5/29/08

Come on gente...

I just read these two posts about Raza in Baldwin Park who are begging to look like every other strip mall 'hood outside the core. Based on this LA Times article it is a sad aspect of the assimilation process. Why do suburban Raza (and some core residents) equate corporate stores with "moving on up?"

The babosadas from the city officials is heartbreaking. Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano is quoted: "We want what Middle America has as well," said the second-generation Mexican American, recounting the meeting. "We like to go to nice places like Claim Jumpers, Chili's and Applebee's. . . . We don't want the fly-by-night business, the 'amigo store,' which they use to attract Latinos like myself."

WTF?!?!? Nice places? Maybe if you gave tax breaks and low interest loans to small existing businesses they could be the 'nice' you want.

Later in the article Anthony Bejarano, a Baldwin Park councilman identified as a Georgetown Law school graduate said, "I love to go to traditional Mexican restaurants. I shop at Vallarta [supermarket], but I can't get everything I need," he said. "At the end of the day, it's all Mexican restaurants here. When we want Italian, when we want sushi, where do we go? If I want a pair of Kenneth Coles, I have to go to Arcadia."

Boo hoo. "I can't get my Kenneth Coles or sushi." MAMON! Your ass chose to live in the boonies what do you expect? Use that Law degree to get better more diverse digs foo'.

The irony escapes these pendejos. Here in Boyle Heights, in Downtown LA, and what use to be Echo Park you have white Americans moving to these "ethnic" neighborhoods because of the "amigo" stores, because of the diversity, because they have a local panederia instead of a Starbucks. If these pendejos are trying to be like middle America, they are missing the point and out of step that middle America wants to be us. One day they will wake up next to their dye blonde family and realize that they had everything they needed but they chose to bury it under the same stucco mall that middle America tired of and did away with.

El Chavo breaks down these 'Lateeenos' mentalities best: "...while Americans are now more interested in leaving a “smaller carbon footprint” (uggh) they’re still trying to buy a Hummer. While Americans are exploring the benefits of “Edible Estates” (uggh, retch) they try to erase all evidence of that small milpa of corn their parents once grow in the front yard, now turned into a worthless patch of wasteful lawn. If anything, Latinos should be sharing the skills of getting by with less, being resourceful and getting creative with what you do have, rather than taking on the baggage of the culture of consumption."

Amen brother!

We are running out of resources and some fools still think they need to consume like the Jones'. Que babosos.

Yes we need healthier food options in the barrios and a Trader Joes offers that, but I still want my Big Buy with the veladoras and chicharones on the shelves. We don't need Starbucks high calorie frapa-cacas, Latinos are overweight as it is.

I welcome this much needed discussion. It is about values and what we think we need to live best by. Like the other bloggers I believe everything can co-exist. Bring in the good, the healthy, and what we can learn from, but keep out the dead, sterile and plain. Keep the funk, keep the low prices. As gas and everything else goes up we will soon all see how much we will need to know how to do with less.

6 comments:

kualyque said...

yes, low prices.

and I think the first low price we need to worry about is the rent.

instead of jacking up rent prices to what they can get, inviting in gentrifiers in the first place, building owners and managers in target areas (like Boyle Heights) could help by charging what they actually need, for both apartments and commercial spots, and that way help out people who will actually contribute to the neighborhoods.

the bigger issue here in this specific example, and in a more general sense, is how we are doing all of this to ourselves, to our own communities. whether it's these particular politicians, or gloria molina and villaraigosa, or whether it's museum curators, or academics, or anybody else who has scrambled up a little bit of the power ladder for themselves, we are in this phase right now where the colonization is happening internally by those who have attained elite positions.


remember, vote no on 98. and stay away from applebee's, that place is nasty. and not the good kind of nasty.

Lorena said...

have to chime in- no on 98...would definitely mess with my san francisco rent controlled flat.
*
the unfortunate thing about wanting, 'nice things,' is that it is often not truly 'nice.' really did you fall in love with the craftsmanship and quality? or rather get caught up in some corporate propaganda that dictates/tells people what they need and want?

it is sad, because the only way people can move beyond buying in to mass marketing is through exposure to other; languages, lands, tastes, foods, scenery.

unfortunately we currently mass market mono-lingual and mono-cultural education to the masses.

how do you get people to appreciate what is unique, essential, good for the community?

no se, except to live and encourage others to do the same, to grow to see the world in its expanse...

btw, recently heard that mexico was conducting a campaign against 'american fast food,' seems the nations obesity was on the rise due to an increase in pizza and burger consumption.

i can't recall the last time i stepped into a fast food restaraunt or big box store, i like quality items, but definately prefer the label to be hidden- no one is paying me to be a walking bilboard, nor could they.

gava joe said...

