About soledadenmasa

Mariachi musician, college student in Massachusetts. To read the "Mariachiando" series, visit http://laeastside.com/category/mariachiando/ or http://soledadenmasa.wordpress.com/mariachiando/.

Mexican Sanksgeeveeng


For these kids, he was an older man with a sombrero who bought them dinner. To their parents, he was Leo Carrillo, famed vaudevillian and actor of the era.

Nom nom nom. Delicious food, you must eat it. If you have the money, of course. And you fit the “desired” clientele.

This picture is not about that. It’s about a community helping its members.

It was La Golondrina restaurant. The year was 1937.

Photo taken from the UCLA Library Digital Collections.

Pour a 40

I don’t normally report on other blogs, but I feel that this bit of news is of importance to many of our readers. One of my favorite bloggers out there in Blogtitlán, the Militant Angeleno, seems to have gone the way of the L.A. City Nerd. Yep, the Militant’s blog is now readable by invite only. It’s odd because his last post was on Election Day and didn’t leave a goodbye. I was looking forward to a celebratory post from the Militant on Measure R and Prop. 1A, but his silence was deafening. His YouTube and Facebook pages are still up, though, with a simple “…” status. Maybe the Militant felt the need to go undercover after the election?

Whatever the reason, I’m hoping to see the Militant’s pixels once again. If not, let’s pour a forty for a fallen Militant.

Calling all [whatever is the preferred P.C. term because I’ve received complaints about the original name]!

I’m in college and I am writing a research paper for a class on America in the 1950s. After giving it much thought, I’ve decided that I want to write it on Mexican women in Los Angeles County in the 1950s. If you know any women who lived or grew up in Los Angeles anytime the 1950s, let me know because I’d like to interview a few for this research paper!

What exactly am I looking for in these interviews? I want to ask about what they did for fun, their jobs (and if they ever felt any barriers in attaining jobs), the role community groups served in education, politics, job attainment, and other details. I am especially interested in anyone who moved around in the 1950s and why they did it.

I know some of you are anonymous, but don’t worry about that. You don’t have to tell me your relationship to the person I interview, I’d just like names and contact information. Contact me over at my site’s contact page.

EDIT Oct. 15, 2008: I forgot to mention this, but it is not relevant if they were born in Mexico, Los Angeles, or some other part of the United States. If they are of Mexican descent and were raised or spent part of the 1950s in Los Angeles, I am interested in interviewing them. Interviews would probably occur face-to-face in late-December or over the phone.

Image taken from UCLA’s Digital Collection.

Dionicio Morales, 1918-2008*

Dionicio Morales, longtime activist for the citizens of the Eastside and a man who created opportunities for many throughout the years, passed away September 24 at Beverly Hospital in Montebello. He was 89.

Morales founded the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in 1963 “to provide for the socio-economic betterment of the greater Latino community of California, while preserving the pride, values and heritage of the Mexican American culture. This is accomplished through programs in early childhood education and family services, job training, and senior lifestyle development throughout the multi-cultural communities served by MAOF,” according to the MAOF mission statement.

The Foundation provides different services to the communities it serves throughout Southern California, among them English classes, job training, and support for child care and cultural programs, among them ballet folklorico and mariachi groups.

Morales received a number of accolades in honor of his work for the communities of the Eastside, among them a Gold Line Eastside station named in his honor.

A private funeral reception will be held tomorrow, September 30, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mariana de Paredes Church, Pico Rivera. Funeral mass begins at ten a.m. A public memorial will be held Friday, October 3rd, details pending. For more details on the public memorial, contact Vanessa Velez at vanessa.velez[at]promericabank.com or check the Dionicio Morales website.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:

Que en paz descance don Dionicio Morales.

UPDATED 9/30/2008: The public memorial will be held Friday, Oct. 3rd, at nine a.m. at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, Downtown Los Angeles.

*Updated with information provided by Urbanista.

For more information, read his obituary at the L.A. Times’ website. You can also read more at his personal website and the MAOF website. Image above taken from his website.

Still going on

I grew up listening to music in Spanish, mostly anything with a mariachi, banda, or conjunto norteño, never even hearing those “oldies” organic to Los Angeles. I’ve had a musical exploration reverse to many people my age or of previous generations. Many I know grew up listening to music in English and started to explore music from México or Latin America later in life (if they ever did), while I started to explore music in English when I was about fourteen. Even now, I mostly listen to  and explore different music from México, but that’s due to me playing in mariachis for the past eight years.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when a post over at Guanabee came up on my RSS feed. I scour the internet for news relating to mariachi, especially this week, when the San José Mariachi and Latin Music Festival is on. [During mariachi festival time, new & interesting things come to light, like Rubén Fuentes, longtime former member and director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán (64 years and counting), and songwriter extraordinaire, gave an interview (he is very reclusive) and stated that the future of mariachi music was in the United States.] One of the festival’s concerts, last night’s, was headlined by Ersi Arvizu, a name I did not recognize. As I read on, however, it became clear I already knew who she was. Continue reading


I spent three weeks of August with my family in our town of origin in Los Altos de Jalisco. Not much to say, other that I found it relaxing and what I needed. Seeing relatives is always great, especially some whom I had not met and who my parents last visited in 1981 (After 27 years, they still recognized my parents!)

