In pages 390-394 in the prose reader, Robert Ramirez goes into complete detail on what a barrio is and what it feels to live in a barrio. In this short story, Ramirez uses definition to picture and truly feel the essence of living in a barrio. He discribes the tortilleria, which is a place where they make tortillas everyday for the people that live in the barrio; freshly made. He speaks about the panaderia, which is like the tortilleria, but instead of tortillas they make sweet bread. He speaks about the corner store of the barrio, where the owner also lives in the barrio. He says that the owner of the store is friendly and knows all the people that buy from his or her store, he says that the owner of the sore gives credit to the people that can't afford to pay know so that they can pay later. He also talks about the barber shop which is a place where people go and talk about everything. Ramirez also talks about the cantinas which is the bar where people in the barrio treat as a night club, the pool hall where the gangsters hang out, and the gardens which give life to the barrio. Ramirez talks about how these people from the barrio are stuck in the 19th century and don't want to leave the barrio even tho they have bad drainage, running water is a luxury, they pay no taxes so there streets are rough and tires don't last, even though many people live cramped up in a little house. Why would these people leave this comfort zone is what Ramirez says.
In this section of the prose reader, I really enjoyed reading because this story brought me back to when I used to live in Highland Park. I felt like when he was describing this barrio, Ramirez was describing Highland Park. I use to live in a one bedroom douplex with all my aunts, cousins, uncles, grandmother, sisters, and brothers. And when my aunts came from Mexico, there would be up to 18 people sleeping in the house! We turned the living room into a bedroom. Even though Pasadena and Highland Park are so close to each other, they are two comlpetely different worlds. In Highland Park kids played in the night in the streets, the owner of the store always use to tell me, "Oye chica, where's your Tia Norma?" because my aunt would owe him money from the day before when she got groceries. When someone that didn't belong in Highland Park came, with just one look we knew that they were not from Highland Park. When we were evicted from where we live at because me and my cousins started getting into fights with the neighbors that we had grown up with, I was extremely sad to leave Highland Park. I remember feeling like I didn't belong, like if everyone in Pasadena was more rich and civilized. I remember ditching Muir High School for the first whole year and taking the Metro to Highland Park because I felt like I did not belong. Know I look back and realize that if I would have stayed in Highland Park I would have not wanted to get out of the mold.