The ultimate kiss on the way to the ultimate corned beef

Langer’s has been around since 1947, and frankly any place that can make hoards of elderly Jewish Angelenos drive their Mercedes and BMWs to MacArthur Park has got to be good. Having been in Los Angeles almost seven years, I finally made my way there today for what was, in fact, the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had. It was so good it made me weep for my vegan friends.

It was my second trip to Historic Filipinotown (Hi-Fi) in the past week, the previous one having been on Saturday for the roller derby. (If you haven’t seen a Derby Dolls bout yet, you should check out the Baby Doll Brawl on October 25 with the newest dolls including, but not limited to blogger and general webmaven Mickipedia skating as Mickispedia.)

What I didn’t know about the neighborhood before today, is not only can you get a fake ID and a fine pastrami sandwich there, it’s also home to what may now be my favorite mural in LA (click the picture to embiggen), titled “El ultimo beso.”

10 Replies to “The ultimate kiss on the way to the ultimate corned beef”

  1. That mural is from a photo by Al Schaben which appeared on page B1 of the L.A. Times Thursday Sept. 13, 2001. I happened to be moving some stuff around this weekend and ran across a few papers I’ve kept from that time.

    Caption:

    A Sad Farewell

    Pvt. Andrew Carlson gets a goodbye kiss from girlfriend Veronica Zambrano as about 160 members of the 184 Infantry of the Army National Guard in Fullerton leave for Camp Roberts near Paso Robles, Calif., en route to Kuwait, where the will provide security for an antimissile battery.

    Headlines and news from other parts of the paper:

    A1:

    ‘ACTS OF WAR’ : Bush Vows Full Assault, Says ‘Good Will Prevail’; Probe Finds Some Attackers Trained as Pilots in U.S.

    Investigators Identify 50 Terrorists Tied to Plot

    A Family of Firemen Torn at Its Heart

    America: Stunned, Saddened and Now Ready for Revenge

    ‘We’re Going to Rush the Hijackers’

    Agonizing Search for Survivors

    B1 (California):

    California congress had a backlog of 600 bills, among them ones to ban junk food in public schools, grant more rights to gays and lesbians in domestic partnerships, and one that would stop unwanted telemarketing. Carole Migden of San Francisco got a bill passed in the Assembly to “attack predatory lending practices aimed at low-income communities.”

    Somebody wrote an op-ed comparing 9/11 with Pearl Harbor. The editors provided a bullet point list of things the FAA should do to prevent similar attacks. Michael Ramirez had an unfunny cartoon about airport security. Lots of letters from people trying to understand.

  2. As a Hi-Fi resident, I’d love to lay claim to Langer’s. Unfortunately for me, both Langer’s and the majority of the fake ID commerce are actually in MacArthur Park (or Westlake). There’s a movement afoot to rename that part of town Central Americatown.

    But I can totally claim the Derby Dolls, Brooklyn Bagels and the fancy crosswalks!

  3. Wow, thanks for the background David. And my apologies for the neighborhood mix-up, Spencer. It’s hard for me to keep track of LA neighborhoods. I feel like they have some sort of weird chaos theory logic to them–“a butterfly flapped its wings in Brasil and this became Valley Glen…”

  4. That’s because most of the names were only made up within the last few years and the only logic to them is that they are something other than Van Nuys, or South Central L.A., or some other name with a bad rep, to fool the newbies.

  5. I don’t speak Spanish all too well, but I think ultimo doesn’t mean “ultimate.”

    It means “last.” :(

  6. I was luckily enough to work in Pico- Union/ Macarthur Park community for four year (I ran a non profit education center on 8th street) and went to Langers at least two times a month. (Milk shakes made with ice-cream and full fat milk. Egg salad sandwiches, cooks from Central America/ Mexico using Jewish slang. City hall types eating and hanging out)

    I love the mural which I would pass twice a day. (it is across from the subway station). No matter how sorry I was feeling for my self, that mural reminded me that my problems are shit compared the too the folks who are fighting this war and for the people left behind.

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