Mapping LA Neighborhoods
MAPPING L.A. > South L.A.

Watts

Tell us what Watts means to you

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

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government wants people who live in watts the way your thinking now. Getting used to the violence, saying it is what it is, or thats life. they want you thinking like this so you wont be moving into nicer neighborhoods, creating more police jobs, more firefighters. Creating more jobs for people, the economy would not run smoothly if it wasnt for people who think that they need to get used the violence and be happy in these neighborhoods.. to Survive??? comon you shouldnt need to survive in your own home thats sad

— real talk
September 24, 2012 at 9:04 a.m.

What does Watts mean to me…well let me see, where do I start, I guess I could start off by listing things I only see in Watts:

Double parking (like no one’s business)

Kid’s looking both way’s on a one way street

Gun shots, Helicopter, Police sirens, firetruck sirens, Fireworks, Cherry bombs year round

Party’s every weekend, past all hours

Almost every house has a dog, not as a pet .

Dogs wondering all over the streets,

Cars burning rubber,

Plenty of liquor stores,

Makeshift memorials at every,

street. People raising money to

bury their dead practically every

week.

Chickens, roosters and horses

All kinds of vendors at your door

Cucaracha truck, A buck a bag truck

Ice-cream trucks, DVD’s, Raspados)

Kid’s playing with the water hydrate in the summer time

The things that I hate are also the same things I love. I can live here the rest of my life but WE have to stop the senseless killings.

— WATTSDOLORES
June 7, 2012 at 11:08 a.m.

I grew up in the area between Compton and Watts known only as "South Central". We all knew the 77th division cops pretty well for better or worse. There used to be helicopters flying over nearly nightly looking for robbery, assult or drug people running from the cops. Did I mention I AM A WHITE FEMALE. I spent over 20 years there through the riots in the 60's and beyond. I was the only white kid at Gompers and Locke and did have lots of "close calls" with violence but I survived and helped others fight back. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I also would not wish it on anyone else, learning to survive can be a bit tricky.

— lucky2be here
February 29, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.

I grew up the only white female on the edge of Compton and Watts in the 60's and 70's. I had my fair share of "close calls" with violence but I did survive and would not change my life for anything. Even back then it was a very tough and dangerous place to live, but with a little fortitude and a lot of determination I survived.

I did get out, and am grateful!

— lucky
February 29, 2012 at 3:19 p.m.

i lived in watts its not badd anymore lyk it used to be, wenn ppl ask mee where i come from nd i say WATTS! all theyy sayy iss ewww yewww livedd theree its sooo ghetto there ", theyy havee noo ideaa how muchh theyy are wrong yess its ghetto but still dontt jugee ah placee yewh never lived inn ! especially whitee ppl theyy alwayzz bee criticizing !

WATTS ALL DAY EVERY DAYY ! ! <3

— lovely blushezz <3
October 19, 2011 at 5:59 p.m.

For the past 15 years I have lived in Watts "the projects" many people who live here say it is not bad, but the true is that they have adapted themselfs. I in the other hand can't wait to move. This is defenetly not a place to raise a child.

— anonymous
October 13, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.

Grew up in watts and have seen death and fighting and people who were once someone now all cracked out. watts is full of convicted child molesters and houses are broke into always. it is one of the most disgusting places in cali. Blacks have succumed to poverty and accept their failed efforts in watts. It is seen as cool to shop with a EBT card. no one has house phones , only prepaid.

— tb
August 14, 2011 at 10:55 a.m.

Man , i was raised in watts 16 years ! And let me tell you , it's not bad at all . Some people are scared to come cus its a "bad , violent" neighborhood . But nope , it's preety cool. Chill place to stay in . You have all your friends and everything ! But it aint bad at all :)

Watts life ! <3

— - Nayelly
July 25, 2011 at 10:21 p.m.

I am from Dallas, Texas and it's all the same. But the weather permits people to roam more days out of the year so you have intense violence. But I'm here at work and I like to keep with the are and how it's doing. I have been traveling to LA since the 90's and I always go in the Hood to document the area. I go in and leave promptly. Yes it is interesting how people live on the West Coast! Very Interesting since i'm a southerner...

— RCC
June 29, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.

There are plenty of good kids in this mad city but they just lack the resources and opportunity. A lot of great things and people come from my neighborhood. Just give us a chance people.

