Tag Archives: Gentrification

When A Neighborhood Has More Liquor Licenses Than Are Ordinarily Allowed It’s Still Possible To Get New Licenses — It’s Just Necessary To Give Reasons Why The New Licenses Will “serve a public convenience and necessity” — And It Turns Out That The Alcoholic Beverage Control Department Accepts Gentrification — Which In This Context Is Called “Revitalization” Or “Resurgence” — As A Reason — Not To Mention The Fact That Already Vital Neighborhoods Can’t “Revitalize” — Unless Of Course The Wrong Kinds Of Vitalizers Are Ignored

The social control of alcohol is one of the eternal sites of contention in our City’s gentrification forever war. Zillionaires conspire with the City to shut down bars that attract people of color in Hollywood at the same time as they’re conspiring with the LAPD to overlook CUP violations by white-oriented bars.

Council offices intervene with the ABC on behalf of hipster-friendly alcohol-soaked events while supporting business improvement districts that arrest thousands of homeless people for drinking beer on the sidewalk, often right next to happy hipsters swilling $20 craft cocktails, also on the sidewalk but immunized against arrest by nothing more than a velvet rope.

This idea, this fundamental tenet of the zillionaire elite, that poor people, that people of color, can’t be trusted with access to alcohol but that young white hipsters and techbros on whom the zillies rely to buy flipped houses and small lot subdivision units, to fill their luxury apartments, to patronize the painfully edgy establishments that attract more and more of their kind, not only can be trusted with alcohol, but virtually thrive on it, is an important component in the gentrification toolkit.

The truth, of course, is not that they don’t cause trouble when drinking, but that the trouble they cause isn’t perceived as such. The alcohol/gentrification cocktail is an issue across the City, even the country, e.g. from Westlake to Boyle Heights all the way to Brooklyn, where an overconcentration of bars in general, and of specifically gentrification-themed bars in particular, are easily understood to be part of the zillionaire recolonization agenda.

And as the Los Angeles Times famously observed of Highland Park in 2014, “[i]n the endless debate over gentrification in Los Angeles, [it’s] ground zero,” so it’s not surprising to find the same disputes, the same tensions reproduced there. According to KPCC Highland Park comprises four square miles and had, in 2016, 60 liquor licenses, 20 of which were issued between 2013 and 2016. And this is an abnormally high number. There are pretty many more licenses in Highland Park than are allowed by standard measures used by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t issue new licenses, though. It just means that new licenses are subject to a more rigorous vetting process, which must include a showing that there are good reasons for the overconcentration, that the new license will “serve a public convenience and necessity,” and that it won’t contribute to or create new alcohol-related problems in the area. This is all laid out in Chapter 6, Article 1 of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

In order to begin to understand how this process plays out in Highland Park, I recently obtained detailed application information for six of these new licenses, at Cafe Birdie, Kitchen Mouse, The Lodge Room, The Greyhound, The Gold Line Bar, and Highland Park Bowl. And it turns out that, in an astonishing display of circular reasoning, the fact that the area is gentrifying is in itself evidence that additional licenses granted to gentrification bars are both desirable and necessary.

The applicants don’t call the process gentrification, by the way. They call it revitalization, which term, in a stunning act of passive erasure, assumes that Highland Park wasn’t plenty vital before they showed up. Turn the page for links to and transcribed selections from some of the applicants’ arguments.
Continue reading When A Neighborhood Has More Liquor Licenses Than Are Ordinarily Allowed It’s Still Possible To Get New Licenses — It’s Just Necessary To Give Reasons Why The New Licenses Will “serve a public convenience and necessity” — And It Turns Out That The Alcoholic Beverage Control Department Accepts Gentrification — Which In This Context Is Called “Revitalization” Or “Resurgence” — As A Reason — Not To Mention The Fact That Already Vital Neighborhoods Can’t “Revitalize” — Unless Of Course The Wrong Kinds Of Vitalizers Are Ignored

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As Previously Reported — On May 15, 2018 Bill Cody, The World’s Oldest Field Deputy, Told Jesse Rosas And The Highland Park Business Improvement District That Gil Cedillo Had Hired Barrio Planners To Help Displaced Small Businesses — But Newly Obtained Emails Reveal That On May 20, 2018 Bill Cody Emailed Barrio Planners And Asked Them To Help The Businesses — Bill Cody, We Wouldn’t Want To Accuse You Of Having Lied On May 15, Friend — Probably It Seemed True While You Were Saying It — And Then You Kinda Made It Be True Later — So It’s Kinda OK I Guess

Anyone who’s paying attention to Los Angeles politics recently knows about the hipster apocalypse presently unfolding in Highland Park. I had occasion yesterday morning to walk south on Figueroa Street this morning from Avenue 61 to Avenue 501 and it’s basically like hipster Jim Crow, with businesses duplicated on every block and divided starkly along racial lines. A hipster tonsorial salon2 next to a Latino barber, hipster clothing next to work shoes or ropas segundas, hipster cold-press juice bars next to stands selling jugos naturales, and so on.

