The Rite of Passage in L.A.

Sometimes poverty and addiction is all you see,

Is this the world I left behind to you,

Or is this what was left behind to me?

What I know is I hurt with you when you weep,

Broken promises that left you, scars we both keep.

Keep ya head up, they told me

Now it’s your turn.

Destiny?

You see you yourself are not a broken promise, though,

Homie.

You just have to make your way through,

to know

What’s truly free.

You’ll be free.

J.T.

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EPISODE 9 – THIS SIDE OF HOOVER

In our ninth episode for J.T. The L.A. Storyteller, we link up with Samanta Helou-Hernandez, whose page This Side of Hoover on Instagram documents the ongoing gentrification of the Virgil Village area in Los Angeles. Samanta describes how her own experience with displacement led her to start photographing her community, and also discusses working with us for the first-ever Back 2 School Party in East Hollywood. We also discuss her reporting on the local Union Swap Meet, thoughts on the L.A. Times, and more. Visit This Side of Hoover on Instagram: @thissideofhoover

Mayor of Breed Street: A Remembrance for Demetrio Zuniga Farias

On December 2nd, 2019, a small, working class community in Boyle Heights experienced a sorrowful loss when Demetrio Zuniga Farias passed away at his home on Breed Street. He was 85 years old.

Born in 1934, Don Farias made Los Angeles his permanent home in the mid-1960s. In his long tenure in the city, Don Farias was an active member of his community who was constantly providing a lending hand. In 1987, he even earned recognition from the City of Los Angeles and Governor Jerry Brown for his commitment to the public good.

When Don Farias opened and managed his own mini-market in Boyle Heights, he showed much compassion for the community, at times helping families and single mothers in need with items such as milk, tortillas, and more at his expense.

Outside of Boyle Heights, Don Farias also traveled all over Europe, loved baseball, boxing, and Mariachi music. In fact, during the 1980s, he was actually associated with the Dodgers, working with the Spanish translation group for the prized blue franchise. Don Farias also had a network in the world of boxing and counted legends such as Julio Cesar Chavez and Don King among people he knew.

Don Farias was no ordinary man. He knew how to live life to the fullest at the same time that he counted his blessings. This led many members of the community to frequently gather at his home on Breed Street, making him constantly surrounded by people who had nothing but endearment for him. Breed Street was the heart of Don Faria’s pueblo, making him to locals the “Mayor of Breed Street.”

Although this great and honorable man is no longer with us physically, Don Farias’s legacy will always be the soul of Breed Street and a gem in our hearts.

JT – Boyle H

About the author: JT – Boyle Heights is a resident of Boyle Heights on the east side of Los Angeles and an avid supporter of grassroots movements in the community.