asians ) when I lived on Folsom...near sloat.....the gangs , hollenbeck lapd ....east la riots at Laguna Pk... Ruben salazar......evergreen cemetery ....stealing tapes at white front got caught mom not home ...lucky....cruising whittier blvd....salesian sock hops...avoiding dundas & lorena dukes gangs........Oh yes ! still some Jews living in area...left synagogues behind....solbro's shoes on Brooklyn...jack-n-the-box.....Big Buy supermarket...& Johnson's Mkt ..boxboy for lil time...more to come

— Paul
July 15, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights in the 80's-90's Lorena & Lanfranco. I have such good memories from school (Euclid, Stevenson & Roosevelt), playing football on on 5th street with all homies from the block. Kicking it on the porch watching all the people walk by. I have so many friends that I still keep in touch with today, Boyle Heights will always hold a very dear place in my heart.

When I go back today, (my parents still live there) Its complete clutter, never find any parking, Brooklyn (ceasar chavez) is a royal mess. 1st is such a nightmare to go down/up.

I had my grandparents (both sides) live on Evergreen & Eastside. and the others lived on City View & Corwell. Ahh those times were fun.. playing on the street and making trouble everywhere we went.

I miss that time

— Jason J.
June 30, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.

i love boyle heights because its a part of my life because thats were i had my childhood and spend alot of fun time with my family and friends

— jessica
June 24, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.

I live in Boyle Heights, since I came to USA and see all the posibilities this Country offers I want to stay and live in Boyle Heights. It was not easy, I have my career in Mexico and my future was looking good. But....Now I am here, I went to school to learn all a need to have future in this Country.I vote, I went to Evans Community School at night, I have 2 jobs and made alot of friends, Now I have a great job, made good $$$ and buy a house in Boyle Heights. I enjoy my life in this area, because all my neighbors are great, I have a lot of friends, and I am involve in many organizations in the area. My goal is to change this area for the best, thats why I know all that many of you mention, But also my opinion is very important because I do live here. Just to mention how I am involve. I am member from the Boyle Heights Homeowers Asociation, member from the Boyle Heights Historical Asociation, member/chair from the BHNO, I attend many meetings and help at School, Police, Business, parks and more,I go to City Council and give my opinion, I am part of the BSSP Project board of Directors to complete the restauration of Shul Building at Breed St and made it available to the Arts. On may we have our first event to raise funds and we reach our goal $100,000.00 I hope that more people will visit and buy a home, we are in a very central location, I work on Beverly Hills and I know many people who know a lot from Boyle Heights, My neighbors say that I am part of evething, I say I have to, I want to know all that will change this area and be part of it. So for now I am happy to have a strong voice in my neighborhood and be part of the changes. I Know that more good its on this way..........

— Juaquin
June 7, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights in the 90's, not so long ago. Evergreen Elementary was such a wonderful school and i was lucky to have wonderful teachers who inspired me. I then went to Belvedere Middle School. My best friend and I used to buy so many goodies from the bakery on the corner before and after school. My parents always told me that they hoped I would succeed in the future and would move out of Boyle Heights when I grew up. Although Boyle Heights holds so many historical memories, in the past 20 or so years, it seems that it has deteriorated and its unfortunately run down. There is crime; some of my childhood memories are linked with the streets being closed off, or hearing bullets at night. Regardless, it's where i'm from and I will always be proud to say I am from Boyle Heights. For the moment, i'm going to Penn State but I visit my parents every chance I get back home.

— Esther
June 5, 2010 at 12:14 p.m.

My family moved to Boyle Heights in the middle 1950's after the city of Los Angeles forced us to move from Chavez Ravine area that we called "La Loma". My Grandmother used the money that the city gave us to make down payments on homes for my Father and my Uncles.

My Grandfather had built our home on the "Hill" from scratch. He had worked as an immigrant in mines and the railroad. My Grandmother worked in the clothing business and helped to bring the unions to the sweat shops. Our family has been here in California since around 1895.

If you wish to view our family home, the book "Chavez Ravine, 1949; A Los Angeles Story" has a picture of our house on the cover.

You can also see pictures of me and my brothers and sisters in the book.

We had a very good life on the "Hill".

When we moved to Boyle Heights there were no other Chicano families. Our whole block was either Jewish families or a few Japanese families. They all moved out in the 1960's.

Schools we attended (my brother and sisters) were Malabar Grammar School, Hollenbeck Junior High School and Roosevelt High School.

The area were we moved was on Malabar Street, between Mott and Forest. My Mom still lives on Malabar.

My brothers and sisters have all moved away, I moved to Chino Hills, San Bernardino County and raised my family.

I have since moved backed to the San Gabriel Valley.

Boyle Heights, when we first arrived, was a very nice neighborhood. It could not replace our really nice village on "La Loma", but we did have a nice home and really nice neighbors.

Boyle Heights now, is deteriorating, the gang graffiti is ruining property. The streets are full of pot holes and junk cars and trash is choking the neighborhood.

People of Boyle Heights, when we moved in, maintained their homes and yards. Now, when I visit my Mom, the homes and yards are all trashed.

Brooklyn Avenue (my Mom will never call it Cesar Chavez, eventhough she supported him and his cause) now resembles a "barrio" in Mexico.

Boyle Heights is no longer a "melting pot" for all immigrants but is now a single "ethnic" island of people we in the US wish to call "Hispanics", "Latino", "Chicano" or even """Beaners""".

I will think of Boyle Heights as the middle period of my growing up years but cannot hold it in my heart as much as my brief time on "La Loma".

— Gonzo#1
June 3, 2010 at 9:57 p.m.

Not from boyle heights but from east of long beach fwy. known as east los angeles cross streets mcbride ave & hubbard ave. yes from the days of cruising (mid-70's) on whittier blvd i and the compa didn't have a ride did not need one so close to home there every fri. sat. and sunday's we would walk up and down whittier blvd. checking out the ruca's and all the firme low-rider's, but the day's that would be the best has to be whittier blvd on a new year's eve night's when all the car's would come to a stop at 12 mid-night and all the making out would happen all night long, i bet many people can remember those day's.

— robert
May 21, 2010 at 11:57 a.m.

I love boyle heights, i lived on boulder street and Mott. I love the richness of the community. Went to Roosevelt High school. I love when i was a little girl, going down brooklyn street. Going to Canters from my uncle, and had Jewish and italian neighbors, I fell in love had children in my life. I have been blessed to have my job that i have with At&t, and have been a good provider for my family. I have so much to do in my life, during the last chapter in my life. I love my mother and children and grandchildren. But my heart and memories are growing up in Boyle Heights, buying my first album there, i think it was Willie Bobo, Spanish Grease, and other old music. I know the city will live with me forever. and all my special friends who grew up with me. I love you!!

— Lydia Garcia
May 21, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.

Check out "Who remembers in East L.A." on Facebook. They have lots of pictures.

— Becki Garcia
May 20, 2010 at 6:36 p.m.

Not too many million dollar homes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, try from 10 above. And just remember that no matter who you think you are, you will alway be the "Spick" next door, to your million dollar neighbors. Otra mosca en la sopa. Not a personal attack, just a general thought.

— RG
May 13, 2010 at 7:17 p.m.

I lived in BH for all of my childhood(first Winter St near Mott,then Brookly Ave across the street from Candelas Guitar shop)

I am old enough to remember when the Jack in the Box Shack first opened around `66 or `67 ,

Went to the Variety "boys" club ( Romi, Dan, Judy, Raco, and the boxing instructor Fernie Gill)

Cantor Brothers on Brooklyn Ave

Petes Magazine Stand on Brooklyn and Cornwall (Where I used to get my Ring and Mad magazines)

Marty`s record store on Brooklyn and St. Louis? Bought my first records there.

The teen post (to young to go in)

Jacks Market (worked there on and off for over thirty years, and still hang out with the old owner,Alfred)

Leons Outlet

Brooklyn theatre

Ricks hamburger stand near first and Chicago. I had my first slopburger there, even before Tommy`s and Pinks!

I was having lunch there when they brought the "Night Stalker"Richard Ramirez to Hollenbeck station.

I rember in high school (Roosevelt) we used to go Bowling at Lucky Lanes and shoot pool at Andy`s on Atlantic.

Ooops ,That`s not Boyle Heights!

— Patrick
May 5, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.

My father, Nathan Kravetz, was principal of Sheridan Street School from about 1951 to 1957. He has fond memories of the school and the neighborhood. He recently moved from Los Angeles back to his native New York City.

— Daniel Kravetz
April 28, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.

I grew up in Ramona Gardens and joined the Marines. Retired 8 years ago, and still enjoy the occasional visit there. I can recall the aboveground SWIMMING POOL by the swings next to the gym. Most won't remember that since it was there only a brief period of time. It got trashed on a regular basis and so was removed. I used to get away and go to the TEEN POST, or to the VARIETY BOYS CLUB. Remember FOOD GARDEN owner "JACK" and his mom SARAH?

— Lawrence
April 26, 2010 at 2:24 p.m.

thanks rick! i wish i could find a picture of that jack in the box. the incident you mentioned sure sounds like a typical incident. the last time i was in the neighborhood was about 15 years ago. you had to order food through bullet proof glass...

— mirna
April 26, 2010 at 9:35 a.m.

Mirna, if you could see the Jack in the Box from home you were definately in BH!

I was in Jack's drive thru in my little green Pinto with Fat Pat a friend of mine who was as big as a bear. The guy in front of us wanted to fight and started walking towards my car. Fat Pat slowly got out and the guys face turned from brave to extremely frightened. Fat Pat lifted him off the ground and threw him across the asphalt. He got up, returned to his car and drove away. RIP Pat, thanks for the Jack in the box memory. That was 1980. 30 years ago! When Pat got out the car lifted about 6 inches. I just sat there enjoying the show as Pat threw the guy like a rag doll. Or the guy watching as his threat wrestled to get out of the car. He must of thought How in the hell did that guy fit in the little Pinto? Classic. Pat died of a Cocaine overdose.

— Rick
April 25, 2010 at 8:32 p.m.

not exactly sure if this is considered BH area. i grew up on saratoga between brooklyn and 1st street. went to first street school. i remember walking home from school with my grandparents, passing the japanese temples. what i can't remember is; what was the building that was demolished to build the zody's? i remember looking out my grandparents upstairs window and seeing the jack in the box (the actual "jack in the box") from the jack in the box on brooklyn, across from the paramount ballroom. the tortilla factory that my granmother worked at for 20 years, the bar next to "la tiendita" east of saratoga on brooklyn, i think the bar was called El Floresta or La Floresta? Johnson's market, national dollar, king taco, el apache, big buy, 7 mares, el wiri wiri (my grandpa used to hang out there with his friends), brooklyn theater, quinceneras at the paramount ballroom, swimming at roosevelt high school in the summer, variety boys and girls club, "jamaica" at the japanese church/school (not sure if it was a school or church though). i also remember the gun shots at night, the slashing of tires as i played in my front yard. screeching tires...

all in all, it's part of who i am, and i am proud of having been brought up there. i'm also glad to have made it out. i'm looking for pictures of brooklyn theater, and the old jack in the box. i haven't had any luck, so if anyone knows of a link where i could find them, i'd love to check them out. i like the post that mentioned the diversity in that area.

— mirna
April 23, 2010 at 3:32 p.m.

Boyle Heights is what you make of it. My parents were strict and education-oriented, even though they did not complete more than a HS education. But they instilled strong values in me. I'm a doctor now and visit my grandparents in BH every chance I get. I love going to King Taco on Soto and Cesar Chavez. It brings back memories of my childhood.

— Rudy
April 6, 2010 at 6:53 a.m.

Irene, what part of ghetto did you miss? Factoids aside, the ghetto is a scary place and maybe I am a tinged angry. Survival in Boyle Heights required a good amount of anger. Guess shaking it off doesn't work. Kudos to both your parents for having raised such a historically gem filled individual. Although Blueberry Hill in East L.A. was a make out point as well, I suspect the outcome was unplanned pregnancies and not many love songs. Please continue to share your thoughts and historical gems. I used to watch the Munsters - great show. Factoid cannot really be a word can it? Imagine marrying someone that says Factoid. lol The world may just end in 2012 afterall. Mayantoid.

— Richard
March 28, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.

Richard -

Are you OK? Your last post appears to display a tinge of anger.

There was a historical gem nestled in my last post. Sorry it eluded you.

— Irene
March 26, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.

Blueberry Hill in East Los is definitely Not the inspiration for this song or any other song. Like mentioned earlier it is a little hill on a little street in the ghetto. The hill may mean something to gang members but I suspect they didn't become songwriters. Muralist maybe, songwriters No.

— Richard
March 26, 2010 at 7:17 a.m.

Richard-

Thanks for the Bluberry Hill factoid. Both my parents attended Hollenbeck Middle School and I know this song is counted as one of my dad's favorites.

Wikipedia cites Blueberry Hill, a make out site in Taos, NMexico as the source of inspiration for this song. Since this tune was penned in the early 40s I found that a bit odd.

BTW.. did you know Al Lewis, grandpa Munster, is one of the songwriters credited for writing this famous song?

Does anyone out there know if the Blueberry Hill in BH is the inspiration for this song?

— Irene
March 25, 2010 at 3:59 p.m.

