Who hid the Mexicans?


From the great blog Mex Files the question is asked “Where are the Mexican or Mexican American Chefs on the Food Channel Network cooking or explaining or visiting Mexican Restaurants and kitchens?” Always a sous-chef, never a chef

Paul Campos (Lawyers, Guns and Money) on U.S. television celebrity chef, Rick Bayless.

“… it struck me that in a country where the actual cooking in high-end restaurants is dominated by Latin Americans in general, and Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in particular, the “celebrity chef” doing the Mexican cooking against his French and Italian-American competitors was a very WASPy-seeming fellow. Nothing wrong with that of course — it’s not like you have to be a member of an ethnic group to be a great cook in that genre — but it also reminded me of the point Anthony Bourdain makes in Kitchen Confidential that almost none of the thousands of superbly skilled Mexican and Ecuadorian and Peruvian etc, cooks manning the lines ever seem to end up as head chefs or sous chefs at the fancy places they work, let alone with TV shows on the Food Network.”

Rick Bayless is a good Mexican cook and very respectful of the cuisine but he’s not a Mexican.

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The LA Eastside in the Movies


The famous 1954 thriller ”THEM” about the giant ants, changed by an atomic bomb blast and who migrated and set up their colonies in the LA storm drain system, filmed in the LA River and Lincoln Hts. I watched them film some of those scenes in the river with actor James Arness before he became Sheriff Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke”

As a kid, I also witnessed some filming of the movie “Six Bridges To Cross” starring Tony Curtis and Sal Mineo, done on Sichel St. and around the Main St Bridge in 1955.

In the 1950 film noir classic “DOA” there’s a scene shot on the old wooden pedestrian bridge that took you from Elysian Park to Dog Town.
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Thanks Bwana, but what do we now call the parts of Boyle Hts and Lincoln Hts that vanished?

Thank Goodness we on the LA Eastside have the LA Weekly and Drew Tewksbury to determine where the actual LA Eastside is. Up until I read his article below I always thought the western boundary of the LA Eastside was either downtown at first and Broadway or the more accepted “east of the LA River”.  Now I realize how naïve I have been all these years and can pay homage to Drew Tewksbury for setting us all straight in the LA Weekly. The Eastside is east of the Golden State Frwy (I-5), and the parts of Boyle Hts, Lincoln Hts, that are now part of something else be damned! Hey at least we picked up Frogtown in the deal!


 It’s not quite east of the 5 (just short by 0.2 miles), but there’s no dispute that Boyle Heights’ Eastside Luv embodies the Eastside vibe. “



East of the 5: Spreading the Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights

By Drew Tewksbury in Live in L.A., Nightlife and Events

Friday, Jul. 24 2009 @ 11:45AM


Believe it or not, Echo Park and Silver Lake are not the Eastside. Gentrification has erroneously recalibrated the orientation of Los Angeles. The real Eastside lies past the 5 freeway and the L.A. River, where underground and established music venues thrive under the radar. This week, West Coast Sound goes eastward to investigate what lies on other side of the 5.

Wall? We don’t need to show you any stinking walls!

Mexico Builds Border Wall To Keep Out US Assholes

How can Mexico be so shortsighted and thin skinned? Building walls is an old revered custom for sure, (see China, East Germany, The Maginot Line, and Malibu Colony), and most recently undertaken by the US on the Mexican border, but doesn’t Mexico understand the American tradition of cutting loose in Mexico?
You know, the custom of Americans who live quiet, conservative, Christian lives here at home, while providing all those “jobs” for the stateside Mexicans as gardeners, busboys, sweatshop employees, maids, and fiberglass jacuzzi laminators, (but never inquiring about anything personal in their lives, that would just be rude),  then visiting Mexico and letting their hair down by getting shit faced, throwing up all over the streets, screaming at the top of their lungs and dancing topless on bar table tops, banging the taxi driver in the back seat of his Volkswagen Thing, (but would never date Mexicans back home), haggling the merchants over a few centavos, demanding “real food” (granola and yogurt), at the local joints, getting pissed off at Mexican vendors who don’t speak English well enough. Hell these are all just good old American customs and rites of passage, building a wall is just offensive and unneighborly.
Next thing you know the people of the LA Eastside will want to build a wall too!

