Life outside the eastside

There is a trend among immigrants that shows that more and more of them are moving to more mid-western areas of the U.S. rather than living in major cities like Los Angeles. My family is proof of that. This weekend I’m visiting my parents here in the greatness that is Utah after leaving the nest egg to find my own way through life a year ago. There’s nothing like a 14 hour road trip to calm the mind and spirits. It’s also a good time to reflect and rethink things in life like school, work, relationships and all that good stuff. The change of scenery and clean air certainly are a welcomed changed as well. Life in L.A. is hard and fast. It’ll drain you of your youth and spirit and leave you a husk of a person bitter and brittle. That’s why they decided to move.

Here in Utah, they live in a three bedroom aparment with two separate bathrooms, a laundry room, ample kitchen and living room for $550 a month. That’s something that’s unheard of in L.A. After a year living here, they have managed to open up and establish their own mexican food restaurant. There is little to no competition out here so they have become extremely popular with the locals, both ethnic and anglo. Honestly, there are few places in the entire U.S. that allow a non-english speaking immigrant the opportunity to open up his own business, buy a home and raise his family, Los Angeles is certainly no longer that kind of place.

Of course they still struggle, just like anyone else would but it’s easier for them here than it was back in L.A. Here they have basically monopolized mexican food because they know how to prepare major dishes like enchiladas, tortas, carne asada, burritos, tamales and all that good stuff better than all the other mexican restaurants. Maybe it’s because their food feels and taste more home made rather than something that was just popped into a machine and reheated. L.A. is nothing but competition and struggle to bring in customers and keep them.

The life styles are completely different as you can imagine and it takes some getting use to if you plan on living out here. For example the bus service here is free, you can’t really walk anywhere because nothing is within walking distance or there isn’t side walk to walk on and everyone drives everywhere in their truck or SUV.I myself couldn’t handle it and after two months I got my brown butt back to L.A. where I can skate anywhere, take the bus everywhere and people watch till the cows come home.

Yes life outside the eastside is significantly different and whiles there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a home and raise a family in a safe environment, I’m too young and hardheaded to be tied down to a simpler way of life. Besides getting to see my family after so long and sorting things out in my head, my trip here made me realize that there is only one place in the world that I can truly call home and that’s the Eastside.

8 thoughts on “Life outside the eastside

  1. I too think about opening up a Mexican restaurant in Philly, or convincing my parents to move out and start their panaderia, for the same reasons you state…

  2. I can’t blame your parents for moving. As much as I love Los Angeles, I realize that most Mexicans, including my parents, aome from small rural pueblitos, so small midwestern towns are perfect. And as for your parents’ food . . . ay, ay, ay, I want some! A beautiful post.

  3. they live an hour outside of Utah in a small town that I won’t mention for private reasons. You have to understand that even though you are older than both my parents, they live a much different life style than any regular person. Not to sound cliche or anything but they work hard for everything that they have accomplished over the last 17 years considering they are of questionable legal residence in this country. My mom use to sell tamales in front of our house everyday right on Cesar Chavez and Mathews for a good couple of years. (Technically it was the entrance walk way because the house was all the way in the back behind the stores in the front.) For them to come up from having to bust there humps everyday to owning their own business and working on buying their first home is quite a dramatic difference to me. Neither of my parents are in their ’50s yet and they both suffer from physical ailments because of all the hard work they put up with to support the family. L.A. has drained them of their best and now all they want is some peace and quite away from all the madness that comes with living in a major city. People always ask me why I left if it’s so nice out there. It’s nice if you want to settle down, buy a house with a white picket fence and raise your children in a safe environment. At 24 years old I’m not ready for any of those things. So as for my parents being a “recien llegado that can’t ‘hack it’ in the big city,” I don’t think so. My parents made L.A. their bitch and after all these years, all they want is some peace and quite. Something that you can’t have in L.A. without having mucho $$$$

  4. It’s alright, I kinda made it my point to not include too many personal details seeing how it is my family. We all different experiences and I’m sure the Utah you saw on your trip is the Utah other people have experienced. There’s no doubt that any place has it’s good and it’s bad sides. It’s all good.

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