Friday, July 31, 2009

6 Flags Great Adventure - BATMAN!

As you know I went to Six Flags yesterday. Maybe, maybe not? I took a chance and recorded the Batman Ride with my camera. However, I urge you NOT to do this because I think it's illegal (on some rides) and the chances of you dropping the camera are high.

Enjoy!

video

Are you a Latino in social media?

Are you a Latino in social media? Then I urge you to join the following of these people on Twitter. Almost every Thursday, these folk hos a #Latism fiesta where people chat about their social media experiences via Twitter. I got introduced to this awesome group via @UrbanJibaro who just so happens to be a Latino Greek...Phi Iota Alpha! It's a fun group of people who connect and interact with each other.

According to their Facebook group, the group is for all the Latinos who blog, tweet, connect, tag, bookmark, work & enjoy Social Media! The purpose of this group is to not only support each other, discuss common issues and have our opinion heard but more importantly learn how to make a living from leveraging Social Media.

They are also traveling across the city to three states for a Latinos in Social Media Heritage Month tour. For more info visit latism.org.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...Line Cutters

So today I went to Six Flags Great Adventure with some friends. I was a bit surprised they changed up a few features. First off I noticed some rides were missing leaving just MAJOR roller coasters. Also, apparently now you are NOT allowed to leave ANYTHING on the side of the ride. Everything has to go in a $1 locker and it only lasts 2 hours!!

However, there's nothing worse than a LINE CUTTER! Yeah I understand when people are holding a spot so you move up with your friends, but when you purposely just cut in front of people...no no! What's worst is that it was hot! You may all remember my past GRINDS MY GEARS. I hope one day I actually see people get kicked out due to their line cutting...I call them out any day of the week.

Out of the oficina - 6 Flags

Sorry gang but I'm out the oficina today until 8ish. I'm going to be enjoying the day at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Young Latinos

As when anyone graduates you wonder what to do. I urge all Latinos across the country to NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK. Now obviously this should be happening throughout your college career, it's even more important while in the real world. Maybe 1 or 2 years ago I heard about the Latino Professional Network.

The LPN links Latino professionals with other Latino professionals and employers who value diversity in the workforce, creating strong business relationships and enhancing professional opportunities. They are starting to revive the network because for the last year I haven't heard anything. However, I urge all the young Latino professionals to join this network of professionals. It's important to get yourself out there because the opportunities are endless. Be careful though, because people always have a hidden agenda.

So kudos Al Dia...kudos.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And for my 300th post...



I wanna talk about something important...us (Latinos). Today must have been let's talk about Hispanics and/or Latinos because sheeesh. Today I felt as though we are not advancing in life like everyone else is. Although there is a lot of attention with Sotomayor and her race to the top, I still think we aren't getting it.

There was an article in the Washington Post which references differences between the term Hispanics and Latinos. It was Grace Flores-Huges who made the term official. Flores says:
I believe that it represents the Hispanic Americans of this country. It best describes who we are based on our Hispanic surnames. . . . The reason I am not in favor of "Latino" or "Latina" is that those terms can represent the people of the Mediterranean. Then you'd be including Portuguese and Italians, if you take it literally. And then it takes away from the Hispanic people of America that need to be counted: Who are we; how are we being served by the government; who do we vote for? How are you going to come to a conclusion if you're mixing apples and oranges?
Then later today I went to a networking event for Latinos but somehow felt as though people were not interested in the younger Latino professional. I don't have research studies but I spoke to a few of my friends and we all agreed that when Latinos see other Latinos working in the city (professionally) they don't open their arms to you. They look at you at a threat as if you are there to take their position. However, it's completely different with African-Americans.

I thought that was crazy because I'm networking so much via Twitter and meeting some great working Latino professionals. Is it in our mind that meeting people over the internet working on one goal is good? While some people are fighting for immigration rights, some people are opening doors discussing Hispanics online.

What makes matters worse? People like THIS still exist. I can only hope that although we'll be the largest population by 2050, we find a way to work together and get passed our differences.

It's Carnival!


So it's finally happening and in good timing! Navaja & friends are finally taking that (dream) cruise. Although it's only 4 days, I think it's going to be an experience; come on...we're on a boat!

And I (sort of) calculated all the expenses, let me know if I'm missing anything:
  1. Renew Passport - $100
  2. Cruise - $275
  3. Round Trip flight to Miami, Fl - $180
I think that's definitely a reasonable amount don't you? Because of the economy, people are saying you should take that dream cruise now. I recommend Carnival or Royal Caribbean, they have good offers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In the time of the Reggaeton Artist

Remember when reggaeton involved sounds like, "TRA TRA TRA." Or even hits like the one below!

