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Coda de Cinco

I loved celebrating Cinco de Mayo when before leaving California for the University of Virginia in Fall 1993. Because I was unaware of the historical significance of the holiday, Cinco de Mayo was a low-pressure excuse to have a barbecue, to drink one too many Margaritas and to acknowledge the value of Mexican culture» and heritage.

Two years into the twenty-first century, I was really missing me some California rituals, so organized a Cinco de Mayo party at my friend Tom’s house. We had Maggies» and quesadillas with my special homemade guacomole and salsa. It was a lovely Charlottesville spring day with a few of my closest friends».

I found an article explaining the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo and read it to everyone like the nerd I am. The punchline for us Americanos is

In the United States, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to be known as simply "5 de Mayo" and unfortunately, many people wrongly equate it with Mexican Independence which was on September 16, 1810, nearly a fifty year difference. Over, the years Cinco de Mayo has become very commercialized and many people see this holiday as a time for fun and dance. Oddly enough, Cinco de Mayo has become more of Chicano holiday than a Mexican one. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on a much larger scale here in the United States than it is in Mexico. People of Mexican descent in the United States celebrate this significant day by having parades, mariachi music, folklorico dancing and other types of festive activities.

The commercialization and focus on inebration hit me in the inbox this morning. Yelp’s email to me was essentially a how-to on alcohol-induced vomiting.

When life hands you limones, what do you do? If "break out the tequila and salt" was your innate response, then it's safe to say you're ready for today's gringo-tastic festivities. Yes amigos, it's Cinco de Mayo, and Yelp's here with comidas y bebidas deliciosas to make sure this is one May 5th you'll never forget (or, if you do it right... perhaps you will!).

Before any amount of excessive alcohol consumption, it's wise to fill your belly with a good hearty meal... so grab yourself a big fat quesadilla [. . . .] "[. . .] But beware: they're huge, and can serve as a meal for the whole day!"

Now that you've got a good base, it's time to start drinking. Any connoisseur worth their salt knows that [. . .] is stocked with an endless selection of rare, world-class tequilas, [. . . .] Ryan G opines, "Holy mother f***ing margaritas! Three or four of these bad boys will have you set for the night... or face down in a gutter, perhaps." For astounding agave around the Marina, set your sights for [. . .] She claims, "Their margaritas obviously have some sort of addictive ingredient, and they're topped off with so much alcohol, my breath could probably start a fire!"

¡Aye Aye Yelp!

I’m sure this skeletal framework for sponsor recommendations distills the narrative arc of half a hundred SF hipsters on Cinco de Mayo and practically every other weekend night».

Still, it is our Cinco de Mayo, and I’m glad/relieved/ecstatic to observe it while living in California, the only home I’ve ever known.


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