Looking for Chiva (In Downtown L.A.)

This morning while reading the Times, I saw this story about the Landscaping Goats that were brought into Downtown L.A. to clear the weeds on an empty Hill Street lot. Wow, this I gotta see! So I grabbed some bus tokens and my camera and headed for Downtown…I decided to jump off the bus near Olvera Street. As I was trying to get off, an elderly Chinese woman who was waving her cane wildly like a “LightSaber”, yelled at me in Chinese, apparently because my head had interfered with her cane’s trajectory. I apologized for the inconvenience

I love Olvera Street. It’s such a visual and historic place, I love walking through there and examining every brick and hidden doorway. All the tourists can be a little distracting sometimes, but I’m glad that they come through.

It looks like some renovations and remodeling are under way. ‘About time.


I remember playing with these things. There’s a nasty worm inside.

Members of the new Iraqi government

Please pardon my ignorance of Catholic culture but, I’m curious, Can someone explain to me what this sign means? Anyway, after passing through Olvera Street, I continued south on Main Street and then West to Broadway…

The old Giant Penny Store that my Mom & I would shop at years ago is now a T-Mobile store. On the bright side, this part of downtown is looking pretty clean these days.

I like to stop in at one of my favorite “Botanicas” here on Broadway near the Million Dollar Theater for my Voodoo powders and Love Potions!

Believe it or Not- the default image number my camera gave this photo was “666”. Spooky! Ayyy Guey!! (run your cursor over the image  to see it- I aint lyin!!)

Anyway, back on the street, I peeped this Old Vato cruisin’ on by…..It’s probably “El Viejo” checking out posts on LAEastside with his iPhone. He’s saying: “I’ve got your Chicanosaurus Mex right here, Ese!”

I decided to cut through The Grand Central Market……

This gentleman was making “Pan”

The Pharmacy

I finally made it out to Hill street. I could feel my excitement rise as I neared the objects of my quest!

There they were! In all their furry, stinky glory! The Goats!!!

A bunch of Cabrones Downtown! (…but enough about City Hall….)

The LAT’s article said that they’ve brought in mostly female goats because they would concentrate more on their job (eating the weeds) and there’s only a couple of male goats present but they’ve been castrated. That sounds like a good at-work policy for a lot of businesses that I know. Hey, If we had implemented the castration policy at say, The Mayor’s office, we could have avoided a lot of problems in the past…..

This news crew had hopped the fence and was attempting to hand feed the goats. Babosos!

Even a local day care brought their kids(!) down for a little field trip to see the goats…

Suddenly it dawned on me, These pinchi borregos are taking jobs away from day laborers and landscapers!!! On the other hand, it’s a shitty job, Who’d want to have their huevos cut off and have to stand in the sun eating weeds and listening to females all day? I decided to count my blessings and head on home. Sitting in the Red Line Train on the way back, I came across a peculiar sight on public transit. One of those street vendors with the long stick and Inflatable Toys, Balls & Balloons and Cotton Candy attached, was actually riding a few seats ahead of me. As we both exited at the same stop, I was a few feet in front of her on the upward bound Metro escalator when I turned to get this last photo on my memory card of her.

I love L.A.!!!

This entry was posted in Blogs, Greater Los Angeles, history, Pendejadas, Personal, Photos, Uncategorized by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

25 thoughts on “Looking for Chiva (In Downtown L.A.)

  1. Niños santos are supposed to be idols with healing powers, like images of saints. They’re representations of God through a child. The dolls are dressed nicely and gussied up for special days, like their day or other festivities. I don’t know if it is only a Catholic thing, because the only Catholics I know who do this with dolls are from Latin America.

    It’s a big deal when the city brings in goats to do work in public areas, but if people want to keep a goat (or a horse or even some chickens), people nag about the noise. Sheesh. Animals have a purpose, as these goats demonstrated.

  2. Goats, Goats, Goats, Goats, Goats they’re freaking awesome !!!! Look’em all with their googly eyes, horns and coarse hair. Ohh man it’s like a freaking petting zoo there with all the people coming to take pictures and write stories and what have you. I’m going to go over there and give them cheetos.

