Downtown Lalo

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St. Patrick’s Day Downtown LA

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For my confirmation, I took the name “Patrick”.

I’ve seen the Chieftans and the Pogues.

I used to say my abuelito Cristino was Irish, because of his blue eyes and his fondness for drinking. He was a cantinero, after all.

So here’s to our first downtown St. Patrick’s Day!

First, Casey’s. Way too crowded, a bunch of young drunks.

Then Big Wang’s, right across the street from our loft, too crowded, too. But I’d met Louis, the kitchen manager, a few days before. He said he knew me from somewhere. I didn’t have a clue. He said he’d been perfecting his corned beef for the big day. I said I’d be there. He said “OK!”

We left, and went to Hank’s. Our first time, though we’d pass by there hundreds of times before. A bit of a dive, but comfortable booths, a jamming jukebox, and Guinness in a can and nice big shots of Jameson’s.

I ran to Big Wang’s, got the corned beef sandwich to go, and had a good time at Hank’s. Great corned beef, Louis!

At Hank's Bar on Grand, St. Patrick's Day

But it wasn’t enough. The night, still young, and so were we…for the night. Wasn’t L.A. Live doing something, just ’cause they canceled the parade? A long walk. The sign said: 12 noon to 3 pm. Too late.

Walked up Figueroa to Riordan’s Tavern. Who hasn’t been to the Pantry? It’s right next door. And there was a trio playing jigs. And the bar was serving black and tan’s and Jameson’s. And it was the perfecto end to our St. Patrick’s day in L.A.

At Riordan's Tavern on St. Patrick's Day

They say the Irish are the Chicanos of Europe. Or Chicanos are the Irish of the Americas. Either way, I agree. Tough times? Good drinks, good food, familia and fun. That’ll do, por lo pronto.

At Riordan's Tavern on St. Patrick's Day. How do you say "Salud" in Gaelic?

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Central Library in downtown L.A.

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My wife works at the library. She has been there for quite a long time. I used to work at the library, too. We both started in the Wilmington branch, first me, then her. After I left in 1984 from central library (before the fire), she took the civil service exam and has been working at the library since, moving up. The city of L.A. is undergoing a budget crisis and like all other departments, the library will be losing people (through early retirement and layoffs). It is not a pleasant environment right now and not just because of that. It has always a been a challenging place to work — transients, drug use, surly patrons, other employees, uncertainty — and it’s getting worse and more stressful.

I try to walk her to work and back every day. It’s the least I can do.

A place with books, magazines, computer and people

Written by downtownlalo

February 20, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Hi. I’m Downtown Lalo

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I am Downtown Lalo. I live and work in downtown L.A. I walk around a lot, usually with my two dogs so they won’t pee in our home. I also walk alone or with my wife and/or daughter. Sometimes friends. There is a lot of life downtown and there’s banality. I will write about what I observe and experience and sometimes give my opinion. I will also publish photos and links. My goal is to publish at least a few times a week and that you comment on what’s on this blog, if you like. ¡Gracias! (it’s a bilingual blog)

Written by downtownlalo

February 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm