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robertogreco : orangecounty   18

Review: At Fonda Mixcoac in Anaheim, order a cheesy 29-inch machete. Bring friends - Los Angeles Times
"There is more to Fonda Mixcoac than machetes.

But you’re here, in Anaheim, four miles but a world away from the tourist hotels and chain restaurants of Disneylandia, for the machetes. A staple of Mexico City street stalls since at least the 1960s, they are the freak show cousins of quesadillas and huaraches: roughly the length of a Louisville Slugger, a folded-over surfboard of masa stuffed with two or three meals’ worth of cheese-smothered meats and veggies.

Fonda Mixcoac is run by several members of the Villegas family, a multi-generational clan who routinely trade off kitchen duties. The elder Villegas, Jose, opened the restaurant about five years ago with a vision that was simple and twofold: to carve out a niche for machetes in Southern California, where they are still relatively hard to find — and to make machetes bigger than those in Mexico City.

To that end, Fonda Mixcoac makes 29-inch machetes — griddle-crisped behemoths so long they barely fit on the restaurant’s tables. (A 12-inch, junior-size version called a machetito is also available). I’m told it took the family years to fine-tune a masa recipe sturdy and stretchy enough to withstand the dish’s exaggerated proportions. They’re stuffed with the standard guisados: thin sheets of the marinated beef called cecina de res; slinky, gooey pork skins of chicharrón prensado; juicy, slightly spicy nubs of homemade chorizo. You can configure a vegetarian machete from wilted, buttery flor de calabaza (squash blossoms); smoky rajas with epazote; or a thick spread of huitlacoche, the earthy, jet-black corn fungus that’s been a culinary staple in Mexico since pre-Columbian times.

Your machete is bulging with melted Oaxaca cheese, finely chopped iceberg lettuce and rivulets of crema fresca. It lands on the table with a whiff of head-turning fanfare, wrapped in the perfume of clean, hot oil. You whip out your smartphone to take pictures. Someone gently raises the baby cradled in their arms next to the machete for a sense of scale (the machete is bigger). It takes three or four adults to polish off one two-plus-foot-long machete. Someone else wisely carves into the dish, divvying it up into smaller, more manageable sections. Hot cheese dribbles out of every loose end. When you take a bite, the fried corn shell splinters against your teeth with a sharp crunch. Stretchy ribbons of cheese and quivering flaps of meat threaten to splatter onto the table. You devour your piece in one unseemly breath, nearly smashing it into your mouth to avoid spillage.

Beyond machetes, the cafe’s wide-ranging menu hews closely to the foods that Jose Villegas grew up eating in Mexico City, and his devotion to home-style Mexican cooking is broadcast loud and clear on the menu. “COMIDA MEXICANA,” the cover declares in all-caps typeface. “No ‘Mexican Food’.”

“My dad always says that if you want ‘Mexican food,’ go to Taco Bell,” Jose Villegas’ son, Erick, explains. “But if you want comida Mexicana, come here.”

So, in place of Doritos Locos Tacos, there are pambazos, plump, chile-stained French roll sandwiches stuffed with a cheesy blend of chorizo and potatoes. There’s beefy alambre, a platter of chopped steak, ham, peppers, onions and bacon fused together with lavish amounts of melted cheese, served with short stacks of hot corn tortillas. Huaraches, smeared with black beans and blanketed with queso fresco, are crisp and massive. Try the huarache azteca, furnished with thin, salty scraps of cecina, grilled onions, nopales, avocado and a drizzle of fresh salsa verde.

There are tacos made with nubbins of gently charred carne asada, or loosely packed with a creamy, spicy choriqueso. The al pastor is altogether unremarkable, but there is always cecina de res, air-dried beef that has something of the clean, thin-sliced, salty appeal of prosciutto.