Weirdest of all is the situation with coffee places. Over and over and over again one sees a hipster coffee place full of tattooed young white people right next to a panaderia full of brown people. Both places serve coffee and baked goods and yet somehow there’s evidently no way that one place can satisfy both crowds. It makes absolutely no sense to me, probably not to any sane people.3 These coffee places, three or four to the block, are a stark and clear symbol of the holocaust that so-called legacy businesses along Figueroa Street are undergoing and which those along York Boulevard have already undergone baby gone.

And because hipster-serving establishments charge prices that are many times the prices the older businesses can sustain, they can afford rents high enough to drive the older places out of business. And the landlords are thrilled by this, of course, because they pocket the extra money with extra outlay of neither capital nor labor on their part. It’s a zillionaire’s wet dream.4 And it’s also not a mystery. It’s well-covered in the press. Rents go up and very soon after the vultures start feathering their nests.

And because it’s not a mystery, and because it’s a subject of deep import to many constituents in CD1, it’s entirely fitting and proper that residents would share their concern with their Council staffers and entirely fitting and proper that said Council staffers would respond. And we have already seen that something like this happened with the world’s oldest field deputy, Bill Cody, the crankiest and most bellicose flunky ever to rep Gil Cedillo or, for that matter, any other Councilmember in the entire damn history of Los Angeles.

At the May 15 meeting of the North Figueroa Association, which is the property owners’ association for the infamous Highland Park BID, he was questioned pretty intensely by Jesse Rosas about this very issue and responded in a rather mealy-mouthed fashion by claiming that his boss, Gil Cedillo, was taking care of it by hiring some kind of a firm, known as Barrio Planners, that presumably knows how to take care of such things:

And I’m always worried about that. Oh, one more thing. We have Barrio Planners, who’s been helping a lot of the local businesses to try to find placement for some of the ones who, um, … a couple of properties have changed situations and … I have been working with all those businesses, I [unintelligible] them together with Barrio Planners, they’ll work on that issue, we pay them to do that. So, we’re very, very concerned about that and we’ve been working tirelessly on that issue.

And since that day, more than five months ago at this point, my compatriots and I have been trying to figure out exactly what the heck Bill Freaking Cody was talking about. And because the CPRA mill grinds slowly we didn’t get much action for quite a while, but because the CPRA mill does grind, CD1 finally handed over some emails. You can read all of them here on Archive.Org, and turn the page for selections that reveal that despite the good game talked by Bill Cody, the Council District’s intervention via Barrio Planners on behalf of these threatened businesses seems to have been quite minimal and therefore the subject of wild overhyping by Bill Cody when e.g. he claims that they have “been working tirelessly on that issue.”
Continue reading As Previously Reported — On May 15, 2018 Bill Cody, The World’s Oldest Field Deputy, Told Jesse Rosas And The Highland Park Business Improvement District That Gil Cedillo Had Hired Barrio Planners To Help Displaced Small Businesses — But Newly Obtained Emails Reveal That On May 20, 2018 Bill Cody Emailed Barrio Planners And Asked Them To Help The Businesses — Bill Cody, We Wouldn’t Want To Accuse You Of Having Lied On May 15, Friend — Probably It Seemed True While You Were Saying It — And Then You Kinda Made It Be True Later — So It’s Kinda OK I Guess

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Annals Of Gentrification Porn — Bad: The Fashion District Closed Off A Street Downtown To Have A Freaking Dinner Party — Worse: They Hired Professionals To Make A Short Pornographic Video Of It — Worst Of All: This Evidently Seems Normal To Them (?)

Just when you think it can’t get any weirder out there in BIDlandia, well … it does! You may recall last month’s revelation that the Fashion District BID paid some Berkeleyites almost $20,000 to study Santee Alley and report that, inter alia, Latinos are confused by lobster rolls. Well, in a similar yet far stranger vein, just the other day, the incomparable Rena Leddy1 sent me a video, paid for and produced by the BID, of a dinner party they had in the street last October.

The whole thing is not only deeply disturbing, it’s also embedded below the break for your edification if not your enjoyment.2 I put it below to calm the autoplay, which I can’t figure out how to eliminate. If you want to download it it’s available at Archive.Org as well.

And really, after you watch it, if you have any freaking idea at all why putatively mature adults would think it was a good idea to make a video like this, please let me know. It’s not just pornographic, it’s transparently so. I suppose it’s OK to be a self-satisfied narcissistic idiot, but why in the world does anyone want to announce to the world that they’re a self-satisfied narcissistic idiot? Seriously, this is why the Fashion District needs to get the homeless out of Downtown? So they can hold more zillionaire black masses like this one? Never gonna understand…
Continue reading Annals Of Gentrification Porn — Bad: The Fashion District Closed Off A Street Downtown To Have A Freaking Dinner Party — Worse: They Hired Professionals To Make A Short Pornographic Video Of It — Worst Of All: This Evidently Seems Normal To Them (?)

