In 2017, after witnessing the constant change and displacement happening in my neighborhood of Virgil Village, I decided to start documenting it. I created @ThisSideofHoover, an Instagram account that archives the quickly gentrifying neighborhood and its disappearing culture. The project has been featured in Hyperallergic, LA Taco, Remezcla, The LA Times Festival of Books, and exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

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Cha Cha Cha opened its doors on the corner of Virgil and Melrose in 1986. The restaurant was famous for its funky, kitschy decor and its Caribbean dishes and sangrias. It was a neighborhood staple for three decades. Then, it suddenly closed in October of 2016. Months later it was demolished. The land was bought for $2.5 million.

Cha Cha Cha opened its doors on the corner of Virgil and Melrose in 1986. The restaurant was famous for its funky, kitschy decor and its Caribbean dishes and sangrias. It was a neighborhood staple for three decades. Then, it suddenly closed in October of 2016. Months later it was demolished. The land was bought for $2.5 million.

Today, construction is in progress for a mixed-use development that will include retail space and luxury lofts above, pool included.

Today, construction is in progress for a mixed-use development that will include retail space and luxury lofts above, pool included.

Panadería Súper Pan is a Guatemalan bakery in Virgil Village owned by Elvia Perez and her husband since 2000.

Panadería Súper Pan is a Guatemalan bakery in Virgil Village owned by Elvia Perez and her husband since 2000.

“"My name is Elvia Consuelo Perez. I'm from Guatemala. Our job here is to make bread. We opened this place eighteen years ago. Pan dulce is a tradition.  We have different varieties: pan frances, sweet bread, and bolillo which is for the Mexicans because many of them come here. There are a lot Mexicans and Salvadorans that come here. Everyone has their preference. We like to have a little bit of everything so our customers can leave happy.”

“"My name is Elvia Consuelo Perez. I'm from Guatemala. Our job here is to make bread. We opened this place eighteen years ago. Pan dulce is a tradition.
We have different varieties: pan frances, sweet bread, and bolillo which is for the Mexicans because many of them come here. There are a lot Mexicans and Salvadorans that come here. Everyone has their preference. We like to have a little bit of everything so our customers can leave happy.”

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A new owner bought the building where Super Pan Bakery once stood. In August of 2018, he gave the family 60 days to vacate the premises. Doña Elvia and her family packed up their belongings and emptied the bakery that served the community for almost 20 years. On October 18th of 2018, the day Super Pan officially closed its doors, regulars kept stopping hoping to buy their usual pan dulce, but Doña Elvia told them with great sadness that they were closed. “I’m leaving with great sadness. I resign myself. It had to end one day. I thank God first because it’s been twenty years, twenty years that we’ve been here. My children and my grandchildren grew up in this place. I want to thank all my neighbors, the whole community here who always supported me and they have come to say goodbye to me.”

A new owner bought the building where Super Pan Bakery once stood. In August of 2018, he gave the family 60 days to vacate the premises. Doña Elvia and her family packed up their belongings and emptied the bakery that served the community for almost 20 years. On October 18th of 2018, the day Super Pan officially closed its doors, regulars kept stopping hoping to buy their usual pan dulce, but Doña Elvia told them with great sadness that they were closed. “I’m leaving with great sadness. I resign myself. It had to end one day. I thank God first because it’s been twenty years, twenty years that we’ve been here. My children and my grandchildren grew up in this place. I want to thank all my neighbors, the whole community here who always supported me and they have come to say goodbye to me.”

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