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El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina


Latin Playboy Old Chola For Lease, Zuela, LA Taco.


It has been a wet dog out there. My annual trek to Juanito's has been delayed a day. Don't bother telling me; I already realize that going to Juanito's once a year is like going to church or temple once a year. But there are some things so special you don't want to do them much more than once a year. Juanito's, St. Matthew's Passion, &c. As Nabokov said, "In order to enjoy life, we should not enjoy it too much." Should headwinds prevail, I should be sliding across Flores with a dozen of the quarry on ice by 3:30. Nous irons tous au paradis. &c.

But that reminds me of something else. When I got to NYC in 1975, everyone including me was reading Robert Caro's book on Robert Moses, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography that year (Caro has won this prize twice, btw). I'm thinking now that the book can offer clues to El Pueblo--because NYC survived Moses, bad mayors, greedy unions, &c. and did not fall after all. Picked it up again because I really don't remember enough of it. When that city was failing politically, it was at its cultural zenith (not like now, when it is merely primary cave for a bunch of flitting fruit-bats, hopeful for one more meal before the next gorgon-headed Republican president comes along).

And that is also what the completely-politically-clowned-out city of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina, with its checked-out Mayor, its clown-suited City Attorney, its impotent controller, its facile Council, its street-urchin-pandering unions, its toxic media sites, its fleabag consultants feels like today: it feels like the dead carcass of a city, a carcass being picked over, not by the pols, not even by the greedy, for whom there isn't even enough left of it to satisfy, but by the cultured and the cultural aspirant. It feels like New York circa 1975. Which is why you go to Juanito's and why you read Caro and why during the holidays you pointedly ignore the city that pointedly ignores the unwelcome prophets on its periphery.