Tonight the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's governing board will vote on officially clarifying the group's rules to state that Silver Lake "is not located in the 'East Side' of Los Angeles nor is it accurate to refer to Silver Lake as a 'East Side' neighborhood or community." On the record. Unashamedly. With total disregard for the fact that there's a new American Idol on. The request for the agenda item (made by two board members and a community member) says that "over the past few years, the term 'the east side' has been incorrectly applied to describe Silver Lake and surrounding communities. The incorrect labeling of Silver Lake as the 'east side' disregards generations of people who shaped both of these rich, distinct and vibrant communities."
The idea that a neighborhood's residents are referring to it "incorrectly" seems to stem from a silly nativist/"trap-it-in-amber" approach to the city you sometimes see evangelized by Angelenos who happen to have been born here. (That attitude is distilled neatly in an LA Eastside Facebook post about the motion: "WE know the Eastside is East of the LA River.") The most knowledgeable and engaged Eastsider we know, Jesus Sanchez of Eastsider LA, explained his reasoning for including neighborhoods like Los Feliz or Silver Lake in the Eastside years ago: "I have no interest in setting up an Eastside Boundary Task Force to decide who can or can't call themselves an Eastsider, who does and does not belong, who is in or out. That's so Westside."
Curbed tried to help out a few years back, designating the eastishside North Central, but the name never took off, almost as if residents of a living city are resistant to that kind of prescriptivism.
· Governing Board Meeting Agenda [SLNC]