Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cuatro de Mayo

There was a terrific piece yesterday by Jim Dwyer, about Mexicans in New York.

The Mexican presence in New York can be counted in any number of disputed ways — an estimate by city demographers puts the figure around 200,000, and others say the number is higher — but all agree that it is climbing fast. A food company, Tortilleria Chinantla, reports that it makes one million tortillas every day at a factory on Grand Street in Brooklyn. Two other companies — one in Flushing, another in Passaic — are cranking out similar quantities of tortillas, according to Mr. Magallan, a former Jesuit brother who runs Asociación Tepeyac, an agency that provides social services to Mexicans and their children.

“I was asking someone where he lived, and he said, ‘In an Italian neighborhood on Hughes Avenue near Fordham University,’ ” Mr. Magallan said. “I asked, ‘How many Italians are there?’ He said, ‘Oh, one or two — most people are Mexicans.'"


The number is down to 199,999 as of last night, of course. It's weird to have just left a city where Cinco de Mayo is a big deal, to arrive in Querétaro, where it isn't. (Though it is the final day of a five-day weekend: Thursday was Laborer's Day [aka May Day], and of course if you've got Thursday off, you might as well take Friday off - which also happened to be Mason's Day which, for some odd reason is a whole different day to Laborer's Day, and is a legitimate holiday - for masons, at least - then you've got the weekend, followed by Cinco de Mayo on Monday, which may not be an occasion for parading through the streets, but the rule here is that if a day is important enough to have a street named after it, it's important enough to take off work. According to my map, May 15th will be pretty quiet, too.)

5 comments:

Gary Faules said...

A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day.

On the other hand there are some of us who truly appreciate it for what it is... http://lacarrera2007.blogspot.com/2008/05/cinco-de-mayo-it-all-began-in-puebla.html

Anonymous said...

why does gringos love 5 de mayo so much?? is a mexican holiday... being a journalist, you must know the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

Alas, it has little to do with a love of anything Mexican. It's simply an excuse to drink, much like St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Arbor Day, Tuesday, etc.

Burro Hall said...

As a beer-drinker, I know the answer to that. Being a journalist has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Salud!