South LA

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Mountains separate the San Fernando Valley from LA's metropolitan core, but geography does not distinguish LA County's diverse southern region. The endless concrete expanse known as LAX is the northern boundary of the wealthy coastal South Bay; Inglewood is the northernmost of the hideous, poorer suburbs in the eastern limits of the South Bay; and if you've gone south to Jefferson Blvd, you've already crossed the fuzzy border of South Central, with its extreme urban decay; the LA River separates East LA from the poor and lower-middle-class expanse of the Gateway Cities.

South LA: The limits of this dangerous southern region are mainly a sense. To the north there is a feeling going south of Venice Blvd that this is a different part of town, a feeling which intensifies south of Adams Blvd. Below Jefferson Blvd you have definitely crossed into South Central, whether you realized it or not: you have gone past the threshold between safety and danger. Indeed, South Central is famous for gangs -- it is a desperate place dominated by black projects and Latino immigrants without support networks.