Felix you sound like someone that skipped school aplenty. Admittedly, you were from "Tercera", spanish for "Third" street. Aside from ending up dead or in prison, our youth should be afraid of wasting time and not getting the writing skills necessary to obtain a good job. A life of Poverty awaits those without the required writing skills to compete in today's job market. Felix obviously is working in the lower echelons of the economic ladder earning little more than minimum wage. That he was able to get out of Boyle Heights is commendable but getting out of being illiterate should be his next goal. Please Felix take a writing course and combine your desire to express your experiences with excellent writing skills like mine. While you were gangbanging I was home doing my homework hoping not to be victimized by you or your homies. I wish you had been deported as a self described "wetback'. You being in our country illegally and making all Mexicans look bad by gangbanging and putting innocent people in harms way is unpardonable. No vengas aqui con estorias de como has cambiado. Eres el mismo mal hombre que eras en esos tiempos. Nunca vas ha cambiar y tarde o temprano vas ha pagar para todos tus maldades. Cada uno. Para todo se paga Felix y por una rason pienso que tu todavia no has pagado sufficiente.

— Josue
March 25, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.

I came from mexico in 1976 to boyle heights i live on soto and six street when i came to boyle heights i was a full wetback when i went to hollenbeck j.h.s.due to my spanish and lack of english for my protection and lack of choice low judgement i join a a mexican gang wish was third street la tercera.we were rivals of most of the gangs in boyle heights i will mention the gangs.white fence.evergreen, primera flats.cuatro flats,this gangs where the main ones back on the 70,s most of all my friends that where in this gang in this period of time are death or life in prision overdose i could mention i'm almost 50 years old i been in prison a few times i'm almost blind by gang injuries that happen back in the early 80's i havent been in jail for almost 20 years i turn my life around i have three kids that i move far away from there and they dont know who i was even my wife doens't know my lows more than twenty years ago.i dont look like a gang member i never did i always dress with my levis and t shirts but beleive me i was very active in criminal and gang shoot outs out there.this message is for all kids out there the good life is when you raised your kids your family is what your brain and body comes to.but if you screw your life in gangs and maybe you where not know your real family im blessed that after all i been i'm still alive and for anything i will give my family good been for criminal acts.i have boyle height on my heart i honestly i cry when i go there for out eating it looks that i'm in a twilight zone due to i dont see any familiar face just big memories in any corners.my kids they are afraid when i bring them they said the don't few secure because they saw a shoot out when we got the free way by forth street by hollenbeck i think if a gang member see this he will think i'm a pussy and he might trying to retalate by trying to see who i'm i might it hurt one of his family that where on my rivals gang but i never killed any body it was the other way around all this gangs want wipe out third street wish more than 20 of my friend got killed by drive byes third street my generation only are few that made it and some are in jail for ever please try to get out before you died or memories hits on you for ever felix......

— FELIX
March 25, 2010 at 12:28 a.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights in the 70's & 80's,I now live in a small quiet town in Texas with a population 2,200.I am proud to say that I grew up in BH,I remember going to Evergreen elementary,Belvedere jh,Roosevelt high and playing on mustard hill on Alma st,I remember the house with the stilts,eating at Julio burgers on stone st,El Tepeyac,Ciros flautas and King taco,Tico Tico,La Parilla on Brooklyn. I won't ever forget playing pool,foosball,ping-pong,basketball and swimming in the summer at Salesian's boys club. Boyle Heights was a great place top grow up!

— Frank S.
March 24, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

Gary, Spelling corrections: Tepeyac, Ciros, Olvera. Brooklyn Ave. is now Cesar Chavez Ave., Alvara Street? If you misspelled Olvera street you were maybe not from East Los after all. I notice Orme Street is pretty much under a freeway overpass. Sorry about that. Glad you enjoyed your stay. I liked cruising Whittier Blvd. checking out the rookas.

— Rick
March 24, 2010 at 3:11 p.m.

Blueberry Hill is across the street from Hollenbeck Junior High School off of Mott Avenue. This hill "belonged" and probably still belongs to the White Fence gang, the prominent gang in the area. Many White Fence members reminisce fondly Blueberry Hill stories. Blueberry Hill is not to be visited at night unless you know the right monikers. If you do, then you can actually hang out with real gangsters and experience something few get to without being in the varrio. Very unique. Not like going to Paris or anything but Blueberry Hill is famous in Boyle Heights.

— Richard
March 24, 2010 at 3:03 p.m.

Timothy Swain -

My parents lived in Boyle Heights from the 1920s through late 40s. Can you, or anyone else on this blog, please tell me about Blueberry Hill?

— Irene
March 24, 2010 at 1:03 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights and because of that I am the person that I am today. I never got mixed up in gangs and have life long friends who have become successful. I attended Salesian High school and graduated in 1982. I now have a great position with an aerospace company in Las Vegas, own a great big home and have everything that I have always wanted. There are many things I miss about the old times in BH. Going back to my old house on Orme ave. I am glad that I am out of there,what took me so long? Its not the same as it used to be. Not many people care for their houses and it is not very attractive. Growing up there at that time was different story. I am proud to say that I'm from Boyle Heights. I miss:

Salesian dances, El tepeyak, Cirros, Hugos tacos, Frosties, Harrys burgers, 19 cent Hot Dogs, Cruising Montebello Park,Elysian Park races, Disco Dennys, the Copa, DQ's, Brooklyn Ave. Philippes, Alvara Street, Weiland Brewery, Shabu-Shabu House and all of the friends that I left behind. God Bless you all. Later!

— Gary "G"
March 17, 2010 at 4:43 p.m.

Ruben A. I counted 3 I's in your speech. I, I, I. Me, Me, Me. Nobody cares what You want to read compadre. It is what it is. Freedom of speech. You sound like a spoiled brat living in mom's back room. You want to hear stories? visit los vecinos. They're still there! Go visit with them to hear Boyle Heights love stories. Log on to read dialogue between adults. Ruben A. you probably live in a wannabe Boyle Heights area, wear glasses and never beat the crap out of someone Boyle Heights style. I, I , I, me me me. No te metes con los adultos. ?No tienes tarea? I want, I was hoping, I wish, Go wash your mom's car.

— Richard
March 17, 2010 at 3:59 p.m.

I initially grew up in san pedro, met a girl from BH and married her 35 years ago.We lived in BH for several years..and it true, great memories just going to all the differant bakeries, and eateries like Manuels, king taco, ciros, and meeting many very good people, when ever i go into BH or east los i always feel like im going back home.

— aaron
March 16, 2010 at 2:31 p.m.

Boyle Heights is an awesome neighborhood! I have lived here sense I was 7 and I am staying here until I am kicked out! The neighborhood is family orientated and everything is convenient. You have your positive and your negative as you do with any neighborhood... But this is home.

If you want a neighborhood to change than give your time to help change it. That is exactly what I am doing!

Currently Boyle Heights is having town hall meetings on what does the neighborhood want & need. Boyle Heights was chosen by the california indowement as a neighborhood to invest in. So if you currently live here and are approached by a person to take a survey its to your benefit to participate tell them yes I have 10 min. Give your input! Only you can help change your neighborhood!

— I ❤ BH
March 16, 2010 at 12:16 a.m.

To "Richard" and "JC"

I don't think the purpose of this blog site was intended for people to bicker with each other as to why they are glad to be out of their community or not. You both posted your comments about your memories of Boyle Heights, whether good or bad, and that was fine, we all have the right to our own opinion! But this going back & forth between you guys is getting old! I go to this site just about everyday because I enjoy reading the memories of people that lived a part of their lives in the same community that I did, whether it was during the 1930's, 40's, 50's and so on. Please, if you guys want to continue your conversation, give each other your email or something. Better yet, maybe "Richard" will have you and your family over to the beach house for a BBQ - "JC" bring the carne asada!! Just my opinion - Thanks guys, que Dios los bendiga.

— Ruben A.
March 15, 2010 at 1:02 a.m.

I had feeling that would be your answer. Its good to offer a helping hand. I dont think any jelousy is present. Its just like i said they feel better in the best place. I wonder why you say its like escaping from alcatraz. Was it that bad for you? Why would they eat better that you? There is no stores that sell bean and cheese by your million dollar home. Beans are 3 pounds for 1 dollar. You are welcome to come and enjoy the best food in boyle heights. Try El Tepeyac. You should know where all the good places are. If not just look at all the comments of people that enjoy dining in Boyle Heights. I dont think the waiters would care if you live in a million dollar home. They will be happy to get your business.

— JC.
March 13, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.

Good question, J.C.. Mostly my family members have disowned me for preaching education, hard work and abstinence from drugs. Although I have offered a helping hand you know the old saying about leading a horse to water...Jealousy may or may not be present. It is hard enough to get yourself out of Boyle Heights let alone others. Getting out Boyle Heights is like escaping from Alcatraz. Few did it and those that did never went back unless on one of those tours. So no, they don't enjoy the waves but probably eat better than I do!

— Richard
March 11, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.

WHAT DID U DO TO THE REST OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. ALL OF THEM WATCHING THE THE WAVE'S IN YOUR MILLION DOLLAR HOME OR THERE STILL IN THE BEST PLACE I EVER LIVED (BOYLE HEIGHTS)

— jc
March 10, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.

Boyle Heights is a first stop for arriving immigrants mostly from Mexico. The children of these immigrants must go through a great assimilation process in order to escape Boyle Heights. Say what you will, escape is the correct word. The parents are mostly of no help in this process as they tirelessly speak of the old country and how beautiful it is. The schools are of little help as we all know the LAUSD doesn't prepare a student for anything but menial jobs. You must take control of your life yourself. You have to get a global view of the world in order to see how little Boyle Heights is. You have to have a dream and work towards that dream. You have to stay out of trouble because you know it is everywhere. I did it and you can too. Once you get out you will be shocked at how few of us escaped Boyle Heights. Grab the ring! See you on the outside!

— Richard
March 10, 2010 at 1:02 p.m.

I remember when Father Barney was moved after being accused of child molestation. Assumption Church across from El Tepeyac aka Manuels. So he was asking if children were sexually active? There you go. Another perv priest.

— Richard
March 8, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.

Kenny's Sporting Goods and Toyo's Market! Thanks Javi! As soon as I read the names I thought "Oh ya!" I’m so glad someone remembered!

Since I've last posted, I've read a few accounts written by some who went through and or witnessed bad things growing up in Boyle Heights. Some have even responded bent on the idea that fond memories about Boyle Heights are nothing but romantic notions.

Dear friends, here is the truth of the matter..

We all had the same choices. If you did well in school it was because you chose to do your homework like your teacher told you to. If you didn’t join a gang, it was because you listened to your mom when she told you not to. If you were not sexually active it was because you knew you were going to confessional with Father Barney (who would ask if you were!) or because you didn’t want to disappoint your parents with an unwanted pregnancy. If you have fond memories of shop keepers and neighbors it was probably because (like many of them) you were friendly, respectful and neighborly.

No one can make you feel something that isn’t there. As far as I’m concerned, I grew up in a great place. A tough place yes, but I’m all the more whole and compassionate and wise for it. I am rich, rich with experience, education and love for who I am, where I came from and the difference I make in this world. Poverty is sad but poverty of spirit and hope is tragic. Our humble beginnings may seem to put us at a disadvantage but it doesn’t. No one owes us anything, what ever we want is ours depending on how hard we work for it. I am rich. You my friend are also rich. You are from Boyle Heights.

— Leticia
March 8, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights. The real one by Evergreen and Malabar. Not wantabee areas. I hear about ditching parties and people with monikers. Anyone do Homework? That was the material handed out by your teacher so you could leave Boyle Heights. I did it religiously. I looked around and sat to do my homework. My elders promised it was the ticket out. I needed a ticket out so I sat and did my homework better than anyone. I live in a million dollar home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So close I can see the waves. The ticket? Homework. (Period) As to what ever became of Ghetto boy? Probably in prison or dead.

— Richard
March 6, 2010 at 6:06 p.m.

I LIVED IN PICO GARDENS BEST TIME EVER WHAT ABOUT THE CHAPARROS ANGEL,LORENZO,JOELO,CINDY FORGOT THE OTHER TWO SISTER'S NAMES,LORENZO LIKE TO HANG AROUND WITH MY BROTHER MARCOS,HE STILL,WORKS FOR MTA,I HANG AROUND WITH MANUEL ENCISO AND HIS BROTHER GILBERT LOTS OF GOOD FREINDS I HAVEN'T SEEN THEM IN YEARS LAST TIME WAS AT DOLORES MISSION CHURCH HOPE TO SEE THEM BUT IN NOT IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCE JUST WANT TO SAY I HAD THE BEST TIME REMEMBER THE DITCHING PARTYS BOXER USED TO HAVE COVER THE LIGHT BULB WITH A PAPER BAG HIS DAD WOULD GET MAD AT US SO MUCH FUN HOW ABOUT FIDEL,BRIAN,PATO,HECTOR,I LIVED NEXT TO HIM,WELL GOT TO GO I HOPE SOMEONE REMEMBER'S THOSE GOOD OLD DAY'S.

— Juan c.
March 6, 2010 at 9:56 a.m.

Does any body remember ruby he lived next to the archway.How about Don Ramon and Don Chupe short man,and joe Elcantador.GOOD OLD DAY'S I LIVE IN FRONT OF CENTIMENTAL NELSON HE HAS FOUR BROTHERS AND ONE SISTER I THINK SHE GOT MARIED TO JUNE BUG RAUL,BROTHER .WHAT EVER HAPPEN TO THE GHETTO BOY'S STILL AROUND.

— juan
March 5, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.

