Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Congrats Modern Family

Our favorite late-night comedy, Modern Family, took the Emmy this past weekend for Best TV Comedy series. I mean really, who doesn't watch this show! Congrats to all the nominees and winners. Although a win by Colombiana Sofia Vergara would have been awesome, it was still great to have her nominated. Hasta la proxima.

Goya Latino Family Celebration!

Let's see: Food + Baseball = a Latino's dream! Goya Food, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, will once again team up with the Phillies to host the Goya Latino Family Celebration & Food Drive on Friday, September 3, at Citizens Bank Park in conjunction with that evening's Phillies-Brewers game.

The night will be filled with lots of food and special performances. Whether salsa, merengue, or bachata, you'll be able to enjoy the musical performances of El Hijo E Lola, Foto Rodriguez as well as Jimmy Jorge & the Latin Express. Fans can also takes photos with the Phanatico Latino, one of the Phanatic Around Town statues which pays tribute to Latino ballplayers and was created by local artist Marta Sanchez. The statue will be on display at the Phanatic Walk, located at the Third Base Gate.

Visit phillies.com to purchase your tickets and get your salsarengue on!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guatu in pictures

Some great photos with some great people. All in memory of you Ramon Ernesto Baez. Full of life, energy and always in good spirits, what else could someone ask for in a person.

A Vegas Experience: Wet Republic

Want the true Vegas experience? I suggest heading to Wet Republic at the MGM Grand. Wet Republic is the ultimate pool party adventure. You can spend an entire day here...I would hope so for the $50 entry fee! To be honest, now that I think about it, it is Vegas and this is a party you'll never forget. The music is great and everyone wants to have a good time.

Gotta love one of their slogans as well: Declaring war on nightlife. A 2,500-square-foot lounge, dance the day away as world renowned DJs rock the turntables with the hottest beats. Lounge by or in the pool with a cocktail or unwind in the privacy of your very own Bungalow. Celebrities and hot entertainers headline weekly and monthly events...transforming the 4,100 square-foot sundeck into a stage, and making Wet Republic the hottest destination for premier entertainment.

Wet Republic at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino ~ 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas
, NV, 89109
Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photo Post - Refreshing lunch during a layover

honestly, who doesn't enjoy a soup and a beer for lunch...at an airport :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Latin Music Festival

Who doesn't love a free festival!? Especially when you have artists like Jose Alberto "El Canario" and Kiko Rodriguez! The Latin Musical Festival will take place this Sunday, August 29 and is hosted by the Artistas y Musicos Latinos Americanos (AMLA). Through its ongoing programs and special projects, AMLA promotes the development, dissemination, and understanding of Latin music in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

The event will take place from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. and is FREE for the entire family. Enjoy food, shopping, fun children's events and of course LIVE PERFORMANCES! All Hosted by Julio Largo of Univision 65. So be sure to stop by this Sunday and get your salsarenguechata on!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mock Border Crossing

Okay so it's understandable when visiting Mexico, to experience it at best you should skip Cancun and the tourists traps. But since when are "alternative" tourism trips in season? According to an article on MSNBC.COM, "a hardy few choose lesser-known tourist sites where they are chased down by immigration agents or risk their lives in dangerous slums" So that is exactly what the travel groups do; they re-enact an immigration run which includes I.C.E. agents who chase you and put you in the back of a car if you can't make the trip.

Best part. This has been going on for six years. "The trips began six years ago in a bid to draw attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants — nearly 7 million Mexicans lived illegally in the United States as of January 2009," the article continues to say. Is this even sane? If you read the whole article, the writer interviews European tourists. I can't see an American attempting to do this tour. Would you want to experience immigration runs?

Tr3s Latino Artist of the Year

Shakira, Wisin y Yandel, Aventura, Pitbull, Camila and Daddy Yankee have all been nominated for Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas's first ever "Latino Artist of the Year" award. The winner will be selected by Tr3s viewers, who will cast their votes online at tr3s.com. The winner of the coveted Moon Man will be announced on Tr3s on September 18th at 5pm during the transmission of the 2010 MTV VMAs.

