Los Angeles, California. The city of Angels, swimming pools, movie stars! Muffti had spent a month in Montreal, but we really didn’t get a chance to hang out much because I was away in Israel. Before he left Montreal I asked Muffti if he wanted to go spend a week in LA. I don’t know if he was drunk or if he simply agrees to any fool idea I come up with but he did indeed agree and two days later we were in Los Angeles.
Prior to heading down, I arranged for us to attend a cool 4th of July party. Our host, Gabriel is originally from Mexico City. He now lives in East LA with his wife and kids and works at American Apparel. He’s Head of Maintenance and most of the people at the party were folks he worked with and their families.
I thought it would be cool to do a 4th of July celebration in East LA because Muffti loves Mexican food and I love Mexican beer. Some of my friends in Los Angeles thought I was nuts – East LA is a Latino neighbourhood that isn’t exactly a top tourist destination, but I just knew it would be fun and interesting.
Well, I wasn’t wrong. Gabriel and his wife prepared tons of meat, loads of spicy Salsa and chips, barrels full to the rim with ice and beer, tequila, mescal, you name it! Gabriel’s wife even pulled out what looked like a heart shaped … challah. Afterwards, Gabriel came out with cold watermelon and it was then that I realized something – Mexicans are exactly like Moroccan Jews. Except that Mexicans are Catholic. And they drink more. And they don’t eat cous cous. And they’re from Mexico. And while Moroccans bake and eat challahs, they are rarely heart shaped.
But other than that, they’re totally the same. They are very family oriented, they work hard and want a better life for their kids. Despite the fact that I speak no Spanish, I felt totally at home. Gabriel and his wife were awesome and friendly hosts and I felt like I was at my own family’s celebration. I mean we’re also immigrants and we’re also basically blue collar and I know all too well how my parents sacrificed for their kids.
Anyhow, we had an awesome time. Folks in East LA love to get together and have a good time. There was lots of laughter and happy kids running around. The entire neighbourhood was awash in amateur fireworks. It was really impressive! And then it was time for “Throw the Gringos in the Pool!” a game that began with me being thrown into the pool. With all my clothes on.
In all fairness it was Carolina (see the before and after pics), who under the influence of tequila, thought she could throw me into the pool with the help of half a dozen 5 year old girls. I played along but when we got close to the pool I grabbed Carolina and threw her into the pool, much to the delight of her former cohorts. Sadly I lost my balance and fell in as well. We were soon joined by pretty much the entire maintenance staff of American Apparel. And Muffti’s poor digital camera (z”l). Oh well, It aint a party till everyone gets wet I guess. I think Muffti and I are still recovering …
Yup. American Apparel is indeed more than just Dov Charney.
Pool Dumping Time
Carolina recruits the lil’ ones to dunk me oin the pool…
Right. Like that’s going to work… So instead I decide to frighten an innocent child.
Carolina: “He’s not really going to throw me in, right?”
Famous last words.
Gabriel our host (far left) and his crew. Yes. They did indeed all end up wet and it was all Carolina’s fault.