Gentrification Engulfs Grand Central Market

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by Guadalupe Canales

Chile Stand Grand Central Market Downtown Los Angeles
Chiles Secos: Grand Central Market

Living in the Valley at times can feel as if you need to venture out a bit more and discover all the other things this city has to offer. Grand Central Market in downtown LA should be one of your pit stops to discovering various foods and witnessing the change in the Los Angeles gentrified landscape.

Grand Central Market, back in the days was known as the only place to find fresh produce for many families who not only lived in downtown but also worked in downtown. This location was not visited a few years ago because it was part of skid row where many suffered from homelessness. Now that Downtown has amped not only Broadway, but also most of the downtown, Grand Central Market has become a major attraction for its various food stands and other foodie attractions. I personally love going to Grand Central Market because I can eat tacos, ramen, buy some Chinese food and even pick up a few groceries along the way it’s a one-stop wonder.

Grand central market became a huge hit after it was featured in the hit film LA LA Land. It was then that I realized that Grand Central Market was changing fast. But perhaps not all change is good for many business owners within the facility. The changes are visible to those who are frequent visitors to the market. Many vendors have left because of the high rents, and for those who stay, they have increased the prices to meet costs.

Gentrification has left many of the GCM vendors out. Thus leaving the Grand Central Market without some of the uniqueness that the place had when I first walked the aisles . 

The El Popo Newspaper was first published in 1970 by students concerned about the lack of a Chicana and Chicano perspective in newspapers. As a result, students called the newspaper, El Popo. The paper was named El Popo after the volcano El Popocatepetl. Involved in Chicana/o Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, students saw a connection between the smoke spewing volcano ready to erupt and the student movement ready to engage. Thus, throughout the El Popo’s forty-six years, the name continues to symbolize and to represent the spirit of each generation of students that contribute to the pages of the El Popo Newspaper. Faculty Advisor/Publisher George Sanchez, MA Carlos R. Guerrero, Ph.D., 1992-2021