Cynthia and Lidia (Libby) Pérez, sister-proprietresses of three-decade community hub and art gallery La Peña and the late, lamented Las Manitas Cafe, sell tacos. La Peña sells tacos. We did not know this. Las Manitas, a shotgun shack of a cafe, where you had to walk through the kitchen to get to the restrooms, where Austin's high- and lowbrows congregated over steaming plates of Migas Especial con Hongos, was very special. It closed in 2008 due to Austin's ongoing one-sided love affair with developers. (Has anyone pulled Austin aside and told her: "Hey, honey: They just aren't that into you …"?) Matters not. The Pérez sisters sell tacos! For $1.40! That buck and change is a very real symbol of the sisters' fierce insistence that food = community and that as a community, we don't have to lose everything we love.
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