I grew up hearing that Los Angeles was a city with no there, there. I've never believed that statement. I love my home city.
True, it is a city that has razed its historical architecture. It is a place for people to come to when they've been living a fantasy, are desperate for change in their lives, or who want to get away from slush and sleet. It is a place of dreams denied and dreams that survive.
Nowadays you're as likely to hear that it is a mixing of folks from all over the place. It is dim sum, kim chee, churros, baklava, gumbo, pieroghis, and apple pie. You name a language, an orientation, an age or era, and there is likely someone nearby who can make a connection to that group.
That's part of what I find so much fun about Los Angeles Heritage Day. You can begin walking at Olvera Street, greeted by a mannequin wearing a combo Betty Boop polk-a-dot and díia de los muertos apron topped by an Azteca penacho in front of a stall that has likely been in use since the late 1930s.
You can continue to walk on the pretend cobblestones, past an LAPD patrol car, loaded in the front because of the size of the engine.
You can meet and greet folks who are dedicated re-enactors, who value accuracy in period dress, and come to offer a dress up opportunity for children - Californio era - but who
are more than open to letting those who would relish the opportunity
to shed them themselves of today and wrap themselves in a bit of history.
And yet others who are committed to preserving our collective heritage because they find it precious and acknowledge that it needs to be nurtured that we might regain our sense of place.
To learn more about LA Heritage Day and LA Heritage Alliance clique on the links.
Proud to share that Latino Heritage is a member of this nurturing group.