Let’s say you live in Garvanza and decide to expand your mental and geographical horizons in the New Year by visiting Ascot Hills Park in El Sereno, based on the park’s address in a Council District 14 flyer posted on the El Sereno Historical Society Facebook page.
It’s a good bet you’d be in for an unpleasant surprise. Instead of finding yourself in El Sereno, you’d discover that you in fact never left Garvanza.
Here’s why: According to the CD 14 flyer on the El Sereno Historical Society Facebook page, Ascot Hills Park is located on Avenue 63 and Meridian Street. If you relived on the GPS in your car—or on Mapquest—to take you to that location, you’d arrive not a Ascot Hills Park but at Garvanza Park.
The Facebook flyer goof-up was brought to the attention of Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch by Joe Walker, a NELA neighborhood historian who grew up in Highland Park.
“Am I reading this right?” asks Walker on the El Sereno Historical Society Facebook page, referring to the wrong address for Ascot Hills Park and then taking a dig at Huizar's office: “Good going, folks—that has been Garvanza Park since the 1930s. Ascot Hills is about four miles south.”
Indeed, the shortest road distance between the two parks is 4.6 miles. Inviting people to visit Ascot Hills Park on Meridian and Avenue 63 is “similar to me saying, come see the magnificent Eagle Rock boulder in Lincoln Heights,” says Walker, tongue firmly in cheek, adding: “This is what happens when you have staffers who have no buy in to the community.”
The error on the CD 14 flyer would probably not have attracted much attention were it not for the fact that this past September the Los Angeles City Council approved a proposal by Councilmember José Huizar to rename a section of El Sereno as Rose Hills.
Huizar’s success in ascribing community status to Rose Hills was reportedly seen as a defeat for the El Sereno Historical Society, which opposes any effort to carve up the neighborhood and has threatened the city council with a lawsuit over the issue of renaming Rose Hills.
In a response to the botched CD 14 Facebook flyer, the El Sereno Historical Society refers to a 2012 CD 14 pamphlet in which Hermon and Monterey Hills are evidently listed as communities within El Sereno.
“Does that mean that Hermon and Monterey Hills are part of El Sereno?” asks the historical society. “When and who decided this? This is how our tax-dollars are being used—promoting misinformation.”
Adds the historical society, referring to Huizar: “Why doesn't he cut up Boyle Heights or Eagle Rock the same way he is cutting up El Sereno?”
Rick Coca, Huizar's communications director, confirmed that the wrong address for the park on the El Sereno Historical Society Facebook page was a "clerical error from a previous batch that has already been corrected" in the latest CD 14 brochures as well as online.
For the record, here’s the correct address for anyone who may wish to visit Ascot Hills Park: 4371 Multnomah St., 90032.