It Can’t Happen Here !

Three people including a ten-year-old girl were shot in their Southern Arizona home by vigilante Minuteman racists. The little girl and her father died. If this happened to a black family in Alabama or a Jewish family anywhere in the USA what would be the consequences?
With the US economy in shambles and unemployment at record levels will the Mexican American population be the whipping boy for the countries ills? Will the FBI and Justice Dept now take a second look at these right wing militias and racist goons who seem to be turning more violent as their frustration with an African American President and a more multi-cultural society turns to rage and terrorism.

From the New York Times today:

New Border Fear: Militia Violence By JESSE McKINLEY and MALIA WOLLAN
“I had to take an oath, and part of the oath was that I couldn’t eat Mexican food,” he said. “That’s when red flags went up all over for me. That seemed like prejudice.”

Minutemen American Defense, a Washington State-based offshoot of the Minutemen movement, in which citizens roam the border looking for people crossing into the country illegally. Former members describe the group’s leader, Shawna Forde, 41, as having anti-immigrant sentiments that are extreme, at times frightening, even to people accustomed to hard-line views on border policing.”

Dago or Chicano?

The gorgeous Silvana Mangano singing her famous mambo from the 50’s movie “Anna” (banned in some places for years), Mangano, in this movie I saw as a kid at the old Starland Theatre in Lincoln Hts, even though it was on the list of forbidden movies tacked onto the front doors of Sacred Heart Church, was my first pubescent sexual fantasy and she still turns me on.

The LA Eastside has always been a melting pot and home to immigrants from many places in the world. Boyle Hts and East Los Angeles, besides Mexicans, had the Jewish, Russian, Japanese and Armenian immigrant communities, Lincoln Heights and environs had the Irish, Italians, Okies (immigrants?), and Mexicans, among others. This stew sometimes produced the typical ethnic clashes, stereotyping and prejudice, but more often, on the much more common positive side, gave one the opportunity (especially the children growing up together), to learn about and understand other cultures. This education was priceless to me and Lincoln Hts was one of those special places where different working class ethnic groups all lived in close proximity and where many lifelong friendships were established, on the streets, in school, at work, and through intermarriage.
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Roots that grow in the LA Eastside

Interesting article in the El Paso Times about the 1949 Texas State Baseball Champions from the famous Bowie High School in El Paso.  They endured and became champions in  spite of the oppressive discrimination and prejudice in Texas. Many of our Eastside families have roots in El Paso/Juarez and for many years several bus loads of LA Eastside  residents would head back to El Paso for the Bowie High School Reunions. The area of El Paso where Bowie High School is located is called by many “Little East LA.” And every time I’m in El Paso I visit friends in this area and I’m amazed at how similar it is to the LA Eastside, although on a much smaller scale. Great food to be found there too.

Bowie ’49 title team rooting for Socorro – By Bill Knight / El Paso Times

EL PASO — They got off the bus, one by one. A small crowd waited for them at the bus station. View Full Story

don quixotes midnight ride, through the LA Eastside


Ai mi espanto!!

A couple of weeks ago I took a round trip on the train, LA to Albuquerque and back to LA, the trip was great, I bought a bottle of red wine, a couple of Italian sandwiches at Lanza Bros Mkt on North Main, got on the train, no search by Homeland Security, no taking off my shoes, belt, jacket, no emptying my pockets, no hard stares or grumpy questions, just got on the train, got my seat by the window and enjoyed the scenery.

In Burque I was met by familia and we drove up to the little mountain pueblito that my ancestors have inhabited for hundreds of years. Funny how little things change in some places, the language spoken is still mainly Spanish, the customs and traditions are still old school, a mix of Catholicism and witchcraft.

