All posts by la_cindym

Remaining plots at South Central Farm bulldozed

scfarm.jpg On the way in to work today, I received the following text message from a friend who had been arrested when the farmers and their supporters were evicted a few weeks ago

Farm is being bulldozed right now. Spread the word or go to the farm.

A few minutes before I’d heard a news blurb on KPFK that the remaining plots were being bulldozed this morning. I’ve checked online for more information, but can’t seem to find anything on blogs or through Google News.

Anyone have an update on the situation?

I didn’t get much sleep last night and completely forgot that South Central Farmers have a website. They have some information on the bulldozing at their site

Photo by Border Hacker

Tonight: Get Kinky Downtown

I can’t tell you what Kinky sounds like, but you can check their MySpace page to hear some songs off their two albums, Kinky (2002) and Atlas (2003).

I also can’t tell you what Colombian band Sidestepper sounds like. Again, you can always check out their MySpace page to listen to a few of their tracks.

I can tell you that both Kinky and Sidestepper are perfoming free in a Sounds Eclectico evening at California Plaza as part of the series. Take your dancing shoes and get their early. Both groups will draw a big crowd.

Vamos al Mundial!

redteam.jpg My roommate hates sports, but for the last few weeks, she’s been walking around the apartment saying “Vamos al Mundial!” in a cheery voice. The Mexican in her and influence by her dad has her as excited as other f√∫tbol lovers.

Like hundreds of millions (most likely billions) of people around the world, my roommate and I have World Cup fever. However, I’m sure our enthusiasm pales in comparison with other f√∫tbol fans such as Alejandro (¬© Citizen 192‚Ñ¢). Alejandro has blocked off every morning for the next month in order to follow the matches. He’s keeping a running diary of each day of the game and writes after the opening ceremony:

It’s a wonderful day in sport. Today the world unites to indulge in a sport that goes beyond sports; seducing and romanticizing the spirit and imagination of people from all walks of earth. Today we can imagine that everything will be solved on the pitch. When the world becomes desperate for unity and a break from destruction, futbol allows for a mystical world to expose itself on the pitch; evenly matched by sport, without borders or boundaries, guns or bombs. Every four years the world makes this game, more than a game. Today the globe is united under one roof, one goal, one dream.

One sport: 119 nations down to 32 finalists: 64 matches: 30 days: One Champion.

I love this game.

I’ll be watching Mexico’s matches with friends or at home on Univisi√≥n, but LAist suggests several sports bars.

Official FIFA World Cup 2006 site
World Cup Kickoff: Match details, download calendar from the teams you’re interested in to your Outlook.
Flickr World Cup Impressions
Some other MetBlog cities that have caught the fever: Berlin, London, Washington DC, Atlanta, Vancouver, and New York City .

Photo by Atomic Shed

Growing up in LA: El Paletero

paletas.jpg I don’t see many paleteros in Palms. I’ve lived here nearly six years and remember hearing the familiar bells a handful of times. Warm weather without a paleta de lim√≥n (lime fruit bar) just doesn’t feel right.

Summer as a kid meant spending most of the morning and noon hours indoors away from the sun and unhealthy air. In the afternoon, I’d run out and play games with my siblings and neighbors. We played tag, baseball, kick the can, dodgeball, kickball, jump rope, basketball, etc.

With all the running around we did, our enthusiasm at the site of el paletero was never a surprise. The paleteros were always dark skinned Mexican men, not too young nor too old. They wore long sleeve shirts and baseball caps to protect their skin from the hot sun. Oftentimes, we’d bring out a tall glass of ice cold water. My mom and grandparents knew what it was like to work in the hot sun in the fields or in suburban yards.

I always asked for the same thing from el paletero: una paleta de lim√≥n (a lime fruit bar). I paid with money from my generous grandpa, also a fan of paletas. I always spent all of the money on 50 and 65 cents paletas for anyone present… or to save in the freezer for later.

We’d sit under our shady mulberry tree and try to eat our paletas before they melted and started dripping down out hands and arms. As soon as we were done, we’d watch off the sticky juice and get back to our games feeling refreshed and rested.

I need to spend more time in a neighborhood with lots of paleteros.

Photo by Jim Winstead.

El Diablito

diablito I think Mexicans are obsessed with the devil. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who had a run in with him. I’m not an exception.

I learned as a kid that if you ever meet a handsome, well-dress and mysterious man at a party, you should check out his feet. El diablo might take the form of a handsome man, but he will still have una pata de chivo y una de gallo (one foot of a goat and the other as a rooster). Also, if he’s a musician, make sure that his guitar case is not full of snakes. That’s a bad sign too, as some great uncle found out long ago… or so the story goes.

El diablito: P√≥rtate bien cuatito, si no te lleva el coloradito. (Behave yourself so that the little red one doesn’t take you away.)

Giant Oranges in Riverside


I love oranges… even if they are 4 feet tall, made of fiberglass and painted in bright colors reflecting Southern California history and culture.

Los Angeles artist Ed Fuentes, is one of 32 artists participating in the Art Alliance’s Giant Orange Artventure to benefit the Riverside Art Museum (more details at the Press Enterprise).