I’ll share some pictures and anecdotes. Not particularly related to L.A. Eastside, but since the school year is starting soon for many (including myself), let’s turn this into “What did you do in the summer?” show-and-tell. Continue reading

Firm ground once again

LAX-bound plane

A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with a friend at a restaurant in South Gate. After breakfast, we were in the parking lot, saying our goodbyes and all the pleasantries, when all of a sudden she asked me, “What’s that noise?”

“The plane?”

“Yes, the planes!”

“Oh yeah, I live under the approach to LAX.”

“So you’ve heard this every day of your life?”

“Yeah, but it’s not bad. You get used to it. Besides, I don’t live in Lennox, where the planes are about a hundred feet above.” Continue reading

Cityhood for East L.A.

The community of East Los Angeles is once again pushing forward an initiative to incorporate itself as a city, and if successful, it will be the 89th city in the county. This past Independence Day marked the launch of a drive to get the required 9,000 signatures to get the official process of incorporation. If you’d like to sign the petition, you can visit this website.

For more information on East L.A.’s push for incorporation, visit its official website. You can also check out the official pages at Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr.

El mariachi suena de nuevo

I saw this bit of news over at Curbed L.A. and I had to post it here.

It seems that the streets around la Plaza del Mariachi (First & Boyle) have reopened, thereby allowing for greater traffic in the small streets and mariachis to return to a state of quasi-normalcy. In early March, mariachis moved to side streets because of construction at Mariachi Plaza for the Metro Gold Line. The plaza itself itself is still under construction, but at least the streets are open and the mariachis can now be reached more easily. The plaza itself should reopen by November, when the festival in honor of Santa Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, takes place (one or two weekends before Thanksgiving weekend).

In another bit of mariachi news…

Next Friday, July 11th, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano is holding a free concert with Son de Madera, one of the leading voices of son jarocho (http://www.myspace.com/sondemadera), as part of the Grand Performances series at California Plaza, at the center of Downtown Los Angeles. For more details, click here.

Image of Mariachi Plaza street sign taken from Francisco Cendejas‘ photostream.

All your schools are belong to Villaraigosa

Not all of them, but some, yes.

This past Tuesday, July 1st, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his Partnership for L.A. Schools took control of ten LAUSD schools: Ritter Elementary and Markham Middle School in Watts, 99th St. Elementary, Figueroa Elementary, Gompers Middle, and Santee Educational Complex in South L.A., and Sunrise Elementary, Hollenbeck Middle, Stevenson Middle, and Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights.

This Partnership is a result of his failed attempt at taking control of a larger number of LAUSD schools via Assembly Bill 1381, which was eventually ruled unconstitutional. These schools are under the Partnership’s control for the next five years, and if this Partnership shows results, it will most likely be instituted in a wider basis. Continue reading

Laugh now

Need some entertainment at work? Want to forget the Lakers’ loss but not enough to forget about the whole series and the next game this Sunday? Tired after waking from a nap under that nice, shady saguaro I’ve been eyeing all week and you’ve never left? [Ed. note: ¡Culero!]

Months ago, one of my favorite blogs, Guanabee, posted a music video of the song “Homegurlz” by Los Angeles-based singer La La. According to her MySpace, she’s from Van Nuys. I don’t know much more about her because I don’t follow her career.

Anygüey, Guanabee’s post featuring her video mostly poked fun at it by pointing out the clichés present in the video:

We appreciate her not missing one chicano cliché in this video, either. See if you can spot them all, won’t you?

In my infinite quest to do nothing of importance, I answered their call and wrote all the clichés I found after two viewings:

1. Raised by abuelita
2. Virgen de Guadalupe mural
3. Necklace with name
4. Those nails!
5. All the religious iconography
6. Mexican flag
7. Pictures of her friends around the mirror
8. The can of hairspray by her mirror
9. there’s a charro at the beginning
10. lowrider
11. Old-school baseball cap in your gang color
12. the Oldsmobile
13. the small meals with the large ass drinks
14. The single mamacitas reference (2:30)
15. rosary around the neck and that pompadour (I think)
16. All those damn gold bracelets.
17. The pristine white shoes. At the beach.
18. that purple sweater (go lakers!)

I just noticed the Barbie doll in the vestido tradicional at the beginning. I f****** love this video.

Other commenters at the site pointed out a few that I missed (namely, the Homies figures). Are there any more Chicano clichés you see in this video? Do share in the comments section. If we can’t laugh at our selves/former selves/community, then where do we turn for humor?

Watch the video here. I can’t seem to embed it. Boo!