All posts by EL CHAVO!

EL CHAVO! is the pen name of some menso living in Lincoln Heights.

Feliz Año Nuevo Cabrones!


Since it’s past 2 am on the New Year and nobody has come out to wish you all a Happy New Year, I’m just gonna do it: Happy New Year! May 2008 be filled with better tasting meals, less work related violence, empty freeways, and a partner you actually want to spend more time with. I didn’t get around to asking but I’m quite sure all the other contributors also wish you the best in 2008. The one that wished for more generalized misery asked for anonymity, but don’t worry about it, he never gets his way.

For a slightly less annoying 2008! Hurrah!

Giving All Year Long


This time of year, when people are in a festive and giving mood either because of the holidays or cuz they figured out they still have some available charitable donations they can write off, it might be a good time to remind everyone that the giving mood doesn’t have to be limited to the end of the year. You can also add small, simple acts of giving into your regular routine, it doesn’t have to be a big production to convince yourself and others that you really are a good person. Take for example the pic above of the free guavas someone in Lincoln Heights put out recently. It’s a simple gesture of giving that brings some cheer to the passer by and helps get rid of that overstock of fragrant fruit. And as far as I’m concerned, those type of insignificant acts, practiced regularly, amount to more than just one large act done out of guilt or seasonal obligation.

Click ahead for the stipulations on the “free” guavas and some of my recommendations for other simple acts of giving.
Continue reading Giving All Year Long

Eastside 101: Xmas at Resurrection Cemetery

(click on the images for a larger version)

Resurrection has got to be one of the liveliest most active cemeteries around; it’s always packed with people during the holidays and they never seem to be mourning. I’m sure a few are but mostly it seems like visitors come to be closer to their departed, do a bit of grave site cleaning, and maybe even have a one way conversation with the loved ones. On this recent trip I saw a guy hold a cell phone to the patch of grass so some other relative or friend on the other end could say a few words to whomever was buried on that spot. I don’t dare imagine the roaming charges for dialing up the dead. But one of the most striking features of Resurrection is the way many families decorate the graves, no matter what the holiday may be. This time around, there are lots of tiny christmas trees all over the place, and more than a few large ones as well, like the one in the picture above. I only took a few pics this time which you can view by clicking ahead. I hope to come back soon and do some extensive nosing about, like taking a pic of the sign that sez ‘no drinking, no lawn chairs, no party atmosphere.’ The need for that sign makes me proud to be Chicano!
Continue reading Eastside 101: Xmas at Resurrection Cemetery

Santa Myths


I gave up my belief in Santa Claus fairly recently, right about the time he failed to deliver on any of my requests, even though he knew what I wanted since I sent my threatening letter to the fool via Priority Mail. And I’ve got my Delivery Confirmation tracking numbers to prove it. So be it; Santa is dead to me. But I still can’t get behind the sort of depiction the cheap bastard has been getting lately, like the defamatory blowups in the picture above, spotted at a Highland Park pupuseria. To suggest he is some sort of rabble-rousing, get-outta-my-way bike rider is bad enough, but to utterly crush the remnants of Santa’s soul by equating him to the sinister mouse of mediocrity, now that’s just fucked up.

Polystyrene Goes in the Blue Bin

Did you hear the good news? I got a notice in the mail from the Trash Dept. that we can now recycle our clean Styrofoam cups, food containers, and packing materials in The Big Blue Bin aka El Bote Azul Grande. No mention of why packing peanuts are not allowed though, maybe someone is allergic to plastic nuts. I guess it is good news, one less thing to chuck in the landfills. And a solid excuse to resume my love for the soothing, squeaking sounds of Styrofoam chunks rubbing together. Now off to find me an empty monitor box!

Lincoln Heights Xmas Parade


I covered the East LA Xmas Parade and the Highland Park Xmas Parade here at but I keep most of my posts related to Lincoln Heights over on my own site, so if any of you are interested in seeing my take on the LH Xmas Parade, go ahead and click here. Don’t worry, I run an ad-free site, so your traffic means nothing to me. And since you’re just cruising along reading random stuff from random blogs, you most likely have some minutes to burn, don’t pretend you’re working. Click here already and get ‘er done!