— X'Zavierr Garland
June 19, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.

watts ; the placee alot of peoplee call home , some peoplee call BAD , the "poor" neighborhood ?

therees good & badd sidees to watts most of the time itss not thaat badd !

— watts resident <3
June 1, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.

watts , is a good neighborhood ; its not what peoplee think , theres figghts& shootings but not very often anymore ; watts is improving :D

pretty good / nice neighborhood

— watts resident <3
June 1, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.

man ppl who are ashamed bein from watts u ppl dont know wat u guys r talking about.theres nuthin out here like watts no one can compar their city 2watts.i love my city any one who has any thing bad 2 say don sayy nuthin cuz its watts up all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Watts uvero fk
May 20, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.

Although I live South of the 105 freeway, an area consider to be nicer and safer, in few occasions I have past by Watts. What happens in Watts it sometimes effects my neighborhood. Watts has some bad areas, and very very few tranquil streets to what I have heard and seen. But the really bad areas do give Watts its stereotype and crime rate. "The projects," or near the projects are considered areas as not as safe. Watts lacks of many entities that me and you might enjoy. Many have felt that the city have neglected Watts for many years. I think that the city of Los Angeles should invest more monetary funds in Watts. It should start by reducing its unemployment, building affordable housing (give another option to its people instead of renting, sell houses), beautifying its streets, building more retail (grocery store) and reducing its crime (more cops). Watts shall change too, like its surrounding areas.

— Jose
May 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

For me Watts is a place I can come back to and still be happy. I've heard all of these negative comments about Watts from people who don't live here but how would they know? They have to have the experience before saying something that is not a fact. I'm tired of people asking me where I live and every time i say "Watts" the first thing they say is "Oh." I feel offended when they think I'm like the rest of the teens that live in Watts. Not all teens from Watts have bad intentions. Living in Watts has motivated me to be a better person and prove everyone wrong. Everyone who thinks Watts teens don't have a dream or all we do is slack off in school is wrong. Everyone is not the same and teenagers like me are going to be the ones to prove you wrong!

— Jessica
March 2, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.

Watts is home. Born and raised in Watts...I since moved but Watts will always be home for me, I love everything about it, its where I come from..Even though Watts is known for its low income, gang infested, drug infested streets, it made me the person I am today..coming from Watts motivates me to do better and have a better life. But Watts will always be home....WATTS UP!!!!

— Vince
February 21, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.

I am saddened in reading the negative comments posted on this wall. Those of us who "made it out" need to return and commit to working with the community. Everyone has always some criticism and nothing to stand by it. Watts has made me the educated, committed, and strong individual that I am today. I plan to work in this community for the rest of my life. Never forget where you come from.

— Advocate
December 4, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.

My family moved in to Watts in the early 198O's. Moved out before 1990. I categorize the people who live in Watts into 2. Those who can't do any better. And those who don't know any better.

My family were in the second category. They were so ignorant they had no idea how culturally depraved and violent Watts was. In the late 1980's it was night of the living dead: homeless walking around like zombies looking for their next hit, and the SO MANY gangs that fought each other like being a gangster was the greatest thing in the world.

By 2000 the neighborhood seemed exhausted, not as vibrant with activity as before, many Mexicans had moved in.

I drove by last week. As I drove down Wilmington, I was surprised to see only 2 street people in the whole stretch. Not much grafitti. Very few blacks, and chruch with a bunch of Mexicans in it. It seems that Watts has turned a corner, going from full of gangsta-druggie life, to complete exhaustion and abandonment, to now some signs of renewed life.

BTW, I will never get over being raised in Watts, it is badge of shame. Watts left me severely traumatized, even if most people who grew up there don't admit it, they are probably traumatized as well, mostly from the constant violence and atmosphere of despair, and I hope I die soon.

Watts.

— Francisco
November 30, 2010 at 8:39 p.m.

i lived in WATTS since i was a bby i am 17 now nd graduating this year yeeah i choose to do the drugs nd gangs but im still doing good in skool nd yeah i call watts my home there may b alot of homeless ppl drugies nd the streeets my b dirty but ppl tend to judge the book by it cover instead of judging ppl get no them first i grew up wit an abusive family nd drugies but ppl dont c that there r kids in watts the want good for them self .....

