Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

Don Cribb?

Santa Ana’s Nimby Usual Suspects are quick to scream that something is historical whenever their institutions are threatened.  And then they sue.  They did that when dilapidated housing in the proposed Station District was threatened and they are doing it again now that folks are talking about bringing the Chivas USA soccer team to the Willowick Golf Course.  Suddenly Willowick is, you guessed it, historical.

You don’t however hear these folks screeching about the pending change of Downtown Santa Ana’s Fiesta Marketplace, on Calle Quatro, to the “East End,” which is what the Chase family wants us to call this area now.  And not one of the Usual Suspects is complaining about the pending eviction of El Centro Cultural de Mexico from the building on the West Side of Downtown Santa Ana, where they have been for over seven years.  (Click here to read more about this story).

You see, in Santa Ana “historical” is in the eye of the beholder – and nothing Latino is ever deemed to have such value, at least not by the Usual Suspects.

That said, we cannot stop business and property owners from exerting their right to do with their property what they want to do with it.  The Chase family appears to be hellbent on purging all things Latino from the “East End,” and making it an extension of the Artists Village.  And whoever it is that is evicting El Centro appears to have similar ideas.

The sad thing is that our Artists Village is better for being in an area with Latino influence.  It makes our Artists Village more interesting.  Whitewashing Downtown Santa Ana actually makes our Artists Village less interesting.

It is worth noting that the “Godfather” of the Santa Ana Artists Village, Don Cribb, is one of the Usual Suspects crying foul over the proposed move of the Chivas USA soccer team to the Willowick Golf Course.  How ungracious of him.  The people of Santa Ana spent a fortune to put in place his vision of an Artists Village.  The least he could do is get out of the way and let Mayor Miguel Pulido try to improve the rest of Santa Ana.

Make no mistake about it – there is a concerted effort at hand to de-Latino-ize Santa Ana.  That this is happening while we have an all-Latino City Council in place is beyond ironic.

I hope that our City Council members will try to help El Centro Cultural de Mexico to find a new home.  It might be too late to save the Fiesta Marketplace, but we can at least help out El Centro, before it is too late.  Turning Downtown Santa Ana into another Irvine would be beyond tragic.

Imagine if we could find the money to restore the old YMCA building on Civic Center and put El Centro there – eventually?  How awesome would that be?

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

20 thoughts on “Is Downtown Santa Ana losing its Latino culture?”
  1. The new Fiesta Marketplace, ala East End, has nothing to do with race or gender. It is about the changing demographic in Santa Ana. There are still a majority of hispanics, no surprize there, but there is also an influx of young (under 30) into the neighborhoods and businesses. This is purely market influences. It has nothing to do with politics or race. These are pure market influences. Isn’t there a way to have Mexican influences along with the new market? The market will decide. And those of you who continuously say that Santa Ana is a done deal for crime….you have not been here for years!

  2. One of the best articles I have read from you all year Admin! We all tend to be hypocrites from time to time. I did think that it was quite ironic that the Mayor was having Downton Inc. push for “Mexican” Chivas at the same time that they were trying to move most of the “Mexican” population out of Fiesta Village. Hypocrisy is abound everywhere in this city these days. Including myself. How do you expect the public to regard a secret city government though that appears to embrace blatant hypocrisy? With Suspicicion.

  3. Why doesn’t Miguel claim the Artists Village and sit down with actual Village Artists instead of just taking the advice of Cal State Fullerton and Whitewashing, Gentrifying Dreamers. He should invite Gerardo as well. P.S. Downtown Inc. does alot of terrific things for the Village. Unfortunately though, not as much as they could because they are dominated by certain property/owner interests that are not part of the artists village.

  4. Three Downtown Arts/Cultural Centers worthy of support and preservation besides Grand Central and OCCA.

    1) The Cultural Center De Mexico (move it within the Artists Village or YMCA if they are losing their lease.)
    2) The Santora Building for the Arts( they have no historical plaque, unlike Grand Central)
    3) The East Village Arts Complex (Where the are having newly promoted events that you recently posted.)

  5. mateo,

    Good ideas. I would also like to see a historical marker on the spot where the Usual Suspects of old burned down our Chinatown.

  6. ocgrrl,

    All I am saying is that it sure looks like a concerted effort to stamp out the Latino influence in our Downtown. This could have been done another way. It is too late for the Fiesta Marketplace but I hope at least that El Centro will survive.

  7. Well Admin, you have your conspiracy theories, but to state them as “fact” is the same as lying. The Fiesta Marketplace is changing names at the wish of private property owners. Your desire to control private property rights is somewhat alarming, especially for a libertarian. I also hope El Centro will survive, but only if they can pay rent which is what utlimately caused the loss of many of the latino tenants in the Fiesta Marketplace. They were subsidized for years, and still could not pay rent. What private property owner would want that long term? If new businesses come in and make a go of it, I don’t care if they are run by whites, latinos, greens, or purples. I just want them to succeed. THAT is Santa Ana pride.

    1. ocgrrl,

      You didn’t state anything I didn’t already acknowledge. What is unsettling about the Fiesta move is that it happened so quickly and the result is debatable. I have also previously written about the marketing and demographics changes – but if anything we need more Viet influence in Downtown SA, not more gabacho culture.

      The market will decide if any of this will work.

      As for El Centro, it is a precious cultural jewel. I hope that we all can come together to find a way to help it survive in some form or another.

  8. “The Fiesta Marketplace is changing names at the wish of private property owners. Your desire to control private property rights is somewhat alarming…I also hope El Centro will survive, but only if they can pay rent which is what utlimately caused the loss of many of the latino tenants in the Fiesta Marketplace. They were subsidized for years, and still could not pay rent. What private property owner would want that long term? ”


    Do you feel the same way about Mike Harrah’s property rights and the so-called artists not paying him rent?

