Brooklyn in Boyle

Brooklyn in Boyle. Oil on canvas, fresh off the easel! #showyourwork #boyleheights

A photo posted by Yasmine Diaz (@yasmine.diaz) on

As part of a series commissioned by the UCLA Department of Social Welfare, I recently finished this piece based on a corner in BoyleHeights, one of my favorite neighborhoods in LA's east side. There is a lot of talk about the changing or gentrifying of Boyle Heights. It's currently a vibrant, working class, heavily Mexican-American area with a socially active community -- and some of the best Mexican food in town. In the recent past, it was predominantly a neighborhood of Jewish and Japanese immigrants.

This corner store has a painted "Brooklyn" sign which I don't know the story behind, but I love. I used a few photos I took from across the street as references. Being on the corner through several traffic light changes, and a few bus passings at the stop, I noticed the two men across the street didn't seem to be waiting for either. I got the impression they were the unofficial observers and greeters of the area. Being a bit of an introvert, I usually try to steal my observations undetected but my cover was blown and I got a few happy waves before scampering off.