I was born and raised in El Paso in an area known as The Second Ward because of its political designation in city government.
In the greater community, it was most popularly called South El Paso. However, the approximately 25,000 mostly Chicano people who lived there referred to the neighborhood as El Segundo Barrio. It was a barrio that was like an island sandwiched between the Rio Grande Mexican border and downtown El Paso.
In this isolated area, about a third of the families were of second or third generation Mexican descent like ours. Another third was made up of mostly migrant newer arrivals and the rest were in transition. However, it was the Spanish language that served to unite the whole community. Although Spanish was prevalent, lots of exposure to English came through, school, work, movies, radio, music and TV, which was then in its infancy.
Although I love that I am bilingual, I was recently reminded that I am, in fact, trilingual. You see, this third language was unique to our Segundo Barrio culture because it originated there. It started as the jargon for the criminal element in our midst. These outlaws were widely know as “pachucos” because of the Los Angeles bent to their style of clothes. Most of us called them Tirilis and for all intents, they were the precursors of today’s gang members. [Mas…]
Technically, the word I should have used above, in the headline, is “Manipulates.” As in, “Safely Manipulate Your Balls When You Celebrate!”
That’s what the Federal Drug Administration advises this season, anyway. (Screen capture, above.)
But I’m a writer who has spent a lifetime in both advertising and journalism, and I know the value of good clickbait when I have it in my hands.
Er… Line of sight. Sorry, I’m distracted by the FDA advising me to fondle one’s nether regions for Easter. [Mas…]
When Los Angeles was a still a little pueblo in the northern part of Mexico known as Alta California, Spanglish was born.
Public Radio International’s Global Nation explains:
…living in the a rancho just north of the pueblo was a young Scottish adventurer named Hugh Reid. In the 1830s he left the old world for the new — Mexico. And in his adopted home he was rechristened with an additional Spanish name, Perfecto Hugo Reid. Reid would eventually settle down on a ranch in southern California near the San Gabriel mission in what’s now Arcadia, a suburb of Los Angeles, where he married a local woman, Doña Victoria.
Robert Train has been obsessed with Hugo Reid’s backstory for the last few years. Train is a professor of Spanish at Sonoma State University. We met recently at the Huntington Library archives in Pasadena, to read Reid’s extremely yellowed letters.
The BBC sent a reporter to the Southwest to find out what it means to be a Mexican-American. The answer? It’s complicated.
(PNS reporting from RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA) Factional fighting among Spanglish speakers, academics, and Raza activists doomed the first Spanglish grammar conference, held here Sunday.
“The idea was to create some foundational principles and ground rules for our people’s language,” co-organizer Lourdes Cervantes-Borges of the Professional Organization of Chican@s Oppressed by Society (POCHOS) told PNS. “We wished merely to memorialize those rules in a book of proper Spanglish Style, a Estronque y Blanco if you will, but then these know-nada nacos had to get involved.”
“No manches, son puras pendejadas! I ain’t down with all of that academic bullshit,” countered East Los delegate-at-large Oscar “Mocoso” Chavez. “Nuestra lengua is from the streets, and I ain’t talking ’bout that chingon taco troka on the corner of Beverly Boulevard.” [Mas…]
Tijuana was a welcoming destination for Jewish refugees who fled Europe, Asia and the Mideast looking for a better life. This is one family’s story, and a POCHO Rosh HaShanah (New Year) tradition because shanah sorta rhymes with Tijuana. The Jewish year 5775 begins at sundown Wednesday, September 24; we wish all who celebrate a happy, healthy, peaceful, loving, prosperous and sweet New Year.
OY! DON’T RUN AWAY SO FAST! HOW ABOUT SOME NICE KOSHER NACHOS AKA TOTOPOS DE GRIBEÑES CON GUACAMOLE?
Ever have an awkward moment when you have to pretend to be an Anglo at the taqueria because you don’t speak Spanish? Alfonso “White Boy Mexican” Ochoa reports.