This is pretty incredible considering it's going to be announced during this year's VMA's. I'm glad MTV didn't announce this during another program or a Latino awards show. They are actually putting Latino culture in mainstream TV! Now whether or not it will be aired is another question. Where does my vote go? I have to favor Shakira and Pitbull. They have the best music and have probably brought a lot of influence into the music scene. Go them!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hidden Gem in Philly: Community Gardens

Remember the Las Parcelas video I posted last year? Well I recently took a trip there and it was amazing. I knew there were community gardens in Philadelphia but I didn't imagine these being in North Philadelphia. The Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP) has six urban, culturally-themed gardens that preserve green space and energize the Norris Square community. Through collaborations with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and many other individuals, NSNP's Iris Brown "The Gardener/La Jardinera" has brought the vivid colors of Puerto Rico and Africa to Philadelphia.

I was able to view three of the gardens: Las Parcelas, El Batey and Villa Africana Colobo. Each represent one of the three cultures which represent the Latino culture. I was happy to see the three different types of "culture" gardens because it teaches our youth about just that...nuestra cultura. And considering it's Philly, it was a shock to see what grows in each garden; everything from different herbs to edible vegetables. Each garden showcases beautiful scenery and they are open to the public during certain hours. For more information on how to volunteer, donate, intern, etc., visit nsnp.com.

Best Jobs for Out-of-Work Latinos

So you're out of a job and you're Latino, what do you do? What fields of work do you want to work in? To be honest in my experience, I've seen a lot of Latinos move into the social work field. Whether it's advocacy, mentoring, education...our "fields of interest" tend to relate to family-oriented careers. However, there is a lot more out there! And because of the influx of Latinos, businesses are looking to penetrate the Latino community.

According to a Minority Recruit article, "because Hispanic purchasing power is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2010, marketers and advertising groups are always looking for creatives (designers and copywriters) and account executives (client liaisons) who are Latino. An in-depth knowledge of the Latino culture and experience is critical to a the success of any Latino-targeted ad campaign, and agencies need Latino employees to provide this insight." Other corporations looking for Latinos include financial institutions, insurance companies, health services and even government jobs. So while on your search for a new career, consider any or all of these options.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gotta Love the Phanatic

Ever wonder what exactly the Phanatic really is? I do too, but nonetheless we must enjoy it when he's around. Also, remember all those Phanatics around the city? Well the summer is coming to a close and soon they'll be auctioned off. Below you'll find a time-lapse video of all the Phanatics.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Last Minute

Okay. I know I say I don't like going out on school nights, but for some reason I keep getting convinced to go out on Thursday evenings. Why? It's either someone's birthday, going-away fiesta, or graduation or something lol. Do I regret it in the morning? Sometimes. But it's like a friend says, "You only live once." Hasta tomorrow!

Our History in Words

Ever wonder why a lot of high schools and colleges don't teach Latino history? Well I do too, but thankfully there are books out there for you to learn on your own. Available soon, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature includes the work of 184 Latino writers from Chicano, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican-American traditions as well as writing from other Spanish-speaking countries. This anthology traces four centuries of writing, from letters to the Spanish crown by sixteenth-century conquistadors to the cutting-edge expressions of twenty-first-century cartoonistas and artists of reggaeton.

Imagine learning about your entire history in one book. I've heard of Puerto Rican books, Colombian books, Mexican history books but nothing that combines everything. Twelve years in the making, this book will shed light on "our American" through the writing styles of several writers. The book costs around $60 but it's well worth it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tweets on a Center City Sips Day

Another day, another day full of random tweets. Here are today's tweets of a "Center City Sips" day.

Businesses using Twitter for customer service...Check.

Well then. When social networking sites merge, what happens next?

When asking for opinions on Twitter, you'll get a lot!
Monsters inside me? Okay then.

LATISM Bloguera Survey Results

Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), the first and largest non-profit organization to engage, organize, train and promote Latinos and Latinas in the social media arena, has released the results to the first study ever to take a look at Latina bloggers both from a demographic and a cultural standpoint. Given the growth of the Hispanic market, these Latinas are the vanguard of an emerging consumer segment that is the most attractive target for companies right now.

And it's true, if you search the hashtag #Latism, you'll find a lot of Latinas, women and moms. They are all talking about the things we use everyday including food, entertainment, mom tips, etc. All of this while being a single moms or the head of household. One of the most startling facts uncovered by the study is that an overwhelming number of these Blogueras (70%) are heads of household while managing to keep up with the amazing demands of both producing and marketing a blog: While only 30% report being married, a significant 43% managing more than one blog and 57% writing two or more posts a week.

