Saturday, September 02, 2006
Someday I want to have a book of short stories published. It would be connected to my nieghborhood. It would be called "Music Heard in Hi-fi." Hi-fi being the nickname for Historic Filipinotown. I have three shorts stories--I'm short by atleast seven. It's been something that I'd be toiling with for years. I just can't seem to get it together to write short stories because novel writing takes up a chunk of time.
The need to revisit this goal came about after watching the wonderful "Quinceanera," a coming of age movie about the inhabitants of neighboring "Echo Park." One of the most striking things about the film was the obvious gentrification of the neighborhood. It's something that I see going on in Hi-fi. Who would have thought the crack house around the corner is now worth a million dollars.
Of course gentrificaton brings up alot for me. In one hand, it's sad seeing my neighborhood being turned into condos. On the other hand, it also means my mother has a better nest egg if she chooses to leave.
On one foot gentrification means darker skinned residents may have to go. On the other foot, gay people, a community I so identify with and who are a big part of this gentrification movement, are adding a much needed diversity to these streets.
On one thigh (I've run out of hands and feet), a hipster cafe (Tribal Cafe on Temple) means ridding the neighborhood of those charming mom-and-pop stores that I grew up with. On the other thigh, I love iced mocha lattes and love that I can order such a thing in the nieghborhood I grew up in.
As a friend of mine once said, "Noel, if they're selling lattes in your neighborhood, it's over." Meaning having to accept that the neighborhood is turning into something else. I better get to writing that book of short stories, so that even I can remember what Hi-fi was like.