Okay, so I know what I’m asking, but who am I asking it to?
Maybe I’ve been living in a cave all of this time, but very recently I’ve noticed everyone call Echo Park and immediate areas the “Eastside”.
It took me a while to figure out that when they said the Eastside, they were referring to Echo Park and areas between the 101 and 5, east of say, Alvarado.
But who exactly is “they”? And who’s calling the shots?
Well, if we start with Google for one, this is how Google interprets Los Angeles:
Google acknowledges Echo Park as being somewhere near “Northeast Los Angeles”, but before discussing this region, we must ask ourselves, “then what is downtown Los Angeles?”
According to the map, while Google does have the city’s name over the downtown area, they define Central Los Angeles as being somewhere near Western Ave.
Los Angeles, meet your new downtown, Marlborough Private School
Do we ever think of Hollywood as being “North Los Angeles”?
To me, Los Angeles was always split down the 110. I grew up in Pico-Union where the division was visibly clear: I saw the 110 bridge from our own neighborhood. If I crossed it, I was in downtown. If I didn’t cross it and stayed west, I was practically in West LA in my mind.
And when I lived in Westlake, it was clear: “I am in West LA!”
Of course with an expanded view, I now know West LA extends deep and far, beyond Westlake. And on a side note, it seems that West LA is not affected by this confusing terminology. No matter what they are west of, they are still West LA.
But for our purposes, it comes down to your definitions of central and downtown. If we’re to take Google at its face value, though they name the middle chunk of Los Angeles “Central LA”, they admit that the real city center is in downtown.
Which would make Echo Park…North Los Angeles.
Unless, you know, you want North Los Angeles to be considered Hollywood and Vine.
But it seems that the failure of Echo Park (and its immediate areas North of Los Angeles) to have a uniquely labeled area name leaves it open for the public to make naming decisions.
One thing I know is that the name East Los Angeles should stay with East Los Angeles.
And Northeast can stay Northeast if it wants to–or it can call itself the Northwest of East LA.
But where does that leave Echo Park and surrounding areas?
I know that East is not in its name. So the next person who #hashtags Eastside while paddling at Echo Park Lake, may god help you.
Although it seems this opinion has an uphill battle. The Public Library has us orphaned and living with the Northeast too:
It seems that bed is comfortable.