HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO 2020
I know that many of us have lost track of days during these horrible coronavirus quarantine months, but no, you’re not crazy—today is only May 4th, not 5th. I’m just giving you a heads-up this year, in case today is the day you’re braving the supermarkets. You might want to get fixings to make a Mexican feast tomorrow.
I can’t believe that this is only the second time in INAM’s decade-long existence that I’ve written a Cinco de Mayo article! And I actually love this holiday! I wish that more of my pals would celebrate it, because it’s so fun.
Of course, growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I never even heard of Mexicans, except sometimes in History class. And then when I got out here to LA as a teen-ager, they’re just about all I heard about! They were such an exotic people to me.
That’s when I learned of Cinco de Mayo. And as the years, and decades, passed, I saw how fun that day’s celebrations can be.
But I haven’t always marked the occasion with a raucous party. Occasionally, as I will do tomorrow, I just make tacos and all the fixings and accompaniments, (like Spanish rice and corn,) for Mr. X and me. And we love it!
Last year, my friend Marc and I celebrated by going to…Nate’n Al’s deli!!! We saw a couple of foodie-centric offerings at the LA Jewish Film Festival that afternoon, and were planning on heading over to a Cinco de Mayo fete after, but the Jewish food in the movies gave Marc a hankering for deli, so we changed our plans. I’m grateful that I’m always flexible, (though some of you didn’t even know I am!,) because that turned-out to be the last time I ever went to Nate’n Al’s before it closed last month! (But no worries–I was still rockin’ my shirt with the colors of the Mexican flag, so it was all good.)
And, of course, in my clubbing days in the late ‘90s, we always had a Cinco de Mayo night. But since there was not really any food at dance clubs, we just used the date to party hardy. And not even to mariachi music! It was just another excuse for a fun night.
Speaking of Cinco de Mayo fun, my friends in Brooklyn, Helen and Sharon, and I went to a local eatery with that exact name for dinner on May 5 six years ago, just nine days before I gave up my Brooklyn abode forever. I will never forget that delicious and amiable time as long as I live. (Sadly, in general, my friends here in LA are way less celebratory than my east coast pals are. But it certainly makes no difference right now. Maybe next time around they’ll be in a more make-hay-while-the-sun-shines frame of mind, once we can leave our houses again!)
My last thought on the subject this year is this: I noticed that two years ago, at the end of my Cinco de Mayo 2018 article, I reminded everyone to not drink and drive. Well, since nobody but essential workers should be driving this year, I say—drink away!!! Enjoy the heck out of your tequila! But at home, of course.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo! (Tomorrow, of course.)