Group Members: Zoey Ferman, Ivan Herrera, Rachel Haering, Erick Ruiz
The “Ask the Dust” mapping assignment was an interesting project that allowed our group to explore the physical layout of Los Angeles. From our map, one can learn significant streets and locations found in Los Angeles. This allows one to get a better picture as to when and where Arturo traveled throughout the book. Seeing as to how much Fante based the action of his novel in real-life locations also adds poignancy to his commentary on how the lives of poor immigrants were in Southern California during the 1930s. The map can give a person a better insight into how Los Angeles has changed through the course of history. For instance, the Biltmore Hotel mentioned in the book is now known as the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, and the County Hospital is now known as LAC+USC Medical Center. The Alta Loma Hotel on Bunker Hill was known as Alta Vista Hotel, which no longer exists. The map also shows that some locations have remained the same, but have become more diverse and modern located on what we now call the “Historic Core” of Los Angeles today. The Historic Core includes the Grand Central Market which is another historic landmark. The novel and map illustrated how important social mobility was in 1930s Los Angeles. It gave one the opportunity to escape the city life and explore new places. Most of those places were no further than five miles apart from one another making it easier to explore on foot since only the rich could afford cars in the 1930s. Having to walk around the city for a long period of time provided Bandini with much to see from the neon lights coming from the street signs to the waving palm trees and the sky with low stars. This is why Bandini has come all this way to explore Los Angeles so he could be inspired; all in the hopes of becoming a great writer. Walking through Los Angeles helped him search for and find a new identity for himself to finally feel like he belonged. While Bandini was growing up in his hometown, he was bullied for not being considered white enough. Los Angeles was the place where he could achieve what he was looking for a chance to finally be an American and find his way into a higher social class.
Time Mapper Link: https://timemapper.okfnlabs.org/anon/eqml2x-ask-the-dust-time-mapper