LIVING THAT WATTS LIFE ALL THE WAY!!!!

— WATTS LIFE
November 30, 2010 at 9:08 a.m.

As previously commented by Nancy O. Watts is nothing but desperation, hopelessness, crime and poverty. I am the third generation living here. I have received my BA degree and still live here. Hopefully, one day I may be able to move out...Did I mention that I hate this place. IT IS THE UGLIEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE USA. IT HAS THE UGLY AND THE WORST. YES, IT MAKES YOU A STRONGER PERSON, BUT NOT AT THE PRICE OF HAVING EDURED HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES.

— Resident
November 11, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

Watts up.

— Melani
November 2, 2010 at 11:54 a.m.

Born in Watts. Married, divorced and returned to Watts. Married again; divorced and returned to Watts again. Again married for the third time; divorced again, and came back to live in Watts. Single now and still live in Watts. Watts is a place you can come back to and will be the same. HOME !!!!

— Tony
September 29, 2010 at 7:57 p.m.

Since the riot, Watts is a money maker

for our Elected Officials from DC to our

local. Watts has not improved, all we

get is lies from our Politicians about

improvement but they are not going let

that happen because that would cut off

their money train.

— dot
June 27, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.

I love Watts! It's beautiful. The town has so much history embedded. Too bad for all the changes it has suffered. Hoping soon to see the culture reborn. This will so be accomplished by the Redevelopment of the Jordan Downs. Know the facts! Jordandowns.org

— Nina
June 7, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.

Watts is the home to the projects of Los Angeles. You see bill boards in run-down apartments(bad landscpaping) or single dwelling, "For Rent, 2bed 1 bath 1200k, Section 8 Welcome!!!." If you are a middle-class folks that would want to live in Watts it would be hard to find a safe area with nice homes, or an area that is not surronded by the projects or apartments.The city has made Watts they way it is now. Watts should have a council memeber that represents only Watts. Some parts of Watts are scary. Watts should become a good area of LACity to live again.

— Jose
May 21, 2010 at 12:10 p.m.

o WATTS yea i live there. what has the city, state, government done to help out the cummunity will let me tel you.

— stup
April 21, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.

WATTS was home to me even when we moved, I remembered when everyone was wearing afros, and all down 103rd were

many barber shops doing afros, yes I had one. I remember going to the teen post (ran by Mrs Betty Day),next to the Watts Towers, I was 14/15 years old, those were the days of good memories.

I remember the FIRST Watts Summer Festival, the first one was ran by the Sons of Watts, but was taken over the next year by the Sheriffs.

I'm from the 60's,my mother moved to the Nickerson Gardens (Nickerson's was only 3 years old) when I was 3 years old, attented kindergarten, we only lived their for 2 years. Thats when families lived in the Nickerson Gardens, grandparents, parents, and everybody pretty much had a "big momma".

— Nisi loves WATTS forever!
April 20, 2010 at 7:21 p.m.

WATTS is whatever you make of it!!

— A.C., JHS c/o '90
April 9, 2010 at 10:24 a.m.

Whatever Aqeela is smoking I want some. W.A.T.T.S. actually stands for Working At The Thrift Store. The acronym was coined by whitey to keep the colored folks down. Working at the Thrift Store was the only job attainable back in the day. Very few people know about the original name.

— Antwonette
April 3, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.

W.A.T.T.S stands for We Are Taught To Survive....I love her. She's misunderstood and idealized. She's romaticized and criticized. But, i still am in love with her. I accept the good with the bad, i dont judge her, she is who she is. The largest concentration of public housing (and poor people) west of the Mississippi. The collective suffering her people have endured have given way to a "second-sight"--a level of clairvoyance that has produced some of our greater musicians, artist, activist and story tellers....she holds the memory of our ancient past and promise for the future. Study her geomancy and you will discover her lay lines run right thru my heart and yours:-).

— aqeela
April 3, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.

I don't miss Watts. I admire the people who come out of it alive. There's always a story to tell, always a sad one or bitter one. I lived in Nickerson Gardens and went to Markham. I avoided Jordan by going to a magnet school. I can say Watts made me a stronger person, but I honestly wouldn't want my kids to go through the same fear and desperation,the poverty, the crime, the hopelessness. Thinking about it is still overwhelming. Good luck to those who remain. I really hope you can change its obvious problems.