The zip code in Boyle Heights is 90063 and the zip code in Beverly Hills is 90068. Life is Beverly Hills is great. Life for some people in Boyle Heights is great. Remember they're coming from a 3rd world country. My brother visited Mexico and swears it's the 4th world. Anyway, what a coincidence that these two places have so much in common. Someone who owns a home in Beverly Hills can sell it and buy a full city block of 9 houses in Boyle Heights, hire Mexicans to fence the entire property and live like a king/queen. A couple of dogs and a good alarm system is all you'll need for protection. No one will bother you though. Seriously, this is a great idea. Living in Boyle Heights is like living in Mexico but being in the United States. USC Medical Center is 2 miles away at the ready for your medical needs. Enjoy waking up to the sound of roosters crowing and the smells of old mexico from a neighbors kitchen. Be amazed at the number of people walking around during the day without a worry in the world. BH is wonderful!

— The Mailman
March 4, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.

Born (1981) and raised in BH. Left for college and still go back on the weekends (mother still lives in BH). Although alot of these memories seem overly romanticized, growing up it did not seem too horrible until you got out to the real world and felt culture shock when not everyone else had drive by's at their high school...If I had a choice I would have been brought up somewhere else where the drop out rate was not so high, test scores so low, and the education system just horrid! The only positives outcome of growing up in BH is my tough skin. I would not go back to live there until it is 40% gentrified, which you all know is coming sooner than later with the completion of the Gold Line.

— Not going to romanticize BH
February 27, 2010 at 11:44 a.m.

I remember members of White Fence acting crazy in front of my mom's house. I remember my car dissapearing after I spent all weekend and the little money I had to clean it up. I remember outrunning a gang of thugs. I remember drunks everywhere speaking as if they knew something I didn't. I remember thinking everyone in California was Mexican. I remember two friends dying of overdoses and another hooked on PCP. My best memory? Leaving.

— Richard Arellano
February 25, 2010 at 1:09 p.m.

My maternal grandparents live in Pico Gardens then on Judson Street by Bridge St. School and Prospect Park; my paternal grandparents also lived by Prospect Park then moved to 3rd and Mott eventually ending up on Lanfranco & Indiana.

I was born at the White Memorial Hospital and lived off 1st and Boyle Ave. I remember Ludies corner store on 1st and Gless St.; Ludie was such a nice man he would give all the kids free candy. We moved to the Florence section of LA; then to Lincoln Hts. and finally ending up in City Terrace.

Living in City Terrace I went to Harrison Elm, then Belvedere Jr. High and Roosevelt

(My older brother went to Garfield at the same time). I spent a great deal of time in BH because of my grandparents.

My memories are of the following:

1. Franco’s Drug Store on the corner of Brooklyn & Echandia; Mr. Franco was a nice man who died way too young.

2. B of A on the corner of Brooklyn & Soto caddie corner from Curries Ice Cream

3. Zuckerts – My mom shopped there for dresses

4. Formosa Café

5. Sigs & Zellmans Mens Store– Manny Zellman was a good guy; gave me credit.

6. El Tepeyac

7. Brooklyn, Vern(or Vernon), & Meralta theaters

8. Sears on Soto & Olympic

9. Cantors

10. White Spot

11. Diggity Dog

12. Stans

13 La Mascota

14. Blueberry Hill

15. Evergreen Playground

16. National Dollar Store

17. Paramount Ballroom

18. Pontrolle’s

19. Casa De Mexicanos

20. Foster Freeze

21. Russian/Turkish Baths on First St.

22. Al & Bea’s

So many memories!!!!

— Santisteban
February 22, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.

I was born at santa Martha hospital.My mom worked at the tepeyac,my dad is a member of the Sly,Slick and the Wicked.I remember going to All Nations to watch my dad at band practice then go to my moms job and I always got a Hollenbeck burrito.I lived in Aliso then we moved to LHTS but i spent most of my days in BHTS growing up,and especially when i transferrd from my jr.high Nightingale to Hollenbeck in 88'i remember my P.E teacher wit hes nasty sweat staind under arm shirts Mr.Macias lol...That dude was your por mans Eric Estrada,anyway I love BHTS especially the chiks i dated from there,anyways plenty of good times and alot of fights but I made it thru,I left L.A in 91 been In Oklahoma City since,when I go back to L.A make sure and go to the Taco restaurant on Whittier & Soto...

— Donnie Ray"B-BOYY"EASTLAKE
February 19, 2010 at 1:07 a.m.

Moving to Boyle Heights in 1961-1969 gave us an opportunity to begin a new life. The dream of my Father having a good job, owning a home and raising a large family seem to diminish after my father lost his job and the house we owned. My father later accepted two jobs one as a blue printer in a downtown LA office and the other moonlighting as a security guard in the local bars.

We lived in two of the Pico Gardens Projects (apartments) we first moved into a three bedroom and later into a four bedroom several apartments down from where we had lived. I remember when we first moved into Pico Gardens it was a kid’s dream come true, we had stairs to slide down, lots of friends, a front yard that was a giant playground with swings, a monkey bar; a grassy area to play ball and a side walk pathway that went around the playground where it served as a path to ride our bikes and roller skates. It was also convenient for my Mother because she just had to look out the living room window to see that her 7 children were safely playing. I especially liked the hardwood floors in the apartment and the smell of the fresh cut grass after the gardeners would mow the lawn. I enjoyed taking afternoon naps in the middle of the day and waking up to the sounds of children playing and the sounds of the swings squeaking.

I enjoy most of the experiences Francisco mentioned in his story. The swimming, the hiding seek etc.I went to Second Street Elementary, summer school at Dolores Mission, Hollenbeck Jr. High. I didn't play in the LA River and factories and my experience of the grassy hills of Hollenbeck Park was to use a card board box. I also enjoyed summer fun of balloon fights boys against the girls and getting wet using the water hose and playing slip and slide on the sidewalks after rubbing dish soap on the sidewalk; playing kick the can and playing handball against the archway walls. Those were the good days and memories.

For all my good and bad memories I like to thank the following:

The boys in the boys club for Disney Land invite and birthday present/color pencils - my hobby is now painting and drawing

Frank E.-1st kiss

Fede E. -sweet innocent puppy love -1st boyfriend

The boys with banana seat for letting us ride behind with our roller skates

Institution up the hill from the projects – for classes in science, dance, film, cooking, etc.

Social worker leader of the girls club for showing what is outside the projects and for giving us the I can do attitude and for listening to my fear of turning 14 and fear to be force into drugs, also for listening to my story of being rape because a friend traded my virginity for a bottle of wine. And for talking to my parents and coming up with the solution to move me out of state.

For the record I would never give up my childhood memories.

Note: 7 bro. and sis. have good jobs/either have 2 yr college, BA degree, MS degrees. Ex: set for 4 half bro. and sis. BA degrees.

— Mary B.
February 14, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.

Sweet memories of my beloved Boyle Heights. I grew up on Dundas in 1976-1991. My mom worked at Evergreen child development center. I remember walking with my brother to a little christian school called Light and Life down Evergreen everyday. I remember spending my days hanging out and playing PAC man at the little stores on Wabash. Los Robles market, la panederia owned by the dough boys and la milpita was where my mom made her daily rounds to make us dinner. I remember my dad going to the Bank of America on Wabash and then going across the street to the ferreteria to purchase items for home improvement projects. I attended RHS '88, ELAC '89 then eventually I left in 1991 for college never knowing I would never live there again. I took some friends on a reality tour of my old neighborhood recently and got teary eyed, just like today reading everyones comments.

— Elizabeth R.
February 13, 2010 at 8:09 a.m.

North Hicks Ave.

Summer 1969, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 . . .

A warm summer night, the street lights going on about 8:30, walking up the hill on Hicks, right onto Dickson, left up to Dodds Circle and back around onto Hicks again. Picking kumquats (sp?) along the way then stopping just under the "house on stilts" (actually that was the Slayton's home) to watch the fireworks from Dodger Stadium. By now it's about 10:00 p.m. and I had to "check in" with my grandfather "Lalo" who was sitting on the porch listening to the Dodger game on his radio but so long as the game was still on, I could still be outside. What a magical time....

I loved my years up on Hicks Ave and they will always hold a special place in my heart. The "familias" up on Mustard Hill will ALWAYS be what made Mustard Hill what it was and in spirit continues to be.

Con much carino a las familias; Papa, Robles, Guzman, Mata, Jimenez, Slayton and Martinez! Sonya~ :D

FYI, the house at the top of the hill wasn't haunted! The "castle" belonged to Mrs. Evans and yes she had lots and lots of cats!!

— Familia DeLaLuz
February 5, 2010 at 10:06 p.m.

Boyle Heights...the essence of who I am today!I was born in 1969 at LAC/USC in Boyle Heights and reared in the Wyvernwood Garden Apartments in Boyle Hieghts.I too have fond memories of my beloved Boyle Heights:

-Attended Dacotah E.S.from 1973-1981.I was part of the awesome music program with Mrs.Dorothy Lundberg (I played the violin & was in the choir.) The teachers were dedicated and inspiring. My fondest memories of the teachers there, are of Mrs. Zulpo, Mr. Akutagawa & Ms. Jung.

-afternoons in the biggest backyard ever on The Mall in the Wyvernwood Garden Apt. We had lots of hiding places for Man Hunt, Trees to Climb, lawns to run on and walkways to ride our bikes on...all without the worry of car traffic.

-summer days @ the Costello Swimming Pool

-shopping at Fine's Market on Olympic Blvd., Sears, the Quebradita on Whittier Blvd. & Big Buy on Brooklyn Ave.

-getting my hair done @ a beauty salon owned by the Shapiro's on Brooklyn, next door to Big Buy Market.

-quinceañera celebrations at La Casa del Mexicano

-walking daily from the Wyvernwood Apts. to Hollenbeck Jr. High ('81-'84) and Roosevelt H.S. ('84-87) via 8th street, Marietta St., Whittier Blvd., Mott St.

-RHS:Dancing the night away at Sports Night at Club 456 (a.k.a. RHS Gym); Friday Night Football Games; The Roosevelt-Garfield Games; the mock trials in Mr. Fong's class; applying for college

-Ha-Ru Florist for our corsages for the RHS Dances, Prom and my wedding flowers.

-walking to catechism & making my First Holy Communion at St.Isabel Church

-carnivals at Resurrection Church

- Married in 1995 @ Ressurrection Church

-Friday night's @ King Kole Pizza on Whittier Blvd.(watching the people leave service from the Russian Molokan Church across from King Kole Pizza)

-

I left to UCR in 1987, coming back ocassionally on the weekends and summmers.After graduating from UCR, I went to Whittier College to get my teaching credential and later pursued my Masters Degree. My parents left Boyle Heights in 1995 soon after I got married and purchased a home in Covina. Thus, I have not made my weekend trips to Boyle Heights as other lucky folks have. However I do return for the occasional craving of bean and cheese burritos from Al & Bea's, the Hollenbeck Special at El Tepeyac, the flautas at Cirro's & the birria (the only place where I'll eat birria)at La Birrieria Jaliso and pan dulce from La Favorita Bakery on 4th street (not to far from St. Mary's Church.)

I have been an elementary school teacher for the last 18 years in South Gate longing to one day return to teach and inspire the new generation of Boyle Heights. I have lived in West Covina for 15 years. I don't regret growing up in Boyle Heights: a community of diverse neighborhoods that embrace you, protect you, empower you and nurture a free spirit.

Boyle Heights has seen and experienced many economic downturns which give rise to other problems....nonetheless, the core has not changed. I love Boyle Heights!

— sylvia castañeda
January 31, 2010 at 2:09 p.m.

3rd Generation in BH. I love living in here, I was gone for a few years, came back to take care of my mother and stayed after she died in 1980. RHS S66. Resident Homeowners are less than 21%, the struggle for a better quality of life is a continued effort, and with strong alliance from long time residents & homeowners committed to a better life is well evident with the strong leadership of the voice of the people. No longer will others make decisions to put up a racist mural worth $180k in BH, the people won. The people of BH (Resurrection lead) stop the construction of a mega power plan in Vernon. This plan if allowed would kill 39 more people with it pollution to the air in BH, in addition to the freeway pollution that we already been burden with. We continue to fight for a safe clean community.. Our failure continues with our Public Schools and our electives representative do not help. Another failure is not having a political representative that looks out for CD14, our councilmen Jose Huizar will continue to stay because of the outside support from the Mayor discouraging any one else to attempt to run for the seat. Councilmen Jose Huizar has never had an open community forum for Boyle Heights. He had one, only questions allowed only questions accepted were in written form, and picked by him or his staff. He claims at City Council that he has support from the community, they need to ask him what community, and who does he believes the community is. Only the people that support him or need him to approve their liquor licenses. Other than the political crime, the people of BH are hard working people, devoted to their family and Church. All his meetings are secret and only certain people are included or know about them. I live within a block of the 4th and Lorena Bridge, in repair for two years now, and it was suppose to be finish in 2008. After several request for a meeting regarding the bridge construction, he had second in December 2009, I was not invited, they have my information, I have attended other meetings, I asked for the update meeting, yet I was not invited. I have asked for the information of that meeting from mr. Leon, so far nothing. Our community has improve, but no thanks to our political representatives, but thanks to the community activist, and the so call trouble makers of BH. I am proud to be call a trouble makers by Huizar.

—  Terry M.
January 28, 2010 at 1:12 p.m.

