Who needs GPS when you can remember the map from Grand Theft Auto? ?
Jimmy Kimmel recently had Lin-Manuel Miranda drop by his show to talk about the success of “Hamilton” and his latest project, the movie “Moana.” During one segment, Kimmel asked the Broadway star how he was able to find his way around Los Angeles considering he was born and raised in New York. Miranda’s answer: the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” Miranda said he once got lost in South Los Angeles after leaving the Los Angeles Airport, but the mental map he had from “GTA” saved him.
Check out the full video to see how Miranda brilliantly used Grand Theft Auto to figure out his way around L.A.
In the history of major league baseball, there have been dozens upon dozens of players that were born in Mexico. It’s no secret that major league baseball is home to many Latino players, but when they’re from Mexico and play for the Los Angeles Dodgers it’s even more special. Now, there’s a new member of the Dodger family — a young man with a dream to play in the major leagues.
The L.A. Dodgers signed an 18-year-old left-handed pitcher, with a 93-mph fastball, from Jalisco, Mexico.
Octavio Becerra, from Capilla de Guadalupe, Jalisco, was formerly a player for the Mexican team Aguascalientes Rieleros, when a scout, Juvenal Soto, saw him play. In an interview with Primer Impacto, Becerra recalls the day that a Soto saw him play in Mexico. He said he was pitching like normal. He said the two were talking and then Soto asked him about his pitching technique. The scout then said, “I’ll be back soon with some news.” Soto wasn’t kidding. An hour and a half later, he returned to tell him that he was signed to play for the Dodgers.
Back home in Jalisco, when Becerra wasn’t playing for his local baseball team, he was working at a taco restaurant.
Becerra stayed busy as a waiter, a cook, and a delivery guy at a taco eatery in his home state. His boss playfully said that if he doesn’t make it in the major leagues he can always work as a waiter at Taco Bell. All joking aside, his boss told Primer Impacto that he wished the best for the young man.
As a new player for the Dodgers, Becerra’s contract requires a start in the minor leagues. Dodgers Nation said he is the “most highly-touted prospect.”
According to the Dodgers Nation, “Becerra has thrown just 18 1/3 innings for the Aguascalientes of the Mexican League across two seasons, posting a 9.82 ERA and 2.40 WHIP. Take these stats with a grain of salt considering Becerra is playing in a league where the average age is 29.6 years old at just 18.” They add, “He was ranked as the #1 prospect in La Liga Mexicana de Beisból coming into the 2019 season. That is a high-profile signing considering his potential and experience in one of the world’s premier leagues outside of the United States.”
His mom got emotional when recalling all of the hard work he has put into his passion, and all of the support she has given him over the years.
His mom told Primer Impacto that ever since Becerra was a little boy he always had a plastic bat and helmet and practice playing. He has played baseball his entire life. She said parents must always support their children whatever their passion is. She said that by supporting their children in anything they do, that is the only way they can ever achieve success.
She’s not the only one that is proud of his success. His home team in Jalisco is thrilled for the young player.
“We are very proud to be able to present Octavio’s signature today with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which as we know is an organization that has always trusted the Mexican baseball player, we wish the greatest success for Octavio, because we know that today It is the first step to achieve the dream of reaching the majors, he is a player with discipline and a lot of work, so we are sure he will have a career full of successes,” the President of the Club Rieleros, José Eustacio Álvarez said.
Becerra said signing the contract came with many emotions. He said it was a moment he always dreamed about but wasn’t sure it would come true.
“I am very happy and very proud of what is happening; Suddenly one feels sad because if you are in the first team you suddenly return to the Academy,” he said according to the Aguascalientes Rieleros Facebook page. “But I feared it with a great philosophy and I decided that I would do my best, I started working hard because I knew that some team of Big League could look at me; then it came out that I was the prospect 1 of the entire League and it was an extra motivation to achieve the goal, which fortunately today is met, with this signature with the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
Well, we couldn’t more excited to have a Mexican player on the team. Congrats, Octavio!
It’s hard to miss the colorful 70-foot apartment complexes along Broadway between Chinatown and El Pueblo near downtown Los Angeles. But it’s even harder to not notice four new vibrant murals, drawn by four prominent local Mexican-American artists — Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco. On Sep.12, the murals and the new LA Plaza Village mixed-use complex near the El Pueblo historic district were both unveiled.
