Poor Food


You can take that title two different ways.  As in either poor quality food or just food of the poor. Sometimes it can mean both things. Which did you assume?

This was my lunch today. (Well, only half of it was, the rest went into the trash bin.) I was down on N. Broadway, thought I’d have some hot and sour soup from the new Chinese food place, as everyone knows that’s my favorite soup ever. Or now they do. Yes, even over menudo or sopa de zanahoria. Hmm, for only $2 more I can get the “combo”, seems like a good deal.

And that’s how it starts.

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don quixotes midnight ride, through the LA Eastside


Ai mi espanto!!

A couple of weeks ago I took a round trip on the train, LA to Albuquerque and back to LA, the trip was great, I bought a bottle of red wine, a couple of Italian sandwiches at Lanza Bros Mkt on North Main, got on the train, no search by Homeland Security, no taking off my shoes, belt, jacket, no emptying my pockets, no hard stares or grumpy questions, just got on the train, got my seat by the window and enjoyed the scenery.

In Burque I was met by familia and we drove up to the little mountain pueblito that my ancestors have inhabited for hundreds of years. Funny how little things change in some places, the language spoken is still mainly Spanish, the customs and traditions are still old school, a mix of Catholicism and witchcraft.

After a week I headed back down the mountains to Burque for the trip back home to LA on the train.

I had another botella of vino rojo and a couple of big fat homemade chile verde burritos for the trip. I had my cellphone charged so I could check on the Lakers game against Houston.

As I entered the station I noticed a couple of Immigration SUV’s parked at the entrance, hmmm very odd I thought.

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Botanitas: May 29, 2009


The Fiesta
The sun was gentle, the air clear, and the sky cloudless.
Buried in the sand, the clay pot steamed. As they went from ocean to mouth, the shrimp passed though the hands of Fernando, master of ceremonies, who bathed them in a holy water of salt, onions, and garlic. There was good wine.
Seated in a circle, we friends shared the wine and shrimp and the ocean that spread out free and luminous at our feet.
As it took place, that happiness was already being remembered by our memory. It would never end, nor would we. For we are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine, which is something everyone knows, no matter how small his or her knowledge.

-Eduardo Galeano

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!

Please click below to read more on: Galeano in Los Angeles, our city on the brink of disaster, homeless evicted from empty space, blood cells that wear tiny conquistador hats, Latin Jazz performances and Secret Identities revealed!

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Hope, can it stop action?

The other day Felcia Montes a homegirl of mine posted on her FB that we got kids marching to keep their sub par education funded, college students on hunger strikes, yet we all are just tweeting and IMing each other. Where is the anger?

It reminded me of my students who got two jobs to pay for school and how it will cost more next semester; about the ones that dropped out to work and help save their family home; about the bank VP who worked 25 years at the same bank who one morning got a phone call telling her she was fired, her 401k was worthless and that there would be no severance check; about the fathers who killed their families and themselves when their economic stability crumbled; about the empty stores; empty promises and on and on…
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Korean BBQ Truck competition


Since I wasn’t able to attend any of the many Memorial day bbq’s, “mi osito” and I decided to go to Korean Kitchen Hibachi BBQ in Little Tokyo last Sunday to get our fix. On our way out we saw the truck pictured above from afar and were like “oh there’s the Kogi truck” but as we got closer we noticed it was a Calbi BBQ truck.  Their signage is similar, the major difference was there was no crazy line for it.  I was wondering who’s the originator Kogi or Calbi? Has anyone tried Calbi BBQ?

The Los Angeles Marathon 2009


Staring at 3 a.m. this morning, P3000, a cute friend of P3000 and I rode through the marathon route on bikes. P3000 let me borrow an extra one he had.  Let me tell you that this city is something else in the middle of the night and early morning. At first this bike ride started as a personal challenge because P3000 says that my generation is a bunch of lazy guevones. That we can’t hang like he does. I couldn’t let this injustice go unanswered, so I grabbed the bike and I peddled my ass through the streets of L.A. Here are some of the pictures I got.

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word from the wise to the unwise


Going down Fig (Figueroa for you neigh-n00bs), across from Footsie’s, I saw this telephone box all hit up. I wondered whether it was the work of the infamous and ubiquitous ALZA, already expounded upon by fellow blogero El Chavo. But I saw some chamacos hanging around, and seeing the paint cans I figure it was them and not ALZA responsible ; although ALZA is known for putting “messages” in his pieces around town.

But yes kiddies, why tag when you can bomb your ‘hood. To clarify the difference for neo-Urbanites, being that to “tag” is merely to scribble one’s name…but to “bomb” could be to do just that but to take it up aesthetically quite a few notches. This whole do this not that is pretty cool with me. Was it not CRASS who said, quite quipishly, “Fight War NOT Wars.” In this instance another proper slogan could be BOMB WALLS NOT PEOPLE, but the meaning could be lost on those not savvy to varied meanings of bomb. Feel free to steal my ideas, but I’ll be damned if you decide to make any $$$ of it. I’ll get you! Creative Commons, y qué?!

Quinceañeras, Jesus Malverde and Adan Sanchez Ohh my


When I first got word about “Always & Forever” I was hesitant about it. At best, I’m a casual fan of corridos  and I don’t identify with it on any level other than it’s a life style for some and it has millions of fans. When Adan Sanchez died it was just another regular day for me, but to thousands here in L.A. it was the loss of a talented musician and a young man. I didn’t even know that the play first premiered in 2007 at the Ford Amphitheatre and it was originally conceived around 2004 at Casa 0101 by writer Michael Spillers in a writing workshop. Now coming full circle in 2009, the loss of Adan is still felt and his music is still being played by his fans. The play, inretro spect almost seems like on huge homage to Adan, his fans and everything else that is tied to Corridos and Bandas. “Always & Forever” revolves around a quinceañera as family traditions clash with a young girls passion and love for Banda music and Adan. The play follows the family dealing with their everyday drama and the quinceañera, ultimately culminating up to the day Adan died. Anyone who is a fan of Adan of Bandas will love “Always & Forever” and even people who don’t know anything about it can still relate to some of the antics the family gets into.

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Who Felt the Quake? Who Has Money?

Quake Reponse Data, Mapped

If you go by the raw numbers on the USGS.gov site, one might conclude that rich people felt the quake more than working class people, even though it happened in Inglewood.

The USGS.gov site has a cool feature where you can submit a quake report describing how it felt. You fill in your zip code, and some info about how much things were damaged, or not. During the recent quake on Sunday night, they collected more than 4,000 reports.

As you might expect, this received data was biased to come from upper-middle-class people, and probably younger people. I’ll leave it to the comments to speculate about biases. Details and links after the jump.
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