How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Coming soon to Koreatown: Little Bangladesh

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A stretch of 3rd Street within Koreatown, soon to be part of Little Bangladesh.

It's known now as a part of Koreatown, but a four-block stretch of West 3rd Street will soon be known officially as Little Bangladesh.

On Wednesday Afternoon, the Los Angeles City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee approved naming a strip along 3rd between New Hampshire and Alexandria avenues for the Bangladeshi immigrants who began settling in Koreatown about two decades ago.

The committee also approved formal boundaries for Koreatown, which will now consist of a roughly one-square-mile area bordered by Third Street to the north, Olympic Boulevard to the south, and Vermont and Western avenues to the east and west. Koreatown, whose community representatives had sought formal recognition for a much larger area, will also retain a commercial strip of Western Avenue from 3rd Street to Rosewood Avenue.


Records from 1970 death of journalist Ruben Salazar may be released

The Los Angeles Times and 89.3 KPCC report that L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has decided to reconsider a decision to keep investigation records sealed in the death of former LAT columnist and KMEX-TV news director Ruben Salazar, killed by a deputy forty years ago this month.

Salazar died after being struck on the head by a tear gas projectile, fired by a deputy during a Vietnam War protest in East L.A. A probe found no criminal intent on the part of the deputy.


What's in a name: Oaxacalifornia


Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Juan Antonio, proprietor of the Oaxacalifornia Café Juice Bar in South L.A.

The name of this modest little juice and snack bar inside South Los Angeles's Mercado La Paloma caught my eye the other day as I stood in line, along with an immigrant from Ghana, watching a couple of employees whip up tropical-fruit licuados and dish out black mole tamales. When owner Juan Antonio peered out from the kitchen, I mentioned to him that I found the name intriguing.

He told me he was sitting around the dinner table with his family seven years ago when he was preparing to open his business, trying to think up names, when "Oaxacalifornia" popped into his head. "It represents the Oaxacan presence in California, the food, the culture," Antonio said. "There's a big Oaxacan community in California."


And in case you missed it: The OGs talk books with Huizar

The nonagenarian video bloggers from Boyle Heights known as the The OGs, Harry and Barbara "Cutie" Cooper, have posted this video of Cutie's meeting yesterday with José Huizar, their City Council representative, and Libros Schmibros owner David Kipen to talk books and library cutbacks.

The OGs, for those who aren't familiar with them, are a long-married (73 years!) Jewish couple who returned two years ago to what they term "the old neighborhood" to live in the Hollenbeck Palms retirement community. Boyle Heights, of course, was the site of the original Canter's and the Breed Street Shul, an immigrant community since the dawn of time, in L.A. years. Which makes Cutie and Harry original gangstas indeed.