Los Angeles, October 9 (EFE) .- Echo Park, an area traditionally occupied by Latinos and is now changing its image with modern apartments for executives, has been named as one of the “Best Neighborhood” in united states.The designation adopted by the American Planning Association (APA in English) places the district as one of the “10 Best Neighborhoods” in the nation, renowned for the excellence of their homes, streets and public spaces.
“Echo Park is one of the brightest lights in a city full of stars …”, said the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villarraigosa, in making the announcement on Wednesday of the name.”A neighborhood that prides itself on its rich cultural heritage,” he added.The industry, which gets its name from the public park located at the intersection of Park and Glendale avenues, has traditionally been a seat of a large Latino population.The area was populated mostly by Mexicans after the Second World War and the 80 received a high migration centroamericana.
However, the city’s development over the past 10 years has gradually changed the physiognomy of the area in which many older apartment buildings have been renovated to become modern studios and apartments, which occupy young professionals who generally work in Downtown Los Angeles.
These changes, which have high property values, have negatively affected many traditional residents of the area used to living in apartments rented for some years and have felt the pressure of eviction.”This area has been changing, renovating houses,” Rodriguez told Efe Consuelo, while tending to her granddaughter Sara, in the park. “They look more American and less Hispanic, especially in buildings. Rents are more expensive and you do not have to pay.”
According to Mexican born in Guanajuato, one of his five daughters had to move his family to a neighborhood north of Los Angeles, under pressure from the owner of the apartment building where he lived, “who wanted to remodel the building vacated” .Echo Park has been immortalized in movies like “Chinatown,” “Echo Park”, “Kentucky Fried Movie,” “Mi Vida Loca,” “Tending Echo Park” and recently “Quinceañera” that, within its thematic-treated changes through the neighborhood.
Silvia, a seller of “scrapings” (hail) in the park, told Efe that in nearly 12 years living in the area has undergone a change …”Now Latinos are less and more ‘gabachos’ (Anglo), especially in apartment buildings,” said Silvia, such as putting a building near the park that “nearly nine years ago he fell,” the fact that owners to take advantage of the residents, most Latino-owned rebuilding and selling prices much higher.
“In the building where we live we are the only Latinos who are left … the other ido removing them,” he said.He stressed that most of its neighbors are “good people, couples without children, but with dogs.” “The area around the park and are now very nice,” said Augustine, a Guatemalan who has lived in Echo Park since 1985, and later moved to Victorville, northeast of Los Angeles in search of more affordable housing to its budget. The Guatemalan, who saw their daughters grow up in Echo Park and now has two grandchildren, told Efe that there was a time when the park and surrounding areas “were very abandoned and neglected” and now is a favorable change.
“We like to live,” said Mark, a young engineer who lives with his wife in a modern apartment in Scott Street, in the top of Echo Park. Besides “being very close to the ‘downtown’, where we both work a lot to our city, San Francisco,” he said.Thus, with its rich cultural tradition, its contrasts between modern and ancient, famous for its park-ponds where fish can be provided or the flagship state of the Dodgers, who now began a modernization project, Echo Park has been become the most desired young whites.