Mexico: Son Huasteco

Huasteca Region, Mexico

As mentioned previously, I had hoped to write a little on my recent trip to Mexico but I’ve been having trouble finding a place to start. So much has changed since my last visit there seven years earlier. I can’t tell if Mexico is more American, the US is more Mexican or if it’s just that I’m finally beginning to understand both cultures. In any case, there’s too much to wrap my head around, there are race and class issues I simply do not have the skills to write about. (Like what’s up with all the vendors and ambulantes calling me “huera” when I have the same morena skin as them?) Then there’s the commercialization of El Chopo, the high prices of La Lagunilla and the intensity of Mercado Merced, all of these subjects are coincidentally being covered by Los Angeles journalist Daniel Hernandez who has been sharing his cultural observations of Mexico DF on his excellent blog: Intersections. I’ll leave the good writing and the insightful analysis to him. Instead, I’ll focus on two subjects that partly inspired this visit to Mexico: Son Huasteco music and Filigree jewelry.
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Chola Bracelets, ex. 1

Chola Bracelets, ex. 1-from Teen Angeles Magazine

I recently checked my blog stats and was surprised to discover “chola bracelets” was one of the top search queries leading to this site. I myself have had difficulty finding graphics, photos or any info whatsoever having to do with the once ubiquitous black rubber bracelets. So I’ve decided to placate the Google gods with these images in order to aid those looking for graphic samples of this not quite forgotten 70s chola fashion accessory. Example number one, above.

Family Photos

Johnny in Los Angeles-my dad at City Hall, circa 1965

I like these photos because they evoke the dreamy recollections of an old Los Angeles – a romantic history passed on through my parents.

Playing for Change-my dad and friends


Milić Ljubomir

[post transferred over from an old myspace blog entry]

Did you know Mexican music was popular with Yugoslavians in the 50s? I didn’t either! But here’s a webpage to prove it:
Jugoslovanska Mehika
It’s worth visiting for the album covers and mp3s. Ay, watch out Chente!

When we were in London many years ago, we went into a Turkish chip shop and there was a small crowd of veiled women gathered around an old TV which was blaring an unexpected tune. I peeked through them to see the infamously dingy Thalia in the opening credits of her hit telenovela Marimar. With the exception of the theme song, it was all dubbed into Turkish. It was a nice bit of familiarity so far from home.
I can’t say I felt the same way when we discovered a can of corn tortillas in the international food section of Harrod’s department store (appropriately located under the escalator in the basement). Yes, a can of corn tortillas for 10 pounds (like $15 dollars).

Apparently, older Germans also like Mexican music:

Fiesta Mexicana!



I really doubt anyone reads this blog to find out about upcoming events but just in case, the following concerts/events are my picks for some diversionary fun.

Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, April 6, 2008-September 1, 2008. LACMA
Symposium, April 5, 2008 10am in the Bing Theater.

Forever Flamenco at the Fountain Theater, April 20, 2008 $25
The Fountain Theater debut of one of the best up and coming Flamenco dancers in Los Angeles, Cristina “La Tigresa” Lucio.

Robyn at the Wiltern, Saturday, May 17, 2008 8:00 PM $20
Ooo, I bet she puts on a good live show!

Gnarls Barkley, Youssou N’Dour, Deerhoof at the Hollywood Bowl July 27, 2008, $10-$96
I’d go to see Deehoof not sure about Gnarls Barkley.

Darn! Missed the tribute to Serge Gainsbourg at the Bordello.