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How To Make A Neighborhood Oasis: An Interview with Scott Craig & Peter Alexander Of Akbar

Akbar Silver Lake Scott Craig Peter Alexander 1

Silver Lake was once alternative. Claims that it is still the progressive self it was persist and there are good cases for the neighborhood’s still being revolutionary—but it isn’t. The Silver Lake we know now, the Silver Lake that Los Angeles newcomers arrive to, is just a symbol of its former self. It’s almost a parody of what it means to be alternative, nearing the absurdities places like Williamsburg and Portland personify.

The neighborhood began to be what it is now in the sixties growing through the nineties—and it was a bit like West Hollywood: it was very gay. There was a concentration of bars and clubs for LGBTQ persons and even was home to one of the most influential LGBTQ bookstores. This history has been erased. The buildings have been demolished. The establishments have been flipped. A history of cruising has been lost. To mix metaphors, the area has been hetero-washed and cleaned of its queer history.

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