Its good to know that so many othere people are fond of BH And East La. I was Born and raised In East LA in 1992.I grew up on eastern and eugene, up the hill of Obragon Park. Ever since i was little I was always loved and was very fond of the colorful drawing on the stores and crazy tagging on houses and stores. I was very proud of where i was from. like German said It truly is the heart and soul.

— Manitas
January 15, 2010 at 9:11 a.m.

Hey Leticia. I remmember the BofA on Wabash where the first ATM's were installed. I remember they turned off around 11pm every night. So if you need cash you had to make sure to go before that time. So that was his name "AL", I remember his big HELLO! I remember the Koi Ponds along Mott and First streets walking to school in some yards. The sports store was called "Kenny's Sporting Goods". Also Toyo's market by Wabash Park, the owner was Helen.

— Javi
January 14, 2010 at 2:24 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights I remember alot of shootings living Near First and Savannah. I remember the times spent going with my mother to Target and Kmart in East L.A. and thifty's to get ice cream.I love where I grew up. I often visit family and Friends. I love that place but would not recommend raising a family there. I now live in the Beach Area (South Bay)but at times I miss the culture. I remember the parades on Christmas. Alot of the Good Memories over weigh the bad memories. I just don't like that the kids there are now trying to dress like the blacks. Who ever told our kids it was cool to be black leave that for the kids in West L.A. I still go at night for taco's once in a while and carne asada it is not as good here on the westside in the beach cities. Thankfully I can steer my children in the right direction and expose them to a more generalized way of life. Which is to respect one another and not put down or kill your own race for something that does not mean much. I get a kick out of the kids in my area that try to be tough and act bad those kids would not last a week in Boyle Heights without being jumped or shot at when I was growing up in the 90's. Well thankfully things change for the better and it is not that dangerous there anymore. But I also remember the cruising on Whittier Blvd. That is where you could meet some really fine ladies crusing too and catch a fight or shoot out or two. Damn those were the good old days just cruising for a bruising. And for all the people that put my city down you were all just lames there with no friends, just lames scared to get hurt.

— J.Perez
January 12, 2010 at 11:56 p.m.

Thank you to all who shared their fond and not so fond memories of Boyle Heights. I was born at City View Hospital (no longer standing) and I grew up at 2838 Fairmount Street. I attended Malabar, Hollenbeck and broke tradition by choosing Bulldogs over Rough Riders! I know, I know, it was a cardinal sin! Anyway, here’s who and what I remember of my beloved Boyle Heights:

• Catching the #2 bus on the corner of Evergreen and Blanchard

• Max the corner grocer on Wabash and Evergreen

• The Bank of America, Boy’s Club, movie theatre and corner hardware store on Wabash (only 1 of the 4 remains today)

• Juanito from the panaderia speaking in falsetto

• Al who sat on the bus bench and waved “Hello!” to everyone who passed

• Visits to Dr. Nakao on 1st Street

• Watching elderly Jewish couples attend the Fairmount Synagogue

• The $4.95 (yup!) Manuel Special from Tepeyak

• Flautas from Cirros

• Carnivals at Assumption School

• Parades and rally’s on 4th Street

• Japanese temples

• Paddle boats at Hollenbeck Park

• The carousel at Lincoln Park

• Watching movies at the Brooklyn Theatre

• Buying sports gear and trophies at Tommy’s (?) on Brooklyn Avenue

• The East LA Classic

• Eating at the Jack in the Box when it was just a shack

• Shopping at Big Buy!

• Walking through Evergreen Cemetery

• Sports night!

• Turf wars between the only two gangs in the neighborhood, White Fence and 1st Flats

• Growing up in a community filled with diversity and a spirit of hope and opportunity.

I know, it wasn’t the safest or well manicured of places but I’ll forever remember watching the setting sun against the backdrop of the city, riding my bicycle down the wide slopes of Forest Avenue, softball games at the Wabash Recreation Center, visits to the Malabar Branch Library (before prop 13 closed it down for over a decade) and all the good people who made me feel and believe all things were (and still are) possible.

— Leticia Galvez Aranda
January 6, 2010 at 11:53 p.m.

I moved to Boyle Heights when I was four and a half. We lived in an apartment court on Brooklyn Ave near Evergreen. Just a few months later, I started Kindergarten at Malabar Street School. Mrs. Gardner (the greatest Kindergarten teacher!) was my teacher. We had our own house on campus where we planted flowers, cooked and had a marvelous time. My favorite teacher was Mr. Brittain (Sixth Grade). My least favorite teacher was Mrs. Harries. Her grey hair had a blue tint, and she seized students by the arm when she caught them running up or down the outside stairway to the lower play area.

I remember licking the ice cream that filled the crunchy cones at Curries on the corner of Brooklyn and Soto; attending the Brooklyn Theater for $.25 a ticket and seeing two movies, a cartoon, a newsreel and the coming attractions; playing baseball, football and basketball with my friends at the Wabash Playground; and swimming in Summer at the Evergreen Plunge. On weekends, the entire community (mostly Jewish when I was growing up, but many Asians and Hispanics as well) would meander along Brooklyn from Soto to St. Louis Street to shop and to eat -- but mostly to greet friends and catch up on the latest gossip. My friend Lenny Weissman and I took pickles dripping with brine from the pickle barrels in front of his dad's market and ate them as we strolled along. Jerry Lewis and I would check things out in Woolworth's Five and Dime and (occasionally) snatch an item we liked. When I was a teenager, Lenny Vosen and I would head down to the Soto-Michigan Center and play basketball. On Jewish holidays, I prayed with my grandfather in the Breed Street Schul.

I had my first date in Boyle Heights, kissed my first girl and said "I love you" for the first time. Those were glorious days!

— Frank Stern
January 3, 2010 at 9:58 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights by 4th & Lorena Streets. Does anyone remeber a rather large, gated flat bed truck with a carnival like ride on it which would cruise the neighborhood in the late 70's early 80's? The ride itself would go around and around for only a 25 cent fee. It was operated by a white man whom at the time reminded me of Skipper from Giligans island.

A very nice man.

A very nice memory.

— Lorenzo
January 3, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.

I lived in East Los Angeles well actually grew up there and grandparents from both my parents still live there till this day. So everyone in my family is in East L.A. Its not Boyles Heights but there neighbors. I was born in White Memorial Hospital (1991) and ever since the soul of East L.A grew within me. I attended St. Mary's for one year and my parents moved to Alhambra and then back to amazing East Los. I then attended Belvedere MS sixth to eighth. Moved on to Salesian HS and that was a life changing experience it was in the heart of Boyle Heights. After school or sometimes after wrestling practice I'd walk up the street to buy some Ice Cream at Frosty Freeze and then head down to Roosevelt HS wearing my Lettermen sweater checking out the girls since there weren't any at Salesian that being an all same sex school. Wearing that sweater got me so many numbers and attention it was unbelievable. I graduated from Salesian just recently class of "09". I attend Arizona State University now and obviously live in the state but I'll tell you Los Angeles in general is 10 times better than the state of Arizona alone. Whenever I visit my family here in East Los it gives me so much replenishment its a great feeling because there is no place like it. King Taco, El Tepeyac, Al & Bea's and the list can go on. I love my family so much and miss them always and of course East Los Angeles. Like the saying goes "You can take someone out the barrio but you can never take the barrio out of them". Go Lakers!

— Evan Sena
January 3, 2010 at 2:45 a.m.

My parents lived all there lives in Boyle height, since 1949 than I was born in 1951 went to Evergreen ave school and than Hollenbeck and Roosevelt class of '69, met my husband in boyle Heights my children were born at the white memorial on brooklyn . My mother was born in Boyle Heights in 1911, she shared memories of her school days a very different time all types went to school than,no special classes than for non english speakers you had to learn.My mother once told me she didn't want to go with me to T.J. for a day visit she said T.J. had come to her all ready meaning the neighborhood had changed and she was right! But I still have fond memories of my youth.Now everyone is gone, and I still go back just to see the old house were I grew up, and with a smile and a little pain in my heart!Also remember our old jewish neighbors that loved me and I them!

— bECKY
January 3, 2010 at 1:30 a.m.

my parents and i moved into aliso village projects in 1972. i had both good and bad memories.good memories were the good friends that i made,and made it out of the projects.i can remember going to hollenbeck park,going to the l.a. river and all the bbq's!and the reason i say "made it out",is because the projects in the early 80's-90's until the projects got torn down was no joke!!i could think of at least ten gangs that were in aliso village or pico aliso alone.you could not go from one patio to the other with out getting chased or asked what gang you were from. and i say about 85% of kids that you went to school with or lived next to are in jail or dead. very sad.i think that the city is getting better. we moved out and live in the desert's of palm desert.but i do miss going to el mercadito,and hearing the music,the rooster early in the morning.but honeslty i have more bad memories than good.and for anyone to say that boyle heights is just this wonderful city to live in, back then is probably talking about another boyle heights!!!!!!!!!like i said maybe now is very different.

— mario castillo
December 29, 2009 at 1:02 p.m.

man i love bhts.i grew up in pico garden projects for about 16yrs. until they tore down the projects to build new housing...man those where the good old days from the early 80's to 90's..

i remember playing in the l.a. river and the train tracks jacking beer from the beer factory..now i live in east l.a. just right next door and work for general hospital in bhts.

and i want to thank father g. for helping me stay out of gangs......

— eduardo,cruz
December 28, 2009 at 11:53 p.m.

I lived in BH for a few years (89 - 93) and they were some of the best years of my life! The home we lived in was a little bit run down but it was very beautiful, my parents kept it nice and tidy and did as many repairs as they could. To this day, my wish is to own a beautiful old LA home. My brothers and I attended Malabar Elementary, we had great teachers my favorite being Ms. Colorado. That was the first school we attended here in the US. Going to the shops on Brooklyn with my parents was always fun and visiting the Mercadito too! They always took us to Hollenbeck Park where we would play and feed the ducks. It's been a long time since we moved from BH, we still visit the neighborhood regularly to eat and shop. They have the best street tacos and visiting Evergreen cemetery is one of my favorite pass times. I feel lucky to have lived and experienced such an eclectic neighborhood and hope that it keeps improving with time.

— Elena Alvarez
December 26, 2009 at 11:14 p.m.

Boyle Heights, the true "Heart and Soul" of Los Angeles. I remember my mother waking us up every morning at 6:30 am every weekday before leaving to work. My older sister and brother kissing her goodbye and wishing her a great day at work before taking the famous RTD bus from Wabash to the produce market in Downtown LA. I remember walking to school; Evergreen El., Belvedere MS and Roosevelt HS. The sounds of a great city, cars honking, music playing or better said, Humberto Luna on the radio.

I have nothing but fond memories of this great city. It defines who I am now. I am proud of it. Many people may bash it with their slanderous comments, but it remains...historic, peaceful, memorable and most importantly, rich in life for many people.

I visit it often. Sometimes once a month. The Birrieria Jalisco on First Street is still the best and cannot be beat by any negative comments.

Big BH, thank you for all the great memories.

— German Cerda
December 26, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.

I only recently came across the LA Times piece on Boyle Heights. It apparently ran last summer, but it’s nice to note that comments continue to come in. I have lived in the Bay Area since the 60’s, but was born and raised on Soto and then on Malabar St. I graduated from Sheridan St School in ’49. My grandmother who lived with us attended the Houston St Shul (recent photo of site at http://home.earthlink.net/~nholdeneditor/houston_street_shul.htm)

My folks attended Hollenbeck Jr. High and Roosevelt High (as I recall with Al Jarvis and Sam Balter). I learned recently that the Communist Party of California was headquartered in Boyle Heights (see http://www.jewishcurrents.org/2008_may_burt.htm) which may explain how so many of my family were involved with the party. My memories of the period in addition to those on Brooklyn Ave. already listed (wasn’t there a spot on Brooklyn -- the Broadway?? -- where you could sit at a counter and order phosphates, sodas, and sundays?) include the blackouts during the war, and food and gas rationing.

We moved to the La Cienega/Pico area in ‘49 (Louis Pasteur Jr. High and LA High). I then left Los Angeles in the 50’s, but notwithstanding visits back over the years, I don’t recall ever returning to Boyle Heights. Some of the comments listed here suggest it is not a very pleasant area these days, but the remarkable images we can get via Google maps that allow us to “stroll” down Sheridan and Malabar Streets reflect what appears to be a very agreeable neighborhood.

David Ross

— David Ross
December 24, 2009 at 10:46 a.m.

I moved to Boyle Heights three years ago and at first was taken aback, as I was one of the only caucasian people in the neighborhood. I remember the Asian lady who owned Moon's Market ask me several times if I lived in the neighborhood. I was an enigma. I had heard all the rumors and myths about Boyle Heights and wasn't sure if this was going to be a good place for me to live. I can tell you today, I love Boyle Heights. Of all the neighborhoods I've lived in over the past 30 years; Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, West Hollywood, Boyle Heights is the only place that has ever felt like a real neighborhood - similar to the Irish Catholic neighborhood of my youth in Boston. I love my neighborhood, my neighbors, the sounds, the smells, the rooster that crows way too early, the Posada. On Sunday mornings, my street is like one big block party. Dolores Mission and Baptist churches in full swing. I've never lived anywhere that has as many parks and recreational facilities for children. It is truly a family oriented neighborhood. I feel honored to have found and experience this gem of a place, that's moments from the vibrant heart of downtown. Many of the same traditions that are written about here, continue today. Boyle Heights, to me, is a cultural icon to be preserved, embraced and cherished.

— Paula S
December 23, 2009 at 9:14 a.m.