LA Plaza Village is set to usher in a new wave of Latino culture and empowerment in the historic El Pueblo District.
LA Plaza Village is a 3.7-acre, $160 million project developed by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LA Plaza) that marks a new era in the historic area. The project broke ground back in 2016 and after years of anticipation, it is now open for residents. The two-building complex includes 355 apartments, including 70 affordable housing units, with 43,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space. The entire project helped employ more than 3,400 employees, including almost 1,000 local area workers, and 671 apprentices, including 218 local apprentices.
“There has been tremendous growth throughout the rest of Downtown but this area was neglected,” John Echeveste, CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, said at the opening. “This is going to bring new life to the area. We have a good mix of residents that are living here, we’re going to be shopping locally on Olvera Street and attending programs at the museum. It helps to just revive this entire El Pueblo area.”
The housing development is just the surface of what is expected to be a cultural hub of Latino history and food with the opening of LA Plaza Cocina, a museum and educational kitchen dedicated to Mexican cuisine. The museum is slated to open next Spring and will usher in a mini-renaissance of Latino culture in the area.
“LA Plaza Village marks the fulfillment of another major milestone for our organization that began in 2011 with the opening of our museum and will continue with the opening of our Historic Paseo Walkway in 2019 and Cocina in 2020. These projects have helped spark a new cultural and economic revival in the historic heart of downtown,” Lupe de la Cruz III, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Board Chair, said at the opening.
The heart of the project includes the work of four local muralists who have all painted original pieces of work.
All four of the muralists worked on the pieces over the last year, each putting their own special touch on each of their works. The murals are located on Broadway between the Hollywood Freeway and Cesar Chavez Avenue.
“LA Plaza Village will make a lasting and impactful statement to the historic roots and presence of Latinos in Los Angeles through the works of these four talented artists. The artists were selected based on their creative ability to capture the essence of the Latino experience in Los Angeles, and we believe their art will distinguish LA Plaza Village as one of the most captivating and inspiring developments in downtown. Much as El Pueblo pays tribute to our proud history, LA Plaza Village recognizes our bright and promising future,” John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, said at the press conference.
Judithe Hernández’s La Nueva Reina
Judithe Hernández, an acclaimed LA-based muralist who has been an active artist since the 1970s, is behind the tallest mural. Her 70-foot-tall piece titled “La Nueva Reina” is inspired by a mural she drew during the 1981 Los Angeles bicentennial celebration. Coincidentally, Herández’s new mural is on the site of her previous mural that she painted back in 1981.
“As a powerful cultural and historical image, the city’s patroness has for too long been absent from the city’s heart and visual experience. Therefore, it seemed fitting to honor her again. My challenge was to reinterpret La Reina as the embodiment of an ancient cultural past reaching out to embrace the unfolding future in the 21st century,” Hernandez told LA Plaza.
Jose Lozano’s Aliso Dreams
On the opposite corner of the street is Jose Lozano’s “Aliso Dreams” which stands at five stories tall. Lozano is a children’s book illustrator and has done various art projects in the LA area. The mural pays homage to the Aliso trees that once stood behind Olvera Street and the community that it brought together.
Miguel Angel Reyes’s Family Tree
At the edge of Broadway is “Family Tree” by Miguel Angel Reyes which rests at the development’s Broadway parking garage entrance. This work pays tribute to Miguel’s family and other countless immigrant families who have all made sacrifices coming to the U.S.
“I hope this mural inspires everyone to pursue an education and to put in the hours to reach their goals. An Education can be a difficult road which does not guarantee results,” Reyes told LA Plaza. ” I hope that those who take the academic road are able to stay with it and not give up your dream. Make your parents, your community and yourself proud and create a role model for future generations.”
Barbara Carrasco’s Movimiento
Barbara Carrasco’s “Movimiento” is located at the future headquarters of The Cesar Chavez Foundation. The vibrant mural represents a part of Carrasco’s life in which she played a role working hand in hand with Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers. She would create mural banners and other pieces of art to help with public events. The mural includes a portrait of Cesar Chavez and other members of the Chicano Movement during the 1960s.