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In this post, I justifiably poked fun at the sports media for proclaiming every "next great thing" as "The [X] Jordan" - Harold Miner was "Baby Jordan," Tamir Goodman was "Jewish Jordan," etc. Len Bias could have been the next Michael Jordan, and was quite possibly the only player I've ever seen in my life who was *that good*. Like when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, I remember exactly where I was, and exactly what I was doing, when I heard the news of Len Bias's tragic death - the two events happened only six-months apart. To young people today: I realize it's premature to even infer such a thing, but Len Bias was one of the greatest college basketball players I've ever seen. When he was drafted by the Boston Celtics, and then died from an overdose of crack cocaine, none other than Red Auerbach (who said he'd been planning for *three years* to draft Bias for the Celtics), said the city of Boston had not been so shocked since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Larry Bird, who had urged the Celtics to select Bias, and who had uniquely made plans to attend the Celtics' rookie camp to work with him, said, "It's horrible. It's the cruelest thing I ever heard." At 6'8", Bias was bigger and stronger than Jordan, and had everything you could possibly ask for in someone of that height. He had no weaknesses that couldn't have been fixed in short order, and when I'm in my old age, I will be telling this same story. Len Bias had all the tools he needed to be one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. It isn't so much that he would have been the *next* Jordan; it's that he would have been Jordan's primary competition: Just as we had Bird and Magic, we would have had Jordan and Bias - he *was* *that* *good*. "Remembering Len Bias 30 Years After His Death: 'He Was It.'" by Cindy Boren on washingtonpost.com
The Poet of Little Mexico, Todd Kliman, "discovered" this place (sort-of like Columbus discovering America), and insisted they had the best tacos in the area. He's right. This gem is serving Mexican food, hidden smack dab in the middle of a Mexican-American neighborhood, with Mexican-Americans in the kitchen, and Mexican-Americans as customers. It'll take you strongly out of your comfort zone at first, but when you settle into the menu, with gentle pricing, pictures accompanying the English-language descriptions on the wall, and good cans of Mexican beer, you're going to wonder how it is you've never heard of this culturally rich enclave, and you're going to dream about the tacos: seven kinds including chorizo, oxtail, goat, tongue, three kinds of beef (the spicy beef is particularly good), each costing only two dollars. And you're never going to want to go to Oyamel again. Rocks.
Tacos. 14 kinds. Nothing else. Each taco is a couple of griddles tortillas heaed to that just perfect spot between puffy and crispy. A pile of meat is added (in my case today, al pastor which is marinated pork on a spit carved schwarma/gyros like and lengua- tongue. Both were wonderful with the right amount of saltiness. They are served on a palte with some lime wedges, cucumber slices, a few radishes, cilantro & onion. You get a trio of jars with a cilantro spiked green salsa, a nicely spicy red salsa and a third: slivered onions and fresh chiles. This third is the magic ingredinet that takes these tacos to LA Tacqueria level. They add a nice burn and cut the greainess of the rustic fillings (along with the lime). These are real deal tacos and clearly the best I have had in DC. I have not been to the one in Arlington whose name I currently forget. But these would stack up nicely against the hundreds of anonomus spots in Van Nuys or in East Hollywood or East LA. $2.00 each. No orchata or beer but a huge array of bottles sodas. Tacqueria La Placita 5020 Edmonston Rd Hyattsville, MD 20781-2738 (301) 277-4477