I was born in Lincoln Hospital on Soto St along with all my brothers and sisters.Our family business was on Whittier Blvd two blocks from our home on Guirado St.It had envious views of the downtown skyline which we saw built over the years.The changes over the years have been for the better.

As kids all our friends learned to swim at the plunge at Evergreen only to see the new pool at Roosevelt be built and have Olympic swimmers use it prior to the 84 games. Playing basketball at Euclid school until we couldn't see anymore only to go over to the new gym at Fresno Park.

In high school we cruised at the Hole or Jackson now called Sunrise school.The hole has new field turf for the soccer players. When the cops chased us out of our cruise spots we would end up back at our house, spending the nights making fun of each other discussing what we would end up doing later in life.

Although many family and freinds including myself have moved many saw their dreams transpire with many choosing differant paths which include buisness,police,fire, and teaching with lessons learned good and bad from life in Boyle Heights.

We tend to graviate back every chance possible especially for the food. Taco trucks,Manuels,Mascota, Mariscos, and Tamales.

Today the progress in Boyle Heights continues with the metro line completed and a skate park dedicated!

I look foward in seeing the progress to one of the nations most densely populated neighborhoods.

Boyle Heights today continues to be a great place!

— Jesse Ortega
December 22, 2009 at 10:37 a.m.

I was raised and educated in Boyle Heights in the early 70's along with my sisters. My parents were also raised in the same community. That was a time when I was proud to say I was from Boyle Heights, everyone spoke ENGLISH not Spanish as is the case today. Don't misunderstand me I'm proud of my Mexican roots but we're in America and English should be spoken. In Boyle Heights it's hard to find a English speaking person. Have you seen Brooklyn Ave lately, it looks like TJ. What a crying shame!! The community is infested with gangs and illegal aliens. Why are we conforming to the illegals way of life when they should be conforming to the American way.

— Leonard Cortez
December 21, 2009 at 12:35 p.m.

My dad was from Santa Fe, New Mexico and my mom is from San Antonio, Texas and they moved to California when they were teenagers with their families. I was born in Hollywood in 1978 but raised in Boyle Heights on Lanfranco Street and Indiana, since I was 8 months old (where my God-parents baby sat me while mom was at work). We moved from Lincoln Heights to the block when I was 5 years old across the street from my God-parents in a 2 story house that was built in 1923...to this day we have not covered the house with stucco or done anything outrageous to it either. I went to school at WMAS on Brooklyn and Echandia, HS in the SGV, and went to CSULA. I remember walking to JonSons Market (now a Vallarta Market), La Quebradita Market (which is now The 99 Cents Only Stores), and Modern Meat Market on Whittier and Spence (now a dentist and clinic) with my Nina Irene and to Johns Liquor on Indiana and 4th Street with my Tata Pete...anyone remember the Marisa Bakery on Lanfranco Street and Indiana? They had the best cakes ever not to mention the delicious pan de dulce. We really didn't need a car to get around in Boyle Heights. Everything you need is pretty much walking distance. People many a time put Boyle Heights down because of gang activiity and so on and so forth...but I think it is unique and fun place to live at.

— Lulu Roybal
December 20, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.

Sorry you don't have any fond memories there, R. Arellano. Sounds like you must've moved to paradise.

— R. Garcia
December 16, 2009 at 7:15 p.m.

Actually I do have one good memory. After doing my Homework like I was told to, after staying out of trouble and being a good person, and after working twice as hard as any person should, I moved out! That is my only good memory of Boyle Heights - MOVING OUT. It was a sunny day and the air was clean. The smell of ghetto got more and more distant as I drove away. What a great day.

— Rick Arellano
December 16, 2009 at 8:20 a.m.

I grew up in gang infested Boyle Heights and have zero fond memories of the place. Malabar, Belvedere, Roosevelt, Elac, CSULA. I wish to god I was raised in a nicer place instead of that roach, gang, poverty ridden place. Get real people. it sucked then. it sucks now.

— Rick Arellano
December 15, 2009 at 12:59 p.m.

Over $1.4 billion in public projects opened in 2009 in Boyle Heights. It was a good year for Boyle Heights. The Gold light rail Line, new high school, new police station, and numerous improvements to public parks. More to come. Two historic surveys being conducted and a number of other public improvements coming--including streetscape improvements to Cesar Chavez Ave., an organic arts district looming on First Street, a mini-City hall with looming mini-civic center on first and chicago...

I grew up here, still live here, and love it. It has a strong sense of place.

— Councilmember Jose Huizar
December 15, 2009 at 1:33 a.m.

We immigrated from Durango, Mexico in 1955

We moved to BH in 1958 to 2426 Houston St. There was a Jewish Synagogue right on our street. My friend would invite me to attend services with him. BH represented the melting pot of hard working residents and immigrants that left their countries to find a better place for their loved ones. My best friends were, black,white,yellow,red and brown. I felt we were innocent and no harm came from different cultures and ethnic races. We were one large family. We were raised old school with one simple word called Respect. We knew our differences but, Respect bonded us all together. I feel blessed I was exposed to different cultures, because it made me color blind, loving and accepting of all others. Differences are not only interesting, yet, in some weird way, we discovered how similar we really are. Linda Synder,from Sheridan Elementary, Thank you for your friendship. Thank you Boyle Heights for being instrutmental in nuturing an open mind as well as an open heart.

— Socorro Garcia
December 14, 2009 at 9:47 p.m.

I was born in Inglewood CA in late 51. We moved to BH in 1956 near Pomeroy and State St. I attended Bridge St Elementry School, Hollenbeck, Roosevelt High, and later at ELAC. I (we) use to walk up to 6-7 miles one way. I was white (They use to call us "Paddy's"), and the only problem with that is you had to be strong and stand up for yourself especially during the Hollenbeck Jr High times.

I remember walking into Maria's store on Pomery when I was 6, I had asked where the milk was? Maria did not speak English; from that point she taught me Spanish, and I her with English. This helped allot when taking Spanish in Hollenbeck, and then college.

Many fights with gangs (Flats / White Fence at Hollenbeck Park); it was with 2x4s, chains, broken bottles, and knives. Ironically, the Cholos were friendly, especially after several fights I had with the guys from Aliso Village. Most of those always had my back, and I had theirs.

I took my kids to revisit the path I took, and they could not believe I (we) had walked that distance or the problems we had. Do any of you remember "Blueberry Hill."

I returned from the service in 73 and attended ELAC and other various college's to get my Bachelor Degree. Education was paramount; to be able to make something of yourself, and have a better way of life. . . . .

I currently work and live in Kansas for work purposes, but I would "never" want to change anything about where I grew up from. My "root"s are from BH.

I still stay in touch / visit with my closest life long friends, all from Boyle Heights.

Every so many years, I drive through areas I grew up from. Allot of memories.

I will always remember where I came from.

My wife and I are graduates from Roosevelt High School'69 . . . . . .

Some areas of Boyle Heights are still the same today . . .

Tim

— Timothy Swain
December 14, 2009 at 4:19 a.m.

What is it about this place that makes it so endearing to all of us. I'm born and raised in East Los Angeles. Raised in Pico Gardens and lived there from 1962 through 1980. My playground was the LA river and the factories. I spent my summers swimming at Pecan pool and walking from the Projects to and from Evergreen swimming pool because it had the children's pool. I attended Second Street School, Dolores Mission, and graduated from Salesian Hi. My early childhood memories include sliding down the banks of the LA river, Playing hide and seek with irate administrators of the International Institute on Boyle. Waiting in line during the Christmas season to receive toys and other goodies at La Casa del Mexicano, removing the wheels from the shopping carts from the Safeway on Fourth and Soto to make our go carts and riding these from the top of Fourth and Boyle all theway down to the entrance of the Santa Ana Fwy into Pico Gardens- "What fun." The Safeway folks caught on and began to solder the wheel bolts to the carts; Riding my green Schwinn banana seat bike to the Variety Boys Club; fishing at Hollenbeck Park and also removing the trash from the cans getting inside them in a fetal position and rolling down the steepest hill on the park- You know, the one by the rock that has the metal plaque. My teenage and young adult years were also very exciting but the type of excitement that could cost your life and for many a childhood friend, it did. Boyle Heights is beautiful; it's wonderful and although I have lived in Monterey California for 25 years I have never stopped visiting. My routine on my visits include a lone early morning drive through the "Barrio" and all the places that were part of my experience on the east side of Los Angeles. As for the demolition of the Pico/Aliso Projects It is sad to think that with the vanishment of the physical environment all of the million and one memories that were experienced would be reduced to the abyss of the past and be only that; memories. Let's write about thesse and let' keep the experiences of Boyle Heights alive. Although there was lots of pain and lots of joy, if I had a wish to live my life all over again I would wish to be born in Boyle Heights and raised in the Pico Gardens Houshing Projects; the old ones.

— francisco javier estrada
December 13, 2009 at 6:07 p.m.

My grandparents moved to Boyle Heights from St. Louis, Mo. in 1918 because my grandmother suffered from serious arthritis and the doctor told her California was warmer. They bought a big house @ 3242 Winter St. with goats in the back yard that my grandmother milked. My grandfather had a truck, bought fresh fruits and vegetables from Grand Central Mkt and peddled them to the housewives in the Boyle Heights neighborhoods - until someone crashed into his truck and that was the end of that business - no insurance in those days. He went on to own a dry cleaners and then a second hand store/pawn shop in downtown LA. My mother and her brothers and sister went to Roosevelt High School. I remember going to the corner store and spending 2 cents for a stick of licorice - what a treat.

My parents bought a house on Floral Dr and when they divorced, rented it to a Japanese family. Just before Pearl Harbor, the tenants abruptly left the country w/o taking any of their furniture.

When I was 6, my mother and step-father moved to the Pico La Cienega area of LA into a new house. But we always went back to my grandparents house to celebrate the Jewish holidays. My grandparents continued to live in Boyle Heights until 1943 when my grandfather died and my grandmother moved and sold the house.

— Esther
December 13, 2009 at 5:05 p.m.

My family moved to Boyle Heights in 1957. I learned to speak Yiddish and Spanish (I'm Japanese) from the neighborhood. I attended Evergreen Elementary School, Malabar Elementary (summer school for ice cold watermelon), Hollenbeck Jr. High and Roosevelt High School. We moved to unincorporated ELA in 1968 and I attended UCSB and CSULA. It was a cool place to grow up...my group of friends were mixed and we learned from each other. I still return to eat at Manuel's...he still speaks to me in nihongo and I answer in English, Spanish and Japanese!

— Al from Ganahl
December 13, 2009 at 3:45 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights. I lived on Evergreen Ave. and Cincinnati st. I have seen the neighborhood at its worst and its best. In spite of the bad times, which are prevalent, this is home and I'll never forget it.

— Enrique Martinez
December 13, 2009 at 1:47 p.m.

About me:

1. Born 1939 at Lincoln Hospital on 4th and Soto;

2. Pre-school JuliaAnne Singer Breed Street Nursery;

3. Breed Street Synagogue;

4. Sheridan Street Elementary;

Contrary to rumor, Miss Stricter did not butcher, boil, or eat her students;

5. Hollenbeck Junior

State Street protected me from White Fence, thanks to my friend Junior Herrera;

Why is it that everybody speaks of Canters, and nobody speaks of Wollosins on the corner of Brooklyn and Saint Louis.

Curries? of course!

The poly seed theater? absolutely!

Also, Everybody's Market, Yaro's Market, The Famous Restaurant, The Variety Boy's Club, the B car etc. etc.etc.

The point is, that nobody who has ever lived in Boyle Heights really leaves. EVER !

Henry Hull

— Henry Hull
December 10, 2009 at 12:02 p.m.

I grew up in Boyle Heights/El Sereno, spending Weekdays in BH with my Grandma and weekends with my mom and dad in ES. I went to 2nd Street School and Dolores Mission, my Family came to live in Boyle Heights after my Grandmother moved to Los Angeles in the 60's! we were a staple on Pecan Street, but now, my grand parents have passed on and everyone has blown away with the winds, and i sadly don't know anyone in the neighborhood or at the schools that i grew up in, although, my Sorority Sister has the Privilege of working as a Coordinator at 2nd Street, my alma mater!! My family all want to 2nd Street, Hollenbeck and Roosevelt! Boyle Heights has a bad rap as being the Ghetto, or being marred by so many shootings and deaths that have hurt so many families and friends, but when you get down to it, it's a family neighborhood full of hard working families who want the best for their families.

— Erica Ramirez
December 9, 2009 at 7:56 p.m.

