Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunset Junction no longer welcomes the poor

The Sunset Junction Street Fair seems to have officially departed from its original mission of bringing together and improving relations between the working-class Latino families and the gay men and women coexisting in Silverlake.

In a sad and ironic twist, the increasingly famous annual two-day event - which was held this weekend for the 27th time - had an admissions fee of $15 per person and turned away anyone who couldn't come up with the money, explaining why so extremely few families with children could be seen making their way through the multitudes. In the past, donations were asked for at the entrance but not required, allowing poorer (as well as stingier) folks to get in, though they still had pay inflated prices for a drink or a bite to eat once inside. This year, the crowd appeared to be mostly white, often gay, and between ages 22 and 50.

The event appeared to be well attended despite the entrance fee, reflecting its rising popularity among people in other neighborhoods who are willing to drive in to have a good time. But perhaps it also reflects another, sadder truth: poor Latino families have already been priced out not only of the fair, but of Silverlake and, increasingly, the city.


Brian said...

Or poor Asian families, or poor Black families, or poor Armenian families...Neighbors in general regardless of household income. For the most part, it's just so sad that it's come to be a very classist event.

Anonymous said...

yes- fifteen to enter PER day.
i understand rising prices, but the gougin g is incredible.
service charges on the atm's inside the fair were $3.50! haven't seen that before.
also, free tickets were allocated by the bldg number, on a per block basis. i, obviously, didn't get included, although i live a block away.
a good time, but unfairly overpriced.

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