I can’t remember the last time I went to Echo Park Lake… I know it was some time when I was a child, before they re-modeled and re-opened the pretty new park they have now. When I was growing up, Echo Park and the surrounding neighborhoods were much poorer and considered unsafe. How accurate this was in the 90s, I can’t say, because I didn’t actually live there and also I was a kid, but that’s the perception I had.
But now as the East Side becomes cooler and cooler with each passing year, new vegan restaurants pop up on Sunset while a block away, carts selling elote and raspados and hot dogs and pupusas continue to thrive under the hot summer sun. I wonder how much longer this co-existence can last. I want to be optimistic, but I know the forces of whitewashing yuppie-ism can be overpowering.
Today I just tried to enjoy the sunshine (even as it set so early, at 8:30 pm!), marveling at the diversity of those walking around the lake, everyone enjoying this first day of our nation-wide heat wave. Even though we know it will get worse, that doesn’t stop us enjoying it while we can.