I was born in Boyle Heights at the Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1937. I was a very sickly child and had one stay in what was called "the old hospital", an old brick building adjacent to the current building. It was the original hospital. It was where they took people with TB and Polio. I had severe pneumonia so they put me (at 3 years old) in a ward with TB patients in iron lungs. I would stand in my crib and sing to them. (Yes, I DO remember this!) I lived at 402 No. Chicago Street, near the corner of Bird, one block up from Brooklyn Avenue, and around the corner from Sheridan Elementary which I attended. I recall that my next door neighbors were named Hurwitz (sp?)or Horowitz and their older son Richard played the trumpet. There were two younger girls, one Judy. I don't recall the other's name. The mother wrote the English lyrics to "Tzena Tzena." I attended Hollenbeck (W'52) and Roosevelt, but left Roosevelt in 1952 when my mother died and continued my primary education at Hamilton High. I well recall the movie theaters, the National, Brooklyn, Joy, and another one starting with "M" (Meralta?). Curry's mile high ice cream cones. And the Soto Michigan Jewish Community Center, where all the kids went, not just Jewish ones. They had dances and all kinds of activities. There was the Breed Street Schul, but also a Schul on Cornwall as I recall. And numerous others which no longer stand. My grandmother lived further down on Chicago Street, closer to Brooklyn Ave. There was a butcher shop on the corner of Brooklyn and Chicago with live chickens running around. I recall my days at Hollenbeck very well. I was in glee club with a number of friends and we all sang together. Sometimes we sang at nutrition and at lunch. We got invited to sing in various homerooms at Christmas time because we were so good (no humility here!). That glee club was a highlight of Hollenbeck for me. It was incredibly good and we sang all over the city, including in a competition. Our teacher was so good; we could always tell when we "hit" it just right --- she would get that pleased look on her face (and I'd have goosebumps all over). To this day, I remember the songs we sang and always wish I could find those friends I sang with. Ruth. Dorothy. Rose. Lenore. Boyle Heights was a true melting pot by that time, with a lot of "Jewish Flight" to the Fairfax area. Eventually, my grandmother moved there too. But I always remember Boyle Heights with such affection. Recently I went back (after 50+ years!) to see if my poor old house was still standing. It was, but barely. And I went to where my grandmother used to live and the people living there greeted me with open arms ("Welcome Home!" the owner said.). It will always be Brooklyn Avenue to me. It will always be the Jewish Community Center to me (it's now the Boys and Girls Club). It will always be Curry's on the corner of Brooklyn and Soto.

— Jan Schulman (nee: Janet Wadler)
December 9, 2009 at 7:53 p.m.

My grandparents came to BH from Armenia in 1914. I was born at the White Memorial in 1952. My Mother and Uncle went to Roosevelt, my Dad was LAPD and worked at the Hollenbeck Station. My best memories are of the Avenue (that's Brooklyn) and all the shops. Mom would get her hair done at the Safewave Beauty Shop, then we'd lunch at Cantor's (pastrami and rye),then off to the Candy Cane dress shop and Currie's for ice cream. We hardly ever ate bread from the store, always the bakery. I remember Thrifty Drugs at Christmas or the National Dollar store where a kid could shop for presents with their allowance. We lived on Echandia St. across from Prospect Park. I went to Bridge St School and Hollenbeck Jr. High. I lived with my grandparents until I was 12 then moved to Echo Park with my Mom. My grandpa worked at GM for 40 years. My Dad and his wife had a place in Wyvernwood for a while, a modern mixed community, for families and seniors. I remember the Sears at Xmas and shopping the downtown department stores and sandwiches from Phillipe's. Whenever I watch Woody Allen's "Radio Days" I think of growing up in that house. I remember the milkman Bill, Tommy's Drugstore, Stan's Drive-In (where my Mom worked) and especially the Helm's and Good Humor man. People always ask me if I'm a New Yorker, I say "in a way".

The last time I saw the old neighborhood, I wanted to cry. I'm sorry to say I didn't recognize it because it doesn't even look like America anymore.

— Mary Jane Rich
December 9, 2009 at 11:09 a.m.

I was born in 1950 at White Memorial Hospital, and raised for the next 11 years in the Aliso Village Housing Project(1304 Via La Reina). I went to Utah Street Elementary and my older brother, Larry, went to Hollenbeck Jr.High, then Roosevelt High before we packed it in and moved across the L.A. River to the Wilshire District and eventually Hollywood in 1962. All our friends and neighbors were brown or black. I only remember one or two other white families living in 'The Village.' Memories of the Meralta and Brooklyn Theatres' Saturday matinees. The Eastside Variety Boys Club on Cincinnati. The Hollenbeck Police Station where I was incarcerated one night for curfew violation(I was nine or ten). Boy, did my Dad get angry at me that night. Also, my Dad getting jumped twice on his walk home after getting off the street car at 1st and Clarence. Got his throat cut once, then had a few teeth loosened after being punched and robbed of his possessions. It freaked my Mom out, to say the least. My brother was beginning to get into trouble with gangs/hoodlums/breaking and entering, etc. My parents' marriage cracked. Mom was sent to Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk and Dad did his best to keep the three of us with a roof over our head and food on the table. Yes, we had to go on Welfare/Food Stamps a couple times. Yet, growing up next to Mission Road, The L.A.River, 1st and Boyle and the 101 Freeway have provided me with memories and a background that I am proud of and would never trade for another's life story. And though I've lived in Hollywood and North Hollywood most of my post-Village life, I seriously dream of coming home to Boyle Heights one day and taking up residence at the Hollenbeck Home for the Aged and making my final resting place at Evergreen Cemetery. Not a morbid thought...just a sentimental one.

— Robert Leslie Dean
December 9, 2009 at 1:14 a.m.

Does anybody remember the giant red brick convent (?) on the corner of 1st and Mott st? What exactly was it and are there any pictures?

— JimT
December 7, 2009 at 10:42 a.m.

What's happening Boyle Heights!!! I can honestly say that I am proud to be from E.L.A.!!! I was born and raised in the area. My family migrated here to Los Angeles from El Paso, Texas back in the early 1900. My father's parents are buried at the Evergreen Cemetery. I have 2 sisters and one brother left. My other 2 brothers died and are buried at the Calvary Cemetery. We all went to Sheridan St. School, Hollenbeck Jr.High and Graduated from Roosevelt High! Go Rough Riders!!! Although I live in Hacienda Hts, Boyle Heights is my heart... my mom lives there and has lived there for over 60 years now. Talk about going home to visit my mom for dinner....wow...nothing like mom's cooking. I was on the planning committee for the Marichi Plaza and I am proud to see what it has become. Boyle Heights looks good. Thanks to the City planners and the CRA!!

— Sylvia Carrillo-Ramirez
November 23, 2009 at 2:35 p.m.

My parents moved to the United States in 1982-83 from El Salvador. Initially we lived in Highland Park (for the first four years of my life) and we then moved to Boyle Heights in 1989. This was the same year my little sister was born so it was decided that we would move to Wyvernwood Garden Apartments. At that time they were painted a dreary white/grayish color if memory serves me right in contrast to todays pumpkin orange. Among my favorite memories in Boyle Heights--were the posadas in the wintertime when you would hear the chorus of madrecitas in the street singing--I'd tag along for the champurrado that usually followed. I was the only one in my family to attend Stevenson Junior High School and enjoyed every bit of it, my siblings went to Hollembeck and then Roosevelt. My years at Roosevelt would see me sometimes joining friends for burgers on the corner of Soto and 4th street, playing soccer in Costello with my uncles and generally finding my own place with the youth opportunity movement program in Aliso Village. I moved away in 2001 to attend college and the longest I've been back has been usually for summers (3 months at the longest). Still, the attachment I feel for my neighborhood, the smells, the comfort, and my family draw me back. Eventually I hope to move back from New York--maybe via some other transitions (time in europe maybe) in order to settle into my own life with a wider world view. I carry home in my heart and it has carried me to many places.

— Saul Martinez
November 22, 2009 at 5:53 p.m.

Born at Lincoln Hospital in 1963, my paternal grandparents lived a block south on Soto St. I lived on Lanfranco Street where my maternal grandparents originally purchased the house in 1940 way before the 60 Fry. cut the length of the street in half. Attended kindergarten at Lorena St. School, then onto 1st through 8th at Our Lady of Lourdes, and H.S. at Don Bosco Tech, (in Rosemead - reached by bus and two transfers - everyday).

I grew up enjoying lime slushies at Foster's Freeze, my 1st library card at the Stevenson Library, tamales and sweet bread at la Mascota, taquitos on the 2nd floor at El Mercado, (when it was nice and new), pizza and Pac Man at King Kole pizza, Burgers at the White Dot, many Teriyaki skewers at the yearly Salisian H.S. carnival, shopping at JonSon's market, and the Rexall, (that had been a bowling alley before my time) on the corner of Whittier and Lorena, the yummy pistachios and pumpkin seeds from the Nut Wagon on Lorena. Took swimming lessons at Laguna Park when I was 8. Took tennis lessons at the same renamed "Salazar" Park when I was 13. Flew control line airplanes at Stevenson JHS and at the corner empty lot at Lorena St. and Lanfranco St. once the Standard/Chevron gas station closed down, and before they built a laundromat, donut shop, and fast food Chinese. I think my friend and I were the ONLY people to regularly use the tennis courts at Evergreen Park in the late 70's/early 80's! Became the 1st and only Eagle Scout at Our Lady of Lourdes Troop 325 when the parish was run by the Benedictians. Oh man, and saw many cool punk bands and X for the first time at The Vex, on Brooklyn Ave, in the early 80's!

I still have a cousin that now owns the paternal grandparent's home on Soto Street, but I moved away from Boyle Heights in 1991.

Much in the old neighborhood has dramatically changed for the worse. But it will be interesting to see how it improves, now that it's being gentrified and might eventually get it's own art district! Welcome hipsters!

— Victor Hernandez
November 16, 2009 at 12:19 p.m.

Que Viva Boyle Heights!! I was born and raised in Boyle Heights and "educated" at Euclid, Hollenbeck, Roosevelt....Lived next door to my cousins and played in front of the Casa de Mexcano. Memories include...having a diverse group of friends (Blacks, Jewish, Japanese) at school which led to understanding multiculturalism and the need for diversity. Still get together with friends from grammar school to high school and we have never lost touch. Supported the ELA Chicano Walkouts and the yearly ELA Classic. . Recently have been intrigued with the issue of "gentrification of Boyle Heights" and the push for an Boyle Heights Art District.. Will it change with the influx of the newbies? Should it change? What do you Boyle Heights compas think?

— Olivia M
November 15, 2009 at 10:42 p.m.

Hey Ruben A.

I pretty much have the same memories. I also played sports at Wabash RC. Old man Leo was always there. He did everything at that park. I think he lived next door. The Green Burrito across the street from the park. I went to Evergreen but do you also remember Mr. Lee the 5th grade teacher? What a character. Afterschool we would hike to the house on stilts in City Terrace. Also attended Hollenbeck MS, Roosevelt HS then Salesian HS. I grew up in the corner of Wabash and Mott Streets. Also remember the air-raid drills and I think one still stands off at Wabash and Evergreen. Played in the alleys well into dark, also picking fruit from neighbors yards when it was no problem. Remember picking figs, berrys, apples, guavas, oranges, grapes, and most of all the big giant peaches! Then the fruit fly came in and pretty much wiped it out. Buying a small Pepsi and chips or a fruit pie for under 25cents at Toyos Market. I could go on.....

— J
November 12, 2009 at 1:55 p.m.

I was born and raised in boyle heights1961,and lived there for 39 yrs.I lived on los palos st,next to the 5 fwy, went to eastman elemetary,stevenson jr high,then transferred to cantwell high school.Have many wonderful memories of growing up in boyle hts.my grandparents lived in city terrace off of whiteside and downey rd.After high school i went into nursing,I now live in wahiawa,Hawaii,a small town on oahu.I come on vacation twice a year to los angeles to see my mom and always come back to the old hood.Manuels is always a must stop,no good mexican food on the island.I will be coming back in may and want to check out the new eastside extention of the subway.

— ben estrada
November 12, 2009 at 5:28 a.m.

Boyle Heights means the world to me and although there are a few "downsides," the pluses have certainly drown them out for me. I was born in Jalisco, Mexico and emigrated to East LA in '68. Moved in with family on Boulder near Evergreen. Moved to Hazard and Brooklyn and witnessed the '69 "Chicano Power" Walks down Brooklyn Avenue. I "member" the 10-cent Coca Colas at the auto parts place, moved to Culver City for 2 months, then back to Boyle Heights via the Ramona Gardens Projects. Went to Hammel, Stoner, Murchison, Belvedere, then Sheridan. From 1974 to 1977 we lived at 329 N. Indiana, four houses from the Cinco Puntos. Played Baseball and flag football at Evergreen Park. Mike Rios, Willie Corona, Marsh, Mr. Bravo, Mr. Tavera, Mr. Cruz, Jesse Estrada, et al come to mind. Parents became first time home buyers in 1977 at 2048 Sheridan Street, near the corner of St. Louis. Played baseball with Nissim Leon and the Gonzalez family at State Park and along with the new park director at the time, Richard Sokolowski, started the basketball program with the likes of Keith Terao and Jaime Bermudez. A basketball team with no gym forced us to be a traveling team with no home games. Sheridan Street School, then Hollenbeck, followed by the most important years of my youth at Roosevelt High School. Class of '84. Moved on to Pasadena City College as a student, part-time worker at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, followed by thirteen years in the corporate world, including seven years at Smart & Final and a final corporate stint as Director of Web Development for Global Crossing Ltd through 2001 before returning to East LA as a special education teacher at Garfield High School. (yes, I know, Garfield!?) In early 2003, I started teaching at Roosevelt as a social studies teacher and I have been pinching myself everyday since. Boyle Heights provided me with plenty of life lessons, memories, unconditional love, and most importantly, a sense of pride in who and what you represent. My daily challenge is to instill this in the current wave of Roosevelt students and God-willing, and if I interview well, the new baseball coach of the Roosevelt Rough Rider Baseball team. That would be a real clincher and would fulfill the remaining part of my life-long dream. Long live Boyle Heights and Roosevelt High School!

