[Blog] Tijuana Culinary Tour
*BLOG / COUNTRIES & CULTURES / FOOD / Latin American food / LATIN AMERICAN/LATINO / Mexican / Mexican food / Tijuana

[Blog] Tijuana Culinary Tour

Ever since the Mexican-American War split a chunk of Mexico’s west coast in 1848, Tijuana’s border existence between two major countries has made it unique. The position has made the city a hot spot for tourism, crime, drug trafficking, immigration, industrialization, art, music, and even “zonkeys.” But now there’s another reason for Tijuana’s singularity: the food. During three days last October, I sampled some of Tijuana’s finest food from taquerías to posh restaurants. Read about it here. [Post in both English and Spanish.] Continue reading

[Blog] Hello and Goodbye at the U.S.-Mexico Border
*BLOG / COUNTRIES & CULTURES / Immigration Issues / LATIN AMERICAN/LATINO / Mexican / Tijuana

[Blog] Hello and Goodbye at the U.S.-Mexico Border

After a half-dozen trips, I thought I knew Tijuana. I thought I understood the vicissitudes of border life. But I had never been to the crazy spot between the United States and Mexico, San Ysidro and Tijuana, where the border wall descends into the sea. I finally saw it in 2008, during a trip with the Occidental College Multicultural Summer Institute… Continue reading

[Blog] Musings on Olvera St.: Whitewashed or Authentic? | Pensamientos Sobre la Calle Olvera: ¿Whitewashed o Autentico?
*BLOG / Downtown / FOOD / Latin American food / LATIN AMERICAN/LATINO / Mexican / Mexican food / Urban Issues

[Blog] Musings on Olvera St.: Whitewashed or Authentic? | Pensamientos Sobre la Calle Olvera: ¿Whitewashed o Autentico?

Olvera St.: Authentic Mexican enclave? Whitewashed tourist attraction? Olvera St. is not one or the other. It is both, and in that mix represents a fascinating model of what it means to be at the center of such a pluralistic, multi-cultural city as Los Angeles, in the exact spot where its history, present and future intersect…. [read this post in both English and Spanish] Continue reading

[LA Weekly] Diana Kennedy at LACMA: Oaxacan Foods, Book Signing + Proper Tortillas
BOOKS & LITERATURE / FOOD / LA Weekly / Latin American food / Mexican / Mexican food

[LA Weekly] Diana Kennedy at LACMA: Oaxacan Foods, Book Signing + Proper Tortillas

Diana Kennedy, the Mexican cuisine authority and cookbook author, doesn’t often travel outside of Mexico, where she lives in rural Michoacán a few hours from Mexico City. For the past 65 years, Mexico has been her home, and a laboratory for her studies and writings about Mexico’s regional cuisines. So her appearance last Sunday at the L.A. County Museum of Art for a brief talk and book signing presented a rare opportunity for Angelenos to meet the woman who’s often called “the Julia Child of Mexican food.” Like Child, Kennedy has shared her vast knowledge on a topic that had previously been both exotic and esoteric in the United States. Her latest book, Oaxaca al Gusto from 2010, ismuch more than a cookbook. The 450-page tome presents a study of Oaxacan cultural history illuminated by glorious photographs, many taken by Kennedy herself…. [keep reading] Continue reading

[LA Weekly] Read This Now: The New Yorker on Misión 19’s Javier Plascencia
FOOD / LA Weekly / Latin American food / LATIN AMERICAN/LATINO / Mexican / Mexican food / Tijuana

[LA Weekly] Read This Now: The New Yorker on Misión 19’s Javier Plascencia

Misión 19 in Tijuana, chef Javier Plascencia’s first independent venture, is celebrating its one-year-anniversary. Read “The Missionary,” a profile of Plascencia by Dana Goodyear in this week’s New Yorker, and you’ll learn why that matters. Plascencia’s mission is to bring innovative but authentic cuisine to the notorious border city where he grew up, Goodyear writes. And he’s created Misión 19 as an ultra-hip spot to draw locals and tourists alike into the fold. His ambition is no less than to spur a culinary renaissance in troubled but vibrant Tijuana… Continue reading

*BLOG / Boyle Heights / Mexican

[Blog] Lucha Libre in Boyle Heights

“Aaaiiiiiiiiiiii!” The bulk of a man shrieked as he thudded to the ground in an attack on his opponent. The two flailed about on the floor, each trying to pin down the other. The spectators roared with cheers and put downs alike. “Go get ’em!” cried some. “Pinche pendejo!” belted others. The noise was accented by a sound not always heard at sports events: raucous laughter.

Lucha libre is supposed to be silly. Continue reading

*BLOG / Mexican / Tijuana / VISUAL ART

[Blog] The Donkey Show: From Tijuana to Santa Monica Museum of Art

My trips to Tijuana have always included strolling down the main tourist drag, la Avenida de la Revolución — dodging panhandlers, buying up pottery, and stopping for snacks of tacos, or even better, sizzling bacon-wrapped hot dogs.  I’ve also ogled and smirked at the notoriously cheesy zebra-striped donkeys.  Little did I know about their fabled … Continue reading