Chuey Martinez is a radio personality who was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. Martinez has DJed since he was a teen and currently works for LA's 102.7 KIIS-FM, Sirius XM and ESPN. His latest venture is hosting the Travel Channel's new show "All You Can Meat," which debuts August 12 and will feature his travels across America in search of the perfect cut. Follow him on Twitter at @ChueyMartinez.
Dear Los Angeles,
When I say the letters L and A back to back, it puts a smile on my face. What can I say about the city that has given me so much? I suppose I can say thank you....
Thank you for giving me endless amounts of strength and presenting me with tough lessons throughout the streets of the San Gabriel Valley and East L.A. Since my childhood, you have provided a canvas for my visions and dreams. To me, you are so much more than the "Hollywood Walk of Fame," the BMW's driving down Beverly Blvd and the narcissistic hipsters that seem to be everywhere. To me, you are the American dream embodied, a home for immigrants ready for a new beginning.
You embraced my single mother when she was trying to build a beautiful life for her son.
I am a product of immigrant field workers and coal miners. My mother had to work three and sometimes four jobs to keep food on the table. She taught me the value of hard work and that positive thinking will get you very far in life, even when you have nothing but each other. As a kid, I would ride my bike through Montebello to Whittier Blvd to hang out with my boys, not knowing what was in store but always feeling in my heart that I wanted something better for my life. Now, as a man, I drive through Beverly Hills and Century City for meetings about amazing new projects and TV shows and I am on the radio speaking to millions.
You are a cradle to so many dreams, so many wishes and so much pain and through it all you always seem to be there with open arms, offering comfort, love and support and giving me little reminders of why I've called this home for so long. I walked away only once, because the riots in '92 made me feel hopeless on your behalf, but I soon returned because I couldn't stay away.
You are, after all, a mosaic of my favorite spots -- the Watts Towers, Dodger Stadium, Placita Olvera, Cesar Chavez Blvd, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights, South Central, Inglewood and Whittier, just to name a few. I drive down Pico Boulevard, passing the loncheras, carnicerias and panaderias, and I say to myself: "What a beautiful city Los Angeles is!"
I tell people meeting you for the first time to set aside their previous notions and ideas, dig a little deeper and get to know you as the vibrant, loud, multicultural city I know so well. To my Mexican, Central and South American, Caribbean, Asian, black, Middle Eastern, Indian, gay, white, old and young brothers and sisters, you make this city what it is, a melting pot of love and diversity.
Los Angeles, I thank you a million times for giving me all of the amazing ups and downs of my life. Continue to be what you are, a city of angels.
Peace And Love Always!