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What It’s Like Being Cuban In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse city — Chinese immigrants, Armenians, Persians, Koreans, Thai folks, Filipinos, Salvadorans, Indians, Ethiopians, black Americans and many other groups have left indelible imprints on the city, its neighborhoods, art, food and culture. But it’s no exaggeration to say that the heart and soul of Los Angeles? Is Mexican. Mexican culture and identity forms the core of this city, so while there are countless places to get the best tacos, tortas and pan dulce you’ve ever tasted, it’s slightly more difficult to find, say, a good croqueta or tin of guayaba. It can lead to some interesting situations for Cubans living in and moving to this city!

Let’s take a closer look at what it’s like to be a Cuban who moves to Los Angeles:

1. It can get a little lonely.

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2. You feel a surge of pride whenever you see the José Martí sculpture in Echo Park.

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Credit: Flickr / CC / hullam

En junio como en enero.

3. …And very disappointed to learn about the community’s issues with it.

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Credit: USA Network

Well, excuse you.

4. You’ll enjoy many arguments over the authenticity of Porto’s Bakery.

Work hard, eat harder. ?? I ❤️ Portos! ??? #portos #burbank #whitechocolatemocha #fruittart #food #lunch

A photo posted by nashlyne ramos (@nxshlyne) on

Credit: Instagram / nxshlyne

Their croquetas are unfuckwittable, but how you gonna call pastelitos “strudels”? Come on.

5. And, in fact, arguing over the few good Cuban restaurants within Los Angeles becomes a regular pastime.

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Credit: NBC

Look, I’m just saying, if I have to go to Downey to find black beans hecho como en casa, I will die, no lie.

6. You have to take care not to offend everyone around you.

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Credit: CW

Because Mexican culture forms such a large part of L.A., you’ve got to be careful when using words like “fajar” and “cojer,” unless you want to get lots of horrified looks and nervous giggles.

7. You have tried and failed to find a specific ingredient you thought would be available in a Latino market.

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Credit: CBS Films

OK, so Vallarta doesn’t carry membrillo or guayaba paste. Lesson learned 17 hours after running all around this ginormous freaking city, I GUESS.

8. And yet you keep hearing about these mysterious, roving band of suburban Cubans in places like Downey and Burbank.

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Credit: Giphy / Reddit

OK, but where? And why don’t they have a ventanita on every corner, if that’s the case?

9. You will go through frita withdrawal.

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Credit: Google

Why. Can’t. I find them. In. This. CITY.

10. When you find a fellow Cuban, you suddenly become 99.7% more Cubanaz@.

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Credit: PBS

The voice gets louder, the hands move around more, and your tendency to exaggerate goes up like literally a million percent.

11. You get to celebrate holidays a little differently.

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Credit: 20th Century Fox

Lechón y congri can’t be beat, but Mexican-style tamales are DELICIOUS around the holidays. And while Cubans don’t typically go all out on Día de los Muertos, Los Angeles’ celebrations are truly beautiful and inspiring.

12. No one knows wtf you mean by “pastel.”

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Credit: Giphy / Reddit 

Nooooo, when I said “pastelito de carne,” I didn’t mean meat cake!

13. You realize no one except Cubans understand the Cuban accent.

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Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

“Why are you yelling incoherently?” I’M WHISPERING, MENG.

14. …And that we’re far more malhablada than most of our Latino cousins.

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Credit: Cartoon Network

Others: “Ow! Tripped on this pinche sidewalk.”

Us: “¡¡¡Coño!!! ¿Pero que clase de mierda es este sidewalk de carajo? Me cago en su madre.”

15. And you get lots of people trying (and failing) to guess where, exactly, you’re from.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

“So you’re… Iranian, right? Armenian? Irish? Jamaican-Polish-Korean?” Sure. We’ll go with that.

But you know what’s awesome about being a Cuban here?

16. You get to learn about LOTS of cultures other than your own.

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Credit: RalphGM & RandyFX, via Gizmodo

And that is pretty damn great.