— Gustavo Reynoso
November 8, 2009 at 8:01 p.m.

my family move in East LA in 1914, since then three generations were born and grew up here including me. I love East La with a passion, its were I call home and always will. I went Mariana Elementry, then Belevedear JH and now Garfied Hs. I am very proud of were i grew up and proud to be Chicana. East LA has changed very much in the last five years and its not as bad as it used to be. And i hope everyone else loves it as much as i do

— Lucy
November 6, 2009 at 9:07 a.m.

Boyle Heights is key to my identity as a strong Chicana whose parents have had a small business on Brooklyn Ave for 34 years, I went to San Antonio De Pauda Catholic Elementry School and then my parents made a decision to move us out because they wanted more

"opportunities" for their children. I appreciate their love but now that I am older I am seeing the beauty of all the lessons I learned growing up in BH. The beauty of having a sense of community that I wish I could have now living in the San Gabriel Valley. I remember going to the El Pollo Loco on the corner of Cummings and Brooklyn or Shakeey's across the street or walking the streets taking in the sights smells and the excitment of going to Payles shoe store to get my new shiny shoes!!!! Boyle Heights is Changing, is that a good thing? I will leave that for each of you to think about!!

Thank you BH for the passion, love and justice you allowed me to learn.

— V.O
November 4, 2009 at 5:46 p.m.

Boyle heights, that is the place to be. i moved here wen i was about 5 and i loved it since the first day i got here. I lived on the corner Evergreen and Ceasar Chavez ave at Evergreen Village aka "the village". I attended Malabar Elementary. me and a couple of friends made this group up called The Malaballers because we played basketball. then we all moved on to Belvedere Middle School. The best 3 years of my life. had my first kiss there n first girlfriend and first well u know were in going. then i went to Roosevelt High School. The best high school ever!!!!! Boyle heights is the best place in the world. everyone knows who your are and you know who everyone is. It's like we are this big family were we take care of each other. Started playing basketball at the YMCA on Whittier and Euclid were coach Andre gave me a chance and since then i have not stopped playing. Me and the homies always went to Wabash Park were we played basketball all day until it wasnt safe to be there no more. Even though we had a lot of gangs in our neighborhood we still have fun. We grew up in that environment and we are used to it. Jack in the Box on Evergreen and Mott, thats were everyone went to eat n talk. Well all the youngsters. Boyle Heights is always gonna be in my heart. It made me who i am today. A strong person who loves life and appreciates it. I love this place and i hope all the people living there appreciate it and love it too. My childhood is in Boyle Heights.

— Paulo Sanchez
November 3, 2009 at 1:21 p.m.

Waz up Aliso Village! I see you Pico Aliso! Pico Gardens I hear you! RIP! ALISO VILLAGE! Roosevelt! We made it to state playoffs! Wilson, you took care of me like I was one of yours. Ramona Gardens, Big Hazard, Estrada Courts and Dogg Town Rock La Famila! Project Unity.Hollenbeck gym, everygreen park, Pecan park, Pico Gym, Lincoln wolverines, Everygreen wolfpack. Utah baskeball courts, 2nd street, I see you Praised! My Alley boys, peace to all seven gangs that roamed the projects. Thanks for letting me dribble my ball through those dangerous streets without any harm. Peace to Paul Gonzales, first Mexican gold medalist who was my neighbor in AlisoVillage who placed his gold medal around my neck at 13 years old and told me the sky's the limit! Thanks Boyle Heights! Will not trade you in for nada!

— EastLA#1Ballplayer
October 26, 2009 at 7:51 p.m.

Born and raised in East Los Angeles which is not Boyle Heights,but close to it. I proudly graduated from James A. Garfield High School in the year 007. At my "block" my friends and myself used to play in the middle of the streets to soccer,football, baseball. Good memories. Now that i left the hood, i am here at Humboldt County trying to attain a better education at Humboldt State University.

— Juan Carlos De La Cruz
October 22, 2009 at 12:35 p.m.

To me Boyle Heights brings back many childhood memories. My four brothers, sister, I each attended Soto St. Elementary, Hollenbeck JH, and each graduated from Roosevelt High. As kids growing up in Boyle Heights we most enjoyed playing baseball at Evergreen Rec. Center for Mr. Paz, Mr. Corona, and Jesse Estrada. As kids we loved visiting landmarks such as: The White Spot to enjoy a pastrami sandwich, Frosties Frezze, and La Mascota Bakery. Later in life as young adults we played

Sunday baseball in the Mike Brito League and after each game our friends would unite at my moms house near the corner of Whittier and Soto to enjoy food and beer. My memories of our house in Boyle Heights will never be forgotten especially due to the crazy Disco parties we threw in the back yard. After marraige my wife and I briefly settled in to my parents home where both of my boys (now 21 & 18) were able to enjoy life with their grandparents. We eventually purchased a home in the city of La Habra where they both graduated, however, we have never lost that speacial bond with Boyle Heights and visit my mom and dad every week to enjoy grandma's great home-made food, including menudo on Sunday's and Tamales for Christmas.

— Robert "Bobby" Argomaniz [on neighborhood]
October 16, 2009 at 5:33 p.m.

My family moved to Boyle Heights in 1970. We lived near the corner of Marengo and Evergreen. I attended Evergreen Elementary (remember Mr. Johnson and Mrs.Van Dyke?). Went to Belvedere JH (remember Salas' ice cream parlor?). Then went to Wilson HS in El Sereno. Shortcut to Wilson: over the bridge, overpass of 10 fwy, into Ramona Gardens and through the factories. Spent most of my childhood playing sports at the Wabash Rec. Center (remember old man Leo?). Used to love playing tackle football in the mud after the rain! Then pitching in to put together enough money for a Manuel's Special Burrito or a Hollenbeck from El Tepeyac. Also used to spend time at Salesian Boys Club and Varietys Club. Used to walk over the City Terrace hills (Mustard Hill?) to go visit my girlfriend. My kids love to take tours through those hills and be amazed by the house on the stilts hanging over the edge of the hill. Best views of LA from those hills. My parents still live in the area so I still frequent ELA. My kids always ask "why are there so many loose dogs?" Funny how I never noticed the loose dogs before! It's true that you still feel at home when you come back to the old neighborhood, even though most of the o.g. people are gone. I ride my motorcycle to work everyday to downtown LA, so every now and then I'll detour through Boyle Heights just to get a wiff of all that good Mexican cooking going on! Best times gowing up in Boyle Heights.

— Ruben A.
October 2, 2009 at 5:02 a.m.

It's great to hear from current and past BH residents. There are a lot of stories and histories that need to be preserved. I am working on an oral history project and want to interview people who live/lived in BH and worked in the various industries throughout LA. For example, someone mentioned that their parents worked at Angelus Furniture. If interested, please contact me at bluedemonio@yahoo.com

— Jose Rivera
October 1, 2009 at 11:27 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights back in 1973, and although I've moved on, those memories live with me where ever I go. I no longer live in the L.A. area but reading all these comments makes me feel good to see that so many people share the same good old memories not just the bad publicity that we always get. I say "we" because I still consider myself part of the community. I attended Dacotah St. school. Mom always took me to mass at Resurection church. We shopped at Sears on Olympic and Soto. Frequent visitor at Mcdonald's on Soto and 8th. I spend many quarters playing video games at Fine's Foods. Little League at Costello park. Darn my parents even met at Angelus furniture when they worked there back in the late 60s. How can I not be proud of my community and "peeps". And every once in a while when people refer to it as East L.A. I make sure to correct them "No, that's Boyle Heights!"

These days I live in the S.D. area. Life has been good work is great. And although I can provide more for my kids than my parents could at the time, I still share my memories,thoughts and make it a point to visit even if it's just to have a great meal.

— R. Garcia
September 30, 2009 at 11:37 a.m.

I was born, in ’22, and raised in Boyle Heights near Marengo and Evergreen, went to Harrison St. School, then Belvedere Jr. High, where with others in Mr. Sours Drafting Class chose JHF Polytechnic High to study Architecture. I rode several street cars going and coming from Poly Hi, then in ’39 worked for US Army Engineers on LA Flood Control, then on the Pan American Highway in Central America, then 3 years with Patton’s 3rd Army in ETO, and the Pacific. After VJ Day, I returned to Boyle Heights and went to USC on the GI Bill, again using the same trolley cars. After marriage, we moved to the West Side and Valley, but nothing really replaced Boyle Heights as the home of my youth and friends, theaters, playgrounds, temples, Downtown LA, and the beachs, by streetcar.

With Fond Memories, Max Schwartz

— Max Schwartz
September 24, 2009 at 11:24 a.m.

Anyone have a photo of the White Spot burger stand that was located on the north east corner of Whittier and Soto ?

— Ben Val
September 22, 2009 at 6:06 p.m.

I was born in White Memorial on Cesar Chavez (will always be Brooklyn Ave to me) and raised in Ramona Gardens Housing Projects...My Sister who was alos born in White Memorial, 30 yrs later became a doctor and worked in White Memorial delivering babies!...My family has since moved towards the San Gabriel Valley but we still find any excuse to go and eat in Boyle Heights which i believe has the best foods BY FAR!

— I Love East LA
September 19, 2009 at 5:33 p.m.

Being born and raised in Boyle Heights was a blessing. Playing at Fresno Park on summer days, or fishing at Hollenbeck Park was a blast. Attending Lorena Street School, Resurrection then Roosevelt HS(1988) brought the greatest memories. The East LA Classic and house parties after always were great. The Hole, Fresno Park, the Factories,and Sports Night at RHS always were fun. As for places to eat, Ciros, Tepeyac, El Mercado, 24 Hours Tacos, or Jims Burgers across the street from Costello Park. As for the downsides of growing up in Boyle Heights in the 70's and 80's, I can't think of any. I thank my mother for raising me in Boyle Heights, and GOOOOOO DODGERS!!!!!!

— David Lopez
September 19, 2009 at 1:53 a.m.

I was born in 1973 at White Memorial Hospital in Boyle Heights and lived in Aliso Village till they were demolished in 1998. It was sad to see that all those memories were gone. I still live in the area near 1st and state streets. Although it is not the same, but I am glad now that the city is building the light rail wish we had it years ago. I love riding the trains. I attended Utah st.School, Hollenbeck and RHS. Happy memories there. My idea of a nice home would be something like back east, especially Boston. Homes there are beautiful and very old, and less expensive than here in LA. No matter what, I still love my city. Still ups and downs with a few nuckleheads, but so far, its been quite. Beautiful sunsets and sunrise can be seen from atop and see the Downtown LA skyline and it shines beautiful. I will always remember my memories.

— ALMA GONZALEZ
September 18, 2009 at 3:28 p.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights and I am very proud of the community. I was born in 1979 at General Hospital. I attended Sheridan Street Elementary, then Hollenbeck Jr. High and graduated Roosevelt High School in 1998. I then attended Cal State LA and graduated with BS in Criminal Justice and Sociology. I then attended UCLA and got my Masters and 2 years of Law School.

After high school i went back to work for Sheridan snd enjoyed it highly. I love that Boyle heights is a friendly community with so many undiscoverable riches. It has sooooooo much history.

— Jose Escalante
September 17, 2009 at 1:05 p.m.

lived in boyle heights short time after movong from new york. 1950, 1953. went to hollenbeck jh. sold news papers on brooklyn&soto. played basketball in the center on brooklyn &soto. also played basketball there. nice memory.

— bernie avchen
September 9, 2009 at 8:47 a.m.

I grew up in the Estrada Courts Projects, or as my frineds would say Estrada Hills! My first summer job was repainting the murals that were originally put up in the 70's. We are not a minority!!! I went to Dacotah St Elementary, Stevenson Jr High and RHS. Costello Park was my second home as was the pool, especially after hours when everyone climbed the fence to continue swimming and LAPD would kick us out! Don Quixote was the "club" to be at, Sports Night were great at RHS, The ELA classic was always something to look forward to. The annual Resurrection Church carnival was great fun! There were always kids outside playing, your neighbors were your friends during christmas everyone exchanges tamales! There were gangs but as long as you did not mess with them you were ok. Great memories.

— Izzy
September 4, 2009 at 7:06 p.m.

I attended Euclid Ave School, Hollenbeck Jr High and Roosevelt. Every party on 8th and Lorena, Wednesday night sock hops at Laguana Park, dances, football games, GAA at Roosevelt. I still live in Boyle Heights and enjoy the city view.

— Rosie Ramos Martinez
September 4, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

Wow, As I sat here and read the folks articles over the long and great years spent in Boyle H, makes it all worth while, that I am still there and continuing to try and make a change. I grew up way on the other end by Estrada Courts 8th and Lorena as many others my family came from Sonora Mx, and stopped in boyle H, we first rented a home a few blocks from Roosevelt on Suvanna St, and stayed there a few years, I only remember the place by pics, I was born a few later. When they went and bought a home near Resurrection Church on Estrada st. Both of my neighbors where immigrants as well one German and the other was Asian. I have fond memories of my up bring n Estrada Courts. I began my playing sports there at Costello Park with a great Park Director Jeff, he really cared for the kids, we would have a huge Halloween event every year and just like RHS, we where in the barrio with our own swimming pool, that was the greatest thing, especially night swimming with the girls was great!! and then there was the venture of being chased by the security at Wyvnnewood apartments trying to go to the Famous Land Mark of Boyle H"SEARS", back in the 70's Wyvnnwood apts was very well taken care of and did not like outsiders coming in so the security would not allow us to cut through to go to Sears. So funny as I think about it it was fun, I went to Stevenson JR and then to RHS Rough Riders!!!, an off to the Military. As I remember the Gang problem was there when we lived there, but it wasn't an issue they never bother any of the kids, but back then there where only few Major gangs and they weren't as violent as they are now. We would walk to the Johnsons Mkt on whitter and Lorena or the little Movie theater to see a spanish movie on whitter and soto or the best was gong to down town that was a treat. Now there is nothing in terms of doing anything, no movies, no bowling alley's, No major shopping areas, other then Sears Thank god for that. But you have plenty kids don't have nothing to do but joining a bunch of little gangs & crews & running around with very little parent involvement. But over the last ten years Boyle H has been doing a huge turn around and making the place beautiful and save, and I am happy to be apart of it, I open the doors to the Boyle H Tech youth Center 2006 for the City of LA right in front of Pico Gardens, I left a year ago, but now over see a city wide youth program and very much involved still of Boyle H, in fact just went back to Costello Park to my old playing field and met with the Park Director which in fact grew up in Estrada Cts as well and we held a meeting with about 25 friends we played sports with back then. In fact I got a hold of Will I.am, which also grew up in Estrada courts to try to get more youth to play sports!!! Great memories will continue as long as we keep them alive for others!!! "Help create change, by getting involved"

— Jimmy Valenzuela
August 29, 2009 at 10:22 a.m.