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Mark Ryavec: the notion that police act as gentrification agents is “a bunch of radical bullshit.” LAPD Captain Cory Palka: “I showed [that developer], through public safety, that we can help him develop and prosper as he invests in Hollywood”

Cory Palka giving a performative demonstration of the fact that Mark Ryavec is not only a slavering psychopath, he’s also either clueless or a liar or both.
A few weeks ago, Rory Carroll published an excellent article in The Guardian on how the City of Los Angeles has used gang injunctions as a tool of gentrification in Venice. Of course, this is not news to anyone who’s been paying attention since the injunction began in 2000. Even at the time it seemed clear that the injunction was a response to the wave of gentrification that began in Venice in the late 1980s and underwent unprecedented acceleration through the 1990s. Of course, everyone who’s smelting gold out of the housing stock of Oakwood in a blast furnace fueled by the burning bodies and lives of the poor people, the dark-skinned people, fed into the hopper by the LAPD, denies this every which way.

And these arguments have been repeated so often I have nightmares about them. “The cops would never ever do such a thing.” “There’s no conspiracy to chase out darkies.”1 And so on and on and on. But Venice’s own muse of slavering psychopathy, the very king of the gentrifiers, the universally acknowledged whitest man in Venice, Mark Ryavec himself, has distilled all of them, every last threadbare tin-foil-hat characterization, into one bitter pithy little ball. As Rory Carroll puts it:

For Mark Ryavec, head of the Venice Stakeholders Association, the notion that police act as gentrification agents is “a bunch of radical bullshit”.

Well, first of all, it’s not actually bullshit.2 The arguments against the idea that the City uses the LAPD to promote gentrification are mostly based on the (probably) factual assertion that (a) the City never mentions gentrification as a purpose for the gang injunctions and (b) that the assertions they make in support of the injunctions have to do with very real problems of violent crime (real at the time when the injunctions are being sought, anyway). There are a number of problems with this line of reasoning.
Continue reading Mark Ryavec: the notion that police act as gentrification agents is “a bunch of radical bullshit.” LAPD Captain Cory Palka: “I showed [that developer], through public safety, that we can help him develop and prosper as he invests in Hollywood”

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The Homeless Industrial Complex: How CIM Group, Monica Yamada, Kerry Morrison, Steve Seyler, And Their Assorted Minions And Cronies Eat What They Kill In Hollywood And Beyond

Monica Yamada, president of the HPOA and principal of the organized criminal conspiracy known as the CIM Group, plotting with unindicted co-conspirators late last week.
Monica Yamada, president of the HPOA and principal of the organized criminal conspiracy known as the CIM Group, plotting with unindicted co-conspirators late last week.
This morning’s L.A. Times features an excellent story about how CIM Group defrauds its tenants in poverty-stricken but gentrifying areas of the City, telling them that they’re about to be evicted and offering them small amounts of money to sign releases. Of course, in Los Angeles, most low-cost rental units are covered by rent control laws which give these tenants significant protections which they don’t know about. CIM Group takes significant and soon-to-be-illegal advantage of this ignorance.

CIM Group is famous for its criminal behavior, which has shown no sign of slowing down.1 This latest revelation won’t surprise anyone who’s paying attention. And remember that gentrification creates homelessness, and evictions create homelessness. In short, CIM Group creates homelessness. Monica Yamada creates homelessness. And they make a lot of money by making people homeless.

But these homeless people don’t go to waste, no. Some of them end up in Hollywood, where they generate a great deal of economic activity. They don’t share in the wealth they create, but that’s no surprise. First, they end up as the the subject of arrests and other interventions by Steve Seyler and his cheerful gang of good-will ambassadors. Those boys2 earn $1.5 million per year dealing with these homeless people. No homeless people, no $1.5 million.
Continue reading The Homeless Industrial Complex: How CIM Group, Monica Yamada, Kerry Morrison, Steve Seyler, And Their Assorted Minions And Cronies Eat What They Kill In Hollywood And Beyond

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Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Water: Zombie Echo Park BID Comes Roaring Back to Life After 6 Years of Inanition

Garcetti's last laugh...the Echo Park BID claws its grimy way out of its once-forgotten grave.
Garcetti’s last laugh…the Echo Park BID claws its grimy way out of its once-forgotten grave.

NOTE: Part Two of this series is now live on the internets.

I mean, sure, we’re being overdramatic, but what is anyone to think when a long-forgotten council file comes roaring back to life after six years of inactivity. We didn’t even know that was legal!

It seems that back in January 2010, big bad BID buddy Eric Garcetti, then of CD13, made a motion to spend $40,000 of public money to facilitate the formation of a BID in Echo Park. And, weirdly, in March of that year, sent his aide Alejandra Marroquin to plump for the BID in front of the Jobs and Business Development Committee.1 Anyway, the forty grand was approved in April 2010 and there it stopped. Until this April, anyway, when more funding was approved and they’re all-systems-go yet again. Evidently Echo Park hit some kind of gentrification tipping point and now they need to hire some armed minions of their own to run the heladeros out of the park. Unless the yuppies think they’re too cute to shackle, that is, and they just might, cause ain’t that just like a yuppie?
Continue reading Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Water: Zombie Echo Park BID Comes Roaring Back to Life After 6 Years of Inanition

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