So as you can see, they are a very powerful voice. The last thing you want to do is piss off a Latina mommy blogger. Not that you would, but they are out there and ready to engage with audiences of all kind!

Full survey report can be accessed here: Presentation-final

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

UNITY Step Team

You know that saying "go hard or go home"? Well that's what Remo's UNITY Step Team thought when they performed last Saturday at the REMO Inc. Step Championship. The Unity Step Team consists of Latino/Multicultural Greek lettered organizations all who are here to promote unity amongst the Greek community, foster creativity amongst each other to help elevate the game and assist those organizations who do not actively have a step/stroll team in place by performing at their local campuses.

Check out their "Michale Jackson" routine below. As you can tell, it was a "serious matter" lol.

Opportunities for Latinos

Countless times I get a little angry when we as a people say, "there are no opportunities out there for me." I honestly think that's people being lazy because the opportunities are endless. From scholarships, grants, fellowships, etc. a Latino today has a better chance of landing a job than other ethnic groups. Maria Luna De La Rosa, in her 2006 article in the American Behavioral Scientist, “Is Opportunity Knocking? Low-Income Students’ Perceptions of College and Financial Aid,notes Hispanics have a low level of financial aid awareness and lack sufficient data on how to pay for college. In one study based on a national phone survey of parents and college-age students, she observes, more than 50% of all Latino parents and 43% of Latino young adults could not name a single source of financial aid.

Sometimes family members have to provide motivation along with their educational institution. The child makes his own decisions but with enough motivation, this kid could become president/CEO of a big company. According to an article by the University of Phoenix, the Pew Hispanic Center reports that more than 1 million Latinos are in management roles within companies nationwide. Could we increase this number? We sure could, especially because of the influx of Latinos across the country. So how are you doing your part?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Opinion: Caribbeans & Central/South Americans

Ask yourself this question. Do you see a difference between Caribbean Latinos and Central/South Americans? To be honest, I do. Sure it does not matter but today I thought about it. Even had a quick conversation with a fraternity brother about small yet noticeable differences.

One huge difference I see everyday is "family". Sure Latinos are all about culture y tu familia, but Central/South Americans seem to want a family more. There's more of a "I'll buy you flowers just for the hell of it" in us lol. Maybe I'm being biased but for the past few years, I've seen a big difference. Also, Caribbean Latinos are the party bunch. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans (in the US) are the first to wave/celebrate their independence and want a parade to party. Look at the difference between the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Colombian Festival in NYC...little differences with big impacts.


Bomba Estéreo

A few weeks ago I came to the realization there is new music being born everyday. With artists these days covering old music and sampling like crazy, it's a little difficult finding something new. That was until I went to a Bomba Estereo concert at the Kimmel Center. How do you describe their music? They combine traditional Colombian Cumbia music with Electronica.

Bomba Estereo puts you in a weird (positive) state of mind. Lead singer Liliana has a voice that you could say sounds oddly familiar (to some American singers) but it's unique because of the type of music. And yes as you have guessed it, son Colombianos! I'm glad to see non-traditional music rise from Colombia but at the same time, they keep the roots alive. The band began as a project of Simón Meíja's, releasing their first album as a solo project with contributions from various musicians. The other members, Liliana, Julian and Kike, would all join the band permanently before the release of their second album Estalla, which would later be re-released in the US under the title Blow Up.

Take a look at what is probably one of the most interesting cover's I have heard - Pump Up the Jam.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Unity Stroll Team

Is it safe to assume Latino Greeks don't get along with each other? WRONG! Take a look at the video below with REMO's Unity Stroll Team. They are performing this sabado, August 14 at the REMO Summer Step Show. From the answers they are giving the crowd, I'm sure they are going to "bring it back".


Thursday, August 12, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Bad Marketing

I kind of get a bad feeling in my stomach every time I hear someone call North Philly "The Badlands". Seriously, Philly (and lots of other cities) does not need this negative perception of a neighborhood that has many things to offer. Sure there are people that wouldn't venture off into this area, but you really just have to be smart about it. Don't go there at 12 a.m. or even alone for that matter. I have lived in Philadelphia for 7 years and even worked in the neighborhood for 2 years and nothing has ever happened to me *knocks on wood*.

Feliz Cumpleaños Dora!