Ed has several more great photos from the opening night at his Flickr photostream (Orange Details set). The oranges will be displayed throughout downtown Riverside for the next four months.

Photo by Ed Fuentes/Someone Walks in LA.
Detail of the Fox Theater from “Under the Citrus Sun” by Greg and Cathy Maxwell (Sponsored by Waddell & Reed)
Giant Orange Artventure, Riverside, CA

JazzReggae Festival


I always look forward to Memorial Day, and not just because I get a three day weekend a week or two before finals. Nope, Memorial Day weekend at UCLA is still busy filled with conferences and other huge student-run events.

Memorial Day weekend doesn’t feel quite complete without the UCLA JazzReggae Festival (MySpace). The line up and weather are always great, plus they usually have great vendors for food and arts/clothing. For the 20th annual festival, the student organizers are focusing on showcasing talent at UCLA (Daily Bruin).

Jazz Day includes Dianne Reeves, Trio Beyond, Floetry, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Kenny Burrell & Friends, Donnie, and UCLA Jazz Studies students. Last time Buju Banton headlined, it was impossible to move anywhere on the huge athletic field because of the crowds. Both days usually offer some great entertainment, but many more people attend Reggae Day.

The event is free for UCLA students. For non-students, tickets are $15 each day or $25 for a two day pass.

Rinconcito del Mar

Campechana at El Rinconcito del Mar

Last summer a friend introduced me to El Rinconcito del Mar, a restaurant in Boyle Heights specializing in some fine and affordable mariscos (seafood).

El Rinconcito del Mar was founded in 1986 by Juan Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant who had worked his way from beaing a dishwasher to a head cook to owner of a burger stand and then owner of a family restaurant. The original Rinconcito was smaller, but with the help of a SBA loan, Ramirez was able to open up the newer restaurant at the same location in 2002 (August 2005 LA Business Journal story.

I hadn’t visited for a while, so I jumped at the chance to take advantage of my day off (classes cancelled, no work scheduled) and have a good lunch with a friend.

My friend chose the campechana (pictured above) and I had coctel de camarón (shrimp cocktail). We drank beer with plenty of lemon juice, watched the Barcelona vs. Arsenal Champions League final, and I tried an oyster for the first time ever.

El Rinconcito del Mar is located at 2940 East First Street (near Evergreen).

Looking forward to Grand Performances

I’m more than half way through the spring quarter and can’t wait for summer and all the great things it brings (such as no classes, vacations, and more oppotunities to go to Dodger games).

One of the things I look forward to every summer are the free concert series around town. One of my favorites is Grand Performances at California Plaza in downtown. Check out the schedule the Grand Performances website.

I’ll definitely be at the Sounds Eclectico night with Kinky and Sidestepper on July 1.

A day without a child of an immigrant

A few days ago, I still had not made a decision on whether I’d be staying home from work and school on Monday, May 1st. The decision didn’t come easily despite years of activism around immigrants’ rights and an academic interest in immigrant students.

I realized that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. My roommate, a teacher at a LAUSD high school hadn’t decided when we spoke about the topic on Thursday night. She was unsure about skipping out on the first day of classes when she returns for B track. I didn’t want to skip work after a short week at a new job. We also both knew that our jobs — positions that require advanced degrees — are not the types where most immigrants from Latin American are concentrated. It’s easy to go a day without spending, but not teaching or working with students didn’t come easy. I’ve read other Latina/o bloggers who are also conflicted. They are all educators and feel that the education of their students will also contribute to the boycott and overall goal of empowering Latinas/os.

Although I respect decisions to go to work, I know that I had to change my mind. I thought of my grandparents who came here with several children in hopes of a better life. Although my parents and their families did not come as undocumented immigrants, I know well that I have a number of extended family members and good friends who do not have that privilege. I considered the day I walked through UCLA’s main thoroughfare, Bruin Walk, observing a D√≠a de los Muertos display of crosses set up in remembrance of men and women how had died crossing the US-Mexico border. It all seemed rather abstract considering most of the people close to me are not immigrants and have not had to sneak across the border. Well, it was abstract until I read a cross with “____ Mosqueda, Guanajuato, Mexico.” I can’t remember the first name. I know it was a common name, probably Jos√©, Jes√∫s or Juan. But the last name and state of origin struck me. This man (or boy?) who shared my name and home state in Mexico had died in the harsh territory separating the country my family came from and the country in which I live.

My privilege as the daughter of immigrants, college student, and US citizen became incredibly clear that afternoon. It’s something I know other young Chicanas/os and Latinas/os also identify with, including C√©sar Cuauht√©moc Garc√≠a Hern√°ndez who wrote about why he would skip classes at Alternet

I will join the boycott because my privilege demands it. I am a citizen of this country, a well-educated man with a love of justice. I must speak now because the people who clean my classrooms might not be able to, because the people who prepare the restaurant dinners I eat might not be able to, because the people about whose lives Congress is debating cannot talk back except through the power of protest.

I will stand with my immigrant sisters and brothers because I recognize and value their contribution to our country. I will join the nationwide boycott because their work makes my privilege possible. I will join because, as the book of Leviticus teaches: “The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and you shall love him as thyself.” (Lev. 19:34).

