28 Things Latinos … Who Grew Up in LA … Know To Be True

LATINO PRESPECTIVE--Forget everything you saw on The Hills. Here’s a different view of the City of L.A brought to us by Norberto Briceno from BuzzFeed. 

  • Your introduction to Pizza was from La Pizza Loca “La Gigante” which is still the largest delivered pizza in Los Angeles, and the world. 252 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 
  • You were fluent in Spanglish. “I went to the store to buy los zapatos that I like pero estaban gone. 
  • You will always remember the classic Mariachi mural at El Mercadito in Boyle Heights, and also the shrine of the Virgin Mary in the parking lot.com  
  • For your cousin’s Quinceanera, your family hired a musician from Mariachi Plaza in East LA. 
  • The chefs from Nina’s Food on Breed St. in East LA made the greatest quesadillas this side of the boarder. 
  • La La Favorite Bakery is the place to go for the freshest pan dulce in Los Angeles. Get there by 8 p.m. when the bread comes straight out of the oven. This is how all bread should taste. And they provide some awesome limo service, that’s right Limo Service. 
  • Before there was Best Buy, there was Dearden’s, and LA Curacao. 
  • Who needs to go to a mall when you could go to Los Callejones? You can hone your bargaining skills at the Santee Alley, or he Alameda Swap Meet. 
  • During hot summers, street vendors gave you exactly what you needed. 
  • If you were waiting for the bus near MacArthur Park, the Guatemalan-style tamales would do the trick. 
  • When you got home from school, OG news anchors Eduardo Quezada and Andrea Kutyas from KMEX 34 delivered the six o’clock news. 
  • You got all your medical advice from Dr. Pacheco from Noticias 62 
  • There was two degrees of separation between you and a cholo. Every family has a black sheep. Don’t judge. 
  • If you went to public school, you heard about the legend of the greatest math teacher of all time Jaime Escalante. He even had his own mural, posing with Edward James Olmos. Painted on the side of a building near MacArthur Park, at the intersection of Alvarado Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Olmos played Escalante in the Oscar-nominated film Stand and Deliver
  • You will remember the unbelievable cemitas from the food truck Cemitas Tepeaco in Boyle Heights. 
  • But if were in the mood for some pupusas, Las Cazuelas in Highland Park was the place to go. 
  • You cheered for the Oakland Raiders at the LA Coliseum before they abandoned their Angeleno fanbase. And we will never forget. 
  • You were at the Rose Bowl to watch the LA Galaxy’s first game.
  • Fernando Valenzuela gave you a reason to cheer for the Dodgers. If you don’t remember, ask your parents. 
  • If you couldn’t go to the game, you would listen to the Spanish voice of the Dodgers on the radio. Jaime Jarrin, making the Dodgers sound good since 1958 
  • If you needed a lawyer, you always had Los Abogados or Los Defensores. 
  • You went grocery shopping at Food4Less, Top Value, and Superior. 
  • The uncontrollable joy of having el paletero stroll through your hood. We all scream for a paleta de tamarindo con chile. 
  • The feeling you had when you saw the EBS Message on your TV. 
  • Your parents listened to Humberto Luna Por La Manaña on the now defunct TenQ 1020 AM. Humberto was the first Latino radio personality to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 
  • Waking up to the sound of crowing ROOSTERS! Yes, this was a thing in some LA neighborhoods. It became such a problem that the LA city council voted to limit one rooster per household
  • You attended the groundbreaking May Day rally in 2006. The LA Timesestimated around 500,000 peopleattended the massive protest. 

Los Angeles really is a city rich in cultural heritage let’s be proud and celebrate it!


(Fred Mariscal came to Los Angeles from Mexico City in 1992 to study at the University of Southern California and has been in LA ever since. He is a community leader who serves as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition and sits on the board of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council representing Larchmont Village. He was a candidate for Los Angeles City Council in District 4. Fred writes Latino Perspective for CityWatch and can be reached at: fred.gwnc@gmail.com.)