That's right, our mainstream Latina is turning 10 years old! And according to Latina Magazine, "From New York to New Mexico, cities all across the country are getting ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dora the Explorer in style! More than 30 cities are observing Dora the Explorer day on August 14th to acknowledge the positive impact the Nickelodeon heroine has had on children over the last decade."

To be honest I've never watched the show but I know how important it is to children. As if celebrating someone's b-day wasn't enough, Nick Jr. has launched an educational campaign! Beyond the Backpack is a new pro-social initiative from Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer that champions overall school readiness for preschoolers on their biggest adventure yet--going to school. Education is very important to my family, in fact in should be for every family. The Latino high school drop out rate is enormous so touching kids at an early age is a big thumbs up for Nick Jr.

Feliz Cumpleaños Dora!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tweets to Compliment You

We all love complimenting each other in person, e-mail, etc. However, we also love doing it in front of the entire world! Thank god for Twitter. Here are today's tweets of the day.

We all word hard. But the two mentioned here do everything!

Twitter milestones are awesome.

Positive examples to hundreds of attendees.

Not a compliment. Just funny ;)

Not in Our America

I love viral campaigns...especially about strong political issues. This one takes the cake because as we all know and hate, SB1070 is still in our radar. Not In My America is a campaign to oppose anti-immigrant laws like the one Arizona has passed. As Republican Congressman Connie Mack (FL) says, “I do not want to live in a nation where American citizens are asked, ‘Where are your papers?’ We are better than that.” Through the website, you can add a Twibbon to your profile picture to say, "We are better than that. Not in MY America!" This can be done via Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nuestras Raíces

Celebrate the powerful images of hope, peace, beauty and perseverance created by the children enrolled in The Goodlands Community Arts Program of Centro Nueva Creacion. Nuestras Raices is the 7th annual summer exhibit to be hosted by Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art. The Goodlands Community Arts Program is part of a community strategy by Centro Nueva Creacion to counter the negative image of the West Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods as “The Badlands.”

Although most people would not want to consider this area "The Badlands", it's still important to support youth projects. For years this area of the city has been considered the badlands, not a good marketing tactic. Some think it's dangerous but to be honest any neighborhood in any city can be dangerous. See you this Thursday!

Nuestras Raíces - A Children’s Photography Exhibit

Opening Reception:
Thursday August 12, 2010
(*food and drinks will be served)
FREE and open to the public
Open for Viewing: August 12-20, 2010
Nexus Foundation For Today’s Art
(Crane Arts Building)
1400 N. American St.

Farmer's Market @ the Piazza

I'm a fan of food, especially new places. Chef Guillermo Tellez recently took part in the new local food campaign "Philly: Nuestra Cosecha" which highlights Philly's local food scene. I guess I should start eating healthy huh? Next stop...farmer's markets!

Check out the video below highlighting the Piazza at Schmidt's market. The Sunday market runs May through September, and the Saturday market is year-round. Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to make a vejigante mask

So while I was in Puerto Rico I probably experienced one of the coolest things ever...someone making a vejigante mask from scratch. A vejigante is a clown-like character in Puerto Rican festival celebrations. In today's festivals some believe that the vejigante is a figure of resistance to colonialism and imperialism. The festivals have four main characters: el Caballero, los vejigantes, los viejos, and las locas.

So how do you make the mask? Pictured above is one of the Ayala hermanos from Loiza, Puerto Rico. For over 40 years, Los Hermanos Ayala have performed throughout the world bringing with them the tradition of Loáza-style bomba deeply rooted in Africa. They are also famous for mask-making. As you can see he took a coconut (from wholesale lol) and dug out all the guts. You have to be SUPER careful when opening making sure your cuts are just right. He used several different cutting tools. He said the horns are probably the most difficult. There are other ways to make masks including paper paper mache, but coconuts are more authentic.

Dos Culturas

When you think of Colombia and Italy, can you think of any similarities? Well if you can't think of any you're right to assume there are a good number of Colombitalians running around in Philadelphia. One in particular is photographer Tony Rocco. Rocco is of Colombian/Italian descent and grew up in South Philadelphia which is a predominantly Italian neighborhood.