A Beer Web-site...nice

So I guess the system works. After countless ads on billboards and magazines I decided to go to Corona.com; and maybe later I'll order one :). Their web-site is not full of a lot of content, but they are social media friendly. On their web-site you can create your own photo slice. It's a four step process to retrieve photos and select your own music. Try it out here.

And you learn something new everyday, according to their web-site they've been around since 1925.

And I'm glad they took an initiative to have a drink responsibly campaign:
Grupo Modelo launched our Responsible Drinking Program because we care about how Corona is consumed. The program spreads the message of responsible drinking among students, authorities, teachers and parents through a variety of practices. We are proud of the products we make, and want people to behave responsibly when enjoying them. We don’t resort to flashy antics in our advertising or brand communications, nor associate Corona with extreme behavior. We want to communicate to people of all ages that Corona can be enjoyed responsibly and with moderation.

Nockamixon State Park & Gamma Phi Sigma

This past Saturday was Gamma Phi Sigma's 4th Annual Gamma Picnic at Nockamixon State Park. Every year we come together our from the city and just enjoy a relaxing time with no distractions.

Nockamixon is a great choice because it's close to (almost) everyone and they have an awesome pool. It may not be an Olympic 8 ft poot, but it's still pretty cool. Good food, good location and good people = a good time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Look who has a new look...El Sol


It's been a while since they updated their web-site so I decided to take a look at it. And although El Sol Latino Newspaper is not #1, they still work hard to give us our news. El Sol Latino is a weekly publication targeted to the Hispanic market in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. From the outset the mission of the newspaper has been to inform and to contribute to the education of our readers.

And if you've been paying attention, Latino newspapers have been much better than mainstream media. According to a Philadelphia Weekly article last May, Spanish-language papers are not shaped by the same forces as English-language print media. Latinos—alongside poor folks and people of color as a whole—are victims of the “digital divide” and have less access to the Internet. 


PPRA's 65th Anniversary

Yes I know it's 11 minutes long, but if you wait until the COMPLETE end, you might recognize someone ;-).



For more info or to become a member, visit ppra.net.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...the Heat

For those that are really my friends know I get irritated in the heat. I'm not the person you want to mess with when the weather is 90 degrees and up. Although it doesn't get too hot in Philadelphia, the sun gets to me. The funny part is that I don't even sweat; it takes a lot for me to sweat.

With that said, I hope I never HAVE to move to places like Arizona or Nevada.

Latinos in America - CNN Special


Some of you may know our friends at CNN had a special entitled Blacks in America. Although some people have had mixed reviews, it's important we discuss these topics and especially on these top news outlets. Well don't worry Latinos, we get our own special in October! And yes Soledad O'Brien will host the special again.

Here's what CNN says:
The Latino population, now America's largest minority, is set to nearly triple by 2050. In fact, the U.S. now has the highest Latino population after Mexico. Their sheer numbers are shaking up America, reshaping schools, churches and neighborhoods and forcing a nation of immigrants to rediscover what it means to be an American. For two nights, CNN's Soledad O'Brien journeys into the homes and hearts of a group destined to change America. Is it the ultimate clash of cultures? Or the ultimate melting pot? Witness the evolution of a country as Latinos remake America and in return, America remakes them. This October on CNN.
Follow Latinos in America on Twitter.
Follow Soledad O'Brien on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Welcome...HOLA CIUDAD!


Telemundo (Philadelphia) has finally launched their version of HOLA CIUDAD! Hola Ciudad! is sort of a social networking platform where visitors can get news, weather, local info and even upload their own content.

You'll also even get to comment on certain things like blogs. Topics include health, family and job searches. Why are they launching this web-site for Latinos all across the nation? Well, according to a MediaPost article, in May 2009, 68% of U.S. online Hispanics could b found online daily, compared to 62% of the general market.


Although there might be a few things to fix on their web-site (just launched today), be sure to sign up and don't forget to check out Telemundo (locally) on DirectTV channel 62. I'm pretty sure it's something else if you don't have DirectTV. And who knows, you might see me on their public affairs program En Portada :).

