Anyone who knows Los Angeles, knows one of it’s most iconic streets is Sunset Boulevard. It goes through starkly, even socio-economically, different neighborhoods, and it’s home to some of the most historic restaurants, stores and venues in pop culture. Even Hollywood got started on the strip. So did you know that Mexicans started Sunset Boulevard?
That’s right! The strip starts at Olvera Street, the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles.
It’s a famous Mexican neighborhood established in 1781 by different ethnicities, including pobladores.
“This site is the birthplace of the city,” says Chris Espinoza, general manager of El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
According to El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, a department under the City of Los Angeles, this is the site of the early Los Angeles pueblo or town where forty-four settlers of Native American, African and European heritage journeyed more than one-thousand miles across the desert from present-day northern Mexico and established a farming community.
But that’s not all…Sunset Boulevard also runs through Echo Park, one of the neighborhoods that expanded from Olvera Street.
It was a predominantly Latino neighborhood, pre-gentrification.
Since so many Latino gangs ran rampant during the 80s and 90s in Echo Park, it became the perfect backdrop to film Mi Vida Loca.