A moment of joy, a hideaway from Tr**p’s America

I’ve been house sitting, spending my days  with a lovely senior dog named Romeo. He’s a good old dog, but an enthusiastic licker. After the first hour or so, I didn’t mind. It’s the most action I’ve gotten in a while. The house in the part of Mid City that wants badly to be known as Wilshire Vista Heights, which are three nice words, but putting them together renders them meaningless. Wilshire Heights Vista or Vista Wilshire Heights would do just as blankly. Pico/LaBrea or Roscoe’s Adjacent are more accurate, but probably not euphonious enough for the Neighborhood Association.

As I was taking Romeo for his afternoon walk, I heard music coming from across the street, and saw the tops of what looked like giant paper mache marionettes. It was too much for Romeo, so I brought him back, and checked it out solo. They weren’t marionette but dance puppets that anyone could put on and celebrate the Fest of St. James de Santiago.

There was a brass band (playing corridas that at times verged into something that sounded like Klezmer). And people couldn’t have been nicer. They patiently explained to the uni-lingual me (what little French I remembered from PS 90 did me little good) what was going on, then insisted I eat (my phone battery died before I could take pictures of the tamales). It was the nicest of urban surprises: coming across something you had no idea about five minutes earlier, and getting an ear-, eye–, and mouthful of another culture.

As I walked back, all I could think about is why would anyone not want these people to be part of their country? They are everything GOP says they love about this country: Church-going, open, and working for a better life. But Il Douché keeps looking for ways to make their life worse; his recent speeches demanding the police shoot first and ask questions never are not worthy of an American President.

They—and we—deserve better.

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About Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS. He currently edits Obitmagazine.com. View all posts by Steven Mirkin

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