Because of the incessant drumming on congas, radios blasting salsa or narcocorridos. Because flatbed trucks pull up and sell watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas, grapes off the back. Because there is nothing as nice as a nap in the grass while watching a woman walk past. Because plantains fry nice, pork’s sabor when slow-cooked in its own fat, rice and beans is enough in the stomach to drink all day. Because lengua, sesos, and chicharrones are a taste acquired by those nostalgic for elsewhere. Because life is glorious when there is so much on the line. Because it was winter. Because the blue-sky illusion of warmth persuaded me to go to Humboldt Park that day. To visit Umberto, as Jose Luis tipped me to do, as he served breakfast tacos where North Avenue intersects with California . . .
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