Immigrant Blessings, part 2:: Los Angeles

I was back in La Puente/Hacienda Hts (in Los Angeles County) not too long ago, visiting a friend at El Pueblo Burger, an old High School hangout. Its a Mexican burger joint, located in a strip mall along with a Chinese bank, nude strip mall, random computer store, and some more stores, across the street from a Korean strip mall with another eclectic mix- fitting for an area that comes close to being half Latino and half Asian.

I needed to use the restroom, and so I went through the doors marked “men.” I was taken aback at first. “Wow, when was the last time I saw all this graffiti?”

You see, I’ve spent the last eleven years of my life in North San Diego, living in communities that are majority white, and definitely upper class. Public bathrooms in these parts are clean; ie- no graffiti. And so I wasn’t used to what I saw at El Pueblo burger, I wasn’t used to the setting I had grown up in and considered normal. Funny (or disturbing, perhaps)- I know people in my part of San Diego would quickly call Hacienda Hts “ghetto.” Graffiti? Sure. Ghetto? If this is ghetto, then what should we call —- ?

There’s something about being part of a big, multicultural city in the U.S. that is special. Especially Los Angeles County. You get exposed to almost everything- socially, culturally, religiously, educationally, and so on. I guess it comes with the territory- over 9 million people live there, and at least 224 different languages are spoken (San Diego County has 3 million residents speaking 100 lanugages). And there’s nothing like being a part of it all- contributing, learning, shaping.

Sure, Los Angeles has its down sides- traffic, pollution, and so on. But there’s no place quite like it where anyone (but particularly immigrants) can bless and be blessed.  I’m glad it’s part of my heritage.

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4 Comments»

  Johnny wrote @

…a lot like London! 🙂

  Belisarius wrote @

Cool, brother. A man who does not despise his heritage, sees it realistically, but appreciates its value. And there is so much potential in such a city. Nothing that one incredible move of God can’t do.

By the way, Yucan, have you read the e-mail I sent you, especially the file attachment? Take care. Hope to talk soon.

  T.J. wrote @

Man, Yucan, you made me realize even more why i miss home. I mean, i do love SD and all, but that sheer crazy blending factor of L.A., the cultural fusion all around and yet not quite mixed….

Augh. Must go visit soon.

  belisariusca wrote @

Oh, by the way, for just one minute, let me brag on MY home section of the country. I was born and raised in southeast Texas, bordering both the Gulf of Mexico and the Louisiana border. We had lots of friends and relatives from the Pelican State. And considering the sometimes-deserved (Jena), sometimes-undeserved (normal daily life) reputation about racism in the deep South, I have something big to brag about.

Bobby Jindal, the son of immigrants from India, who converted to Christianity in his teens, has just been elected in a landslide to be the new Governor of Louisiana. He is the first non-white Governor in a deep South state to be elected since Reconstruction.

And yes, he is a conservative Republican.

And yes, it was hard-core white rednecks that elected him. Big time.

Way to GEAUX, THIBIDEAUX!!!!
It’s a new day on the Bayou!!!
Les ci’e bon ton roulette!!!
God’s working my brothers. PTL!!!


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