I was in Little Armenia yesterday. It is a section of Los Angeles on East Hollywood Boulevard that also borders Thai Town.
I was having lunch alone in a small Armenian deli when a familiar looking gentleman took a seat next to my table. We recognized each other from a lecture we had both attended an hour earlier. Two other tables were full of Armenian speaking diners and the two guys behind the counter were speaking Armenian. I think it was Armenian. I had no idea what they were saying.
After introducing ourselves the guy asked me where in L.A. I lived. I told him I was from Bakersfield. His eyes lit up and so did the eyes of the four people (Armenian speaking) sitting next to me. They all started babbling to me about the cat from Bakersfield. The Ninja Cat. Tara the Cat.
Not Buck Owens. Not Merle Haggard. Not our oil, almonds, or pistachios. Not our dirtiest air in the USA. Not our incredibly high teen pregnancy. Not our dumbest city in California rating. Not our drought.
I felt proud. Like a celebrity. I was from the hometown of Tara the Cat. The Ninja Cat. Wow. It couldn’t get any better…well- maybe if Justin Bieber lived there.