Certain parts of San Diego County have banned the act of “cruising,” but not around Chicano Park – or was it ever banned in the first place?
On June 22, between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., a couple of hundred spectators tripped out on the dozens of lowriders cruising on Logan avenue between the Sampson and South Evans streets.
Enter “La Vuelta,” a car-cruise that was arranged by the Logan Avenue Consortium.
“Lots of people were taking pictures, cars bumping their systems and hittin’ switches,” Bernie Fishman said, “and there were tons of kids and families around.”
Fishman owns Beat Box Records which resides in the middle of the cruise strip. He supplies the cruisers with music on the vinyl record, cassette and the 8-track medians. He said that the stigma of “tough lowriding” is long gone.
“It was all fun with no problems,” Fishman said, “unless you want to call a car up on three wheels a problem.”
“Three wheel motion” is when the driver of a car with a custom hydraulic suspension – dumps the rear corner pump and simultaneously lifts the opposite front corner pump – to prop the car on three wheels.
“I see the lowrider culture as part of the identity of this neighborhood,” Fishman said, “they support soul music, which is what I have in my store; and I support them.”
But not everyone flows with the “lolo” lifestyle.
“The things that I dislike about the lowrider scene is how slow they are [when driving], and the models in the magazines with their plastic surgery,” said Lindsey Zarate, a fashion-model who photographed with the red 1964 Chevy Impala posted up in front of the Don Diego VFW Post 7420 that night.
One person who lived in the new artsy complex on the corner of Logan avenue and Sampson street agreed with Zarate’s sentiments, but added the “loud music” to the list of grievances.
Outsiders and insiders question the legality of cruising.
The act of cruising was banned in a few cities around the U.S. during the 1980s and the 1990s. The City of National City, where the notorious Highland avenue cruise strip is located, followed suit with the national ban.
“Cruising” is defined in the National City municipal code library (#11.68.010) “as the repetitive driving of a motor vehicle two or more times within a four-hour period, in the same direction, past a traffic-control point.”
Cars back in the heyday would cruise as slow as 10 miles per hour and hold up traffic. Police would then re-route the vehicles on certain intersections to break up the congestion.
This night there was no re-routing.
“Various cities have “no cruising zones” but in Barrio Logan / Chicano Park, I’ve never had an issue with driving my car or parking it at Chicano Park,” said Xavier the X-Man.
X-Man, a radio DJ for the 92.5 radio station, has been cruising since he first got his license in the 1980s. He rolled out his black-convertible 1961 Chevy Impala for the cruise.
“In the City of San Diego, there are no laws or ordinances against cruising,” said Ofc. Travis Easter from the San Diego Police Department.
X-Man will have his own cruise and car show on Aug. 13 at the Qualcomm Stadium. The Emilion Nares Foundation, one of the collaborators in his “Cruise for the Cause,” provides children and their families with free transportation to Rady’s Hospital for their cancer treatments.
Regarding the legality of cruising on the City of San Diego streets; “We are good,” Ofc. Easter said, “it is legal.”