— Nancy O.
April 1, 2010 at 6:17 p.m.

I love where I am from and what molded me into the individual I am today. "It's not where you live, but where your brain stays" I am 25 have my own business never been arested or apart of a gang. Yes there is some positive in Watts.

— jharris84
March 16, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

There are some good and evil where ever you go. Growing up in Compton and Watts back in the 60's I can remember walking from 156th Street to 108th and my cousins would meet me half way, yes those was the good days. Went to Verbum Dei HS and LA City College. However, now Watts have a lack of and will still has a lack of local jobs. But yet there is something here in Watts that the land investors want and if we do not be careful they will move us out. I am a Pastor at a 65 year old landmark Church doing my best to help those who are unable to help themself. Do not give up. Yes we can change and make it be a much better place to live.

— Bishop Franklin Harris
March 2, 2010 at 12:57 a.m.

Thank God for Watts, California It made me the woman I am today!

— Lorrie
February 22, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.

What Watts mean to me is that it was a great place for my mother to survive and raise her sons at an affordable rent in the Nickerson Gardens Projects. Growing up I had alternatives,to get involved in something positive or negative and in up in prison. When I went to Markham and Jordan the teachers was truly interested in you to become successful. There was teachers such as Sam Anderson, Coach Randolph,George McKenny,Mrs Broussard and a host of others.We where taught that you can be what ever you wanted to be if you apply yourself. The social economic area where you live does not define your destiny. I am proud to have been a part of Watts. The area of Watts is located in a highly desirable area of Los Angeles. The people that is in power would love to get rid of all of the projects and build unaffordable housing,warehouses,commercial etc.

Watts could be a much better place if the proper resources was in place IE job training,recreation, and redirection of negative behavior by the youth.Also when I grew up Watts it meant that we would never go to the city playoffs in football. However basketball was a shoe in every year. Congrats to Jordan High football program of late. The area known as Watts have produce lawyers, judges,Rhode Scholars,World class athletes,entertainers etc. Where ever I live in the world I will always be from Watts. Peace, Love and Happiness

"Peanut" Jordan W/67

— Jesse Henderson
February 12, 2010 at 2 p.m.

Ebony....

Your comment is filled with ignorance and contradiction. You first state that one must not judge Watts unless having lived there, and yet YOU make the statement that Watts is down to earth love, WITHOUT HAVING LIVED THERE YOURSELF (that my friend, is making a judgement call).

Face reality. People Judge. Its what we do.

To add a footnote: I LIVED IN WATTS for most of my life....i'm part of the lucky few who made it out alive...I'm the exception to the rule.

So in the end, we both agree some things good can come out of Watts. The percentage rate, however is not very good.

WATTS IS BAD NEWS. PERIOD.

AND IF YOU HAPPEN TO LIVE THERE....YOU'RE PROBALY BAD NEWS TOO.

— Far from Watts and loving every minute
February 11, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.

Can anything good come up from Watts? YES!!! Yes they can. I didn't grow up in Watts. I knew a lot of good peeps from Watts. There is a lot of character in Watts. Before folks judge Watts...go there and see the love the folks have in Watts. Nutin but down to earth love.

— Ebony
February 10, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.

I grew up in Watts and I’d have to disagree with most of the comments posted before me.

For all those chanting “Watts Up!.... Watts is and still is a nice place to live”.......

Really???

Where exactly can I find this place you speak of???

On Imperial Courts? Jordan Downs? Maybe the Nickerson Gardens?? Or maybe inside a household under Section 8?

Thugs running the streets, teenagers spraying graffiti on city sidewalks and private property, blatant prostitution in broad daylight is not criteria one holds for the perfect neighborhood.

I am sure there are hard working people residing in Watts. However, they are rarely seen. Good people in Watts are myths and hard to come by. We hear about them in speeches made by our council representatives. Staying secluded in their homes is the only option to stay safe in Watts. You see, besides being the home of a historical landmark, Watts also serves as a prison to some residents. I consider those who do not know this zip code as lucky.

A billboard up on Central Ave. reads “Don’t Move, Improve!” A chuckle inside me trying to get out when I read it.

I don’t have time to improve YOU Watts! I lived there one day too many if you ask me. I hope the few good people that are left are able to make it out and not return.