READ: Thanks to Mexicans, Los Angeles has the Sunset Strip

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New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles

Entertainment

New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles

Bettmann / Getty Images

Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. The Night Stalker, spent the summer of 1985 terrorizing Los Angeles. Ramirez murdered 13 people during his reign of terror in Southern California. Netflix’s new docuseries is exploring the crime by interviewing law enforcement and family of the victims.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial” killer is now streaming on Netflix.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer” is the latest Netflix docuseries diving into the true crimes that have shaped American society. Richard Ramirez is one of the most prolific serial killers of all time and single-handedly terrorized Los Angeles during the summer of 1985.

Ramirez fundamentally changed Los Angeles and the people who live there. The serial killer was an opportunistic killer. He would break into homes using unlocked doors and opened windows. Once inside, he would rape, murder, rob, and assault the people inside the home.

The documentary series explores just how Ramirez was able to keep law enforcement at bay for so long. The killer did not have a standard modus operandi. His victims ran the gamut of gender, age, and race. There was no indicator as to who could be next. He also rarely used the same weapon when killing his victims. Some people were stabbed to death while others were strangled and others still were bludgeoned.

While not the first telling of Ramirez’s story, it is the most terrifying account to date.

“Victims ranged in age from 6 to 82,” director Tiller Russell told PEOPLE. “Men, women, and children. The murder weapons were wildly different. There were guns, knives, hammers, and tire irons. There was this sort of feeling that whoever you were, that anybody could be a victim and anybody could be next.”

Family members of the various victims speak in the documentary series about learning of the horror committed to them. People remember grandparents and neighbors killed by Ramirez. All the while, police followed every lead to make sure they left no stone unturned.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer” is now streaming on Netflix.

READ: Here’s How An East LA Neighborhood Brought Down One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

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Video of an Anti-Mask Mob Storming a Los Angeles Grocery Store and Angrily Confronting Customers Goes Viral

Things That Matter

Video of an Anti-Mask Mob Storming a Los Angeles Grocery Store and Angrily Confronting Customers Goes Viral

Screenshot via SamBraslow/Twitter

We may have officially left 2020 behind us, but the drama surrounding the pandemic is still alive and well in 2021. As safety precautions like social distancing and masks remain in place in order to curb the spread of the virus, COVID-deniers and anti-maskers have become further emboldened.

But there hasn’t been such a blatant and obnoxious display of anti-masker activism as what happened recently in Los Angeles.

On Monday, a video went viral of an anti-mask woman screaming and appearing to attack a young man in the grocery store.

The video shows an anti-mask woman angrily running after a young man wearing a mask, at one point trying to plow him down with a shopping cart. As she charges towards him, she cusses at him and accuses him of having tried to hit her. There is no footage of the alleged hitting.

The woman follows the man throughout the grocery store as he tries to get away from her. She continues to strike at and scream at him. At one point, the young man tries to ask a security guard for help to no avail. More anti-mask protestors surround him and yell at him as he tries to distance himself from the situation.

The video was one of many incidents incited by an anti-mask mob in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The mob stormed Los Angeles’s Century City mall and nearby Ralph’s grocery store on Sunday. The group held pro-Trump and anti-mask signs, as well as signs that expressed doubt over the severity of the coronavirus.

In a Twitter thread, reporter Samuel Braslow documented the hours long “protest” of a group of anti-maskers. As the group swarmed the popular Los Angeles Century City mall, they were loud, relentless, and sometimes violent. They yelled inflammatory rhetoric such as “F–k communist China!”.

The Twitter thread also shows the mob storming into a Bloomingdales and chanting “No more masks!”. At one point, a few members of the group start performing a “MAGA” version of the YMCA.

The incident in the grocery store wasn’t the only time that the group had aggressive run-ins with onlookers.

Various videos show the group getting into various arguments, including with a food court worker, a shopper walking with his girlfriend, and an emotional woman who revealed to them that her mother was in the hospital with COVID-19. A male protestor responded: “A lot of people are. That’s life. People die. Your father [sic] is not special.”

While the LAPD and mall security ended up closely monitoring the situation, they never tried to arrest the protestors or force them to leave. According to Braslow, they opted to instead only intervene “when necessary”.

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