Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Housing Cituation

Housing in Los Angeles is becoming expensive to the point that you have to live in a house with 5 other people just to be able to pay rent, bills and stay afloat. I have been keeping tabs on the housing market because I don't have a home of my own, yet. Since March of this year I have been "crashing" at a friends house and eventually even though they are doing you a favor by helping you out and you yourself helping were ever you can, eventually you'll over stay your welcome. However before that I started looking around eye balling places,checking out prices and figuring out how the hell I'm going to get a place of my own when people are asking 900 $ for a single room apartment while still asking for the first and last months rents. Things only get more complicated when you add a dog to the equation, a 1oo lb Labrador to be exact. For as long as I remember the housing market in central areas like Watts, Boyle Heights and Compton have always been high. Maybe it's because the landlords know they can ask for more money in those kinda ethnic areas without worries of people calling the city or complaining, but not in Downtown. Back in the day all the lofts that are going for half a million dollars now use to be cheap, dirt cheap and space up the ass. You basically had an entire floor to yourself for 300$ a month, plus utilities. To think that now you can't a no bedroom studio apartment for no less than 700$. Ever since I was riding the buses with my mom and sisters I had a dream of living in downtown in a loft. The idea of living in the central hub for one of the best cities in the entire U.S. To this day that dream is still there but apparently I wasn't alone and now other's are making that dream harder to reach by making everything so expensive and making it trendy. no offense to all the Gavachos out there but when you go to Downtown all you see is La Raza working or taking a bus to work. To think that now the lofts are renting for 1,200 a month and include a roof top pool, gym, Internet room, cable and dsl connections and a whole bunch of other crap like marble table tops and oak hardwood floors all so you can live as if you were in the suburbs. Back in the day all the upcoming artist and musicians lived in those lofts, but as soon as the properties were being bought up and remodeled, they all moved to echo park, the new artist hub. Echo park is the new place to be specially with all the families there which can be seen at the lake on Glendale Ave. Echo park has always been the plan B of dream places to live, but even now more and more celebs are buying up properties for themselves forcing out all the families how had rent controlled housing. Not to mention that all those old houses are finally being fixed or renovated all in the name of higher rent. Finding a place to live is extremely tuff specially when your on a tight budget, but now a days who isn't right ? For me it's even harder because of legal reasons and because i don't make enough money to live own my own. This is why Mexican families always have so many brothers and sisters living together because only by living together can they all afford to live comfortably. It's not that we don't wanna leave and get a place of our own, it's just cheaper and easier to live at home when you know you'll have home cooked meal, clean clothes, and a clean house to come home to.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

MacArthur Park Rebuilt

On August 8th Mac Arthur Parks band shell was re-opened to the public with a free concert, the first of 30. Now I first heard of this from the channel 34 spanish news and was dumb founded that I missed out on something this important happening in L.A. for those of you not in the loop MacArthur Park is notoriously know in the Mexican community as the place to go buy fake I.D.s, "mikas." The park is also know for the abundent amount of transients, crack heads, hookers and homeless people it houses giving the park the unique and distinct smell of urine. For years the park has been in decrepid conditions even though it's one of the central hubs for Mexican communities. Families pass through the area everyday on their way to home or school witnessing drug deals in front of them and other illegal transactions I would rather not mention. I remember that my dad would mess with the guys selling fake I.D.s by signaling them and pulling over, then before they can reach the car he would take off hahahahah. The park itself isn't that bad as people make due with what they have and ignore the problems at hand. The lake itself was soo bad that shopping carts, trash barrels and even dead bodies were a common sight. 2 million $ later and some decent police presence have changed all that now. With the cops at hand people dare not do anything in front of them because they're shit scarred of the cops. I have visited the park in the last couple of weeks and noticed little changes like more families around the park than dealers and hustlers. One the places I first lived around was MacArthur Park and to see it change from what it was then to what it is now is gratifying and heart warming. If anything it all started to change around when they build that Homedepo/ food 4 less shopping plaza. the jobs and new stores gave the community new life specially now that new schools are being built around the area to ease the over population of my almamater Belmont. Everytime I pass by the park now I actually feel like just walking around and relaxing ranther than holding my nose wishing I would be somewhere else.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Los angeles Animal Services

Los Angeles animal services is facing a major problem a problem most goverment agencies face, understafing. I write this because I have read articles on said problem and because I have experienced this problem first hand recently. It all started when I wanted to save a baby opossum that was injured on evergreen cemetery. I called animal services and asked if someone could pick him up because I couldn't take him. Their responce was that they didn't know if they could send an officer to do a pick up. Obviously it's understandable that they have more urgent matters to attend, but alas the opossum died over night to my. Second time around though when I found an injured crow I took him myself because some sheltors have a 24 hr drop off available. You can take all kinds of animals and drop them off. People can also take unwanted newborns or in rare cases pets they can no longer care for. One of the reasons for the understaffing is that they cover too much area with not enough officers, basic supply and demand. A few weeks ago I was on Soto and Cesar Chavez going to the Ben Franklin Library and a mixed black and white pitbull followed me all the way over there running by my side as I skated. At the library he ran around in the sprinklers and cooled offed from the run. I checked him out to see if he was healthy and he had a licence. I called the general number that's on the licence and got put on hold for 15 minutes. I hung up and instead called the local sheltor on Lacy st. I gave them the 411 and they told me it would take about an hour because all officers were busy in the field. I caged him in the libraries back lot waited the hour and no one showed up. I wanted to help the dog but I couldn't do anything else so I just let him go. Another crisis L.A. animal shelters face that's more significant that field officers is that they're understaffed with qualified vets as well. I remember reading a story about it in the times how there's a lack of experienced vets in L.A. It would seem that problem is getting worse. I myself would do what I could and volunteer, but because of legal restraints I can't do it. I just do my part as a responsible pet owner by getting my dog her license and keeping her healthy and safe. Other people don't think like me and there the one's who kill, abuse and sell animals because they're ignorant. People buy from pet stores or street vendors promoting their abuse and neglagence. Where I live people around the neighborhood know me all ready because I walk my dog ,Harleyand her mom, Brooklyn everyday. They compliment me on their behavior and their looks, which by the way is thanks in part to just brushing them everyday. Some have even looked to me for advise on nutrition and how to walk them and train them. I have given them simple advise that I myself have used and still do. I tell them that just walking for 45 minutes a day makes a world of difference when a dog is stuck at home all day bored. From those experiences I know that my place is to help people care for their pets by giving them the knowledge they need to do so. Every walk is a new teaching experience because people see my example of how I treat my four legged friends. However most people are scarered off by them when they see two 100 pound black labs coming their way. They act as if I'm walking a rot or a pit. There's dog whisperors and trainers all over the place but problem is they deal with the non-ghetto communities, that's were I come in. I have spent my life being a translator for my parents. Now adays I help inform people on how to care for their animals in english and spanish. Everytime I do I get a great sence of a complishment knowing I helped improved someones life with their dog.