I was rather sceptical when I first read about the launch of a new lifestyle magazine targeting middle class Los Angeles and anyone else who will fork out $4. I expected it to be uppity and only relevant to the new generation of Chicana/o and Latina/o yuppies out of touch with their cultura.
However, I was pleasantly surprised.
Tu Ciudad (Spanish for “your city”) officially launched a few weeks ago. Being the slacker and procrastinator that I am, I didn’t get around to picking up a copy of the inaugural issue until last night.
I flipped through a few pages in the car as I continued my commute to my apartment. When I got home I immediately took the 20-question Pop Quiz on LA pop culture, history and politics, I didn’t do so well. According to their scoring level (different for Latinos and non-Latinos), I’m a “certified Hispanic!” Yuck. I hate being called Hispanic, and I have a few bones to pick with their wacky and irreverent quiz. What’s with all the trick questions? How am I supposed to know that if you speak Spanish to any valet in town, you’ll get your car before anyone else? I’m not middle-class enough to afford valet parking.
And they’re kidding about the start of the Zoot Suit Riots in 1943, right? I know more than I ever wanted to know about Zoot Suits, pachucos and the Sleepy Lagoon Case thanks to my undergraduate major in Chicana/o Studies. I may know the history well, but others might not and it would be nice if they included accurate answers with their joke answers.
Overall, I liked the magazine. The articles are funny and irreverent in some parts, while serious and thoughtful when the subject matter — such as Latinos in Iraq — calls for a more somber tone. The cover story was on the under representation of Latinos in film and television, an issue I find important but not one I really care about. I’m not too concerned about whether the people on television look like me. I care more about educational issues and whether or not politicians, teachers and administrators look like me or even understand the issues of people who look like me.
I don’t think Tu Ciudad is for everyone. It’s very clear in the letter from editor-in-chief Oscar Garza that the magazine’s target demographic is middle class Latinos who still retain a large part of their culture.
I guess that last part about culture is what I liked so much about Tu Ciudad. In many ways, I’m the kind of person Garza hopes will buy his magazine.
Will I subscribe? Por supuesto (for sure).