On the weekends, the restaurant slow-cooks large quantities of lamb barbacoa, a city version of rural Hidalgo’s famous pit-roasted barbecue. The meat is shredded into flossy, slightly chewy tendrils that are gently charred around the edges on the grill and piled into aluminum to-go containers. If you order the family-style barbacoa package, it comes with a large bowl of consommé, a deep, musky aromatic broth filled with stewed garbanzo beans. You splash the meat with some of that lovely, meaty broth, and eat it with hot tortillas and salsa roja.

But a half-pound of lamb is probably not why you wandered into Fonda Mixcoac’s sunny, bare-bones dining room in the first place. You came for the same reason that people pile into small, sun-baked boats off the coast of Baja California every spring to see the blue whales that pass through the Sea of Cortez: to spy for yourself a rare colossus that’s impossible to forget once you’ve seen it in the flesh."
food  anaheim  orangecounty  mexican  restaurants  2019 
april 2019 by robertogreco
An Official Welcome - The New York Times [California Today]
"I’m a California native — born at U.C.L.A. Medical Center. But when I was 2, my dad got a good job in Kansas City, so my parents packed up and left the place where they grew up for the Midwest.

Now, I understand it for the smart career move that it was. For the 10 years we lived outside the Golden State, though, I only ever wanted to go back.

Whenever we’d fly into LAX to visit my grandparents and my cousins, it felt like coming home for reasons I couldn’t really articulate.

Part of it was that in Kansas, I never quite forgot that I looked different from my tawny-headed classmates, who sometimes asked if I was Chinese. That was hurtful only because it underscored that I’d never be like them at an age when I just wanted to fit in.

My mom is Japanese-American and my dad is of Russian Jewish descent. And in California, I felt like I could be just another face in the crowd — whether we were at an udon restaurant with my mom’s parents in Gardena or the West Hollywood comedy club where my paternal grandmother worked.

I share this because it captures the peculiar magic of California for me.

[image: "Out on one of my favorite assignments: Squid fishing off the Orange County coast in 2013. [photo by] Don Leach"]

We eventually moved back, to the Mission Viejo area. Then I went to college at U.C. Berkeley and worked in Bakersfield, Orange County and Los Angeles as a reporter. During that time, I learned California is a place that’s impossible to explain, to encapsulate in any one way.

But it’s a place where almost anyone can feel at home.

And that’s what I want California Today to help you feel. I want you to look forward to opening the newsletter every morning, knowing that you’ll start the day understanding your state a little better, even if it’s boundless.

To achieve this, we’ll be rethinking the newsletter from greeting to kicker. You’ll notice us trying different formats and features."
california  multiculturalism  identity  kansas  orangecounty  californiatoday  2018  jillcowan  missionviejo  experience  home  place  ethnicity  inclusivity  acceptance 
december 2018 by robertogreco
the LAB Anti-Mall
[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BoKwCSpH85A/ ]

"Not everyone knows this, but The LAB stands for “Little American Business” and that’s exactly who we are and what we strive to support.

The LAB began its journey to combat retail monotony when it was recycled from a night-vision goggle factory, more than 25 years ago!

In the midst of Orange County’s suburbia, we recognized a need for an original, indoor-outdoor unconventional hang-out packed with a wide array of cafes, restaurants and retail that embraced a vibrant community of lovers in art, music, fashion and hip cuisine.

You'll find us located about a half a mile south of the 405 Freeway on Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, California. A quick look at our website will give you the inside scoop on happenings and special events including live music, maker markets and artist installations.

Welcome to The LAB."

[See also:
https://www.instagram.com/thelabantimall/
https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/3796900/the-lab-anti-mall/ ]
costamesa  via:davidtedu  orangecounty  srg 
september 2018 by robertogreco
The Essential Guide to Eating California - Eater
"In the American imagination, California has always been viewed through a haze of fantasy. Early on, it was dreams of fist-sized gold nuggets lying in wait. Then a generation of Okies schlepped West, to eventually populate the pages of Steinbeck and the photos of Dorothea Lange, looking for a utopian land of plenty. More recently, it’s reveries of glamour and fame. Of in-ground pools. Of cheap avocados and convertible road trips to Coachella. Of picnics beside granite waterfalls. Of another gold rush, but made out of code. Of palm trees and beaches and children riding surf boards to school.

