Mariachiando: La raíz

Mariachiando will be an ongoing series of posts at L.A. Eastside and my blog about my experience as a mariachi musician throughout Los Angeles. The posts will not be in chronological order in order to fully document these experiences and create a narrative. To follow these posts here at L.A. Eastside, visit the Mariachiando category.

My paternal grandfather was a mariachi musician in México. in the weekends, my grandfather often left for a whole day or a weekend with his violin, guitar, or vihuela, to play with compadres in other pueblos around los Altos de Jalisco. Often, he’d be in the plazas, playing and singing with friends. When he came to the United States to work in the 1970s, he spent time working, but eventually quit and spent the rest of his time in East L.A., playing throughout the area with other mariachis and friends.

Meanwhile, my dad and siblings grew up listening to my grandfather’s music and the music that filtered to their pueblo’s radios from Guadalajara. When they had some time to themselves, either when they walked from their rancho to the pueblo, they played games or sang. While none of my grandfather’s children became mariachis themselves, they all sang, a few of them very, very well and my dad learned to play the guitar.

My dad is the third-oldest male and the fourth-oldest child. The eldest three males immigrated first to the United States in the late-1970s. They originally lived in East L.A. & Boyle Heights, but moved to South Gate in the early-1980s. All the siblings eventually moved out to the Bay Area, the last one, the oldest male of the family, leaving South Gate in 1989 and his stove to my dad (which is still in operation today). Continue reading

First in line !!!!!

Maria Gonzalez(From left) , Garcia Enedina and Pablo Torres arrived at 10 a.m. Friday morning to be the first in line for the 27th Annual Miricle on 1st Street Toy give away. Sponcered by the Hollenbeck Youth Center, the give away helps out local residents in Boyle Heights by giving away gifts donated from various corparate sponcers. Gonzalez said that her family have been coming to the toy give away since they were kids and this year marks their 20th year coming. Even as La Crisis keeps getting worse, more families are expected to come and wait in line to compensate for their gifts. Gonzalez her family and other people waiting in line are going to be camping out over night in the freezing cold to keep their space. Of course their efforts are going to pay of in the morning when they’re one of the few families who will recieve a Nintendo Wii said Gonzalez. The gift giving starts at 10 a.m. and of course the line will be TONS of families there creating a mob scence.

La Crisis: One Suggestion For the Season

Image from Amor Y Resistencia!

It’s that time again, when custom dictates you give friends and families “gifts” comprised of trinkets you go out and purchase, but this year you can’t even figure out how the hell you’re gonna make the rent on the first of the month, so what is to be done? You could hit the 99¢ store and try to scrounge up the best looking items that DON’T look like they came from the 99, but who are you kidding? Economists and Politicians keep repeating the mantra that we must buy-buy-buy to save the economy but that’s getting a bit boring. Besides, they messed things up anyways, let them fix it. They’re already tapping into our wallets for those stupid bailouts of banks and car companies but I don’t think we should help them any further. Thus I give you the practical suggestion for saving lots of money this season: Don’t buy anyone nothing! (Sticklers for grammar can substitute that last word with “anything”.)

Why not rethink the concept of the gift? It doesn’t mean much anyways when you give or get random STUFF at the end of the year, maybe save your gift and turn it into a nice surprise in May? Skip the credit card debt-spree and do something corny but nice for your pals, like a nice homemade meal or some help with the garden. Besides, if all they want is some plastic crap from you then maybe they shouldn’t be your friends or family. You might have to make an exception for your significant other or somebody else but the idea is to feel free to NOT give things this year. Run with it.

Man, that sure was a crappy post. But I really just wanted a reason to share that picture above with you! Enjoy!


Ajua! Someone has correctly answered all of the questions on the
One very Eastside Culture savvy contestant has demonstrated a profound
knowledge of all things Eastside, and has proven to be  truly deserving of the Grand Prize! A certificate good for Dinner for Two from:
(I wanted the prize to be a trip far away from THE EASTSIDE so I picked the very self-proclaimed hip Westside town of Silver Lake!) Que Gácho! Anyway, here are the answers to the quiz: Continue reading

Botanitas: last minute update

A Virgen de Guadalupe admirer all the way from Switzerland! La Placita Olvera

Oops! Forgot to include these…

Virgen de Guadalupe Feast Day

The word on the streets is the flower market has sold out of all their red roses and if you’re Mexican, you know why. Today is the day Mexicans and Catholics all over the world venerate the one religious figure that can outshine Jesus: La Virgen de Guadalupe. December 12th has always held special memories for me because it is my great-grandmother’s birthday, a woman who long after her death is still remembered to this day at a local Eastside church. She was the founder of the parish Guadalupanas club and celebration feria. As a child,  I was always dazzled by the mountains of buñuelos she made in her tiny Eastside kitchen for the yearly carnival/feria. They were so numerous, the piles seemed to reach the ceiling.

