My, that's quite an arresting image, isn't it? Al-Saleh, a UC Berkeley undergrad, told Edible Geography that she made the image, in part, as a reminder to those dining in a hip neighborhood that a very different reality existed around them.
It's an innovative piece, and does what excellent maps do: give us a greater awareness of the world. In this case, Al-Saleh illuminates the cultures and economies existing right on top of each other. Cupcakes and Sureños are only a shard, any metropolis has similar layers upon layers. The decision to add the boundary of the gang injunction is the icing on the cupcake; showing a state attempt to deal with a borderless entity.
Remember this when someone tells you, blithely, that "everybody knows." I hear this a lot in Asheville, but we've got no monopoly on the attitude. "Everybody knows that part of town is crap."
Do they now? No, what the speaker actually means is "me and my friends believe." The slippery thing about knowledge is that always remains unknown to someone.
And speaking of puncturing things "everyone knows," feast your eyes on the 12 States of America.
Fuck you, Red State/Blue State. Map by Column Five Media
Yes, back in the dirty days of the 2000s, everybody knew that the country was divided into big blocs of Red states and Blue states, each representing two diametrically opposed cultures. It was convenient, giving the right-wing a chance to feel powerful and Yankees another paper-thin excuse to feel superior.
Along comes this new map, befitting a fractured era concerned with a shaky economy. The 12 "States" measured by the differing effects of income inequality over the past 30 years, are swaths and enclaves, things like "tractor country," "minority central" and "service worker centers." While obscuring plenty, it's a hell of a lot more accurate (and interesting), than its predecessor. We live in a world where cupcakes and gang territory coexist, like it or not.