Here’s the back-story. In 2012, a bunch of local Peruvian-Americans in CD13 got a council file started in an attempt to get Vine Street between Melrose and Sunset designated “Peru Village.” This makes some sense because, e.g., there are about five Peruvian restaurants along there, including Mario’s Seafood, which has some of the most astonishing fried chicken in the United States, and Los Balcones, both of which are numbered among the finest restaurants of any variety in our City. So they sent a bunch of really cute kids around to knock on doors and they ended up collecting over 500 signatures from people in the neighborhood.1 If you’re not familiar with Los Angeles politics, it’s worth noting that actual city council elections can easily be decided by 500 votes. For mere neighborhood renaming this is a landslide.
But then in February 2013, jittery little psychopath and Hollywood McDonald’s Queen Carol Massie got wind of the plan and popped off this little slab of characteristically jittery psychopathy, in which she swizzlingly pours forth the toxic product of her unchecked anorectic id thusly, proving that she not only hates America and also hates dark-skinned Hollywood club patrons, but that she also has something against Peruvians:
I am a founding member of the Sunset/Vine Business Improvement District which includes this “Peru Village” area. Not only have I never heard of this petition but we, as business owners, work very hard to make Sunset Boulevard and the famous Sunset & Vine corner a place that people from all over the world2 view as an integral part of Hollywood. Peru Village would include the Cinerama Dome,3 a Hollywood icon, among others, which seems amazingly inappropriate.
Note that she never says WHY it seems amazingly inappropriate. Perhaps her laser-like zillionaire mental powers tell her that the Cinerama Dome is completely disjoint from all things Peruvian. Or maybe she just made it up, which would be completely in character for Carol Massie.
And then some dude from Hollywood Heritage writes in to oppose the Peruvians, arguing that it will confuse tourists because no one’s ever heard of Peruvians in Hollywood. Finally, the ever-gracious but ultimately toolish and foolish Janette Sadik-Khan-worshipping former head of the Central Hollywood Coalition Sarah Besley sounded off to the effect that the CHC respects the organizing efforts of the Peruvians (while remaining silent on whether they respect the Peruvians themselves; they don’t) but no Peruvian Villages in Hollywood, Dammit!! Hollywood is already “deemed a community.”
This is an argument which makes absolutely no sense, by the way. L.A. is full of neighborhoods within neighborhoods. The first one that comes to mind is Little Armenia, which is in East Hollywood. Then there’s Angelino Heights, which is in Echo Park. It goes on and on. But when you’re a zillionaire and you have the ear of everybody, you don’t have to make sense. Just explain that there’s nothing Peruvian about the Cinerama Dome and Hollywood is already called Hollywood so a few blocks of it can’t be called Peru Village and 500 signatures and about 50 letters to the Council mean nothing. The motion languished in committee and died. Mitch O’Farrell got elected in July 2013, while the file was still alive, but chose not to do a damned thing about it, even though hundreds of his constituents were in favor of it and about three whining zillionaires, most of whom do not live in CD13, were opposed to it. That’s right, friends, they killed it with nothing more than their nonsensical whining. And they did it because they could. And because they don’t see a place for Peruvians in Hollywood. Or Mexican-American art on their confounded signal boxes. Or even Latinos in their damned apartment buildings for all we know. And the politicians let it die because evidently 500 voters are less valuable than the good will of three zillionaires, which suggests who the real constituents are around here.
Image of Sarah Besley is ©2014 MichaelKohlhaas.org. Image of Brian Folb is a public record. Image of Peruvian street art is courtesy of Flickr user Ewout van Sabben, who was kind enough to release it under the CC BY-NC 2.0 and we got it from his Flickr stream.