Thank You SEPTA

Photo from: Al Dia

So finally after god knows how long, SEPTA will finally get rid of their tokens. According to an article in the Daily News, by 2011 we might be swiping our credit cards for fare.
"I would like for folks to be able to pay for a SEPTA trip by using whatever they have in their pocket - a credit/debit card, a student ID card, a cell phone with a computerized sticker that acts as a surrogate credit/debit card, whatever," he told the Daily News.
However, I am hesitant to think people will want to take our their American Express or VISA in the middle of the night. SEPTA not only has to change their fare system, but also keep something open passed 12 a.m. If you look at SEPTA's map, we have lots of rail choices to choose from and a lot of them don't operate at certain times. I personally refuse to take a bus somewhere, they get more crowded than trains and in all honesty, people have more attitude in buses.

I suspect that in 2011, Philly (and the region) will be a completely different city.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Learn how to be Spanish?

So I came across this "Learn Spanish Gestures" link on the Guardian and I though wow. I'm not sure whether to feel offended or just laugh. To be honest I only recognized 1 out of the 4 (pictured above).

What they should've pointed out is the way we point...come on guys you know. If we say, "Go over there," for some reason we decide to pucker our lips and point at the location.

Inappropriate Comments



Ok so we all know the story about the philly cop who bullied some girl. However, is it really necessary to go on and bad mouth all parties? As you can see in the comment highlighted above, someone decided to call the cop & son a third world immigrant. As we all know, Puerto Rican's are not immigrants.

Also, we all know when it comes to family in high positions, cases will always seem fishy. However, when you use your Facebook account to express your opinion, it doesn't give you any more credibility. I actually personally know the cop's son but will not name him nor comment on anything.

We'll see how this ends up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Futbol how we luv thee

With the new soccer stadium being built up in Chester, PA you just have to wonder...how will the fans react to certain games? Well, last weekend the U.S.A. took on Panama...let's just say it got a little rowdy.



Come on fans, don't give us more bad rep! Please advise :).

Friday, July 17, 2009

5 Reasons Why I Love the Blackberry


  1. We are part of the elite group of BBM holders. If you don't know what BBM is then PING you lol
  2. Unlike the iPhone, we can actually get the phone replaced if broken.
  3. You can connect the gazillion e-mails you have registered. I have work, Temple University and Yahoo.
  4. UberTwitter! This not only lists all your replies, DMs and messages in one screen, but it does almost everything automatically. You can even search for people at your exact location...leading to stalking and quite possibly making new friends.
  5. The calendar integrates all your applications. If you have an event on Facebook, it'll automatically add the event to the calendar. But for those that get 100000 event invites, you can turn this feature off.
So you make the decision

Thursday, July 16, 2009

La musica flows through our veins


So I finally signed up for Pandora and yes it's amazing. At first you have to choose a category or even artist and the player plays a random song. Depending on whether or not you like it, the next song might be a good one. You can LIKE or NOT-LIKE a song so it helps your chances.

Latino music categories include salsa, reggaeton, latin pop, Brazilian and more. However, there's only 1 backfire to this wonderful web-site. Apparently you can only listen up to 40 hours per month; after that you have to pay. Who would've though!?

About:

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

That Really Grinds My Gears...Dress Code?

So a few weeks ago I won a happy hour at an un-named bar in Center City. I get dressed semi-casual because it's a hot summer night. Actually, I had on khaki shorts, a polo and SNEAKERS. Why did I get to the door and the bouncer told me, "Um do you have another pair of pants or sandals?" Sandals!??!?!?!?!?

Apparently their dress code allows SHORTS & SANDALS!? Is that not the dumbest thing you've heard? Luckily the bouncer let me in because it was my happy hour. However, after settling in for the free drinks, I noticed other people with shorts and sneakers.

So what to do the next time I go there? The only reason I'm continuing to go is because my friends keep winning the happy hours. Should I wear sandals and shorts? *dun dun dun*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why should the gnome come to Philly?

Well why not!? I mean Obama was here at the NCC last year...this would be the next big thing right? What would I have the gnome do for a week? I'd have him:
  • Sit where congress use to meet way back when at Independence Hall
  • Order a cheesesteak somewhere along South St.
  • Somehow "run" up the Rocky Steps
  • Kiss a cat in front of the LOVE statue
  • Get friendly with the gays in the Gayborhood
  • Take a mural tour to El Centro de Oro.
  • And finally, have him well rested in our hotel room sporting his lovely With Love T-shirt :)
Vote at votetravelocity.com. And vote more than once!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Philly - Get to know us

Thank you Philebrity for posting this video and thank you to whomever uploaded the video.
This 30 second spot was one of many featuring a catchy tune by Patti Labelle promoting the city of Philadelphia during the mid 1980s. This spot aired in 1985. Note the dated "brick" phone carried by the power businesswoman. It's actually smaller than I would have expected for 1985. I'll bet that phone cost $2000+ in 1985 dollars!

