Feb. 20, 2016
~12:30pm, 2nd St. on Long Beach, CA
Yesterday I went to this event called the Red High Heels Walk in Long Beach that raised awareness for heart health. We walked 1 mile around 2nd St., passing a lot of stores and restaurants that I’ve never seen as I don’t live in Long Beach and don’t tour around much. After a while, I noticed that there were a lot of buildings that were designed like some Spanish mission, despite what nationality they were themed or product they were advertising.
It was kind of funny seeing all these Spanish-themed buildings in the modern world. There was also this one painting on the front of a restaurant or store that looked like a Spanish painting, although I didn’t get to take a picture of it. It reinforces what we’ve been talking about (and what McWilliams have emphasized) during class: the Spanish Fantasy. I’m not sure if anyone comes to Southern California anymore because they think the European Spanish used to lived here (and not because of Hollywood, Disneyland, etc.), but it’s pretty interesting to see California’s past with these buildings. It shows that Southern California did try to pass themselves off as Spanish and not Mexican or Native American.
What’s more interesting is how far we are from that now. There may still be Spanish buildings and art around, but there are a ton of different shops restaurants from all over the world (including the Chinese), showing the mixed races that live in Long Beach. Racism may not have stopped, but we’ve been more accepting of the people who live here.