If you’re a devout Catholic with Latino roots, you probably know that tonight is the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, one of the holiest days in the Mexican church calendar.
Out riding with the IAAL-MAF on a lazy tour of odd public art, it took us a while to figure out why there were people preaching at the top of their lungs inside little storefront churches all over Koreatown and downtown …
Elsewhere, we spotted a couple of large groups of people leading somber processions north toward the Mission, bearing large paintings and posters of La Virgen.
And by the time we reached the mission and Olvera Street, the groups had grown to throngs, the traffic to gridlock and the noise to a roar of mariachi and banda as thousands of people from babies to old folks stayed out late celebrating – food, music, dance, light shows – the works.
For a few bucks, you could get your photo taken with a multicolored array of virgins (see photo).
If we hadn’t been all clad in filthy bike clothes, we might have stopped, too, but the Spring Street Smokehouse‘s fine BBQ ribs and handmade beers beckoned, so we rolled on – a tiny culture sliding past a huge one – ships in the downtown night.