This is all mostly the stuff of California’s well-marketed mythology: There are swaying palm trees, but no public guacamole fountains. There are uncannily good-looking people and overnight millionaires, but few top-down joyrides (hello traffic). And then there’s the food. The beautiful idea that pretty much anything you can put in your mouth is better in California? That part, it turns out, isn’t a fantasy.

Obscenely wonderful produce is abundant year-round, but there are also peerless sushi bars and Sichuan restaurants and kebab shops and beach burger shacks and prix fixe palaces and pho specialists and bread bakeries and chaat shops and French bistros and tacos — lo, the tacos! This is where even toast sparked a national obsession.

In the course of putting together Eater’s first-ever guide to the entire state of California, we shipped our national critic out West for two months, recruited more than a dozen local experts, ate hundreds of meals, and drove just about every imaginable strip of highway to help you live our favorite version of the California dream. From the definitive list of the state’s 38 essential restaurants to a Central Valley taco crawl to an artist’s statewide search for a Beijing specialty, here’s Eater’s entirely true guide to the totally fantastical state of California — palm trees optional."
food  restaurants  california  centralvalley  centralcoast  sanfrancisco  losangeles  bayarea  socalnorcal  eating  littlesaigon  sangabrielvalley  marin  sonoma  sandiego  orangecounty 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Mapping LA-tinx Suburbia – Boom California
"One of the most famous attempts to describe Los Angeles depicts it as an enclave of communities without a focused core; a collective search for a pulse that does not exist. One version of this characterization suggests, “Los Angeles: seventy-two suburbs in search of a city.” Another narrows the scope: “nineteen suburbs in search of a metropolis.” Assigned to a series of writers, most famously Dorothy Parker, but also Aldous Huxley and H.L. Mencken, the words reverberate an anxiety about Angelenos’ collective experiences of space.[1] Pointing to the uniqueness of Los Angeles’s geography and topography, it also reveals the challenge of trying to capture the essence of a multi-nodal place with words alone. This essay examines how digital mapping can help to foreground localized knowledges of Los Angeles by introducing a pilot multimedia project called the Barrio Suburbanism Map.

In recent years, the digital-turn has birthed a new version of spatial musings similar to those of Parker, often in the form of maps. Rather than plotting points on a grid, digital mapping often combines practices of cartography, photography, narration, active revision, and public-orientation. These contemporary multimedia renderings demonstrate the continued active and critical searching for what it means to live in metropolitan Los Angeles. From this search, several questions emerge. Who decides what a place is called: barrio, suburb, neighborhood, ghetto, colonized territory? Where are its edges? How does a space become more than a location, but instead a site imbued with meaning? And, to whom? These questions move us beyond the iconic scene of Los Angeles produced from the studios of the Hollywood Hills to the lived experiences of space radiating out from Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights to the Tierra Mia coffee shop in Huntington Park. This essay explores how digital mapping might inform our understanding of metropolitan Los Angeles, both in the academy and beyond. Specifically, by pairing photographs with student ethnographies, the Barrio Suburbanism Map complicates popular perceptions of the suburbs as sites of homogeneity in order to reveal the dynamic diversity of suburbanization in multiracial Los Angeles, with a focus on Latinx communities.

