Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

#FridayReads: Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter by Maria Venegas

Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter by Maria Venegas:

The haunting story of a daughter’s struggle to confront her father's turbulent—and often violent—legacy

After a fourteen-year estrangement, Maria Venegas returns to Mexico from the United States to visit her father, who is living in the old hacienda where both he and she were born. While spending the following summers and holidays together, herding cattle and fixing barbed-wire fences, he begins sharing stories with her, tales of a dramatic life filled with both intense love and brutal violence—from the final conversations he had with his own father, to his extradition from the United States for murder, to his mother’s pride after he shot a man for the first time at the age of twelve.

     Written in spare, gripping prose, Bulletproof Vest is Venegas’s reckoning with her father’s difficult legacy. Moving between Mexico and New York, between past and present, Venegas traces her own life and her father’s as, over time, a new closeness and understanding develops between them. Bulletproof Vest opens with a harrowing ambush on Venegas’s father while he’s driving near his home in Mexico. He survives the assault—but years later the federales will find him dead near the very same curve, and his daughter will be left with not only the stories she inherited from him but also a better understanding of the violent undercurrent that shaped her father’s life as well as her own.

Maria Venegas was born in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was four years old. Bulletproof Vest was excerpted in Granta and The Guardian. Venegas’s short stories have appeared in Ploughshares and Huizache. She has taught creative writing at Hunter College and currently works as a mentor at Still Waters in a Storm, a reading and writing sanctuary for children in Brooklyn. She lives in New York City.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwbacks: Water Saints & Geographies of Home

I recently came across these two books published a few years ago that I think might be right up your alley, especially for my Dominican's:

Song of the Water Saints by Nelly Rosario 

This vibrant, provocative début novel explores the dreams and struggles of three generations of Dominican women. Graciela, born on the outskirts of Santo Domingo at the turn of the century, is a headstrong adventuress who comes of age during the U.S. occupation. Too poor to travel beyond her imagination, she is frustrated by the monotony of her life, which erodes her love affairs and her relationship with Mercedes, her daughter. Mercedes, abandoned by Graciela at thirteen, turns to religion for solace and, after managing to keep a shop alive during the Trujillo dictatorship, emigrates to New York with her husband and granddaughter, Leila. Leila inherits her great-grandmother Graciela’s passion-driven recklessness. But, caught as she is between cultures, her freedom arrives with its own set of obligations and dangers.

Geographies of Home by Loida Maritza Perez 

After leaving the college she'd attended to escape her religiously conservative parents, Iliana, a first-generation Dominican-American woman, returns home to Brooklyn to find that her family is falling apart: one sister is careening toward mental collapse, another sister is living in a decrepit building with her abusive husband and three children, and a third sister has simply disappeared. In this dislocating urban environment Iliana reluctantly confronts the anger and desperation that seem to seep through every crack of her family's small house, and experiences all the contradictions, superstitions, joys, and pains that come from a life caught between two cultures. In this magnificent debut novel, filled with graceful prose and searing detail, Loida Maritza Pérez offers a penetrating portrait of the American immigrant experience as she explores the true meanings of identity, family--and home.

Have you read either of these?

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Latino Lit Syllabus - Required Reading

I minored in English Literature and some of my favorite books have been a result of required reading especially from my Multicultural Literature courses. I don't think I would have discovered Maxine Hong, Jean Toomer, or Lois-Ann Yamanaka otherwise.

Taking a cue from the recent airing of Junot Diaz' MIT Course Syllabus, I've decided to share some other notable required reading lists that you might find interesting:

Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature - Florida Atlantic University
José Martí. “Coney Island.” (1881)
María Amparo Ruíz de Burton. From The Squatter and the Don. (1885)
Jesús Colón. Excerpts from A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches. (1961)
Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets. (1967)
Oscar Zeta Acosta. Revolt of the Cockroach People. (1973)
Selections of Nuyorican Poets. (1960s-1970s)
Sandra Cisneros. The House on Mango Street. (1984)
Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera. (1987)
Cristina Garcia. Dreaming in Cuban (1992)
Ana Menéndez. Loving Che. (2003)
Junot Diaz. Drown. (1996)
Yxta Maya Murray. Locas. (1998)
Tanya Maria Barrientos. Family Resemblance. (2003)
Ernesto Quiñonez. Bodega Dreams. (2000)
Ilan Stavans. The Hispanic Condition. (1996)
Juan Flores. From Bomba to Hip-Hop. (2000)
Lisa Sánchez González. Boricua Literature. (2001)
Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Life on the Hyphen. (1994)
Román de la Campa. Cuba on my Mind. (2000)
Raphael Dalleo and Elena Machado Sáez. The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature. (2007)

