Why Santa Ana Natives Fear the Hipsters

santiago_street_lofts.jpgTonight, SanTana officials hold yet another meeting for their much-vaunted, much-derided Renaissance Plan. A slew of different interests will attend, from loft dwellers who want to turn Orange County's largest city into another Aliso Viejo to activists who fear the Plan's gentrification purposes to those hell-raising boys at Orange Juice!. I won't be there, alas, busy as I am in Oakland doing...something. So I'll leave ustedes with what I hope everyone can universally deride: clueless hipsters.

On the corner of Santa Ana Boulevard and Santiago Avenue stand the Santiago Lofts. The primary developer on this project is Urban West, whose founder David DiRienzo spreads his donations to SanTana councilmembers and infects them with conflict-of-influenza. The folks at the Santiago Lofts are trying to create their own slice of SanTana, and why shouldn't they? They paid mucho bucks for those pretty, tiny lofts!

Somewhere along the line, the folks there decided to call their area the NoLo Art District, NoLo being an abbreviation of North Logan, Logan referring to the historic Logan barrio in the area. One huge, huge problem, however: here is nothing North Logan about NoLo. For one, the NoLo area is SOUTH of the actual Logan barrio--and not just kinda. Completely. And Logan Street itself isn't even part of this district--yet. Is the NoLo name deliberate, because those folks are privy to info other SanTana residents aren't?

In November 2007, some of the Santiago Street loft-dwellers breathlessly told a KPCC reporter about how much they liked talking to neighbors. I guess just the Brave* New Urbanists, eh? If those residents actually cared about the neighborhood in which they lived instead of the bubble that they seek to spread over more and more of SanTana, they wouldn't have committed such an ignorant historical sin. Talk to Sam Romero, who's been fighting the good fight in Logan since before most of these dwellers were even cells--and yes, he speaks English. Naming NoLo NoLo is like saying the Yorbas founded Anaheim--oops, someone is saying that already!

(By the way, this post is rescinded and all bad vibes eliminated if the NoLo folks change their name to SoLo--still historically inaccurate, but less so.)

*"Brave" added after original post to distinguish the good Urbanists from the bad ones--you know who you are.

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