Since the writings of 1920s social commentators, a range of urban historians, planners, creative writers, artists, and preservationists have created a wealth of scholarship and resources concerning Los Angeles and its suburbs: as bustling sites of working class identity, as spaces of queer sociability, and as areas of relocation for urban Chicanxs.[2] Yet, suburbs are habitually understood through the lenses of homeownership, whiteness, middle-class status, and conservatism in popular discourse. These depictions of suburbs eclipse the equally important histories of “triangular race relations” and “relational racialization” exemplified in places like Los Angeles, where complex interactions between race, class, and gender have accompanied the social segmentation of the metropolitan region.[3] Rather than a fixed set of characteristics, suburbia is networked, ever shifting, historically contingent, and defined by much more than political boundaries.[4]

This essay explores how digital mapping can function as an active means for engaging ongoing process of place-making, one that can offer unique contributions to both student learning and public engagement.[5] Beginning with a brief account of digital mapping projects in Greater Los Angeles, this essay provides a series of mosaics from one such project designed by the authors, the Barrio Suburbanism Map. A collaborative research project created by UCLA undergraduates in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, its aims are two-fold. First, it builds upon studies of the barrio and diverse suburbs to examine how these sites operate in multiracial and metropolitan contexts. Second, it foregrounds undergraduate research aimed at reaching a public audience through multimedia mapping. Piloted in an upper-division research seminar in the Winter of 2016, the project asks how Chicana/o and Latina/o populations have impacted the economic, social, and spatial contours of specific suburbs, with attention to how place-making and the built environment have changed over time."



"Through digital mapping, projects like the Barrio Suburbanism Map facilitate public-oriented research and student engagement in that process. By pairing photographs with student ethnographies, the map seeks to complicate popular perceptions of suburbia. It highlights the dynamic diversity of suburbanization in multiracial Los Angeles, with a focus on Latinx migration and settlement that aims to provoke critical discussion. In particular, it foregrounds how Latinx suburbanites impact the spatial and ideological contours of Greater Los Angeles. Rather than statistically driven mapping, these types of projects offer a more humanistic approach for interpreting space with the potential to train students in historical analysis. This is the first layer of an exponentially buildable platform. Future iterations, for instance, could introduce new layers to the present map that address labor history, housing prices, racial housing covenants, predatory lending, or fair housing activism, as well as artistic, literary, and architectural interventions in suburban spaces. As noted by the editors of Hypercities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities, “thick maps are never finished and meanings are never definite… and give rise to forms of counter-mapping, alternative maps, multiple voices, and on-going contestations.” In this way, digital mapping offers a promising opportunity to develop pedagogical and public initiatives that are responsive to the changing conditions of the world we live in."
maps  mapping  losangeles  genevievecarpio  andyrutkowski  2017  digital  digitalhumanities  placemaking  chicanostudies  latinx  suburbs  sanfernando  boyleheights  highlandpark  lincolnheights  victorvalle  rodolfotorres  greatereastside  laurabarraclough  history  economics  politics  demographics  orangecounty  sangabrielvalley  sanfernandovalley  wendycheng  inlandempire  rosemead  baldwinpark  santaana  ontario 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Light, Love, and Los Angeles — A Year of Wednesdays — Medium
"What do I miss most about Orange County? There’s the warmth and the light (and I miss those most of all), but alongside those: The food and the proximity to LA. OC has the best sushi I’ve ever eaten in my life, and so many izakaya. Amazing Vietnamese food. Southern California’s tacos are better than Northern California’s, end of argument. Even more than that: During my time in OC, I cooked and baked more than I ever have in my life, and I discovered photography when I lived in a condo that was full of light. I spent a lot of time outside, and whenever I could I escaped to LA, where I learned to explore that giant city bit by bit.

Being in LA this past weekend for the first time since 2011 reminded me how much I love Southern California, and how wonderful LA is. It also reminded me how the air can be warm in a particular way, about the quality of the light that creates a perfect glow while also defining the shadows, about wanting to explore little by little. So here we go: words, images, tastes, sounds. A year of Wednesdays."