  3. I recommend to anyone that can, to get out there and check out these goats.
    It’s wonderful to see these delightful animals just being themselves in the
    middle of the city. You’ll start giggling as soon as you see them for yourself!
    They’re right off the Pershing Square/ Hill Street exit of the Red Line.

  4. I hope those goats watch out for all them Bunker Hill Chuppiecabras!

    I kidd! I kidd!!

    By the way, I am offended that the Anti-spam word that I had to type in to prove I was a real person was BURRITO. What wise guy came up with that one? NEWSFLASH: they have a Mexican pizza at California Pizza Kitchen now! It uses beans instead of tomato sauce!! Anybody wanna come with?

  5. LA is such a beautiful city, i wouldnt trade it for anything. True that it is looking alot more clean than what it used to be 10 years ago. I remember back in high school we used to ditch and go to downtown just to kick it and it was nasty. Im glad we are making progress, we should concentrate in other cities too, maybe compton and watts, we should clean up all LA.

    I walked into that Botanica once and i meet the card reader, he claimed to be related to El Indio Amazonico http://indioamazonico.com . I didnt believe him but he did look like an Indio. He told me that i looked like a sad person and he was trying to sell me a vagina candle for good luck with the ladies lol, i was very tempted but i didnt buy it.

  6. I used to LOVE Woolworth’s on 5th and Broadway! My fave two places to shop used to be there and the Goodwill (or is it Salvation Army?) up the street. The Woolworth’s shopping experience felt so Old L.A.

  7. Thanks for the tour of downtown, it caused me to miss my old home and Cali for a bit. I do wish I could still afford to live there.

  8. browne: you probably mistook me for one of the goats. It happens.
    calavera: Newberry & Woolworths were awesome. I loved their Coffee Shops and Newberry’s Pizza slices and soft serve cones. Woolworth’s had a great bakery too,
    they had these big cinnamon roll loaves of bread. Downtown also had a great May Co.
    & Broadway dept. stores. The Goodwill near 3rd & Broadway is historically a great place. In John Fante’s “Dreams from Bunker Hill” he writes that he bought his first suit for $10 there back in 1934.

  9. The title of this blog post startled me. Once I ran into some surfers chicks I knew from Venice High down on Broadway. Sadly, they were “looking for chiva” in Downtown L.A. There was also this place called “Heroin Hill” which I think is where the new high school is and also where the last Bunker Hill-era Victorian house stood.

  10. -Chimatli,
    It’s ironic & sad that for many years, the only reason you’d see any white people coming & hanging out Downtown was because some were junkies coming to score some Chiva or whatever. (see; “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) One notorious spot for scoring was the area around 3rd & Bonnie Brae.
    -Chavo- OK! And if the city starts bringing in some Mulas, Gueyes & Cochinos downtown, then we’ll really be in business.

  11. That was a great tour through DTLA – I loved it! You’re a great tour guide.

    Que trabajadora that senora with all the cotton candy and blow-up dolls!

  12. Hey – about your post about “Who’d want to have their huevos cut off and have to stand in the sun eating weeds and listening to females all day”, I swear man, there’s probably someone out there who has that job! Figueratively anyways…

  13. I looked closer at the non-goat photos. The one of the botanica (across from the T-Mobile on Broadway and 4th; I go in there occasionally, much to the chagrin of the owners) has loads of books of great interest just out of shot behind the flyers posted.

    I read that the goats were supposed to be there for a fortnight, but they finished the job in half the time so after barely one week they were gone. Browne and I were there taking photos. Although the lower part of the hill has been fenced off for some years (I know it was not in the 1990s), there were a remarkable number of beer bottles exposed by the goats. I imagine that had the area not been fenced off, the entire hill would have been maintained like the upper portion. The considerable incline within the fenced area would have kept out the winos and drunks, whereas the volume of beer bottles with fresh labels (Newcastle Ale was no less prominent than the ubiquitous 40 oz) proved that folk were up there drinking under the trees with no worries about rolling down the hill once soused.

    In any case, it was a bit of fun to watch the goats, especially when they tired of eating sun-bleached straw grass and instead went for the luscious trees over near 4th. There was a mob scene for a few moments when a large group of the goats waited for one of the more daring to tear off a large branch (while standing on two legs) for a less parched lunch.

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