NYT POV short one taco of a combination plate

The County drawing the line in the sidewalk against taco trucks is on behalf of groups like Whittier Boulevard Merchants Association, East L.A. Chamber of Commerce and local merchants claiming the trucks lack of overhead is unfair competition. Yet, taco truck vendors have become an East L.A. cultural icon, and in some cases social centers, with cheap eats have had people rally behind them.

It’s become a quality of life vs quality of lunch issue. A cause from both sides of the sidewalk.

The saviors of carne asada at saveourtacotrucks, as noted here on L.A. Eastside and by the LA Times April 16, have been blogging the movement to prevent a movement of trucks that will be enforced by the Sheriffs under a new ordinance by the County.

The issue has reached the east-east-eastside in a NYTimes article that gives a solid overview that led to Thursday’s eat-ins at taco trucks in and around the County land known as East Los Angeles.

However, the headline reads “In Taco Truck Battle, Mild Angelenos Turn Hot” and opens with “Los Angeles, loath to rally cohesively around a local cause, has joined hands around tortillas.”

Well, not quite, Ms. New York Times embedded-in-Los Angeles scribe.

For Eastsiders to be considered “mild” when it comes to causes is a cheap angle, a 99 cent copy led, and just too a long of a reach. The Eastsider is not the mythical mellow Angeleno having brunch patio side with the Sunday Times of any city.

There is a distinct Eastside tradition of standing up for something ever since the freeways sliced through town, causing pockets of neighborhoods to float next to each other like Titanic survivors on life rafts.

Since then, no cause has been left behind.

Three things that come to mind right away: How the Gold Line Extension went through a labourious process of community approvals before deciding on the current route currently under construction. Then there was the local auditorium that was burned down by arson and concerts were held, including one by Los Lobos, to raise funds to rebuild it. And you may have heard of a massive anti-war march back in the 70s that took out one of your own, a journalist who was recently honored on a US Postage stamp.

Be assured, this side of town doesn’t loath for a cause. It thrives.

11 thoughts on “NYT POV short one taco of a combination plate

  1. I find that so many New Yorkers seem to “ride” on the alleged historic reputation of being so cultured and educated in relation to everyone else, but in reality, they do very little to substantiate that. As much as they enjoy stereotyping L.A. as being a bunch of laid back beach bums, I can assert with confidence that there are just as many dopes, morons and phonies in the Big Apple as there are here. That being said, I see this particular article as just another example of typical East Coast, out-of-touch journalism. We know who we are and that’s all that matters.

  2. Heh.

    “To our great surprise, Los Angeles-area residents were recently observed behaving in a way that completely contradicts our clichéd stereotypes of Los Angeles…”

    Considering how many times variants of that have been published in the New York Times, you’d think it wouldn’t be news any more. 🙂

  3. If our schools were on taco trucks then my daughter would stop griping about the cafeteria lunch

  4. I have to say I’m sort of annoyed at all of the attention this is getting. I just don’t believe that this is the real issue. I think this taco truck things is something cooked up by some pr agency to divert our attention from something else that’s happening currently that’s completely horrible. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I’m sure it’s happening.

    Why this? Why now? What is the deal with all of this publicity?

    The budgets of schools are getting cut. We’re in a recession, jobs are getting cut, people are getting pushed out of their homes and this is the thing that everyone rallies around, something seems real wrong.

    I want to be happy and positive, but I simply can’t.


  5. Browne,
    I think the reason this gets attention is ultimately because our white compadres also like tacos, so an attack on tacos automatically becomes an attack on everyone, cuz you know, once they give it the nod it’s legit. If there was an attack on the eloteros, an item that still seems aimed at the Latino masses, then this would just be another insignificant blip. Sad but true.
    I don’t even eat meat tacos but I can see how this is simply an attack on a way of life that stems from working class roots, trying to frame this as a “blight” or “quality of life” issue when it’s just about how working people get their sustenance. And it exposes the capitalist myth of supply/demand to the reality of the way the power structure operates, cuz the demand is there but the rulers want to limit the supply.
    No doubt something even more sinister is happening right now, as it always is, but that doesn’t take away from the equally sinister motives of the anti-taco truck efforts.

  6. Something more sinister:
    Passing a law allowing only one rooster per household and the poor bird needs to be micro-chipped! If that’s not an attack on immigrant Mexicano culture, I don’t know what is! First they come for the tacos, then they come for the roosters…

  7. I agree the taco trucks are a cultural thing, don’t bother me and I have eaten off of them…but some are gross and unsanitary which is where the problems lie. There are people that play by the restrictive rules (health dept, taxes etc.) and those that do not, those that do not are getting harrassed.

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