Letters to the Editor: An L.A. Times piece on Highland Park shows how not to write about gentrification

Highland Park
A record store on York Boulevard in Highland Park in 2015.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I find it irresponsible of the Los Angeles Times to publish such a blatantly disrespectful and blind op-ed article such as Susan Carpenter’s “Before it was a hipster haven, I called Highland Park home. Oh, how I miss its rough edges.”

This article offends on every possible front and speaks to the author’s inability to see herself as a part of something rather than a victim of it. I’m so sorry that the first wave of gentrification, “the sweet spot in that transitional middle,” was too short-lived.

Highland Park is a neighborhood, and it always has been. It has never existed for her adventure, and every member of every community here deserves to feel safe. Carpenter writes as though Highland Park as it once was no longer exists, thus turning her back on the communities of brown and other people who have always lived and will continue to live here despite her.

KT Pipal, Los Angeles



To the editor: I would like to send an apology to Carpenter on behalf of the Latinx community. I’m sorry if her “West Side Story” fantasies of the hood are not being fully realized anymore.

I’ll talk to my cousin about going back to using “switchblades” and accidentally leaving them in the park as a warning. I’ll also plead with my uncle to flash some gang signs for old time’s sake — it doesn’t have to be anything in particular, as long as it sends a little scare down the spines of residents whose lives aren’t the same what with all this gentrification going around.

I’m sorry, Ms. Carpenter. We will try to do a better job in the future.


Jordan Curiel, Eagle Rock