I was born and raised in Boyle Heights never ashamed to say were I came from I say it with pride. I went to Malabar

Elem. Belvedere Hollenback and every High School you can think of in Boyle Heights back then Boyle Heights was very beautiful when I go visit old friends and my grandma it feels like little mexico no joke I still love al and beas and El Tepeyac I miss the good ol days we use to have at EVERGREEN Park playing baseball basketball

— MZ. LADY
August 27, 2009 at 12:40 p.m.

Boyle Heights lives in my heart. Catching the amazing sunsets over downtown LA from Boyle & 7th Street. What a view! To the West the beautiful San Gabriel mountains. I remember seeing them get dusted in snow on chilly (albeit rare) winter mornings. Las Posadas at Saint Isabel or the 'carnival' that was hosted by Salesian High School back in the late 70s and early 80s. The summers spent out at the pool at Roosevelt High School. Heck, we even went in the winter...ahhh the joys of having an heated olympic size pool in el barrio all to ourselves. Studying long hours at Benjamin Franklin Library on 1st Street. Then off to 'El Oyo' (the hole) park off of Whittier to swing at the playground. Having dinner at '24-Hour' where one could get a big ol' heaping helping of super nachos. Lots of fond memories. I still go back and visit family and friends. Time just stops when I visit.

— Diana Duran
August 27, 2009 at 12:20 a.m.

WHEN MY FAMILY CAME FROM MEXICO AND FROM EL PASO, TEXAS ON MY FATHERS SIDE, THEY LANDED IN BOYLE HEIGHTS, MOM LIVED ON SOTO ST AND MY DAD GREW UP ON BERNAL AND SIXTH ST. MY PARENTS MET AT WHITTIER AND LORENA WHILE MY MOTHER WAITED FOR THE BUS. WE HAD A HOUSE ON BLANCHARD ST AND MY BROTHER AND I WENT TO ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC SCHOOL, I PLAYED BASEBALL AT EVERGREEN PARK, BUT TIMES WERE BAD THEN SO WE MOVED OUT IN 1989, BUT WE ALWAYS WENT BACK EVERY WEEKEND TO STAY AT GRANDMAS. BOYLE HEIGHTS IS TO MANY ANGELENOS WHAT THE BRONX IS TO NEW YORKERS

— BOBBY G
August 26, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.

BOYLE HEIGHTS''''GOSH THE GREATEST TIME OF MY LIFE WAS THERE.AS A YOUNG MARINE IN 1942 I MET A FAMILY FROM EAST LA,BOYLE HEIGHTS,YES---THEY HAD A DAUGHTER,LOL.AND I WISH I HAD A QUARTER FOR EVERY TIME I ROAD THE B TROLEY OUT THERE,BROOKLYN AVE.AND SOTA,HAD THE BEST FRENCH DIP STAND IN THE WORLD.I MET AND LOVED SO MANY FOLKS THERE,ILL NEVER FORGET,AND THE PACHUCOS,NEVER BOTHERD ME ONCE,I HAVE NEVER BEEN TREATED SO NICE IN MY LIFE,AS I HAVE BEEN IN BOYLE,THANKS,FRIENDS WHO REMEMBER ME,ILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU,YES I STAYED IN CALIF FOR 50 YEARS,RAN A TIRE STORE FOR MARK C.BLOOME.NOW BACK IN THE MIDWEST LIVING OUT MY FOND MEMORIES OF ,EAST LA.GOD BLESS VERA,AND HER FAMILY.AND MY MANY FRIENDS.MUCHO GRACIAS ,AND THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.CHUCK -CHARLES LaMASTRES,CAMERON MO.64429

— CHARLES LaMASTRES
August 20, 2009 at 2:18 p.m.

My Grandparents first moved to Boyle Heights upon their immigration from Mexico to the United States in the early 30's. My Mother And Father still live on the same property that they purchased on Gleason Street next to the Water and Power station. I went to Belvedere Elementary, went out of the area for Jr High, and ended up at Cathedral High School. My fondest memories are playing at Evergreen Rec Center, playing Baseball, Basketball for Mr Corona, Mike Rios, and Benny Rios. Also playing in the street with Michael, Alfred, John, Raul, and anyone else that wanted to challenge us to a baseball or football game. So many people think negative when you say you grew up in ELA, but I always go back, not only to visit my parents but to show my kids where we are from, where I played and how much pride I have in my neighborhood.

— Gilbert Ortiz
August 18, 2009 at 6:16 a.m.

Born (1970) and raised in Boyle Heights went to Evergreen Elementary, Belvedere Jr High and Roosevelt High. Growing up was great. being able to be a kid, playing Hide & Seek behind cars and houses, playing Tag, Street Football (Jr Hicks & Hicks Boys, before it became a gang), Baseball, riding Bikes & Skateboards. Walking everywhere, going up to the "Haunted House" in City Terrace, My mom sending me to Robles Mkt on Wabash. I thank Salesian Boys & Girls Club for keeping me on the right path. El Tepeyac Cooks getting mad at me for ordering burgers, but they were so good. I drive through sometimes but its not the same. Those were Great Times.

— Richard Yslava
August 14, 2009 at 9:04 a.m.

I was born in 1955 in the Japanese hospital of Los Angeles [I'm mexican-american] it was on Fickett &1st,the building is still there. It's now a convalescent home,I lived on 2nd st & Lorena ave. for 15 years ,moved out in 1970. I remember when the the Milkman made deliveries to our doorstep,and cant forget those doughnut's from the Helms Bakery Trucks, Anybody remember 'Segovias 'Grocery Store?on 4th & Velasco st .And there was' EL Centavito' store across from El Mercado. I have a lot of memories of Boyle Heights ,one was Pulling the Emergency levers[before 9-1-1 system] on the Telephone pole's ,and running very fast to hide behind the bush's ,waiting for the Fire Truck's to show up ,it was wrong but I was only 10 yrs old.

— g. Vitela
August 13, 2009 at 11:36 p.m.

Born in 1983 what was once known Lincoln hospital and lived in some apartments that are still there 2524 gleason ave... There till I was 6 going to plaza del sol the friendly people to assist u... Going through the 1987 quake coming down those long stairs and sticking together within are communities if anyone needed anything. Boyle Heights is the heart of what are culture represents a culture being taken away everyday...

— Robert B
August 13, 2009 at 10:13 p.m.

I was born in Doctor's Hospital on Olympic, and grew up on Ditman over the hill on Brooklyn, now Cesar E. Chavez. As a child, I remember walking down the hill with my grandma to catch the bus. Of going to the First Street Store, where she paid her bills and I got an ice cream cone. I remember eating burgers at Tommy's, as well as Okies at Manuel's (El Tepayac Cafe). I remember playing at Evergreen Park, and going to First Street School. My memories are like a rich, vibrate tapestry.

I now live by the Roybal Clinic, and have lived here my entire life. I've always told people that I plan on growing old and dying here. I have been to various parts of LA, but East Los has always been my heart. I love the rhythm and spice that make us who we are, and the ability we have of accepting other cultures and beliefs and making them our own. We are diverse, we are family, and sometimes our worst enemies. An example is there are people trying to make it into a city (The East Los Angeles Cityhood) because sadly if it isn't done soon, one day it may be gone. All that we will have left are the memories, and frankly East LA is too special and iconic for that to happen. I just wish more people would take more of an interest in our future.

— Lily Hernandez
August 13, 2009 at 9:46 a.m.

I have been in Boyle Heights for 15 years and it is a place I never want to leave. People build networks and support each other. The saddest thing to see in my community was the demolition of the Pico Aliso and Aliso Village housing projects. Out community lost 900 units of affordable housing just in that project alone and hundreds of families who lived in the community for 15 years or more were displaced. I see the continual and slow gentrification that continues to spread through my community using public funds but I also see people working together to preserve the cultural identity of this rich community.

— Michelle Matthews
August 12, 2009 at 8:58 p.m.

I was born and raised in what might be considered the modern Boyle Heights. I was born in 1979 and grew up in the Pico Gardens Housing Projects. We didn't move out until around 1997, and my family was there for a total of about 22 years, since 1975.

I went off to college, graduated and lived in Korea Town for a while, but now I'm back in Boyle Heights across the street from Bridge Elementary School. LIving the area does have its ups and downs, the few knuckle heads still around do at times make it a bit dangerous, but since the early 1990s the gang activity has visibly declined and of course the mexican food choices are never ending. I love living in this centrally located area just minutes from downtown...Boyle Heights... a small treasure just east of the river

— Allen Chavez
July 24, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

reading Allan Abrams account of Boyle Heights closely parallels my own boyhood memories. I lived on Sheridan St. and attended Sheridan St. School from 1944-1947. We used to jump on the freight trains and ride them for a few blocks; also, our neighbor was interning at General hospital and I used to jump on his motorcycle and ride over to the hospital, then walk back home.

Of course Currie's ice cream on Brooklyn and Soto was THE place to be.

— Barry Holtzman
June 5, 2009 at 3:04 p.m.

Most of my family lived in Boyle Heights when I was born in 1937. My grandparents on both sides immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine, Germany and Roumania, fleeing widespread pogroms against Jews between 1890-1910. Settling briefly in New York, Chicago and St. Louis, they came to Los Angeles and the growing Jewish community in Bpyle Heights during the years around World War I. Until World War II, Boyle Heights was LA's largest Jewish community. My parents' families knew eachother and both attended Roosevelt High. Mom graduated 2 years after Dad, and through the charity of a successful cousin, became the first in my close extended family to graduate college (UCLA in 1932, and worked as a teacher at Roosevelt High until after the War.)

E. Cesar E Chavez Avenue was then known as Brooklyn Avenue, a main street of many Jewish businesses: Canter's Deli, kosher butcher shops, groceries, hardware, plumbers, tailors,etc. A great dime store on Wabash was a favorite source of toys and the Wabash theater introduced me to my youthful interest in war movies. A Bank of America (not Jewish owned) anchored the corner of Soto and Brooklyn. which was a main intersection of activity.

During my childhood in the late 30s and early 40s, I lived on Fickett St. behind a long lived hardware store on Booklyn, in my grandparent's house, where neighbors raised goats, rabbits, ducks and chickens. In 1940 we moved to Ganahl St. where I went to Evergreen St. School when it only covered a third of the block and we lived on the same large block with some great vacant lots to play soldiers with my friends. I remember the outbreak of WWII, when, being in the kindergarten, we were all equipped with homemade little sleeping bags fully stocked with crayons, coloring books and candy bars to get us through the expected air-raids. They got us through some weird exciting air-raid drills in school, lying in darkened hallways and hearing stories (probably from the then raging Battle of Britain) of a classroom of children being evacuated seconds before the bldg collapsed. We depleted our sleeping bag supplies soon after the end of the first drill!

Back then Ramona Blvd, just a few blocks downhill from Ganahl, where the San Bernardino Fwy now passes. was a main 4 lane thoroughfare leading to the San Gabriel Valley. A small grassy creek, the scene of my happily splashing barefooted on a day of playing hookey from 1st grade, was just down hill from Ramona Blvd and led to the LA River miles to the west. On the vacant hills leading up to the white shiney monument of County Hospital, a herd of goats grazed. Most exciting was the railroad yard with it's frequent irresistible steam engines and dynamic activity of railroading. The hill north and east of Boyle Heights toward City Terrace and south of Ramona, had a few homes and someones flock of (trained?) white pigeons, frequently swooping and circling over the hill.

One man's memories of boyhood in Boyle Heights.

— Allan Abrams
June 3, 2009 at 7:47 p.m.

In 1969 I came to Los Angles to join a firm located on 15th street & Esperanza. Our entire workforce were residents of Boyle Heights. The area has since seen a renaissance, as it was rather dismal in the area of small plants and warehouses. A fgew old, wooden residences remained in 1969. Working their was my introduction to the Latino world, as we attended weddings, christenings and funerals of our employees. Some of the very best Latin food is found in the smaller restaurants in that area. Retired now, don't drive so haven't been back for a few years. Also found the area to important historically to LA.

— carleton cronin
June 3, 2009 at 3:02 p.m.

Boyle Heights

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Eastside region of Los Angeles County. It contains Estrada Courts.
The neighboring communities are Chinatown, Commerce, Downtown, East Los Angeles, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights and Vernon.
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About This Project
Boyle Heights is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.