By Raymond Ruiz
LOS ANGELES — As a fourth-generation Mexican-American, it was time for me to make my obligatory pilgrimage to Los Angeles. For those non-Chicanos that have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s required that every card-carrying Chicano make the trek once in their lifetime.
I was short on vacation time so I opted to perform my penance by flying with a budget airline instead of the mandatory bus ride. This act of hardship allows us to admit our sins against Chicanismo to complete strangers, preferably non-Latinos.
The three-hour plane ride gave me a chance to regale my captive audience with confessions of my inability to find a good taco place and attending the occasional murder mystery dinner.
My wife and I booked a hotel not far from East LA, the Chicano Mecca. Our LA trip would start with paying tribute to the Chicano Movement and Blowouts of the 60s while enjoying the beautiful murals that adorn city buildings.
One marker honoring singer Jose Jose found along the Latino Walk of Fame
Like a true “Highspanic”, the cultural experience had to be finished by 3 pm because we had a Hollywood tour scheduled followed by a drive up Beverly Hills.
While my wife was enjoying her complimentary breakfast, I was applying sunblock (to keep from getting tanned in the 70 degree heat) and Googling “East LA tourist attractions”. Needless to say, Google results were sparse and mainly consisted of eateries.
It was on one of these obscure websites that I found the Latino Walk of Fame, which recognizes Latino historical figures with sun plaques on Whittier Boulevard in the heart of East LA (as opposed to the Hollywood Boulevard stars).
As soon as my wife finished her bagel, we jumped in the rented Toyota Corolla and headed straight there.
The first thing I noticed about the Chicano Mecca was the lack of Chicanos…
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