After a week I headed back down the mountains to Burque for the trip back home to LA on the train.

I had another botella of vino rojo and a couple of big fat homemade chile verde burritos for the trip. I had my cellphone charged so I could check on the Lakers game against Houston.

As I entered the station I noticed a couple of Immigration SUV’s parked at the entrance, hmmm very odd I thought.

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Requiem For A Wino


They pulled the plug on “Pops” the other day at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

He was brain dead and his family members called the last shot for Pops, that’s the way he would have wanted it. According to the other winito’s Pops was dragging his leg and arm around totally limp for three weeks, his mouth was twisting at the corner and his headaches were increasing in intensity. The winito’s said that even though they were begging Pops too go to the hospital he wouldn’t budge and finally went into convulsions and someone called 911.

Pops was one of the local neighborhood winitos, they usually consist of between half a dozen and a dozen alcoholics depending on who is busted or in detox or has gotten religion. Pops was the undisputed “mero chingon”of the local bottle gang, a well-liked, well-spoken, very respectable gentleman callejero, who everybody in the neighborhood (except the LAPD) was fond of.

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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!

Uh Oh! If Mexico is on the shit list of the paranoid conspiracy theorists can the LA Eastside, which is considered the capital of all things Mexican in the USA, be on the shit-list too?

I don’t know about youse guys but mañana all my bacon, Jimmy Dean sausage, chorizo de puerco, carnitas, chicharrones, and even the head cheese and morcilla that I got from the matanza this last winter, is going to be fed to the dogs or given away to the winito’s down on the corner.

It’s starting to look like a holy jihad or a fatwa against anything resembling or having to do with Mexican. Shit it’s bad enough that Gloria Molina has got the anti Mexican forces all in a foam about the “Edward Roybal, Linea de Oro” , last thing we on the Eastside would want is the Rush Limbaugh shock troops campaigning for a total quarantine on the LA Eastside over this Marano flu.
Those culero’s might think we’re part of the “reconquista plot” to take back the southwest. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
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La Bamba as universal truth


Edward R. Roybal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ed Roybal (February 10, 1916 – October 24, 2005) was an American politician.

Inspired by El Chavo’s post, on the resistance to the Gold Line route on the Eastside being called the Edward Roybal “Linea de Oro” . I just shake my head a have another drink of wine. Here you have a route named after the great Edward Roybal who was one of the founders of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), who was the first Mexican American LA City Councilman since 1870 or something, first Chicano US Congressman, the first Congressman to get bilingual education into the schools as law, a spokesman for all minority people and probably the greatest Mexican American political leader of the 20th century, from the LA Eastside, (and Roosevelt High), the Honorable Edward Roybal.

But no sir, wait just a minute, we don’t want to piss off Lou Dobbs, Walter (my car radio is speaking to me in Spanish), Moore, The Minutemen, English only nabobs, and the fearful of Latino power, lying sanganabeetches, who oppose any Spanish language in public.  Because in reality they fear to their bone marrow the rise of Latino Americans and see the name “Linea de Oro” as a threat.

What bullshit! Even though they live in a city called Los Angeles, in a state called California, have next door neighbors (Mexico), who speak the Spanish language, they piss their pants if anyone dare propose any further Spanish language inroads into the holy grail of Anglo America. Funny, because if you go to the ancestral mountain pueblo, high in the Sangre de Cristo Mtns.  of that great American, Edward Roybal, in Pecos, New Mexico, (where I was last week btw), and where his and other familia’s go back literally hundreds of years, you will still be greeted in the Spanish language, Hola! Que Tal Señor? Bienvenidos Señor, de donde viene? Ah Los Angeles? Oh, tengo mucha familia en el este de de Los Angeles, no quieres una helada Mano? Como se llama Primo? Gee how dangerous the Spanish language is!

And on the subject of the Spanish language here’s an ambassador of Español that instead of fear and loathing, as in some parts of Los Angeles, brings happiness and brotherhood all around the world.

La Bamba!

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