Watts was never intended to be the ideal neighborhood. Watts was built to be a station point for criminals. Watts is where you reside after being released from prison. Watts is home to the Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, the perfect maze to hide in, after committing a crime to avoid police.

I made it out of Watts and I'm NOT GOING BACK!!

See you Watts!

Hated to know you! Sad to know you’re still there! Running out fast and Never looking back!

— Far from Watts and loving every minute
January 19, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

I was born and rased in watts in the 80s and 90s on 108 and 103 st it was vary hard time growing up there got involed in gang and losts of fights there to show that I was not no punck and went to jail for a very long time but it maid me who I am today a grate father and husben to my wife and kids. So to all the young mens out ther keep your heads up. Think twice befor u do what u do. And stay out of trouble. Watts life and much love. Watts up to the young people of watts.

— johnny be good
January 16, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.

my whole family is from watts area and we are proud to say we love watts for what it once was,how it is now crazy!but hey the gang b.s. has to stop!there is so much potential.my great -great grand father helped built the watts towers,if he would see how watts is now!he would personnally run these thugs out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— mr welder
January 4, 2010 at 3:05 p.m.

Watts is my HOME!

Anything is possible. I graduated from Jordan, and now I attend one of the best colleges in the nation.

— Unknown
January 3, 2010 at 10:38 p.m.

Watts had great pride in the 1984 to 1986 era . But no place for a young man to be raised. The best thing to do is move out . The teachers are scared to teach kids like at Jordan and Locke.PLUS NOW THE MEXICANS HAVE MOVED IT ......Use to Hoop at Barneys ...Grape street hood !!!!!!!!!!!

— WATTS AINT WHAT IT USE TO BE
December 29, 2009 at 9:48 a.m.

I moved to 103rd St. and Figuroa St. in So LA when I was 2yrs old. I attended Fremont High and Washington High. I became a cop in Watts out of 77th Division in '63. I was in the 65 Riots and the '66 riots. Undercover I found boxes of molotov coctails hidden alongside a project building near Jordan High just before the '66 riot started. It was pre-planned. In '65 I responded to the 120th St. beginning of the '65 riot. People went nuts. Burning buildings, attacking innocent motorists on their way home in rush hour traffic, for no good reason. After nearly thirty years and many riots including labor riots: Kiser Illuminum plant; the LA Times labor strike; the janitor strike in Century City; the riot at the Century Plaza when Johnson was visiting; the East LA Riot when a journalist was killed on a bar stool; I was there for the Black Panther Shootout; I was there at the house with the Simbienese Liberation Army when they fought it out to the death; I was at the Longshoremans strike that turned violent in the LA Harbor along with 100 motorcycle cops. I rescued the Black activist who's name I have forgotten in a shoot out in the Watts riot of 65 at Imperial Gardens on Imperial Hwy. And rushed him to Central Receiving hospital on 6th Street. NOW....What I have learned from all of this is that people when they get emotional, no matter their class or station, they can lose all sense of reason and become primitive in their behavior, and do things they would not normally do. I worked Juvenile Gangs among many other assignments, I worked with Crips, Brims, Bloods. Fear was their main motivation for grouping up. Later the profit motive of drugs and crime took hold. Some of the young people could not even spell or pronounce the name of the street they lived on. Boys in Watts should be schooled separate from Girls.

They should have only male teachers who they can admire. Girls..ditto. their testosterone levels are way too high for them to study and many of them suffer from ADHD. I worked and lived in the community more hours than I was in my own home. 8-12hrs per day, talking with the good citizens of south LA. My hope is that in time change will come to the community and again the streets and parks will be safe for everyone.

— Richard Breidenthal
December 28, 2009 at 11:47 p.m.

watts is and still is a nice place to live. people are quite forreal in the town.you can make yourself or breakyourself.stay forreal about the business.and you live to see another day.bet. the honorable jon d$

— jon d$
December 28, 2009 at 9:20 p.m.

Jordan hi S'66. Nickerson gardens 11245 Zamore Ave. more glad than sad.Alot of fun if you avoided the traps. Look before you leap, getting caught up in the moment can cause a lifetime of grief.Marvin's What's Going On.Runs it down.

