The Plaza of Angels

While driving into the heart of L.A.  I imagined aspiring plastic actors, hipsters, and the Hollywood sign. What I got instead was this:two dancers

It made sense once I saw it, but I didn’t expect it.  There in LA’s historic plaza, in the open space flanked by statues of Catholic missionaries and Spanish conquistadors, were Aztec dancers. This was not the land of William Penn.

smoke and dancersLA’s history is normally thought of as marked off by stars on sidewalks and fourth grader’s building mission models. I prefer Olvera St.market

It has sandals made from tire treads, redundant booths filled with baja pullovers, and plenty of painted skulls.skulls

If you look close enough at the photo you will see that I did not look very close before I snapped the picture. I mostly just kept strolling. The place had atmosphere. It smells heavily of roasted chili, there was loud mariachi music, and most of all, there were luchador masks.masks

I have never claimed to be classy. I have also never sat through a pro wrestling match; televised or otherwise. I do not speak Spanish past a Sesame Street level, mi casa es su casa, but I stood in front of that wall transfixed by the idea of owning a Nacho Libre red and powder blue mask. I think I would look very much like Jack Black were I wearing a cape and jumping around in stretchy pants. I’m not sure this is a good thing, but at that moment it was what I wanted. I wanted it for about $5 but the guy at the cart wanted it for $10.

There will be no photos of me dancing in a cape, mask, and stretchy pants.

At least for now.

In the mean time I present something much tastier:flamesNo it is not DiBruno Bros., but anyone who turns up their nose at carne asada is much more insane than Hector Jimenez ever pretended to be.conquistador

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3 Comments

Filed under places

3 responses to “The Plaza of Angels

  1. Nancy Reynolds

    Oooh, been craving candied sweet potatoes from Olvera Street. Grammy used to take me every year and we bought it every time. Next time you are there introduce yourself to one for me.

  2. Now that’s a travelogue. Gives me greater appreciation for a place that I’ve never wanted to visit.

  3. Christian Ryan

    We can’t go a day around here without somebody shouting, “get that corn out of my face!”

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