Olvera Street

I recently had the opportunity to visit Olvera Street, I had been there before several years ago and I remember I was fascinated by everything and how “Mexican” things were. Now that I go there all I see is the advertisement made for the street and how it looked like a zoo; the Mexicans all sold their items, made minimal contact with anyone and were ogled at. When I went it was very busy and crowded, this area was built to distract people from what the Mexicans were really doing, and to have a way of looking at them and acknowledging them without actually having to make contact with them. I believe this is still true, while on my to the street I passed by several streets that were riddled with homeless people, many of them were Mexican.

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We continue to use Olvera Street as a way to add some beauty to Mexicans. We shield our eyes to the people on the streets and flock to the areas that are used to only express the unrealistic ideas of the culture. I believe that little to nothing has changed for this area, the ideas for the street still hold true. It allows people to continue to believe that Mexicans are simple people and are satisfied with simply selling their items to others, but this is not true nor was it ever true. The area itself also represents how little they thought of the Mexicans, the streets within Olvera Street are very narrow and the shops are all very close together leaving very little room to have a pleasant feeling, especially if the street is very busy at that time. They do not get the wide open areas that the richer areas had, and it was used to show how poor and underprivileged they were, and still are.

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3 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Boron-Trotter

    I agree with your thoughts. I feel even though Olvera Street is not as exotic and romantic as it was when first created in the 1930’s, it is still a place that carries the Spanish Fantasy Past with it.

  2. Brianna Maloney

    For the past few years, my family and I have visited Olvera St. for Christmas Eve lunch. I never really enjoyed going because, even though the food was great, I always felt like a tourist in my own city.

    I agree with you on the fact that it stands as a way to distract us with what is really going on with the Mexican/ Mexican-Americans today (especially with the whole political Trump thing going on) and almost force feeds us an over-exagerated idea of what their culture truly is. The entire area has truly become a Fantasy.

  3. Christopher Fernandes

    It’s cool how you got to visit this with the ideas of the Spanish fantasy that we learned in class in mind. It’s also really sad that not much has changed in the sense of the social status of Mexicans in America today relative to how it was during the development of Olvera Street. This makes me want to visit and experience this “culture” firsthand.

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