We have learned that Tu Ciudad has named La Bloga “best blog” for Latino Los Angeles in the soon-to-be-released June-July issue (hitting your newsstands May 25)! Tu Ciudad states that the “writers at La Bloga plumb the increasing depths of Chicano-Latino contributions in the publishing world through book reviews, literary contest announcements, and media news.” Tu Ciudad adds: “The tone is friendly with a wee bit of snark, the content is updated regularly, and the perspective is decidedly Angeleno, as are most of the writers….” (See p. 74 of the magazine for the full write up.) La Bloga thanks Tu Ciudad for the honor.
La Bloga is, indeed, 3/5 Angeleno but we note that 2/5 is Denver-based. This fact is a perfect opening to give a little history behind La Bloga. Here is Manuel Ramos’s version of the "facts":
Back before there was La Bloga, Rudy G. and I would talk, actually we would drink and occasionally mutter something, and during those times, Rudy periodically would send an e-mail missive to various people about various topics—Rudy likes to do that kind of stuff.
One day, a couple of years ago, at a bar with the serendipitous name of Aztec Sol, I mentioned the blog craze that was sweeping the nation and whether that might not be a good spot for his broadsides—get them out of my mailbox and on something universal, if you know what I mean. Eventually our thinking and drinking focused on a Chicano Literature blog with the twist of several people contributing so it would not be just one person's blog.
We have a friend who hung out with us and grew tired of the talk—we have listened to him talk for years, quite patiently, I think, but when the shoe's on the other foot, and all that—and he says now that he motivated us to take the next step—not quite how I remember it, but the acoustics in Aztec Sol aren't all that good, so it could have happened—and Rudy set up the blog on Blogger.
We knew right away to ask Michael Sedano to join us. Rudy and I first met Michael, Internet-wise, on CHICLE, the Chicano Lit listserv that we remember fondly and that achieved something of a mythical status while it functioned. Michael and Rudy were notorious on that listserv, in a good way, and we communicated among ourselves long after CHICLE was unplugged. On one of my book trips to L.A., I spent some time with Michael and his wife, and I think Michael and Rudy have a Texas connection, or something, but I don't think they have ever met in person. (You guys weren't in jail together, were you?)
We started off quietly but almost immediately the Chicano Lit focus got a bit unfocused and we took on all things about la cultura, and politics, of course. When Daniel Olivas started commenting and submitting guest reviews and basically sticking his foot in our door, we knew we had another contributor—a very smart move on our part, I think.
Daniel and Michael were instrumental in signing up Gina, which added a different and unique perspective—we are in need of many more perspectives, by the way. I hope our fifteen seconds on Tu Ciudad brings in new contributors, as well as new readers.
So, that’s our excellent news. Go out and buy the new issue of Tu Ciudad! And if you’re interested in writing guest essays, reviews, or whatever, let us know. We love new sangre.
Finally, in celebration its “best of” issue, Tu Ciudad will be sponsoring these delicious “freebies” on Friday, May 26:
Porto's Bakery (Glendale and Burbank locations) - BEST CUBAN BAKERY/DELI
8am-10am -- When bringing a Tu Ciudad Best of issue, customers will receive the choice of a cortadito OR espresso and a guava & cheese strudel OR cheese roll.
315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818-956-5996
3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, 818-767-8672
**enter on Orange St. as there is construction on Brand Blvd.
Loteria Grill (Farmer's Market) - BEST MEXICAN in LA
11am-2pm -- When bringing a Tu Ciudad Best of issue, customers will receive an agua fresca and a taco of their choice.
Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax), 323-930-2211
Ciudad Restaurant (Downtown) - BEST HAPPY HOUR
3pm-7pm -- When bringing a Tu Ciudad Best of issue, customers will receive one order of carnitas tacos slow roasted with carmelized orange topped with guacamole and arbol salsa.
445 S. Figueroa St., L.A., 213-486-5171