Honorable Mentions for Centro Musical

Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC

Today I read some good news, and it was in a mainstream paper! In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, there was a story headlined, "Spanish community honors one of its gems." That's probably one of the best headlines I've ever read.

The writer interviewed a few people and one was quoted, ""the best place to buy Latin music in the region" and "a gathering spot for the community." And it's true! Every time you pass by Centro Musical you can hear music playing. The music brings a sense of pride to the community. I'm proud to know and have worked in the area.

Don't worry, they don't just sell CDs. If you're into Latino music/culture, you're bound to find that one instrument you can't find anywhere else.

Centro Musical
464 W Lehigh Ave,
Philadelphia
, PA

(215) 425-7050

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blast from the Past: Megalodon


A picture is worth a thousand words...or teeth! Anyone would be afraid to face this predator. It does outmatch the great white shark a million to one too. This fine species can be found at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.

According to Fossil Facts and Finds:
Carcharodon Megalodon was a giant shark that lived during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs of the Cenozoic Era, between 2 million and 16 million years ago. Little is known for sure about these giant predators because all that remains of their existence are fossilized teeth. But what teeth they are! These giant shark teeth range in size from 3 inches long to 7 inches long. They are massive things that can be bigger than a man’s hand. It sets the imagination reeling. To put this in perspective a large great white shark measures about 20 feet long and weighs a little over 2 tons. A tooth from a shark like this is about 1.5 inches long.



When is para too much?


This past Sunday I went to the Hispanic Fiesta in Penn's Landing and I must say, people love buying random things with their country on it. Every since I was a little kid, mom and dad would LOVE getting anything with COLOMBIA on it, whether a hat or a shirt, they'd get it.

At the festival, of course the predominant country was Puerto Rican, but I was glad to see other countries represented including Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala and of course Colombia.
Pictured above you see the famous wristbands that probably only last a few months. They were reasonably priced too, 1 for $2.

But where do we draw the line? There was stuff that was just WAY TO EXTRA to wear or even hang in your car. I mean honestly, would you wear 3 piece of clothes that say MICHAEL JACKSON or DOMINICAN on it?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Zip Lining Adventures!


Want to do something daring...well I don't mean jump out of a plane. I mean something that gives you a rush but it's not really going to give you a heart attack. Well head on over to Spring Mountain Ski Resort in Spring Mount, PA.

During the winter you can obviously ski but during summer time, Spring Mountain turns into a series of zip lining or canopy tours. "It's a series of zip lines and rope bridges and challenges through the trees under the "canopy" or the leaves of the trees. You'll take the chair lift to the top of the mountain, hike to your starting point and then, harnessed to zip lines, you'll fly through the air high above the mountain!"

It's definitely a thrill and I highly recommend it to couples and families. Call ahead and make reservation because weekend hours fill up fast. They have different versions of the tours for different groups so choose wisely. Either way, you are bound to find surprises...or challenges.

757 Spring Mount Road - Spring Mount, PA 19478
Email: info@springmountainadventures.com
Phone: 1-888-305-5044; 610-287-7900

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Philly's Segway Tours


Ok I must admit I really hated seeing la policia in these gliders but ever since I heard I could ride one, I didn't find it so annoying haha. Seems like random fun; however, it's not for everyone. Apparently participants must be at least 13 years old and between 100 lbs and 275 lbs.

For more info check out iglidetours.com.

uwishunu.com filmed a great video explaining the tours:

Are you marketing your product to me?

Oh the inevitable truth behind multicultural marketing. Are organizations doing their part to market towards Latinos? I believe not, well at least some of them aren't. In a recent Examiner.com article, the author explains why Baltimore isn't marketing to this booming audience. Even with the positive reinforcement Hispanic Trending gives us, a lot of agencies just aren't doing their part.

One of the main reasons is:
As the economy continues to sour, companies question all costs that do not have a clear payback. This means that the budget for multicultural marketing, including Hispanic, is the first one that gets cut – if it was ever in place to begin with.
I was also just recently sent an e-mail with interesting figures from the State of PA:

There are Latinos living in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties for a total Latino state population of more than 560,000. Latinos in Pennsylvania make valuable contributions to the commonwealth through business and industry, politics, education, the sciences, and the arts. They share deep family values, recognize their obligations to those less fortunate, cherish freedom, and represent what it means to be an American.

For those still unclear about how or where to start, check out this blog post from Ethnic Technologies, LLC.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Las Parcelas in North Philadelphia



I recently saw that El Centro de Oro may be getting it's own video! El Centro was awarded a grant from Scribe Video.

