1.8 Million Dreams Fundraiser

Live performances by:
Conjunto Nueva Ola
La Santa Cecilia
Pilar Diaz
Concepto Tambor

Hosted by: Gustavo Arellano (“Ask a Mexican!”)

Rani D. (Soul in the Park)
Glenn Red (AfroFunke, Eclectica)

Entrance fee: $10
All benefits will go towards the 1.8 MILLION DREAMS Project

1.8 Million Dreams is a collaborative project that serves as a creative multi-media outlet for undocumented students (in the U.S.) to share their stories. Additionally, this project serves as a resource for those currently working on undocumented student issues at the state and federal level.

Renovations at the Benjamin Franklin Library

A while back I mentioned that the Benjamin Franklin Library was getting a make over. I can’t remember which blog post it was, sorry. The project to tear down the prison like gates surrounding the library and making it friendlier to the public cost a couple hundred thousand dollars. Again, details escape me at the moment, but I’m sure I mentioned them somewhere. Well, while the renovations aren’t complete, most of the work is done and I’d figure I’d post some pics up.

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Photo courtesy of A Vanishing World

Yee Mee Loo Bar and Restaurant in Chinatown, Wow! What a loss to Los Angeles when they tore that great dive bar down. The little bar was always jumping, the drinks served by the legendary Richard Mau were nonpareil, the crowd and the booze, the cigarette smoke, and music from the old fashioned jukebox  was reminiscent of a scene from a Raymond Chandler book, Humphrey Bogart, Claude Raines, Mary Astor, or Charlie Chan would be right at home there.
The place was a bookie joint and the regulars could always be depended on for a tip on a longshot at Santa Anita or Hollywood Park. And before drinking my first Mai Tai or Long Island Ice Tea I always laid a buck down on the counter so Richard would light a stick of incense and place it on the Buddha on the spectacular carved wooden altar on the wall, bowing and saying a prayer in Chinese.
The conversations overheard always seemed a bit shady and full of conspiracy, as dark as the joint, where somehow you were in a different time and the atmosphere was 1935 or 1945, Los Angeles.

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USA vs Ghana at Brits in Pasadena

I haven’t been able to get to any public spots to watch the World Cup games, mostly I catch the early matches before I head to work and then tape the later ones. Its not too bad watching at home either, you can see all the plays without distractions and you can get animated without feeling like yer bothering someone. But still, it’d be good to see a match with others no? Today I had a chance to head out to see the USA vs Ghana match, might as well be amongst a crowd of fans.

Look, the door is open, let’s go in!

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Signs That Make One Skeptical

In all you do, be wary. In all you read, be wary. In all you encounter at 25mph on the freeway that suggests “wary”, take a picture. Thus was the case for me today when I spotted this not-so-encouraging ad for pre-paid legal services, “Associates needed!!!” Which led me to look thru my backlog of random photos for other signs that should make someone skeptical. Click ahead for the rest of my half-assed cobbled post.

Oh yeah, I tried going to  prepaidlegal.com/hub/robertbuzenes and all I got was a lousy re-direct. Figures.

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Los San Patricios de World Cup

The celebration of Blanco’s penalty to make it 2 nil to the Mexico! Filmed in Blakes Of The Hollow Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, N Ireland by Claire Gillen, and edited, directed and all that jazz by her also.

“The Irish are the Mexicans of Europe.”
– Luis Valdez

The past couple of weeks I’ve been bleary-eyed mess. My day consists of waking up early, watching a World Cup game, going to work and then planning my breaks so I can catch snippets of the midday games. Yes, I am a World Cup fan and I have been since World Cup came to Los Angeles in 1994. It was during this time, that I began to understand the passion of game, of how it’s not just what happens on the field that’s important but also what happens in the stands with the supporters. One of the best parties I’ve ever been to was the after game celebration in Old Town Pasadena when Brazil won the World Cup in 1994. Wild dancing in the streets followed by public amorous interactions, the most innocent being spontaneous hugs from strangers – really, that’s the best way to celebrate a victory!

It’s this global communal aspect of the game, of folks around the world who cheer and sometimes cry together, that draws me into the competition. The video above is a perfect example of this cross-cultural and international phenomenon. It’s a video taken in an North Irish pub, full of Irish folks in Mexico jerseys celebrating Mexico’s win over France. They even have their own Mexico supporter’s song, that starts with “Oh, Mexico is wonderful…” There’s been a long history of Mexican-Irish connections and it’s nice to see the traditions carry on.

This Sunday is the big match-up between Mexico and dreaded Argentina, who despite my prejudices, I must admit are playing very well. It will be a tough game but if Mexico pulls through, expect wild revelry in the streets. Hopefully this revelry will consists of spontaneous dancing and an amorous atmosphere but we Mexicans are no Brazilians, so most likely it’ll be flags and honking horns. I’ll take it! Viva Mexico!

Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron

Chances are some readers have already heard and/or eaten at Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron. I’ve known about the spot for a while and have read review after review about the place from food blogeros/as in cyberztlan since it opened up. It’s awesome that people are discovering new restaurants and foods and are spreading the word about their goodness to their networks, but for a lot of us, the amazingness of cemitas is nothing new, specially for me since my dad is from Puebla, the birth place of the cemita, so he knows where to get the good stuff. In a way, I almost feel that my review isn’t really necessary because it’s been written about soo much already. But, I know that at least one person will read this and say to themselves, “hey that looks good. Let’s go to Hunting Park and try them out.” If that happens, well then I have done my job. Whatever that is.

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