Join Rocco in his NYC show, Dos Culturas, on September 3, 2010 at el Consulado General de Colombia. Rocco will focus on themes of identity and multiculturalism in this exhibition of new work from Colombia and Italy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Summer Cold

I honestly don't remember the last time I had a cold in the summer. Anyone can tell you it sucks! A few days after I got back from Puerto Rico, I felt a little dizzy then at night I felt the soar throat. Sure enough I found out everyone was getting sick. Horrible cough plus constant sweating = not a good time. It's also weird because I usually never sweat, however for the past 2 days it has been a little crazy! Doesn't help that yesterday was 90+ degrees with humidity. Alas, I think I'm getting better...I just need to overdose on more cough drops and Tylenol.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Latinos Eating Healthy

When thinking about healthy food, niche groups don't really come to mind (in my opinion). Seriously, when was the last time you went to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's? How about shop at your local farmer's market? If finding out where these farmer's markets are, well you have options. There are over 20 markets all summer long throughout the Philadelphia area. Just recently opened is the Norris Square Farmer's Market...right in the Latino community! According to an article on holaciudad, "El Mercado de agricultores de Norris Square, es uno de más de 15 mercados de toda la ciudad que ahora acepta 'Philly Food Bucks'. Con los 'Philly Food Bucks”, se puede recibir $2 de descuento en frutas y vegetales por cada 5 dólares que se gasten en un mercado de agricultores participantes."

Did you know two notable Latino chefs in the city use local food? Chef Guillermo Tellez from Square 1682 is doing amazing things with his local kitchen and eco-friendly restaurant. And Chef Jose Garces plans on opening a farm-to-table restaurant at the Cira Center! These Latinos are definitely doing their thing.

Norris Square Farmers' Market
W Susquehanna & N Howard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Hours: Thurs: 3-7 pm

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SLB Step Show Interview

I love step shows, they show more enthusiasm than stroll shows...just sayin. Let's take a look at what Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Inc. has in store for this year's competition in NYC.

If interested in tickets to REMO Inc. Step Championship, leave a comment with contact info.

Tweets on a Cultural Day

We all love where we come from and who we are as a person. Last week opened my eyes in a lot of ways and I believe things are looking better and better everyday. Here are today's tweets of the day.

Jersey doesn't stink and I'm sticking to it.

I want to say this is a surprise but then again not really

I'm sure he has more fans on Facebook than in real life.

I'm a huge fan of tattoo expression!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Salsa at Brasils

We all love dancing, especially at new spots. Somehow I always come across people asking, "Where should we go salsa dancing?" Well starting this jueves (Thursday) and every other first Thursday of the month, Calle Luna & Estilo Dancers present "SALSA @ Brasils". I haven't been to Brasils in a while but it is a nice spot in Olde City (Philadelphia).

There is a $7 cover charge but it brings a free salsa lesson AND a free drink while supplies last. We all know we love getting free things; the drink is the added benefit. Dancers of all levels welcome so you don't have to be nervous while getting on the dance floor. You'll be lucky if you find the salsa crazed Asian man here. Random but it seems wherever there is salsa dancing, this long-haired man is always there. You know who I'm talking about :). Are you going?

SB1070 is in FULL Effect

So last Wednesday SB1070 was stopped; well some parts. However, I ran across this video and it looks like the police have taken it into their own hands. I'm seriously afraid of our future.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Last Comic Standing

So it seems as though mainstream TV is keeping track of Latinos. All of a sudden Latinos are playing a huge role in these contest shows like America's Got Talent and now Last Comic Standing. We have Felipe Esparza who loves to add a little bit of Latino flavor to his skits. Felipe has been a stand-up comedian for 14 years. He was raised in East Los Angeles (Boyle Heights), and has worked closely with fellow comedians Paul Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias and Russell Peters. He got his first taste of major exposure when he appeared on a Showtime "Diamonds in the Rough" segment early in his career.

From what I see he is pretty funny. He brings real life situations to life and opens up the Latino world to mainstream audiences. And it's not awkward; Esparza's life experiences really make you think about your own life as well. Why? Because remember, in America we are all Latino. For information about how to vote for Esparza, visit Last Comic Standing's website.

Feria de la Familia

For the first time in Philadelphia, Telemundo will host the Feria de la Familia! This event brings the Latino community together to offer services, entertainment, and diversity for the whole family. Best part...it's free! The event will take place at the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia and will also include appearances by some famous Telemundo soap opera stars. Want to be your own TV star? Children will have the opportunity to record a short "news" segment during the Feria de la Familia. Afterwords, they'll be able to see the final product on holaciudad.com.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 (12pm - 6pm)
The Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121