How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American snapshot: Logan Circle, D.C.

Photo courtesy of Calvin N. Ho


Calvin Ho of the L.A.-based Asian diaspora blog The Plaid Bag Connection encountered this - Ethiopian injera bread, served on a standard-issue Chinese restaurant plate - while visiting Washington, D.C. over the weekend. "The world we live in," he tweeted yesterday.

I'd initially wondered if the restaurant was in Los Angeles, as this combo would make sense here, too. But it's the Lalibela Restaurant, an Ethiopian eatery in D.C.'s Logan Circle neighborhood.

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American snapshot: Boyle Heights

Taylor Soppe/KPCC

Betty Uchida and Lucille Weiss clink glasses during the Seder ritual in Boyle Heights, April 2, 2012

A great photo taken by Taylor Soppe for KPCC tied to a sweet little story, that of a group of elderly Jewish and Japanese American retirees sharing a Passover Seder in Boyle Heights.

Their celebration Monday made perfect sense. The historic neighborhood has long been a port of entry for immigrants, today mostly Latino. In the past, it was also home to large communities of Japanese and European Jewish immigrants, some of whom remain in retirement homes.

The residents of two retirement homes were brought together for the Seder, in which the Passover staples were followed by a sushi lunch. L.A. at its best.

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American snapshot: Gardena

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


A former Taco Bell turned ramen house? This place looks like it may once have dished up Crunchy Taco Supremes, but its sign now advertises homemade ramen noodles. It sits on Redondo Beach Blvd. in Gardena, one of L.A. County's Japanese American hubs and home to a growing population of Asian Americans, who represent more than a quarter of its residents.

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An L.A. Latino kid's memories of Chinatown

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


A post earlier this week featured a photo of a restaurant wall in downtown Los Angeles' historic Chinatown, painted with an only-in-L.A. kind of message stating its claim to fame. And it prompted this reminiscence from reader and former Angeleno Miguel Corona:
Chinatown is a place of special memories from my childhood. During my two years of junior high school, I would take two buses to travel from Atwater to Chinatown (Hill St). My school, Queen of Angels, is no longer there, but I still have vivid memories of traveling from a predominantly Latino neighborhood to a school surrounded by a much different culture. Urban cultural blending at its best. Hollywood movie trucks were always around and sometimes our school was used for some random movie scene. Good times.

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American snapshot: Boyle Heights

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


February begins tomorrow, but flower shops throughout Los Angeles have already spent weeks advertising their Valentine's Day packages (paquetes) in different ways and multiple languages. At this place on First Street, the chunky-cute hand painted birdies are an added bonus.

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