Spanglish is the language in Latino city LA
They have salsa in their blood, homesickness in their hearts and tortillas on their tables. There are more Latinos in Los Angeles than in any other US city. But the days when they all tended the gardens or the children of the rich are past. Latinos are a growing artistic, cultural, and political presence and the few miles separating them from Hollywood are getting shorter
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How ’bout a beer?” Big John, an impressive figure with a grayish-white ponytail, is an excellent host - even on the parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl, California’s most attractive open-air venue. The rays of the late afternoon sun lend cars and people
a peach-colored hue. The annual Mariachi USA Festival is due to start an hour from now. It will feature bands from all parts of the country playing the sad songs favored
by wandering Mexican minstrels. In the meantime, Big John and his buddies are warming up with coke and beer in the parking lot.
Hispanic Americans in Los Angeles: influence and social advancement
LA Skyline: For the first time since 1872, a mayor of Mexican descent is governing the second largest US state after New York. Roughly 50 percent of Angelinos are Latinos - and their influence in politics, business and culture is growing.
International stars like singer/actor Jennifer Lopez give the new Hispanic self-confidence a face, as more and more Latinas and Latinos take their place among LA’s high society
Although many Latinos are proud US citizens, they wouldn’t miss the Mexican national holiday celebrations. The Cinco de Mayo festivities can last a week in Los Angeles, where they are more important for some than for the folks back in Mexico
The mix of cultures - Mexican influences and Hispanic style - is really distinctive
¡Viva México! Historical Olvera Street marks the strip where Los Angeles was founded in the 1780s. Even today, the city appears to live on as a Hispanic-Mexican settlement - albeit more as an open-air museum than a real village
The Mexican influence in this mural on Hollywood Boulevard is undeniable. Muralismo is Mexico’s national art. One proponent, Diego Rivera (artist Frida Kahlo’s husband), achieved world acclaim for his works in the 1930s and ’40s
No sooner does fashion designer Louis Verdad come up with a new design, than Hollywood stars and starlets are wearing it. “I love the mix here,” says Verdad of LA, “Hispanic style meets Anglo-American at every turn and they blend and grow into something quite unique”
Pictures: getty images (4), Corbis (2), mauritius images