All signs seemed pointed to Downtown SanTana (or DTSA, as the hipsters call it) moving further upscale on the gentrification ladder. Artists courted to give the area its brand got the boot. Hell, folks can't even get a chicken waldorf at the Gypsy Den anymore. But all that conventional wisdom went out the window when Downtown Inc., the entity in charge of promoting the area, embarrassingly reposted a photo on Instagram showing someone wearing Mongols Nation rings enjoying some fries at the 4th Street Market.
Biker gangs boosted by DTSA as gentrifiers? HA!
The image in question is taken with all the proper social media skill, no doubt the reason for the repost.The fries are perfectly positioned. The tray of tacos entice on the opposite side. The Mexican Coke looks refreshing enough to down in this heat wave. But the hand ready to dig into the food sure has some interesting jewelry on it!
The Mongols Nation ring comes complete with Nazi-style SS lightning bolts, though the biker gang based in Southern California is mostly Mexi. The other ring boasts "1%er." No, Occupy activists: that doesn't refer to the economic elite, but those who ride as hardcore outlaws. And Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents have deemed the Mongols "the most violent and dangerous" in the nation. Was the ring-wearing in question Mongol? Better be: the gang doesn't take kindly to people wearing their gear without permission.
Is that the picturesque image with which Downtown pushers want to woo diners from neighboring cities?
"It was reposted by our social media coordinator," says Downtown Inc. consultant Ryan Smolar, in an email of the pic."When it was brought to our attention what it was, it was removed." The 4th Street Market account also deleted its original regram of a visitor's photo.
Gangsters get hungry, too–but didn't know they were DTSA desirables. Good to know! What's next for an ever-evolving downtown SanTana? Regrams of other biker gangs, like the Vagos, getting their craft cocktails on? Or tatted up SanTana cholos from F-Troop wearing Famous Stars and Straps gear grubbing on a date night with their hynas? Oh, the Renaissance to come!
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2