While many churches have their individual ceremonies, the biggest celebrations in Los Angeles take place at La Placita Olvera Virgen de Guadalupe shrine. A throng of worshipers crowd the streets around La Virgen’s tiled mural and the flowers and offerings spread out from the altar into the streets. I’m not sure what time the ceremonies start or perhaps they’ve already passed. I’ve spent a few hours looking for details on this important Los Angeles tradition. There’s nothing I could find in the Los Angeles Times but I did find this article from the San Fernando Valley Sun: Celebrating la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Lincoln Heights Christmas Parade

This Sunday, December 14 on North Broadway 11am-1pm. Check it out! (thanks, Julio!)

From the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council:

Residents of Lincoln Heights take pride in their annual Christmas Parade, which will be held this year on December 14, from 11am to 1pm. Participants will line up at the Department of Motor Vehicles, proceed North on Lincoln Park Avenue, turn West on North Broadway to Avenue 24. At the end, there will be a celebration for the whole community in the parking lot behind the Bank of America with Santa, snow, Christmas gifts, music and food for all. Thousands of spectators are expected to crowd along the Parade route. For over two hours they will be treated to a seemingly endless line of colorful drill teams, dance groups, bands, classic cars, dignitaries and large and small floats. The Miss Taiwan entry will grace an antique fire truck from Fire Station #1.

Please read the comments below for more holiday activities on the Eastside–>>

NPR is cancelling News and Notes with Farai Chideya

Though many people are calling it an African-American show (oddly I never really got that) I called it the people of color, multiculty orgy show. It was awesome she regular had people on from the African-American, Latino-American and Asian-American blogosphere (and not just during our appropriate month you didn’t even have to be married to a white person to get on her show) pretty much the only person in the established media who viewed non-white people in the blogosphere as relevant to the editorial conversations of the day.

A link to Farai Chideya’s page: LINK

The demise of this show will be a sad day.

Please go over to Jasymne Cannick’s site to get all of the juicy info and to sign the petition, because this truly is some bullshit.


edited 12/12 to add Farai’s link

Peel Here 08 ~ The Art of the Sticker

For this years Peel Here, Sticky Rick and his partner Damon Robinson, Director of the NOMAD Art Compound, wanted to do something new. Not just because they’ve moved offices from the ghetto mansion to The Nomad Art Compound in “Frog Town,” but because they both know there’s more to stickers than just slapping them on. They want to take sticker art to the next level because when someone takes their time to create an original work of art on a disposable surface, their passion and commitment to their work shines through. 

~ Click here to read last years recap ~
Continue reading

Botanitas: December 11, 2008

Botanitas is an ongoing feature bringing you stories and news from various sources, upcoming events and other bits of ephemera that might be of interest to LA Eastside readers. Suggestions welcome!

Click below for announcements on historic department stores, East LA mangers, peregrinos, unappreciated California cities, music my dad made and a gathering of people who might have some good ideas.

Continue reading

Ratas, Cabrones y Mamones, Oh My!

Somedays, I’ll go out for a walk and make unexpected discoveries of pathos, irony and disfunction……

My sympathies go out to this victim. May punishment come swiftly to those responsible.

Now, It’s bad enough when someone disses you or crosses you out, but when it’s set permanently in a cement sidewalk, that’s sad. Pobre TVR……

Then, Pa’ Cabárla,… this afternoon I’m walking along and I see this……….

Doing La Crisis 1990s style.

5.99 WOW!!!

5.99 WOW!!!

I was unlucky enough to be a child of the 90s. The 90s sucked. I always wished I could have been a child of the 80s, but no I was stuck in the decade that started sarcasm, plaid shirts as fashion statements or rather just not washing in general as a fashion statement. It was filled with lots of music that I hated, but had to listen to because there was nothing else available. Lots of whiny songs about killing yourselves and the gov’t and how it sucked and blowing up shit, but it wasn’t fun like punk in the 1970s it was all 1990s and crap. Oh yeah and techno started then too, freakin’ great disco without the cocaine or fun lyrics.

  Continue reading

UPDATE: Stirrings around Lincoln Heights

Turns out the Zócalo spot that just opened in LH yesterday is a “community space” funded by some churches & some of its members mentioned that they on occassion have Bible-study.  They do seem to have some people from the actual community, but many seemed to be from elsewhere.  So if you like your “community space” tinged with Christianity then this is the place to be, err.

Are You Smarter Than An Eastsider?

I’ve got a Gift Certificate good for a Free Dinner for Two at:
EL CONQUISTADOR Restaurant in Silver Lake. Because I am feeling in a generous Holiday Spirit and want to do my part towards La Crisis, I’ve decided to offer this nice prize to the lucky L.A. Eastside reader who wins this contest.
All you have to do is answer these 10 Eastside Trivia Questions. The first person with all the correct answers is the Winner! Good Luck! No Cheating, Sinverguenzas! Continue reading