— Real-T
December 28, 2009 at 12:56 p.m.

i grew up in north compton(bunch jr. high) in the 60s but used to go to watts and party with friends,remember the riots from 65..every one pretty much got along no matter what color you were..growing up in the ghetto made me a good person..having friends from different back grounds made me realize that we are all really the same inside and want the same things in life..I LOVE WATTS.Rudy da Wrench.

— da wrench
December 18, 2009 at 8:29 p.m.

WATTS UP 2 tha Nickerson Gardenz ProjeX. Eastside all day frum tha Samoan on tha trey-line but we aint no tramps. 113st Till tha kaskett drop. B.H Dowggz potna. Tha Usos in Barson still got yor bakk N.G. WATTS Upp!!

— B-RedRum
December 16, 2009 at 5:05 a.m.

Frank DeCleve: this is your son, please contact Lawerence kalfayan. He has my email adress. I have sent four or five messages to this sight because I saw your name. You have a grand daughter , her name is Sophia. She is beautiful. She will be one on December 14th. I know it's you because I was with you when we saw those guys about to fight. Some were carrying shovels and sticks. We were in the chevy truck. You showed me the park with the pond and told me you and your friend with the bad leg used to canoe there , I think that's right. I met your friends mom also. Any way I miss you and I love you. "E"

— Eric
December 4, 2009 at 10:04 a.m.

I remember moving to Los Angeles as a child. Our first home was in Watts. We lived with our uncle who lived in N. Gardens. There was a since of Pride and less violence....I wish they could restore that pride in the people of Watts once again.

— Lena
December 4, 2009 at 7:31 a.m.

I know beautiful people in Watts and I would like to say it's what you make it and if you are living a decent life then you are on the right track and if you're living a bad life then that's the life you choose not everyone choose to live the bad life some just choose to live. :) live, love, laugh life is too short.

— one two
December 3, 2009 at 11:27 a.m.

watts is historical in its own rights,from its housing projects to the watts towers. put the rags and guns down and pick up a book,the real weapon is education and reach back and pull someone up when u make it.

— 112th str bh
December 2, 2009 at 12:27 p.m.

I work for the fire department in Watts and gotta say: most of the people there are good hard working people. Yeah, there's some trash, but what neighborhood doesn't? It's a hard place to grow up...that's for sure.

— c-gas
December 2, 2009 at 9:08 a.m.

Dot!!!

The Watts Towers are an important, and interesting part of LA history!! . You should learn more about it. They do a very interesting tour, and there is a wonderful youth facility there.

It isn't always about the money.

— Micheline Koby
November 23, 2009 at 6:50 p.m.

I was born in Watts and finished high school at David Starr Jordan. I have alway looked for my heroes out of Watts, Eldridge Clever, Florence Griffith, Keith Soloman, Mingus, aswell as many others. I am proud to have shining examples of great people from Watts. I was able to embrace my greatness knowing that I came from a community that where being an underdog is "par for the course" Much LOVE to all of WATTS from both sides of Grandee

KYoung Olympic and World Record Holder

400 meter Hurdles(46.78)

— kevin
November 23, 2009 at 6:28 a.m.

I grew up in WATTS near 110th and anzac and even though i no longer live there im still proud to say i grew up in what people say is the real ghetto,but there was nothing but love in the hood...

— john
November 13, 2009 at 8:40 a.m.

I grew up in WATTS IN THE 80"S AND 90,S i WENT TO 112 ST ELEM. Markham & Jordan It was tuff we where one of the first mexican families that lived in the project's I have memories of my older brother outside fighting because of us being mexican my older brother stood his ground they pretty much left us alone after that he gain there respect . I carry WATTS so deep in my heart I feel like a very strong women because of my upbringin I'm thankful for everything I've been thru the good the bad, the tears the hurt and the pain I have an apreciation for life family .I live a productive life I no longer live in Los Angeles but Im planning to return and hopefully with a job position in the housing Authority I WORK IN pROPERTY MANAGEMENT and would some day like to work in the projects and give back .I WATTS has so much rich history and it up to us to keep it alive .

— Claudy
November 6, 2009 at 4:32 p.m.

I lived in the Watts, for 16 years. It changed my life completely, it made a better man inside and out. Big ups to my people in Watts and like T-Pac said," keep ya head up." move forward! yes we can!

