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The Taco TruckHow Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City$
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Robert Lemon

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042454

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Remaking Oakland’s Streets

Remaking Oakland’s Streets

(p.19) Chapter 1 Remaking Oakland’s Streets
The Taco Truck

Robert Lemon

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Mexican street food as a spatial practice that shapes the cultural landscape of Oakland, California. Community activist Emilia Otero fights for street food vendors’ right to occupy public space along city’s streets in East Oakland. She helps legitimize informal commerce in the Fruitvale district and paves the way for street food vendors to develop their businesses--from pushcarts and taco trucks to restaurants. The chapter calls attention to the friction that arises between the rationally planned city and the ways in which marginalized community groups live the city through their daily routines. It argues that remaking city streets to accommodate informal cultural practices is a way claim one’s right to the city.

Keywords:   street food, spatial practice, cultural landscape, Oakland, public space, streets, taco trucks, cultural practices, right to the city

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