Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Watts Up: A Walk Through The City of Watts

The gardens of many of the families in Watts are filled with fruitful trees, corn stalks sky high and a wonderful array of vegetables and herbs. 
Read the rest after the jump

On street level Watts has so much history and stories...if only those sidewalks could speak. In 1965 the first riot in Los Angeles was sparked  with the arrest of a black man named Marquette Fry. Fry was arrested by white policemen after being found driving erratically on August, 11 1965. The encounter caused the already tense neighborhood to riot in protest against racial profiling and discrimination by police. The end result of the riots resulted in 34 people dead, and 1032 injured. Pieces of the city was also taken away with over 600 buildings damaged (Matei, Rokeach 302) When I did my drive-through the city last year with a fellow Wattero (Becerro) he explained that much of the history was destroyed. I was able to capture whatever stood today. Although, that era is long gone some of the relics of past destruction peak through the cracks. 

white man's version of the Watts riots the aftermath original footage.

Amazing description by Kumasi of the Watts riots from a Black perspective...very moving 
"That whole building is coming at you, brick by brick coming at your ass, the building, that is what we are throwing at you. The building, the bullshit, the rubble, the rubbish that we live in"......

Jordan's Hot Dogs 
1330 E Imperial Hwy
Los Angeles, CA 90059

Best sandwiches in town

Need a motel with mirrors in the ceiling? well this fancy motel is the spot
Mirror Motel 
1904 E 113th St
Los Angeles, Ca 90059
A well known neighborhood cafe that had been here since the 1960s..when I took the picture last year it was still open but word is this establishment is now closed.

Jordan's Cafe (closed) 
11332 Wilmington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90059

 Pedestrian Bridge over Metro Blue line 

The Watts Community Action Center WLCAC  has been a place that has helped the community with resources, social services, education, and much more. This skate park was recently installed as upgraded efforts for local youth. 

Photo from galley installation at the center

Graffiti Production across the street

"G" rides ain't a thing of the past here...

 This alley was so interesting to me, it was like a magical garden shut down....the alley was no longer in use. Weeds overgrown and fenced off left this alley a forbidden zone. It seems like instead of cleaning it up the city rather have it shut down and forgotten. It was quite odd. 
On a different occasion my friend Ani introduced me to a classic burger joint called "Hawkins House of Burgers" It was a humble joint with regular customers enjoying these big juicy burgers. 

Hawkins House of Burgers
11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059
(323) 563-1129

Facebook Page

Lone liquor store sign left... no liquor store or delicatessen in sight.

I only got to explore so much and definitely like to continue my journey documenting what I could of Watts. 
Please feel free to comment if you grew up here, enlighten us with history, food reviews, or stories about this city. 
Until next time good bye from Watts, California.


Adam Matei, S., & Ball-Rokeach, S. (2005). Watts, the 1965 Los Angeles Riots, and the Communicative Construction of the Fear Epicenter of Los Angeles. Communication Monographs, 72(3), 301-323. doi:10.1080/03637750500206557
Havok, Ani Torres


Anonymous said...

Well worth the wait dj!

Doña Junta said...

Thanks man! and thanks for the help =)