Most Kansas (which doesn't get much more "middle America")really doesn't want to be you. Face it, the authentic comidas and the access to arts and creativity doesn't cancel out the high crime rate, gang violence, and high-density populations,etc.. sorry. You can continue to believe the old adage that "everybody wants to be in LA", but man you got it all wrong. Incidently, don't come here. You won't like it. I promise..

don quixote said...

Enjoyed and agree with what you posted "Come on gente". I posted this up at "street hassle" a great blog with Joseph Mailander as shotcaller.
Heres what I had to say about the subject.

The Pachucoville blog dealt with more than the gentrification of old traditional neighborhoods, which in my opinion is a zero sum loss of identity and real culture in this process of change.

It touches on the desire for gentrification by some Mexican American political and business majordomos, who although represent a distinct and established district that is mainly working class, have themselves become out of touch due to the benefit of higher education and professional achievements.
We see it all the time and must guard against these "representatives" who although may come from an area like the east side of LA, actually feel stuck there and end up despising their constituents and the cradle of the neighborhood that nurtured them to attain a better life. So then instead of embracing what is good about the area these confused "reps" want to sell it out.
We've seen this not only in Baldwin Park but in many areas, more recently in Lincoln Hts where Councilman Ed Reyes and his cronies proposed a bar and nightclub right next to a bunch of schools and churches.
If these "movin on up" so called Representatives are so unhappy with the varrio and it's mom and pop operations then they should move to Irvine Ranch or Diamond Bar or some other more comfortable place that supports there need to eat at a Claim Jumper Restaurant.
I myself get a kick out of some of the newcomers (Gavacho's), to my Highland Park neighborhood. At first a few would walk down the hill to the Mkt or Panaderia and their nervousness was palatable, then after a while they would look our way and wave hello, then they would say hello, then after a while everybody got to know each other and maybe share a beer, then we'd all walk together in the AM to the Panaderia, stop and talk to the neighborhood wino's who after their AM can of beer would fill us in on the latest varrio chisme (the winos always know everything that go's on), then we walk to the Panaderia and the owner Manuel stops us from picking anything from the racks and insists on giving us some pan dulce or concha's straight out of the oven.

With pan dulce and coffee we walk back up the street where on the way the little viejita gives us a bag of lemons or plums from her tree.
Sometimes it's all good in the hood.
You wonder why anybody would want to tear down the panaderia to put up another Starbucks.

Killa Kam said...

I feel you, brother! That article made me so mad! What's up with some of our gente?!? Many Latinos equate success with whiteness and loss of culture. It's the result of colonization and oppression. I also blame it on a lack of education.

Wendy Carrillo said...

i had a latino call me a "sell out" because i didnt support a latino candidate for a race. this mentality within our own people is the reason we are so confused as a political group which gives birth to the Lateenos El Chavo blogs about. Spanish surnames dont equate pro-Latino urbanism. biggest political myth ever! I know of far more progressive whites that know more about Latino culture and the preservation of, than some Latino stakeholders. its trully sad. As an educated East LA homegirl myself, i DETEST big chain restaurants. Their food is bland, generic and high in sodium and cholesterol. The biggest falacy committed by the likes of Manuel Lozano is to note that these "nice places" are the equivalnt of good affordable and healthy family meals. Most of the places he mentions are the cause of obesity in this country. and I'm sorry, since when is a $15 BLT affordable? its bread, lettuce and tomotoe for pete's sake. As the gentrification of East LA/Boyle Heights moves forward, because we are seeing it happen, the BH Neighborhood Council will need to stay on its toes, and i hope that YOU Pachuco, keep them in line and attend those meetings. if the question comes down to having Big Buy stay as Big Buy or having it change to a Trader Joes, what will you vote on? Will you be a part of the Gentrification of your own community? hmmmm?