Watch this entire Truly CA episode: Everything Comes from the Streets by filmmaker Alberto Pulido. (Running Time: 58:47)
Lowrider: it’s a term that can refer to either the car or the driver, intrinsically tying quality product and creative expression. They’re special. They’re powerful. They represent. San Diego and the surrounding borderlands have legacies richly rooted in community organizing and lowriding, and it came from the streets.
A celebration of souped-up customized automobiles, Alberto Pulido’s Everything Comes from the Streets does exactly what its title implies, creating an engaging film that comes straight from the folks on ground level. Jacket and car clubs like Los Amigos and Female Ladies Pride played key roles in structuring the community and establishing Chicano/a identity.
The 1970 takeover and establishment of San Diego’s world-famous Chicano Park, home to the country’s largest outdoor collection of murals, became a focal point of social change that went hand-in-hand with modified lowriders. Branding your car was a statement and sometimes you had to get creative and go to extremes, like using airplane landing gears, if you were going to stand out while cruising or in hopping contests. As car artist Robert Martinez puts it, “This… looks like a million cars sitting on the street, so I’m going to do it different.”
Co-produced by Kelly Whalen and Rigo Reyes, Everything Comes from the Streets packs a wealth of rare archival photography, custom vehicles and intimate chats with lowriders, some of whom have been at it since the 1950s. But it’s not just automobile eye candy. The film celebrates the origins, history and craft of lowriding through the accounts of creative Latino men and women who established a unique tradition and forever left their mark on the San Diego landscape.