[Also posted here: http://ohheygreat.tumblr.com/post/71916102889/light-love-and-los-angeles ]
orangecounty  losangeles  2014  leahreich  light  food  socal  california 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Open School | The Future is Open
"We are a group of people starting a democratic school in Orange County, California. The school will be committed to learner led education that respects, trusts, and empowers students to pursue their interests, optimize their potential as human beings, and allow their true selves to emerge."
democraticschools  sudburyschools  orangecounty  schools  education  freeschools  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The True Literature of California is Science Fiction
[Also posted here: http://www.boomcalifornia.com/2014/01/kim-stanley-robinson/ ]

"Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of many works of science fiction, including The Three Californias, a trilogy of novels about southern California; the Mars Trilogy; 2312, a novel about climate change; and his most recent novel, Shaman.

Robinson is one of California's best-known and well-loved, living science fiction writers. A prolific writer, author of two trilogies and several other novels, he is one of the few science fiction novelists who still dares envision utopia—not the static and socially constrained utopias of Thomas More or Edward Bellamy, but dynamic, complex, multicultural societies that always have to struggle for and reflect on their own futures.

Robinson earned a Ph.D. from UC San Diego, where he worked with the legendary postmodern literary scholar Fredric Jameson and wrote his dissertation on science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. He cares deeply about California and is actively involved with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego.

Robinson is also a generous conversationalist. When not holed up at home in Davis, California, working on his next book, he can often be found out in the world these days talking about climate change and political change, and thinking out loud with scientists, activists, writers, and readers about the future.

We spent a leisurely afternoon conversing with him at his garden writing table in Davis. This interview was originally published on Boom: A Journal of California and was conducted by Boom's editors."



"So, Pacific Edge was my attempt, a first attempt, and I think it's still a nice vision of what Southern California could be. That coastal plain is so nice. From Santa Barbara to San Diego is the most gorgeous Mediterranean environment. And we've completely screwed it. To me now, it's kind of a nightmare. When I go down there it creeps me out. I hope to spend more of my life in San Diego, which is one of my favorite places. But I'll probably stick to west of the coast highway and stay on the beach as much as I can. I'll deal, but we can do so much better."



"Do you love where you were when you were growing up? Well, yes—especially if you had good parents, a happy childhood, a beach. But I've found you can actually outlive nostalgia itself. I didn't know you could do that, but I have."



"I like thinking California is one place. It's big. It's various. It's an entire country. It's an entire planet."



"California is a terraformed space."



"California could maybe handle sea level rise better than a lot of other places. Its coastline is not a drowned coastline like the East Coast, so although the Delta would be in big trouble, most of the California coastline is steep enough to take a lot of the projected sea level rise—although the beaches will be in trouble. Right here we're about fifty feet above sea level. So the maximum sea level rise projected for the next couple centuries would remain a ways over there to the south."



"I've run into young environmental philosophers who say, "Be realistic, Stan. We're headed for a five-degree rise in temperature; we have to adapt." But this I think is a pseudo-realism. Think about mass extinction: how do you adapt to that? It would drive us down; we might not go extinct too, but we would suffer so badly. No. We need mitigation. We need to fight the political fight. We need a carbon tax; we need everything except giving up. To say we've lost the battle already is just another science fiction story. It's saying that we will lose. But beyond 2013, nothing has happened yet. Path dependency is not the same as inevitability.

People are way too chicken when faced with the supposed massive entrenchment of capitalism. It's just a system of laws, and we change laws all the time."



"My story here is that from the very start science and capitalism were very tightly bound together, like conjoined twins, but were not at all the same, and indeed were even opposed systems of thinking and organization. They were born around the same time, yes; but if you regard them as identical, you're making a very bad mistake. Capitalism's effect on humanity is not at all what science's effect is on humanity. If you say science is nothing but instrumentality and capitalism's technical wing, then you're saying we're doomed. Those are the two most powerful social forces on the planet, and now it's come to a situation of science versus capitalism. It's a titanic battle. One is positive and the other negative.

We need to do everything we can to create democratic, environmental, utopian science, because meanwhile there is this economic power structure that benefits the few, not very different from feudalism, while wrecking the biosphere. This is just a folk tale, of course, like a play with sock puppets, like Punch and Judy. But I think it describes the situation fairly well."