Yahoo en español

So I randomly decided to take a look at Yahoo's homepage en español and look for the little differences; any by little I mean a lot haha. Although they may have the same stories, there's a few things I found interesting.

Notice the use of purple as the home page background and even the first ad I saw was a little sexual. "Las Busquedas mas hot"...honestly who cares. It's unfortunate that marketers associate Latinos with sex. Do you see any more differences?

Photo of the Day - 4th of July

Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC

Monday, July 6, 2009

El Yunque - A Wonder of the World?!


Anyone who has been to Puerto Rico should know that El Yunque is probably one of the most beautiful experiences in PR. Although a bit far from any major city, it's still a MUST DO. Tomorrow, July 7th, is actually the last day to vote for el Yunque as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, en la categoria de bosques.

El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest, is located on the island of Puerto Rico. It is also the name of the second highest mountain peak in the Forest. El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System. However, some people will argue Puerto Rico being part of the United States.

When I went 2 years ago, it really was amazing. Although I heard stories of people disappearing, I wasn't too scared. We took our own route instead of following the tour guide but we made out pretty good. Eventually as we got higher and higher, the people kept kept getting shorter and shorter. Although there is a trail, not that many people can make this hike. In the end, we made it to the top of El Yunque; and even with all the fog, it looked stunning.

For all the other nominees, please visit the New 7 Wonder's web-site.

Dining - Tequila's


What can I say...this place has awesome food. For nearly twenty years, Tequila's has been serving excellent Mexican fare to the Rittenhouse neighborhood. A few years ago, the restaurant moved into its current location in a stately townhouse on Locust Street. Several dining rooms are individually decorated with murals, paintings and elegant lighting and furnishings.

Need a drink? Make sure to try one of their flavored margarita's; they have traditional, strawberry, mango and a few others. There was so much food to choose from I decided to go with the traditional sopa de tortilla which I highly recommend. Then for my main course I went with the Sabana Invierno de Pollo which is a chicken breast pounded and covered with refried beans and melted chihuahua cheese. It's also surroudned with an exquisite tomatillo sauce and vegetables.

1602 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 546-0181
http://www.tequilasphilly.com

Friday, July 3, 2009

Brazil ranks #1 - FIFA


Just in cast you didn't know...

Brasil puso fin al reinado de un año de España en la cima del ranking mundial de la FIFA luego de ganar la semana pasada el título de la Copa Confederaciones, mientras que México siguió bajando posiciones para caer al lugar 33.
And as another note, Brazil will be hosting the 2014 World Cup...so get those tickets now!

Party on the Parkway 7/4/09


Don't forget about all the exciting events going on in Philadelphia for the 4th of July. One of my favorites has always been the Fiesta on the Parkway & Party on the Parkway. However, this year they have taken away the Fiesta on the Parkway but added elements from it to the Party on the Parkway.


The “Party on the Parkway” will feature activities, games, food and
entertainment for the whole family, set against the dramatic background of
museums, attractions, architecture and flags of the world.

Here are a few things going on during the Party:


  • Afternoon performance by Disney recording artist Joey Page and Ashlee Keating
    Green Zone

  • Salsa Dance Contest

  • Day-long multicultural performances

  • Make-and-take arts and crafts

  • Food vendors

Thursday, July 2, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...Mornings

Everyone who knows that I am not the best morning person. Honestly, who is!? Waking up in the morning even after a good night's sleep is difficult. Although sleeping all day is probably not a good thing, just don't bother me in the A.M.

The worst part, it amazes me how my brother just doesn't take a hint. Whenever we visit the parents in New Jersey we sleep in same room. We wake up and I just don't want to talk to anyone, what does he do!? For some odd reason he just wants to have a conversation with me. What could he possibly want to talk about this early?! Then he gets mad because I don't want to talk or give him one word answers.

Oh well. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Latinos love Wildwood


Every since I was a little kid I remember taking that supposed "long" journey to Wildwood, NJ. Then I realized it was long because my dad was a slow driver. For some odd reason we would also leave at 4 a.m. to get there at 7 a.m.

Anyways, Wildwood is one of those places where Latinos gather for family fun. I still go every year whether it's with my familia or with friends. Although a lot of youngings gather here for "after-prom" activity, it really is a great beach. The only negative...it seems like you walk for miles and miles just to get to the beach. On a hot day, this can be dangerous.

Wildwood was the first coaster I ever rode on! Then I discovered Six Flags and I've never been back lol. Wildwood has those coasters for first timer's. They are okay for the first ride but then you don't really want to go back.