I often joke around about my childhood as the time "when I used to be Mexican." Obviously, my DNA hasn't change... but my lifestyle, as sweet as it is... is totally beige compared to the old days.
This past weekend, I went up to visit my step dad in East LA. I walked to the corner to the Cinco Puntos Mercado just like we used to when we'd visit our "cousins" (people we loved but were not related to). My dad moved to the back house a few years back (don't look for permits on the building) when his knees got too old for the stairs for the apartment he lived at since I was thirteen. Walking to the store, I was bummed that I didn't have a kettle for menudo, but I was excited to get some carne de res, lengua, freshly made corn tortillas, and queso fresco. I had to pretend that the look on the counter girl's face wasn't amusement at my proper Spanish versus Spanglish. Better than having to speak English and losing all respect. Although when I kept snapping pictures with my BlackBerry, I had to confess to the meat guy that I was a turista.
It's a totally different way of life, one that many of my friends wouldn't understand... but for me, it was a beautiful day in East LA and I was happy to visit the smells, sounds, and sights... menudo, Spanglish, and graffiti.
Enjoy the sights:
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