Facilities at State Street Recreation Center in Boyle Heights. Photo by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
East LA Autoshop / East of West LA's photostream


Our streets are alive with traffic hums, tuba

blares, microphoned priests and paleta bells

the rapid drumming of tiny feet playing on


open windows playing tiny bursts of work


full-voiced triumphs set to the sshhk shhk

shhk of bristled sweeps across brick tile floors

We are tin-can auto body shops with steely

brown eyes burning through sun-bronzed skin,

thick and weathered like the tires in stacks

around them

We are green hollenbeck hills, palm trees and


We are hand-painted storefronts and streetside

fruit stands,

sweet and fragrant under canvases of rainbow

We are dirt yard drawings made by children

and aging murals beaten down by sun and rain

and so many stares that dug deep inside them

We live forever partnered with our queen, la

reina de los angeles

watching over us like a silent mother,

huge and always present

even the sun

nestles into her in refuge

at the end of each day.

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