  9. Yes, I do. Just like the Fiesta Marketplace has subsidized the tenants for a time, Harrah will do the same for a time. If given these breaks, they still can’t survive, then they should find somewhere else to rent where they can afford it. I am all for subsidies for a time, but eventually, that tenant has to make it or leave. Basic math.

  10. BTW, “gabacho culture”??? That is the extremely racist. Whether it is “gabacho culture” like the Copper Door, Chapter One:the modern local, Crosby, Proof, Lola Gaspar, Gypsy Den, Mil Jugos, El Curtido, or others of the like, I am all about successful businesses. Whatever clientele comes to those places are their own personal choices, but I for one, prefer a business that makes the most of their business plan.

    1. ocgrrl,

      If Santa Ana gets rid of all Latino influence I can assure you that gabacho culture will not work. You can go to Irvine for that sort of thing.

  11. And as for the Vietnamese influence…Pho Viet Huong, Pho 88, Pho 99, and a multitude of others should be insulted that you don’t count them IN the Santa Ana mix. Not to mention Darias, Nikki’s Tandoori, McCormick’s and Schmidt’s, Corner Bakery, Z-Pizza, Maggiano’s, Las Brisa’s,….You need to get downtown more.

    1. ocgrrl,

      Tandoori? That is Indian, not Viet. Darias is Persian. And I am talking about Downtown Santa Ana. Most Pho restaurants are on the west side.

      Not sure why you threw the CityPlace restaurants into the mix. Quite far from Downtown.

  12. Geez. I am trying to show the DIVERSITY that is Santa Ana as a whole. The naysayers that say Santa Ana is a crime-ridden Tijuana all say that everything is like TJ with gang members on every corner. It is NOT!!! Santa Ana is a wonderful place to visit, come eat, or have a drink. There is a lot going on both in Downtown and in other areas of Santa Ana. There is something for everybody.

    As I said before, your view is that there is some big conspiracy to get “rid of all Latino influence” in the city. I am trying to give a broader view; that the market itself is calling for MORE than just a Latino influence. Chapter One: the modern local folks did not move here to force out latinos. They came because they believe there is a strong potential market. Pho 88 did not move into Downtown to chase out latinos, they came because they thought they could make a go of it. Original Mike’s is not a typical latino place, but I bet locals go there. They all came because of the market, not a conspiracy. So did every single one of the restaurants or establishments I named. What I am saying is that no one wants to “chase out” the latinos as you say, or bring in the “gabacho culture” as you so racistly rant. I agree that Santa Ana should NEVER be anything like Irvine!!! We have MORE than that. We have history, we have diversity, we have architecture, we have culture (of ALL kinds – including Latino, Viet, Korean, Persian, Indian, Venezuelan, Salvadorean, Chinese, black, white, and anything in between). In fact, the fastest growing market here in Santa Ana is the Vietnamese and Korean based on new home buyers. Let the market do what it’s doing so we can enjoy economic success. There IS NO PLOT!!! And you trying to spread the word that there is makes you a chicken little with no vision for the potential of this great city.

    Our city has something great for everybody. Come enjoy Santa Ana.

    1. ocgrrl,

      Your elitist tone takes away from your message. Pointing out the influx of gabacho culture is not racist, it is accurate.

      That aside, I too believe that diversity is a boon to our Downtown and to our local economy. The fact is however that losing the Fiesta Marketplace and El Centro Cultural de Mexico is a double-blow to Latino culture in our Downtown.

      Let’s hope it isn’t too late to reverse this trend.

      As for plots, you are again quite wrong. The newspapers and blogs have all been reporting about the concerted effort by our leading white Republican racists to stop the Chivas USA soccer team from coming to Santa Ana. That is indeed a plot – and one we have enjoyed foiling.

  13. The word “gabacho” is derived from an old derogatory and pegorative term Spaniards used to call what they believed were “french idiots”. When you use the term, it is meant to mean “white idiots”. The term is distasteful and is tantamount to using the “N” word. And a good christian person (which you purport to be) should not use those kinds of racist words.

    My “elitist” tone is that of pride in the city. I firmly believe we are better than Irvine, Costa Mesa, or Huntington Beach. I am not elitist or racist in that I care more about one culture than another, but evidently, you do.

    Fiesta Marketplace was a failure economically, and was extremely dated looking. The tenants were unable to pay rent because they had no business to sustain them. Whatever changes are made, I hope increase/improve business for tenants, increase sales tax revenues, and help the city overall. In the meantime, I will continue to patronize businesses that, coincidentally, are doing well which include Calacas, El Curtido, Las Brisas, and others.

    I take exception to the very idea that I am elitist or in favor of gentrification. I am simply in favor of a strong economy, as well and maintaining private property rights. Do you really think that is wrong or racist? Stop being so defensive of one type of business or another, or one culture or another, and just root for the city. We are all in this together.

    1. ocgrrl,

      Interesting. I use the word as a stand-in for “whites.” But yes, the French were idiots for invading Mexico. As I recall their fake king lost his head for it.

      I am not a racist – but I do have to spend a lot of time battling the anti-Mexicans in our city. Someone has to.

      I hope this East End concept does well. I am saddened to see a lessening of Latino culture in our city. But the market does determine who survives – that is true.

  14. Thank you for being civil. Believe me, I am not against you or the Mexican culture or Mexican people. I embrace you both with both arms, and I want all to prosper. However, I just want you to be fair when you post, and use no bias or racist language. We are both on the same side, you know. We both want to see Santa Ana flourish!

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