the irony and the ecstasy

by urquiza!

elsa’s bakery

07.04.13. elsa and her husband are from the yucatan peninsula and have had their business here for more than thirty-five years. her husband is a gregarious man confined to a chair and his cane. they live nearby in a large old craftsman house. she sold the business to edmundo rodriguez a former lausd teacher on the condition that he keep the name and mexican bakery. these are a few of the images from the last days before it changed hands.

in the context of gentrification highland park is experiencing home flipping in the surrounding area and the business district along york begins a second phase of property and small business turn over. the epicenter or first visible change began around 2009 on the corner of avenue 50 with cafe de leche. this next wave has now reached avenue 51 and the elsa’s bakery building nearly three years later. the first to appear was ba french restaurant taking space from the downsized elsa’s bakery. the old elsa’s was part bakery, part corner store with unfinished hand drawn signage on the glass, half stocked shelves of mexican products from abuelitas chocolate to cans of menudito, on the other side in glass cases are fresh baked mexican pastries. in these images you can still see the old landscape and the community at risk of displacement.

these images and text are part of a series that explores gentrification in highland park. the multi-year study is part if the sin turistas archive and collective. (more images about elsa’s available)

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