Olvera Street and El Pueblo de Los Angeles 🇲🇽

dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019 · 5 min read

What do you picture when you think of Los Angeles?


Hollywood Stars? Traffic? Palm trees? American excess spilling from high rise office towers and luxury shops?

⭐️ 🏎 🌴


ALL of this exists in LA, but the city has so much more to offer.


Enter Olvera Street

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Olvera Street is a Mexican shopping district located in the heart of El Pueblo de Los Angeles historical monument. This area IS the birthplace of LA. Many of the city’s oldest structures are here and a day spent in the neighborhood will give you a taste of LA’s humble beginnings.

The earliest indigenous people settled in Los Angeles by 8000 B.C! The Portuguese arrived next, led by explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. The area eventually came under Spanish rule with the arrival of Gaspar de Portolá in 1769. He established a small outpost which was further expanded in 1781 when 11 families moved permanently to the site.

1781 is considered to be the official founding of Los Angeles. The governor at the time named the growing settlement El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula, or "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula.” source The area remained part of colonial Spain until 1821 when Mexico declared their independence. At the conclusion of the Mexican American War (1846-1848), Los Angeles and all of California became part of the United States.

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A statue of King Carlos III of Spain, monarch during the founding of Los Angeles, is displayed in the plaza at the start of Olvera Street. The statue was a gift to Los Angeles from the people of Spain.


Visiting El Pueblo

After decades of traveling to Los Angeles, I finally visited this part of the city in April. Our first stop was Los Angeles Plaza Park. This square features statues of several historic figures and is a central gathering spot for many of the city’s celebrations including, Las Posadas, Cinco de Mayo, and Dia de los Muertos. Several historic buildings surround the plaza including the city’s first hotel and fire station.

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The plaza


The Marketplace

Olvera Street opened as a marketplace on Easter Sunday, 1930. The market was the brainchild of a young woman named Christine Sterling. Two years prior Miss Sterling had been waking in the historical neighborhood when she noticed Avila Adobe, the city’s oldest house, marked for demolition. In a fundraising effort to save the home, she also envisioned creating a Mexican marketplace that would harken back to the earliest days of the city’s founding. Miss Sterling succeeded both in saving the home and in creating the market.

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Entrance to the marketplace.

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Wandering between market stalls. Shops sell everything from clothes, to candies, to artisan crafts.

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Serrape

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Masks of the lucha libre wrestlers.

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Handbags with needlework decor.

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The central path is lined with stalls, while the buildings to the side feature galleries and Mexican dining.

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Skeletons like those featured in Day of the Dead celebrations.

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Piñata


Avila Adobe

Adjacent to the Olvera Street marketplace is Avila Adobe. As I briefly mentioned above, this is the OLDEST home in Los Angeles. The home was built in 1818 and was the residence of one of LA’s earliest mayors. The home remained occupied by members of the same family until 1868. It eventually fell into disrepair until restoration efforts began in the 1920’s. Today the building serves as a museum showcasing life in early Los Angeles.

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Avila Adobe

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Cacti growing with in the museum’s central courtyard.

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The interior is decorated to replicate how the home might have looked in the 1840’s.


Plaza Olvera

Another site in el pueblo is Plaza Olvera. This small park, surrounded by orange and fuchsia bougainvillea, features a statue of Antonio Aguilar. Aguilar, a star of both stage and screen, has a huge fan base amongst California’s Mexican American community. In his life Aguilar recorded over 150 albums, and he has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It is said he spent three night sleeping in Plaza Olvera when he first arrived in Hollywood, making this a fitting location for his tribute.

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This statue is said to honor Aguilar and all immigrants coming to California in search of a better life.

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The day we visited there was dancing in the plaza.


Dancing


Shopping 🛍

So, in an area with a shopping focus, what did we buy? We came home with only two items. The first was a hand painted magnet set. One magnet depicting a woman in traditional folklorico dress and the other showing a male mariachi. The second item purchased was a hand carved and painted wooden octopus! Sort of an odd choice, but the detail in the thing and the colors of the paint drew us in.

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Magnets

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Octopus by artist Martha Santiago


Olvera Street is open 7 days a week including holidays.


For more information visit: https://www.olvera-street.com


All photos taken by @dfinney April 2019 on an iPhone 7



Proud Member of:

steemsugars, steemusa, teamaustralia and steemsilvergold

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What a cool area, not one many who visit LA see I am sure, I do remember visiting one Mexican area when I was there with similar sorts of things I am not sure if that is the place i went to but thanks for refreshing the memory of th area I visited there

Thanks for being an active member of SteemUSA !tip


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

I think for a long time downtown LA (which this is near) was a bit of a no go zone. At least for tourists. Aside from this, there were a lot of other cool things nearby. I am glad we finally went into the city instead of just visiting Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills etc.


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I passed through LA so many times I did the touristy spots but I am also not the typical tourist I like to wherever I go bet out of the touristy side and see the real place where the locals live work and play


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

I like touristy stuff, but I like it all!! I just always want to be traveling! 🤣😂


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I am the same, I do miss traveling I used to travel so much but now not at all


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We have a very small community of Mexican folks here in Vancouver and most of the are working migrants however we have plenty of MexTex styled restaurants. We just don't get much opportunity to celebrate the Day of the Dead.


