June 25, 2013

Olvera Street

On Father's Day we headed down to Olvera Street in Los Angeles. As much as I dislike LA, Old Town LA has just enough charm to win me over. Olvera Street is the supposed birthplace of LA, but it's pretty much all made up. The Adobe there dates to nearly a hundred years after LA was founded. There was a big push to save it in the 30's, and turn it into a sort of theme-park. Today it's crowded and a little cheesy, filled with carts of trinkets you could buy in Tijuana for less money.

That said, Olvera Street is adorable. I remember going to Tijuana a lot as a kid, and went four or five times in my teens (before you had to have a passport to get into Mexico), and Olvera Street is very reminiscent of Tijuana, but with better bathrooms. (I have a two absolutely horrific stories, but I'll spare you those) The street smells like fresh melons, carne asada, and churros, music plays in the background as you wind through the narrow walkways of shops selling woven blankets, embroidered blouses, tooled leather bags, Huaraches, and mini sombreros. It is charmingly cheesy, bustling, and a total blast! We looked around, nibbling on churros, drinking Horchata (well, thems that like it did!), and being mistaken for European tourists. (it was weird) My favourite was when the Aztec dancer came up to Bri and I and explained in very slow, over enunciated English that this was the dance of the ancient Aztec people from Mexico. It was bizarre. When we took this absolutely ridiculous photo on a stuffed donkey, people were taking pictures of us having our picture taken. It was seriously so weird. But as we hung around we realized that this was really a cultural hub. 90% of the people there were Hispanic and were there dancing and celebrating their own culture. There were very few "tourists" in comparison. It was pretty cool!

This photo ended up being a very happy accident!

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