Jeremy Tong: A Remembrance for Demetrio Zuniga Farias, Mayor of Breed Street

On December 2nd, 2019, a small, working class community in Boyle Heights experienced a sorrowful loss when Demetrio Zuniga Farias passed away at his home on Breed Street. He was 85 years old.

Born in 1934, Don Farias made Los Angeles his permanent home in the mid-1960s. In his long tenure in the city, Don Farias was an active member of his community who was constantly providing a lending hand. In 1987, he even earned recognition from the City of Los Angeles and Governor Jerry Brown for his commitment to the public good.

When Don Farias opened and managed his own mini-market in Boyle Heights, he showed much compassion for the community, at times helping families and single mothers in need with items such as milk, tortillas, and more at his expense.

Outside of Boyle Heights, Don Farias also traveled all over Europe, loved baseball, boxing, and Mariachi music. In fact, during the 1980s, he was actually associated with the Dodgers, working with the Spanish translation group for the prized blue franchise. Don Farias also had a network in the world of boxing and counted legends such as Julio Cesar Chavez and Don King among people he knew.

Don Farias was no ordinary man. He knew how to live life to the fullest at the same time that he counted his blessings. This led many members of the community to frequently gather at his home on Breed Street, making him constantly surrounded by people who had nothing but endearment for him. Breed Street was the heart of Don Faria’s pueblo, making him to locals the “Mayor of Breed Street.”

Although this great and honorable man is no longer with us physically, Don Farias’s legacy will always be the soul of Breed Street and a gem in our hearts.


About the author: Jeremy Tong is a resident of Boyle Heights on the east side of Los Angeles and an avid supporter of grassroots movements in the community.

Tonight is that Night

Tonight two cities glue themselves to the edge of their seats to watch history unfold itself before their eyes. While I might hail from just one of those cities, I root for all the people from all the cities of the world who treasure any game as a medium by which to bring people and their communities together.

There is much going on in the world, but to pretend that entertainment isn’t a fundamental part of what makes us human would be like walking through the school yard past a playground during lunchtime to note only that there are kids rather than that there are kids playing and laughing and jumping to the drum of their heartbeats as they make up the moments that will make them who they are.

Games are fun. They expand our imagination and allow us to live, and sometimes even to achieve greatness. Of course they also allow us to play, and so naturally one couldn’t expect me to be serious when claiming to root for both teams as they meet one last time for all the marbels.

In the end you can’t please everyone anyhow.