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

Yeah Vancouver is a lot more Asian influence than Mexican for sure.

I really love the Spanish colonial and Mexican sites to be seen in California. They are all beautiful, colorful and culturally interesting. I have been to Mexico but only a few quick hops over the border into drunk underaged Americans territory. One day I would love to see ruins and museums and the cool stuff!


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What an interesting trip to an interesting area of LA! That's the type of are I like to visit. I like to know the real history of a place! The marketplace looks very inviting!


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

It was lovely! And the food....! It smelled so good. 🌮😍


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Oh, I can imagine that!


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Thanks for writing this comment through TravelFeed.io!
You have received a 10% upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on TravelFeed.io!


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Hollywood Stars? Traffic? Palm trees? American excess spilling from high rise office towers and luxury shops?.... all of the above. I must admit, I have not taken the time to discover the other parts of Los Angeles. And so, I must add that to my bucket list. Thank for the beautiful photos, sweet @dfinney, and thank you for sharing the beauty of life that you see. I missed this post. And I hate being late! :-(


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

😍 I love your state. Though we do go to SoCal more than NorCal. Well.... I was in San Francisco last in Nov 2017.... time to go back. 😃


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You got voted by @curationkiwi thanks to dfinney! This bot is managed by KiwiJuce3 and run by Rishi556, you can check both of them out there. To receive upvotes on your own posts, you need to join the Kiwi Co. Discord and go to the room named #CurationKiwi. Submit your post there using the command "!upvote (post link)" to receive upvotes on your post. CurationKiwi is currently supported by donations from users like you, so feel free to leave an upvote on our posts or comments to support us!
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Congratulations @dfinney, your post won 1st prize in this weeks Show us Your California contest!!


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

🎉

Thank you! 🤗


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

Thank you for the support @travelfeed! It is always appreciated! 🤗


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We always are looking forward to your posts. Also check out TravelFeed.io .… it's growing into an incredible travel platform!!!!


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dswigle
dswigle @dswigleAugust 2019

What an amazing Market Friday post! I was so enamored with the history lesson that was included because I learned a lot of different things that I never knew about. So thank you- thank you for that.

The history, the culture, the food, the people! All of these things together do not equal the Los Angeles that is normally introduced. It's been years since I've been there and I can honestly say that there were parts that were a no Bueno when I was there. When I am told that I don't belong there and I should probably not go, I usually will adhere to the advice. Old San Juan Puerto Rico is very much like that. It's safe as anything wherever you go but there's one spot down the hill where you would not want to go and because that is advised oh, I have never gone. I am glad to see that they have made the area so that people can enjoy the culture. I have traveled a fair amount and I consider it a loss if I don't get to mingle into the everyday life of where I am. There's something so different from visiting then living and there's also something very different about visiting the tourist traps versus enjoying the real life. Not to be disrespectful but I have been to enough tourust traps to last me a lifetime. I can't tell you the different outlook I have on so many different countries just by going my way as opposed to what is selected for me. Your look on this area was so fascinated, so I opened, so very real and I'm just a tad jealous that I've never gotten to see this. So thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is the most interesting and the amazing post and I am so glad that you dropped it on Market Friday! Thank you so much for all your hard work and putting this post together because I can see that it was carefully done and that perhaps is why it's so amazing.

As always I wish you a most wonderful day!

#MarketFriday loves you !

Upped and steemed

!tip 20


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

@dswigle this is probably the loveliest comment I have ever received on steemit! It is like it’s own post! 🤗 🌺 💕 ✨

I truly love California. Every time I visit there is still something new to see. It is filled with natural beauty... beaches, deserts, forests, lakes, mountains, every crop you could want to grow, amazing wildlife from the flora to fauna and what a melting pot of people!!!

Add the architecture, history, iconic landmarks and food on top of that, with a dollop of Hollywood and Disney and endless sunshine.... it always makes me happy.

Thank you for visiting my post, for coming up with market Friday and for always being filled with loveliness!

For you.... a flower!

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Take on my Sunday stroll. 💕


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dswigle
dswigle @dswigleAugust 2019

I love that you enjoy life, and truly open your eyes to what is in front of you. So many people travel through life, never taking in the beauty of the moment.

I am usually so slow getting my comments out because I feel that each person that takes that much time to put a post together deserves it to be looked at and thoroughly enjoyed. So, it is not really a lot that I had to say, but, I surely wanted you to understand how much I loved it and appreciated the time and effort put into it.

And thank you for the lovely flower. We all know I must have a flower. :) Always.

Have a lovely Monday and thank you for the sweet reply!

!tip


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Nice post, brings back some memories.


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

But are those memories as good as riding your bike to Disneyland, talking to Alyssa Milano or hearing about your poor friend who was forced into dining at the Fullerton Spaghetti Factory?

No!

🤣😂🤣


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Who is this? How'd you get this number? 😂😂😂😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣🤣


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

You mean #867-5309? 😏😆🙃 ☎️


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