I'm gratified by the response to the photographs of Olvera Street in the previous entry. Thanks to all of you who voiced your approval. That's just the sort of thing that'll make a guy buy more film.
Originally, I had planned a day of skulking alone in the downtown LA area doing my little photo safari, but it turned out that Amy has a social studies project that involves the assembly of a "culture kit," and it's due next week. In a fit of rare good sense, logic prevailed and we drove as a family to the oldest deepest part of central Los Angeles where Mexicans once roamed freely in the wild. With Amy being half Mexican, Olvera St. was a perfect destination. Luckily, there is good food there, and since Amy's Mexican half is the half that eats, our needs were met nicely. The shrimp cocktail was authentic and magnificent, and the menudo was the best I've had in a long long time. Really good tripe is so hard to find.
We're focusing on the Mexican instead of the European cultures that have trickled across the pond and into Amy's genes because while these others remain discernible, they seem to have lost their flavor on the bedpost over the years. Among them, the Czech aspect is the most celebrated largely because it seems exotic amid the English-speaking potato-eating meat-boiling rosy-cheeked remainder of her cultural makeup.
Hey. Easy, now. I kid the potato-eating rosy-cheeked meat boilers.
For a while there, we were calling Amy a Chex-Mex, but, as with all fresh territory up for grabs, the most present and accessible traditions have taken hold, as much as they can in a nine-year-old anyway, and she seems happy with the simple trappings of unhyphenated Mexicanness. Later on, when she can savor the ultra-coolness of it, I'll tell her about the Huichol, the Cora, and the Conquistador in her.
Part of Amy's assignment was to write about going somewhere to study her heritage, and she wrote the following few sentences regarding her visit to LA's touristy pocket of Mexicanismo, or as she calls it, "Mixo."
That last sentence is about a Saint Christopher necklace she acquired as part of her cultural booty. "A nickel of God that tells you the truth." There's a quaint thought. She didn't get it from me.
I've been watching an awful lot of lawyer/politician TV lately. The tastiest stuff has come out of the U.S. Supreme Court, with the Florida Circuit Court running a close second for its pithiness from the bench. It's quite an interesting mess. It feels as if the Ship of State has come out of the water and acquired wheels, big wobbly squeaky ones, and we're just not sure how long it's going to be before we settle back into the flow again. We all get to see the crusty hull in the meantime, and watch the screws spin and spin and spin, and have democracy sprayed all over us.
Tomorrow we're putting up the Xmas lights. I hope it goes better than it did last year.
"Hangin' On By A Thread" -- Texas Tornados -- HANGIN' ON BY A THREAD
"The price of justice is eternal publicity."
- Arnold Bennett