The Inland Empire

The LA Times ran a story yesterday about the LA dream moving east into the Inland Empire.

The region, often seen as a manufacturing and transportation hub, with less-expensive homes for those willing to commute to Los Angeles and Orange counties, is rapidly moving beyond its blue-collar roots into a more urbane future.

Increasingly, Western Riverside and San Bernardino counties are featuring the type of upscale houses, stores and entertainment long found in Los Angeles and other coastal enclaves. White-collar professionals such as Entner are finding attractive jobs there, no longer commuting westward. Tall office buildings are sprouting, along with more $1-million-plus homes.

I’ve had several family members move from East LA to the IE, but I still make fun of the place… especially when I see a rooster wandering around a Union 76 gas station off of Euclid Avenue in Ontario.

Students Still Organizing Against HR 4437


High school and middle school students may no longer be walking out en masse, but they are still organizing against enforcement-only immigration reform. On Saturday, April 15, students and supporters of humane immigration reform will participate in a Mass Student March from Olympic & Broadway to City Hall.

The Mass Student March will honor the memory of Anthony Soltero, a 14-year old boy from Ontario who committed suicide on March 30.

From what I know (via email announcements) the march has been organized by the Coalition of United Students. The CUS will also be holding a press conference today as Casa del Mexicano in East LA.

More info below.
Continue reading Students Still Organizing Against HR 4437

Anthony Soltero, first walkout fatality

De Todos Para Todos (from everyone for everyone) has more information about the death of Anthony Soltero, a 14-year old boy from Ontario considered by some the first martry of the immigrant’s rights movement.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself through the head on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony’s truancy and participation in the student protests.

Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights, Ms. Corales said today. I want to speak out to other parents, whose children are attending the continuing protests this week. We have to let the schools know that they cant punish our children for exercising their rights.

Anthony’s death is likely the first fatality arising from the protests against the immigration legislation being considered in Washington, D.C. Anthony, who was a very good student at De Anza Middle School in the Ontario-Montclair School District, believed in justice and was passionate about the immigration issue. He is survived by his mother, Louise Corales, his father, a younger sister, and a baby brother.

I’ve worried about the students who have walked out and the potential repercussions. They face truancy and many other disciplinary charges. What worries me even more is the knowledge they may or may not have of their rights. It deeply saddens me that Anthony felt this was his only way to deal with punishment he expected.

More from CBS News, Noti Los Angeles and Vivir Latino on Anthony’s death.

Is the flag really the issue?

twoflags.jpg A good friend of mine had a short essay he wrote on the mainstream reaction to la Gran Marcha published on Latino LA. I’m all for debate, but a lot of what I’ve seen written about la Gran Marcha doesn’t tell us much about the perspective of Chicanas/os and Latinas/os (aside from a few quotes and an article or two by Gustavo Arellano).

Ollinkoatl takes on the flag issue and more of what it represents.

While I understand the use of the Stars and Stripes as a precautionary measure to calm the xenophobic tendencies of Anglos, especially in the wake of a 500,000 march of Latinos that filled the megatropolis core of Los Angeles, has it come to this point in the political tactics of Latinos that we must receive approval from Anglos for everything?

Not only that we are humans and deserve rights, as in the case of contesting HR 4437, but we must even seek approval from them for the manner in which we demonstrate our anger at their vindictive immigration policies… such as what type of shirts we wear and what we can or can’t wave at a march? Why not be more precautious and also hold a march in which we only speak English, as we get rid of the flags of Latin-American? Better yet… how about all the dark-skinned Latinos stay home during that march so that they see many of “us” look just like them?

In fact, Americans, widely known for their “linguistic tolerance” do not understand Latino protest language. Within the Latino community we understand the use of flags is to demonstrate the representation of protesters by national origin.

Read the full article here.

(Photo by Haj20.)

Paying my respects

On the first day of my spring break, I decided not to sleep in. Instead, I made my way downtown to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to former Assemblyman Marco Antonio Firebaugh’s funeral Mass.

I arrived 10 minutes after the start of the Mass. Parking at the cathedral had filled up. Outside news crews and several CHP officers on motorcycles waited.

When I entered the cathedral, the priest was giving the homily. I found a seat behind several students in sweatshirts bearing university logos at the north end of the church. I thought surely they were some of the many students who benefit from AB 540. From my seat, I could see row upon row in front of the altar full of mourners.

A small mariachi played some songs throughout the bilingual Mass. A young man read a prayer for social justice. It surprised me to hear a prayer asking for a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality in a Catholic Mass. As LA Observed noted earlier, there were several important political leaders present including Senators Gil Cedillo and Martha Escutia, Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nu√±ez, Liutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, and the Governor.

At the end of the Mass, former state senator Richard Polanco gave a eulogy. At one time, he was Firebaugh’s boss in Sacramento. Polanco spoke about how Firebaugh went from being a kid in El Monte to head of the powerful Latino Caucus. He also spoke about the development of a bill that would grant undocumented students in-state residency for tuition purposes.
Continue reading Paying my respects