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Serious Questions Raised on Syria: Framing a Guilty Man Page 4 Carson Brings Heavy Hitters to Annual Jazz Festival Sept. 28 Page 11 New J.D. Salinger Doc Gets Close to Home Page 16 The Face of a Surly San Pedran By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor W The Local Publication You Actually Read hen Dennis Romero, columnist and blogger for the LA Weekly, wrote his “L.A.’s 5 Surliest Neighborhoods,” he didn’t think he was going to win the Pulitzer Prize, but then again, he probably didn’t expect the storm it would cause either. The column, originally published Aug. 22, went viral in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend. Romero began his column by using widely held stereotypes of various Los Angeles neighborhoods and essentially asked: “Who would win in a fist fight?” It was almost as if he and a few of his buddies engaged in a sort of fantasy brawl discussion—induced by marijuana smoke—of who would win in a head-to-head fight between neighborhoods. He says as much in a blog posted five days after his initial posing, when he tried to set the record straight: It was all in jest! We love San Pedro, from your Fish Market to your Lobster Festival, from Ports O’ Call Village to the Maritime Museum. You’re L.A. to the bone. o j pe s E ey h yC cb September 20 - October 3, 2013 i ph Gra In the first column, Romero’s first few sentences lampoons communities that aspire to become “hipster zones” such as Venice’s Abbot Kinney area...with fullorganic grocery stores and dog parks to die for.” Not forgetting to mention hot foodie joints on the main drag listed on Yelp. But with this straw-man set up, Romero asked the question, “But is your ‘hood tough? Would it win in a fight against, say the Bronx?” Romero says no, but then offers the city’s Top 5 Surliest Neighborhoods that could probably hold their own in an all out brawl-fest. And, out of that discussion, came his top 5 picks for LA’s toughest neighborhoods with San Pedro/Wilmington taking the No. 1 slot. Romero never intended for this Top 5 Surliest Neighborhoods list to be taken seriously. Romero’s innocuous and offensive column nevertheless hit a nerve. The parts that irritated San Pedrans the most included: • Romero’s linking of “surliness” with racialized criminality. This led some commenters to charge that Columnist Hits Surly Nerve/ to p. 1 6

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