The sounds of Boyle Heights

What does the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Soto in Boyle Heights sound like on a sunny Saturday morning (aside from the sound of shoppers and cars)?

If I hadn’t actually heard the music while my friend and I headed over to the Bank of America branch near Cesar Chavez and Soto, I would have just written it off as something coming out of a film like Mi Familia. We passed a crowded restaurant with tables outside. To my right I saw roaming musicians in white shirts and Tejanas (cowboy hats) and heard them play some of classic Mexican song for the diners. Before I identified the song, I heard music coming in through the driver’s window. The familiar bass line of Santana’s “Oye como va” blasted out of a late-model car with two young men in the front seats.

I smiled. It was perfect.

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