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Memorias del Tropico ~ Boyle Heights

El Tropico

I drove by 1st Street and Evergreen where El Tropico used to be. The mural of the palm trees and sunset are gone, but in my mind the smell of perfume, cologne, beer and brandy are still in there. The brandy was often poured for free by the owner out of a plastic bottle. It was so fucking bad that as soon as he walked away we would pour the drinks under the table.

Several of my buddies and I would pile into a couple of cars and head to El Tropico to play pool, drink and look at the dancers from LA, Mexico and Central America. I can't play pool, I hate beer so I just went for the dancers. I became friends with the owner and his wife and they let me take photos once in a while so they could use them for their fliers.

No one ever seemed to care if I shot photos. No even the time that I climbed up on stage and shot customers shooting dollars into the bra of a dancer.

A wise female security guard there once told me in Spanish, " Men are stupid. They work all week and give it all to la nalgona in a few hours."

Yeah. I miss the nalgona.

Photos and text by Foto Devil.

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