California Dreaming

Ever since I stared this blog, about a year and half ago, I have chronicled the Latino experience, with an emphasis on what it means to be Hispanic in the American heartland. Well, there’s going to be a slight change soon.

My wife and I are moving back to California in a few weeks. This means that I will go from being somewhat unique – brown skin in a sea of white – to being pretty damn common… at least in appearance.

The Latino population of the state I currently live in is less than 200,000 (about 5 percent). In California, it is 13 million (about 36 percent). That is, I suppose, a somewhat noticeable difference.

When I lived in Los Angeles, many people assumed that I had been born there or recently immigrated. I’m sure this will happen again, causing me to reflexively defend my Midwestern roots.

Still, on the plus side, once in California, I may be exposed to more interesting stories about Latino culture through daily interaction. Currently, the only times I hear about local Hispanics are if one of us has committed a grisly crime or via a feature article titled something like “Immigrants Bring Change to South Side.”

One of the negative aspects of moving, however, is that my blog updates may become more sporadic, at least in the short term. This is due to the complexities of selling a house (in a down market no less) packing up all our meager possessions, and driving across the country with a perplexed dog and an agitated cat. You try being insightful twice a week under such conditions… sorry, I’m getting a little defensive in advance.

In any case, I will miss the Midwest. But I’m happy to be returning to the West Coast.

And rest assured, once I’m there, I’ll begin looking for investors who want in on “Hispanic Fanatic: The Movie.” I see Gael Garcia Bernal in the lead role.



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July 2009
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