Amoeblog

Hispanic Heritage Month - Anglo America in Latin America

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 18, 2011 05:24pm | Post a Comment
For Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15), the focus naturally tends to be on Latino experiences and contributions in the US. The US is a nation of immigrants (founded by illegals, some would argue) and currently the largest group of immigrants arriving are from Mexico (followed by China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Canada and Korea). 
Immigration county by county

Individuals' reasons for coming to the United States vary but behind general trends there's frequently the specter of American involvement in the politics of their native countries that have made conditions less bearable at home whether it be the funding of right wing death squads, corporate exploitation, economic imperialism, secret anti-populist wars, CIA-backed coups and assassinations, or the American peoples' insatiable appetite for marijuana, meth, cocaine, rubies and gold.

My adobe hacienda nested in the western hills - Hacienda Heights

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 19, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment
HACIENDA HEIGHTS

Welcome to Hacienda Heights

This blog entry is about the community of Hacienda Heights, which rocketed to the top (becoming the most voted for neighborhood yet) following efforts by the City of Hacienda Heights on Facebook. Initially I was looking forward to meeting some locals to play tour guide but by the time I came they weren't able. No worries, however, as I brought along Hacienda Heights native Brandi Shaver and recurring companion Will Fleming. To get in the mood I set the CARDIS's radio controls to KAZN, a Mandarin station broadcast out of Pasadena.

Map of Hacienda Heights Map of the San Gabriel Valley
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of Hacienda Heights and the San Gabriel Valley

Hacienda Heights is a San Gabriel Valley city inthe located on the northern face of the Puente Hills and the floor of La Puente Valley. The highest point in the Heights is Workman Hill. Hacienda Heights is neighbored to the south by the SELACO communities of Whittier and La Habra Heights. To the west is North Whittier. North are Avocado Heights and the City of Industry. To the east is Rowland Heights which along with Hacienda Heights is sometimes referred to as The Heights

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Gabriel's Horn Does Sound - A San Gabriel Valley Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 24, 2011 06:33pm | Post a Comment
THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
San Gabriel Valley postcard

Invariably when one speaks or hears of "The Valley," the valley in question is the San Fernando (despite the fact that there are at least six major and loads of minor valleys in Los Angeles County). For the same reasons that I'm mildly annoyed when people refer to "THE City" or "THE Bay," the notion of "THE Valley" smacks of ignorance at best and unpleasant small-mindedness at worst. This blog entry is an introduction to the San Gabriel Valley, that great and amazing expanse of suburbs, boomburbs, exurbs and enthoburbs (any "suburb" portmanteaus I've missed?) with surprisingly significant history and variety of cultures beneath the seemingly uniform surface of bandage-colored strip malls and homes. That being said, at the time of writing, the San Fernando Valley page on Facebook has 25,519 fans whereas the San Gabriel Valley page has a mere ten.

Map of the San Gabriel Valley
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the San Gabriel Valley


GEOGRAPHY

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Across the River - An Eastside Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 30, 2011 04:11pm | Post a Comment

THE EASTSIDE

The Eastside

People are weird about Los Angeles' Eastside/Westside thing. The same wannabes from Midtown, HollywoodSilver Lake and Echo Park that throw up "W" hand signs and exaggeratedly say, "West-side" when they're ironically enjoying rap music are the same jerks that claim, despite the fact that they live in Central Los Angeles, that they live on The Eastside. If you call them on it, they usually claim that the real Eastside (the communities east of the Los Angeles River) are all East Los Angeles -- which is incorrect but more likely a sign that they've never been to the region that they claim -- and not some willful act of subterfuge. 


THE OTHER EASTSIDE 


To be fair to these noobs, ill-informed Westsiders, transplants, and weirdos who insist on diving the entire city or county into just two regions (I count 20) -- there is more than one Eastside... sort of. The other Eastside is sometimes referred to as the Black Eastside (even though it's currently mostly Latino) and has a long claim to the Eastside name. To many black Angelenos and South Los Angeles residents,  the traditional division between the Eastside and Westside is the 110 freeway (and before that freeway's existence, Main Street).  However, when "The Eastside" is used in this respect, it's implied (and usually understood) that one is talking about the Eastside of South Los Angeles.

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The Balkanization of the Latino/Spanish DVD Section - Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 14, 2010 04:07pm | Post a Comment
Latino/Spanish Section at Amoeba

Just in time for the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, we've divided up the Latino/Spanish DVD section into smaller subsections based on a film's country of origin. Now there are separate sections for Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Cuba, Chile and... the most popular, American Latino films. This follows similar moves in Asian Cinema, Foreign (mostly European) Cinema and African Cinema. Of course, the key objection here is that all the films are in the same language... which isn't true. Within its confines are films in Aranese,  Basque, Castilian, Catalan/Valencian, Caló/Pachuco, Chicano, English, Galician, Llanito, Nuyorican, Occitanian, Silbo Gomero, Spanglish, Tejano and combinations of several.

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