I'm Marion Weimar from Revival Furniture. This area's Lincoln Heights and it's near Chinatown and downtown LA. There've been a lot of changes since we first came here. The lofts next door took about eight years to build, and now they're all filled up. That used to be a bakery dispensary or something, and our landlord has been doing a lot of work on the buildings around this block.
Otherwise, it hasn't changed that much. It's more in the Highland Park, Mount Washington areas, but this place is becoming more gentrified.
I have never felt unsafe here, except for maybe twice. That was when a kid was dealing drugs. He gets out of prison every once in a while and he starts dealing drugs. He was carrying a gun in his sock and I had a confrontation with him because I asked him to please stop doing business in front of my store. He just said, "What business?" I said, "Well, whatever business you're doing where cars are pulling up and you're giving them something in their window. I just don't want it in front of my store. I'd appreciate it." And he stopped. Otherwise, I've never felt really unsafe.
The neighbors have been the same, but the buildings on Baranca have gradually become artist studios because our landlord is an artist himself. He's a welder. Other than the lofts next door, not a whole lot has changed right in this little block.
We love it here because we're able to keep the store open. We keep our prices low because our overhead is low because of the location. If we were on Melrose or Sunset, our rent would be triple what we pay here.
We're always afraid our landlord is just going to sell the whole property. He's been offered millions, many times, but he just keeps it as an artists' community.
The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:
Northeast Los Angeles
- A Los Angeles Primer
- Arrival Stories
- Block by Block
- Engaging Spaces
- Green Justice
- I Am Los Angeles