Track 6: Erasing Local Color

Portrait of Dago
Dago, owner of Ye Olde Town Pump, 2013
Street sign promoting El Porvenir restaurant reads 'Family owned since 1918.'
El Porvenir street sign, 2011

Cheap is relative. Even as Voz Alta and the Public Market take advantage of low rent, their presence plus development increase property values. So while new businesses set up shop, others relocate because they can no longer afford to do business.

The demolition of buildings for redevelopment, or the exchange of ownership continues to displaced families and businesses at a rapid rate. At times, what “authentic” barrio elements remain, cease to be objects of culture to become objects of memory. Other elements, like the Indio mural that stood on the side of the Amador Market for decades, don’t remain to remind residents of what came before.

In this track, Dago, mechanic and owner of Ye Olde Town Pump, talks about the loss of local businesses on his street corner. Look around and notice how different the corner is now from 2007.

Update: As of 2015 Ye Old Town Pump has been uprooted. The image below, taken on April 14, 2014, shows that the mechanic shop was half of its orginal size before going out of business a year later.

Image of mechanic shop half the size of original lot
Ye Old Town Pump lot shrinks, 2014