More on Diana Tomas

I know some people that live in the Rampart neighborhood where 14 year old Diana Tomas was shot. I’m told that it took around 30 minutes and multiple phone calls to 911 before the police and ambulance finally showed up on the scene, which is especially unsettling as the Rampart police station is literally down the street, one block away. Oh yeah, and one of the cops on the scene described her as a “gangmember”, even though they didn’t know who she was. I am not surprised.

Highland Park Xmas Parade


Since I got a personal invitation to check out the Highland Park Christmas Parade by Walt, I tried my hardest to arrive early to snag front row seats, so of course I got there late. Who’s ever heard of a Mexican being on time? Any that do are fucking it up for the rest of us. I think the last time I was at the HLP Xmas parade was when then mayor Richard Riordan had his goons close in on me for inspection: I was the only one booing Riordan and giving him a thumbs down, he retaliated by grinning at me with that fake ass smile and brandishing two thumbs up, thus I upped the ante and gave him two middle fingers. That grin came to an end quick! Yup, that’s a true story, I don’t take for granted my right to heckle. Ah, good times. No such excitement at this years parade though, click ahead to see how it all went down!

(Warning! Warning! Lots and lots of pics ahead, click now before your supervisor shows up!) (Advertencia: Muchisisimas fotos al otro lado del brinco!)
Continue reading Highland Park Xmas Parade

Black Friday Report


The wonderful Los Angeles TV news were reporting heavily this morning about the consumer holiday known as Black Friday, a day of frenzied spending that rivals St. Pats and Cinco de Mayo for drunken debauchery, even if it is a weirdly sober drunkenness. (Unfortunately, the shopping hangover lasts much longer than the one created by booze.) I wanted to check out the wild scene so I headed down to my local shopping mall, see If I can get a glimpse of the shopping frenzy. Click ahead to see my full investigative report!
Continue reading Black Friday Report

Eastside 101: ELAC Swap Meet


I’ve been slacking off on my Eastside 101 posts, but that doesn’t mean I’m putting down my guard against the newbie usurpers. Over at Curbed LA they are running a “definitive poll” to determine the location of the Eastside and its dividing line, but their system is rigged: I suspect they purged the voter rolls. How else to explain the fact that the east-of-the-river option is in last place? Maybe the “it’s a state of mind, ese” option (the current favorite) was used to confuse Eastsiders ala the Butterfly ballot in Florida. Because being from the Eastside is a state of mind, it’s an overwhelming awareness that the rest of the city has no clue or interest in what happens over there in the Mexican quarters. And despite your ignorance of us, we are well aware of you. It reminds me of the Eastside punk scene; everyone knew of the shows happening elsewhere in the city, but nobody else seemed to know about the backyard gigs happening in our neighborhoods. Whether it’s intentional or not, ignorance of the Eastside is nothing new. When you finally move back home, in a tacit acceptance that your fantasy career in the film industry isn’t going to happen, the Eastside will still be here, ready to be ignored by the next crop of newbies.

Since Westsiders seem to take a special interest in shopping places, this post is dedicated to them. Come take a look at our fabulous ELAC Swap Meet!
Continue reading Eastside 101: ELAC Swap Meet

Piñata of Death


I spotted this excellent piñata today, a gigantic black star-shaped skull with nice two-toned streamers. It’s a left over from Halloween but the store owner thinks maybe someone will want it for X-mas. At $40 that’s gonna be a tough sell. It might be hard to see how large it is in this pic (compare it to the other ones) but you can probably fit some left over jack-o-lanterns, candies, and maybe a cake or two within; it’s huge! You might need another set of hands to help you swing this around but I could already imagine the fun in clobbering blindfolded piñata bashers with this fully loaded death star. Atras, atras…sopa!

Click here for a larger picture.

You want it? Go get it at:
El Angel (!!!) 2601 Pasadena Ave. B2 in beautiful Lincoln Heights. 323.441.2177