It is a Friday night and I’m driving with my girlfriend. We are heading to The Spot,
which is a Mexican restaurant called Villa Sombrero
in Highland Park. We call it The Spot
because it is our
spot; it has the perfect margarita and good food, which is a rarity. The L.A. area Mexican restaurants seem to sacrifice one for the other. It’s either you have great drinks and lousy food or visa versa. We have our favorite waiter, Jesus
from D.F., who is a character in his own right. I couldn’t even begin to explain him-- he is an experience and probably the best waiter I’ve ever known. Going there signals the start of our very short weekend. After the first sip of my margarita I am reminded that my workweek is over and I have the day off the next day. It doesn’t matter how broke I am or how inconvenient it is going there. The Spot
gives us a sense of humanity. That we do not just exist to work and pay bills.
I make a left on to Cypress Ave. I see two police cars on opposite sides of the street, not even a block away from my house with their flashing lights on. I wonder if it was more fallout from an incident that happened on February 22nd, in which undercover police gunned down a twenty two year old. A few days before that, there was a hit on a thirty-six year-old veterano
while he was holding his two-year old granddaughter, followed by the police, killing one of the hit men in nearby Glassell Park. All over the city there has been an increase of gang and gun related deaths. The most recent was last Thursday, a drive-by shooting and subsequent death of a twenty year old on Ave. 59 in Highland Park, not too far where we are going to eat. I hadn’t even reached the point where Cypress turns into Eagle Rock when I saw at least several more police cars.
Every person the police has pulled over looks the same. All are Latino, young, male and pelon
with custom cars. Most of them don’t look the part of a gang member yet still they are pulled over. It is incredible how many police are out tonight. By the time we hit the restaurant I have seen more than fifteen units under a two-mile stretch. At a light I watch the young pelones
bum out. It’s not so fun to go out on a Friday night after being humiliated by some cops.