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."
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.