¡Oye! A LAtina perspective on food, fashion, familia and art.


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thrifting into the new year

How lucky are we… to have boys who love to go thrift shopping and are passionate about food?  An added benefit is to adore the mother of your boy’s good friend. So, I guess the answer is that we are very lucky.

The Goodwill on La Brea in Los Angeles rocks!  I had NO idea.  Oh my goodness.  Some Goodwill locations really seem to cater to the “get dressed for your corporate interview” need… which is great, but this Goodwill…  This Goodwill caters to the “need an outfit for time traveling pronto” people.  That was us.

Ravenclaw Prefect pin  and fez from Whimsic Alley

These two boys are really into Dr. Who right now, thus the tweedy jackets and fez.  It’s all about who you become with that outfit.  For example, my go-to all black stretchy evening wear means I am a relaxing Korean soap opera watcher, while a tweed jacket and a fez for someone else means only one thing:  time travel!  Well, and maybe eating Cuban food.

Did I say Whimsic Alley?  Why yes, I did.  See, we started this little outing at our favorite Harry Potter headquarters, Whimsic Alley.  Yes, I do love it there.  It’s like a little trip to Hogsmeade.  Thus, we have the young lad hiding his butter beer (It’s really just butterscotch soda.  I love it.) behind his menu at El Colmao, one of our favorite spots for Cuban food.  Liquados de mamey?  Check.  Garlic roast chicken?  Check.  Cuban coffee.  Oh, yes.  We need our fuel to thrift.

Black beans, rice, avocados, and garlic roast chicken at El Colmao

 

When I go to El Colmao, I feel like I am time traveling.  Even though I didn’t grow up coming here, the 1960’s time capsule look with the chandeliers and vintage signed head shots make it feel like a place I would have come to after church every Sunday.  I can just picture it.  Instead, we were going to an Orange County K Mart where we might get a submarine sandwich. Did I just share that?  Anyway, this food shot is so not a foodie shot because I think usually foodies remember to take the photo before they start eating the food.

Here is a silk, Hong Kong made dress I got that day at the Goodwill.  It kind of reminded me of Kiki’s Delivery Service even though I couldn’t find an image of a character wearing a dress like this in the movie.  The good news is that I found this when I was looking for a Kiki image.  (Note to self:  Do a post on the espressos and amazing blue of Espresso Cielo in Santa Monica)

Earrings by Evan Hartzell

 

And lastly, a terry cloth top from the same Goodwill trip that makes me feel like I am a soap maker in the Japanese countryside.  You see it, don’t you?  Oh, those days of making soap.  The soft breeze from the garden coming in through the open windows.  The intoxicating soap scents wafting through the air.  I think I just heard the sushi rice cooker go “ping!”.

Fashion.  Food.  Art.  Repeat.

By Laura E. Alvarez


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Chicana in the O.C.

By Laura E. Alvarez

   

 A Christmas pepper discovered in the garden Sunday morning!  A sign that this was going to be a particularly Mexican trip to the O.C.

 

 We traveled behind the orange curtain to visit  my dad and go with him to order tamales for Christmas Eve.

 

 El Toro Bravo has it all.  Tamales, good meats, tortilleria (tortilla factory), a small market and a great place to get masa for your tamales.

 

 Waiting in line to order, you are faced with a tempting embarrassment of riches – a pile of chile rellenos.  Chile rellenos are actually really fun to make.  It’s all about the roasting.  They catch fire on the open flame sometimes!  My mom used to make them for birthdays.

    

Here’s where I slip in the Clothes Story:  I decided to go for neon under Victorian like slip blouse with an embroidered folky purse.  What does it MEAN?  What made me wear this?  I have no idea.  Wait, now I have an idea:  Romantic meets an 80’s OC adolescence meets summers spent in my mother’s hometown in Tamaulipas.  Remember Laura Ashley and Wham U.K.?  Nothing like PTSD of the Orange County fashion.   So fun.

 

Requisite artsy photo means we are making art.

What follows is more art.  See?  It’s bigger…

 

 

 

 

 And we’re back! On the way to pick up my dad we picked up a load of tasty Mexican sweet bread from a very nice panaderìa, where we didn’t take any photos because it’s not my dad’s “favorite place”, plus they didn’t have any maranitos (little pigs) – the definition of pan dulce for him.  So we went to Gloria’s next to El Toro Bravo and he got his wish – five maranitos.  Por fin, he was satisfied.  May I suggest a cup of Cuban coffee and a little pan dulce with toda la familia around 11am on a Sunday?  Yes?

   

And what is a trip to Mexicana O.C. without visiting the Diego Sepulveda House?  In the center photo you see my dad saying to Evan, “I remember coming here to visit every Sunday.”… back when his sister, Francis lived in the house with her family in the 1940’s.  Now it’s a museum surrounded by a park.  I remember coming here on a school field trip and telling the other kids my aunt used to live there.

Special thanks to Evan Hartzell for taking all the art-fotos.