Sunday, March 25, 2012

For my space I chose a familiar place to me and my family the supermarket Vallarta.  This is the usual spot were my family actually does their shopping.  Before we arrived I simply asked my mom why we choose to go there.  The answer was good pricing, convenient, and lastly she said that it allowed them to make plates that connected them to home from products that were imported from Mexico.  The first and third reasons were obvious factors giving the fact that we were Mexicans but the convenient factor was only recently taken into effect because Vallarta was not the closest supermarket Albertsons and Stater Bros were.  But it wasn’t until Vallarta opened its third store that it leads the Albertsons to go out of business.
            I asked myself why this came about as I entered Vallarta then it hit me as I seen the lack of variety of people. Although there was probably different Hispanic backgrounds, such as Mexicans or Salvadorians, there was no other significantly dominate race.  The explanation lied in the recent census survey that found that out of the 152,750 members in our population, California census bureau for Palmdale 2010; fifty-four percent were Hispanic.  This is why Vallarta had such great success in recent years they have been opening up store in heavily Hispanic areas.  They are up to forty-eight stores mainly located in southern California.  But what else does this space say about the neighboring neighborhoods?
I visited the Vallarta website and read their history page which stated that the Vallarta was founded by an immigrant Mexican family and started off in Van Nuys California in 1985.  This heavily Hispanic dominated area was and still is a poorer area and they capitalized “on providing to the Hispanic community by supplying a variety of Latin food.” Did they really take advantage of this? I say yes the whole design is based on traditional Mexican culture.   The building itself has the old hacienda look and sports the three colors on the Mexican flag, red, white and green.  You walk in to hear typical Mexican music such as Banda or Corridos two types of genres that are big in Spanish music.  Long lines both in the kitchen and Carneceria areas.  The Vallarta kitchens offer many traditional Mexican plates such as tortas or birria along with refreshing fruit water such as horchata (rice water).  They also offer freshly made tortillas made every day.  Next to the kitchen area the next popular area was the bread corner that is located right next to the door  here they make fresh Pan Dulce, or sugar bread, everyday usually have to wait a while since it is self-served and you can always find somebody starting on the bread early.   The last area that is always packed was the meat area luckily for me we didn’t have to go but I could hear the butchers calling out numbers.
            I started to wonder off as my parents shopped you see Vallarta has different sections common foods the huge produce sections where they have huge fake palm trees to recreate Puerto Vallarta one of Mexico’s beaches, then there is a section of isles that are dedicated to imported foods from Mexico.  These isles have different products from Mexico such as different spices or specific drinks.  On popular drink that is commonly on special is beer.  This is what gets men no matter what race to come in an example I got a torta for lunch a week ago and my co-worker, a African American, asked where I had gotten it from when I responded Vallarta he state “Wow I didn’t even know they made food there I just go there to get beer.”  So whether people go to remind themselves of home or get a good price Vallarta will be there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We were asked to pick a certain area in the university and just step back and observe it.  My group found themselves in the newly established SRC, the student recreation center, where students come mainly to exercise.  This can be accomplished either by using the gym equipment or taking part in another recreational activity like volleyball or Rockwall climbing.  We arrived fairly early it was around ten a.m. so it was not crowded since people usually take early class or don’t get up early at all.  But don’t be mistaken the SRC is usually packed and loud if you don’t hear yelling from people motivating each other you will hear the music they have playing in the background.
            I personally use the SRC every day and I find that it does serve its purpose well.  On the second level there are three large rooms with gym floors that allow for three different games basketball, volley ball, indoor soccer.  All around the floors have CSUN d├ęcor and serve well to make the matadors feel right at home.  The huge new building has modern scenery most of the doors are glass and automatic and the bathrooms don’t have sinks just a designed drain.
            The SRC doesn’t have a lot of history yet due to just being built but they do have past championships displayed on the different levels.  But as far as historical information available there is none.  But it does play a part in the community it provides a safe place to spend time in a positive way and it also provides jobs for members of the community.  So overall it serves its purpose and some.