On the Thai Town side of Hollywood Blvd. yesterday morning, Sunday, seemed like a typical day in the life of America. I had an hour to kill before the lecture I was attending started so I roamed both worlds.
The streets were full of people walking to church, lining up with me at a local Starbucks, rummaging through trash for cans, bike riding, shopping or hanging out. The shops, restaurants, clothing stores and beauty shops all had an American name but a second title in Siamese (Thai language) was alongside it.
Across Hollywood Blvd, everything looked the same, except the stores, restaurants, and beauty shops’ signs were all in English with Armenian secondary language.
One block into Little Armenia, it’s common to hear conversations in Armenian, and even some of the Mexicans who live here speak a little Armenian. Along the streets of Thai Town, Siamese is spoken everywhere. Thai folks love to play Backgammon. It’s common to see old Armenian men playing chess.
There are some people, even a few of my friends who believe these cultural diverse communities are not a good thing. They believe everyone should speak English and act American. I believe Thai Town and Little Armenia, Korea Town, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, East LA and the strange world of Hollywood are America. Get out and blend, understand, learn, and listen. I love America.
Here are two children’s dolls from shops just a few blocks away.