— Roger
November 5, 2009 at 1:15 p.m.

i dont know to much about watts.but i work at the youth op. center on 103(YO WATTS).im willing to help the youth wit programs that will help in the long run.from

school tutoring 2 finding jobs.

i had no one to help me so i know how it is!!!!!!!!!!!ask for fatima

— fatima
October 2, 2009 at 11:16 a.m.

Watts has change alot since I moved out, I remember when mexicans weren't allow in da J.D.'s, my uncle got kill in 1983 in the Jordan downs, the thing about watts people is that we may lack the money but we are rich at heart baby.

nobody could ever question the heart of a Watts person.

— Eligio Skieff
September 21, 2009 at 10:25 p.m.

I had lived in Watts since i was three yrs old and I have good times and bad times just like anyone has in their own neighborhoods. Watts use to be a good neighborhood to live and still is but one thing that Watts has like any other neighborhood that is low income is obviously gangs, drugs, violence, liquor stores, churches and 90% of bad pigs.

I was gang member myself and i used to do all the things that any gang member does to represent their neighborhood. All i want to say is that if you are a person who doesn't look for trouble don't worry about the bad things but if you are a person that is looking for trouble expect the same thing that you do to others. If it wasn't for Watts I believe that i wouldn't have appreciated life

as I do now. To all the critics that are trying to put down Watts because of its history of violence think of the things you have learned after leaving Watts and how much Watts has change your ways in life. I am thankful for being in a town that made me of who i am now.

WATTS FOR LIFE AND THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE.

— L Wacko 4frm sswvgst13
September 11, 2009 at 9:02 p.m.

I grew up in Watts. I learned English at 102nd. I continued to Jordan. My father grew up with the man who built the Watts Towers. My father's family came to Watts from Mexico in the early 1900s. It was an interesting exprience growing up in Watts. I got married and move out of the area just before the riots occurred.

— Benito Valenzuela
September 1, 2009 at 10:40 a.m.

TO ME WATTS IS HOME. NO WAY IT'S A JUNGLE.ALL OVER LOS ANGELES YOU FIND GANGS,DRUGS.SO AM VERY VERY PROUD TO SAY AM FROM WATTS.

HENRY BROOMFIELD

WattsNC

— HENRY BROOMFIELD
August 26, 2009 at 7:34 p.m.

I was raised in Watts and at that time, it was a great place to live. People had respect for each other, children could play outside and at the park without worrying about drive bys. We could hang out and go to house parties without worrying about gang activities. Now it is a jungle; you have gangs, drugs and no respect.

— Margaret
August 25, 2009 at 12:58 p.m.

Yea,We may have railroad tracks,empty lots,and the projects and we are also law abiding people and some might say it's a jungle but we call it Home,as in HOLLYWATTS!,We live like the Rich & Famous and hold our HEAD's up high.Were Proud of WATTS...

— Nena -Born & Raised In Watts and Proud of It.
August 17, 2009 at 1:40 p.m.

Watts Up

— GSW
August 14, 2009 at 1:37 p.m.

i love WATTS how can u say that the tower are trashy if u dont know the history of the towers dont say any thing they just hate on us!!!!

MY LOve!!! to WATTS!!<3

— NAT!!
August 12, 2009 at 7:54 p.m.

After the state tear down all three housing projects and erect condos and affordable housing for tenants that are law abiding, then Watts will begin to be a great place to live and work.

— Andre
July 20, 2009 at 2:37 p.m.

Watts should be a very upscale area, but

has empty lots,the grounds of the Watts

Towers are a disgrace and very trashy

railroad tracks.

Watts is a money maker for our Elected

Officials but the community sees none

of the millions appropriated dollars.

Where has the money gone and who is

pocketing these funds.

— dot
July 8, 2009 at 11:05 p.m.

Whenever you live near or adjacent to railroad tracks in Los Angeles, that is a good sign that your life is going to be a lot harder. That is what Watts means to me.

— Danny
June 13, 2009 at 5:19 p.m.

Isn't Watts part of Compton or Willowbrook?

— Anonymous
June 3, 2009 at 4:27 p.m.

Watts

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the South L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Imperial Courts, Jordan Downs and Nickerson Gardens.
This neighborhood includes Unincorporated Watts in its area and statistics.
The neighboring communities are Florence-Firestone, Green Meadows, Lynwood, South Gate and Willowbrook.
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About This Project
Watts is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.