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!

ALOUD presents Eduardo Galeano

“Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!” This was my initial reaction upon hearing that my favorite author, the one I’ve pined to see for so many years, would be making an appearance here in Los Angeles. Perhaps this juvenile outburst is not a fitting tribute to a great writer like Eduardo Galeano, but this man’s historical prose has inspired me like no other. His recent U.S. popularity, due to Hugo Chavez gifting a copy of Galeano’s Open Veins to Latin America to Obama is slightly amusing especially when Galeano is referred to as an “obscure Latin American writer.” Hmmm, he’s widely read in all sorts of circles, academic and otherwise, so the man is hardly obscure. But whatever, I’m sure you all want to know the details:

Eduardo Galeano
Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
In conversation with Mike Davis, Distinguished Professor, Department of Creative Writing, U.C. Riverside.

In this history of human adventure, one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers illuminates movements of ideas and society across centuries by recalling the lives of artists, writers, gods and visionaries– from the Garden of Eden to 21st-century New York.

Thu, Jun 11, 7 PM
Mark Taper Auditorium, Los Angeles Central Library
630 W. Fifth St.
L.A., CA 90071
(213) 228-7000

Yes, Mike Davis too! Did I mention I won’t be able to attend the lecture as I scheduled a trip out of town the week of his appearance? Just my luck! Would anyone be willing to pass on a love note to him?

ALOUD Lecture series website.

Los Angeles on the Brink

Everyone’s been talking about the state’s woes but the city is deep in it too. Expect cuts to popular city services like parks and libraries. As one official stated in the article, “Whatever happens, there will be layoffs on a scale never before seen in the city. ”

City OKs $7 billion budget but union, state decisions could mean deeper cuts
By Rick Orlov
Updated: 05/27/2009 07:28:13 PM PDT

City Council members unanimously approved a $7.01 billion budget on Wednesday but warned that spending could be cut if city unions fail to make concessions and if the state takes local money to fix its own financial mess.

The budget calls for some 2,000 layoffs, scales back many city programs and essentially slices about 15 percent, on average, from every city department.

Read the whole Daily News article here.

Do you have “Hispanic Blood”?

Seriously, what in the world in “Hispanic Blood”? This is 2009, can’t there be a better or more accurate term to describe Latino heritage and ethnicity?

Again, from the Daily News:

By 2025, nearly three in ten U.S. children will have Hispanic blood
By Tony Castro, Staff Writer
Updated: 05/28/2009 08:25:42 PM PDT

Latinos now account for about one in five American children – up from one in 10 three decades ago – thanks largely to a huge influx of Mexican and Central American immigrants that began in 1980, a study released Thursday found.

The American-born children of parents who arrived since the 1980s now make up a majority of Latino youngsters in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C.

Article here.

Mole People Ousted

If New York has mole people, underground inhabitants that live in old subway tunnels, Los Angeles one-ups the East Coast with mole people that live in vaults below the freeway. That’s hardcore!

From L.A. Now:

Homeless driven from squatters camp along San Gabriel River

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and Caltrans workers are flushing homeless people from inside a vast vault under the 10 Freeway near the San Gabriel River where it is believed a small community of people have been living for years.

Benny Moré Revisited

Featuring the CSULA Afro-Latin Ensemble

Join us for an evening of playful music and rhythmic dancing as we host Cal State L.A.’s award-winning Afro-Latin Ensemble, performing new musical arrangements of legendary singer Benny Moré’s classics.

Sunday, May 31, 2009
6:00–9:00 p.m., Griffith Park
Concert includes a light reception.

Secret Identities

For those on the other side of town or if you live on the Eastside and don’t mind the mind-numbing freeways, check out this cool book release party at Giant Robot:

Sunday, May 31, 2009, 5:30 -7:00 p.m.

2062 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 445-9276

Giant Robot is proud to host a book-release party and signing for Secret Identities, a graphic collection that explores Asian-American culture, identity, and history through all-new superhero comics.

Arroyo Bike Tour

Tour de Arroyo,
Bike ride along the Arroyo sSeco from Memorial Park in Pasadena to the Cornfields in Chinatown.
Saturday, May 30 from 8:30-11 am.


I was serious about the love letter. See pic above. 😉

Have a great weekend!

4 thoughts on “Botanitas: May 29, 2009

  1. whoa… for a moment there i thought the Galeano event was actually taking place in riverside!

    had to consult google to learn it’s at L.A. Central Library. metro 720 or 18 from east los / boyle heights.

  2. ugh that whole blood thing is just so retro, nazi, eugenics bs.

    “Culture is not passed in the blood like the shape of the nose, it is passed along in the life experiences…”
    -Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, “Mexico Profundo”

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