"I think we're a working utopian project in progress, between the landscape and the fact that California has an international culture, with all our many languages. It's got the UC system and the Cal State system, the whole master plan, all the colleges together, and Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. It's some kind of miraculous conjunction. But conjunctions don't last for long. And history may pass us by eventually, but for now it's a miraculous conjunction of all of these forces.

So I love California. Often when I go abroad and I'm asked where I'm from, I say California rather than America. California is an integral space that I admire. And we're doing amazing things politically. I like the way the state is trending more left than the rest of America. And San Francisco is the great city of the world. I love San Francisco. I think of myself as living in its provinces—and provincials, of course, are often the ones who are proudest of the capital. And many of my San Francisco friends exhibit a civic pride that is intense, and I think justified.

So there's something going on here in California. I do think it's somewhat accidental; so to an extent, it's pride in an accident, or maybe you could say in a collective, in our particular history. So there's no one thing or one person or group that can say, ah, we did it! It just kind of happened to us, in that several generations kept bashing away, and here we are. But when you have that feeling and it goes on, and continues to win elections and create environmental regulations, the clean air, the clean water, saving the Sierra, saving the coast: it's all kind of beautiful. Maybe the state itself is doing it. Maybe this landscape itself is doing it."
kimstanleyrobinson  california  sandiego  scifi  sciencefiction  2014  interviews  literature  landscape  raybradbury  robertheinlein  ursulaleguin  philipkdick  frankherbert  jackvance  poulanderson  robinsonjeffers  ecotopia  ernestcallenbach  history  climatechange  capitalism  environment  globalwarming  politics  change  nostalgia  johnmuir  law  legal  policy  santabarbara  orangecounty  sanfrancisco  utopia  diversity  jonchristensen  jangoggans  ursulakheise 
january 2014 by robertogreco
The Ecology Center
"The Ecology Center, in San Juan Capistrano, is an exciting new educational center, whose purpose is to engage the entire family in fun, hands-on activities that teach practical, environmental solutions at the household and community level.

The Ecology Center seeks to bring all members of the community together in a solutions-based educational setting to create a healthy and abundant future for all of Orange County. The Center highlights empowering and cutting-edge environmental perspectives that can be applied to the way we live our lives, making it possible for us to coexist with a thriving environment.

We are an organization that believes in "learning by doing" and we try to run our operations in ways that help address some big questions. Questions like: How do we ensure the future health of our oceans? How do we inspire a community to make change? How do we manage food supply and waste? Or how do we support all the children of all species for all time?"
design  sustainability  california  ecology  environment  sanjuancapistrano  classideas  orangecounty  bighere  organizations  tcsnmy  theecologycenter 
april 2011 by robertogreco
California English - Wikipedia
"California English (or Californian, Californian English) is a dialect of the English language spoken in California.[1] California is home to a highly diverse population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of California English."

[Of particular interest is "freeway nomenclature" of Northern and Southern California: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_English#Freeway_nomenclature

[via: http://latimes.tumblr.com/post/4102291799/10-freeway ]
language  english  california  linguistics  dialects  accents  vocabulary  usage  phonology  nocal  socal  losangeles  sanfrancisco  sandiego  orangecounty  inlandempire  freeways  carculture  cars 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Federal aid eyed for rail projects
"A long-running effort to improve the region's busiest stretch of railway is picking up steam.

The San Diego Association of Governments, the county's long-range planning agency, is seeking $377 million in federal stimulus money to revamp the coastal track between San Clemente and downtown San Diego.

Hoping to spur the economy, federal officials are preparing to give out $8 billion to expand high-speed and intercity rail systems nationwide. SANDAG believes it can make a strong argument for a chunk of it.

Jack Dale, chairman of the agency's transportation panel, said the improvements would bolster rail service and take more cars off Interstate 5."
sandiego  trains  rail  money  government  infrastructure  transportation  orangecounty  socal  amtrak  delmar  sanclemente  surfliner 
september 2009 by robertogreco

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