Deadlands - Divided States of America
The Spanish Quarter
The Spanish Quarter sits in the southwest portion of the city between 10th Avenue and 1st Street. It’s home to many native Californios and Mexican immigrants. This is another area the Angels like to raid frequently.
The Spanish Quarter is the most rundown yet vibrant part of Grimme’s Celestial City. Its population is almost entirely mestizo, or “indigenous Hispanic” as the Guardian Angels call them when their in one of their rare better moods. The neighborhood is not friendly to the mostly white Guardian Angels. (There are some mestizo Guardians, but they’re few and far between.) The mestizos have mastered a facial expression that embodies both resentment of their oppressors and a hunter’s regard for its prey.
Most folks in the Spanish Quarter are poor, and it shows. Broken windows go unfixed, paint peels from walls and door jambs, trash accumulates in narrow corridors. Many mestizo men, lacking any training or education, mill along the edge of their barrio in groups of five to eight, hoping for an empty wagon to come along with an offer for a day’s wages for menial labor in the warehouses or on a meager farm. Others get by the best they can, but in a city as expensive as LA, this is never easy.
But the barrio is also more alive than any other part of the City of Lost Angels. Shocking colors jump from buildings, and lavishly decorated crucifixes hang on nearly every wall. A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe used to stand in the middle of the Spanish Quarter, a testimony of the mestizo’s public and private faith. After his Edict, Grimme had it torn down, claiming it was a form of idolatry.
Holy day festivals are common in the Spanish Quarter, but even in their revelry the locals also act out their desperation. Many people, especially the elderly, plan their lives around the next holy day, and celebrate the birthdays of even very minor saints with all the enthusiasm they can muster.
The Guardian Angels drift through the Spanish Quarter now and then, mostly looking for moral offenses worth their time and effort. These days, they have a different form of blasphemy to watch out for.
When the Edict came down, nearly all of the almost entirely Catholic mestizos converted over to the Church of Lost Angels. As you might have guessed, most of these folks are pretty serious about their religion, and they joined up with Grimme’s cause in name only.
For some reason, the Guardian Angels ignore all the many clues to the fact the mestizos are lying about their conversions. They don’t make them take down their shrines to their saints, they don’t stop them from celebrating their saints’ days and taking part in other festivals like the Days of the Dead, and they otherwise pretty much leave them alone.
Places of Note
- El Jefe’s Club:
- Isabella’s Botanica: This very popular shop in the Spanish Quarter sells “botanicas”: exotic herbs, flowers, and plants used in popular Catholic and Anahuac ceremonies. Isabella del Rio is a great beauty who arrived in the City of Lost Angels from her native Mexico about eight years ago. She came to the city in the company of Padre Humo, so you can pretty well guess where her religious loyalties lie.