University of California, Santa Cruz:
Manuel Muñoz, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue
Helena Maria Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
H.G. Carrillo, Loosing My Espanish
Jaime Hernández, The Education of Hopey Glass
Héctor Tobar, The Tattooed Soldier

University of Nebraska Omaha:
The Squatter and the Don (1885) by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
George Washington Gomez (Paredes wrote this novel in the 1940s and 1950s but it wasn’t published until 1990)by Américo Paredes
And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1987) by Tomás Rivera
Borderlands/La Frontera (1987) by Gloria Anzaldúa
The Rain God (1991) by Arturo Islas
So Far From God (1993) by Ana Castillo
Days of Awe (2001) by Achy Obejas
Acuña, Rudolfo: Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
Aranda Jr., Jose: When We Arrive: A New Literary History of Mexican America Extinct Lands,
Brady, Mary Pat: Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space
Paredes, Américo: Folklore and Culture on the Texas Mexican Border
Paz, Octavio: The Labyrinth of Solitude
Saldívar, Ramón: Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference
Torres, Eden: Chicana Without Apology

Introduction to Latino/a Studies:
Michelle Habell-Pallan and Mary Romero Latino/a Popular Culture (ed.)
Julia Alvarez, In the Name of Salomé
Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera
Black Artemis, Picture Me Rollin’
Angie Cruz, Soledad
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
Ana Menéndez, Loving Che
Ernesto Quiñonez, Bodega Dreams
Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets
Esmeralda Santiago, When I was Puerto Rican
Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came With Them

There are many of these online and I only posted some of the ones that didn't contain too many of the usual notables. Next time you are looking for some great titles to read and discover this might be a new avenue for direction.


Friday, March 07, 2014

#FridayReads: Handbook for an Unpredictable Life By Rosie Perez

In Handbook for an Unpredictable Life:  How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair), Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight is revealed.

Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. 

At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.

Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.  

More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

ROSIE PEREZ is an Oscar-nominated actress, whose credits include Do the Right Thing, White Men Can't Jump, Fearless, and The Counselor. She is the Artistic Chair of Urban Arts Partnership and sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Q&A with Chloe Aridjis, Author of ASUNDER

ASUNDER is a captivating novel, out now from Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, about two museum guards in London for whom life and art begin to overtake one another in unsettling and surreal ways.

It's written by Chloe Aridjis, a writer who's been praised by Junot Díaz, for her "hypnotic" prose. Chloe was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico, and now lives in London. She received her PhD in nineteenth-century French poetry and magic shows from Oxford, then lived in Berlin for five years. Her first novel, Book of Clouds, won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in 2009.

I had a chance to interview Chloe recently. Here's what she had to say:

On Home & Identity:

Chloe: England is very much home these days. Mexico is my other home of course, and I hope I'll never have to choose between the two. I still spend around two months a year in Mexico. For daily life, I prefer London to Mexico City, however -- as much as I love the latter, the soul-destroying traffic alone does me in each time I visit. I identify with each place in different ways: here, I love the tempo of the city, the weather, and the discretion. Mexico meanwhile has a tremendous dynamism and chaos that's unique and I always feel recharged. 

On the "Latina Writer" Label: 

Chloe: I don't take issue but have never identified with it myself. My mother is from New York but I definitely feel more Mexican/European since I've spent many more years in Europe than in the US and I suppose both my studies and movements have been more eurocentric. In general I believe identity should be fluid, and labels can be tricky. 

On her Dad:

Chloe: My father has always been an immense inspiration, as a writer and a human being. My mother's environmental work and her intelligence and humanity are also deeply inspiring. Together they introduced me, from an early age, to literature and museums: both changed my life. I learned to read and see in new ways. As for the poets in the novel, they are based on childhood observation, mostly from poetry festivals I was taken to, and later on my correspondence with some of the poets I met.  

On Writing:

Chloe: I write both from home and the British Library. It depends what stage I'm at, but I try to write from home in the morning and then head to the library by two or three. Different thoughts occur in different places, so it's important to move around and see what happens where. I often get ideas on the bus over to the library. But there's nothing quite like being here in my study, surrounded by my own books and objects and my young cat watching from the shelf behind me. 


ASUNDER traces the slow revolt against passivity of a female museum guard. After nine years working at London’s National Gallery, Marie starts to feel stirrings of violence as she focuses more and more on themes of decomposition in both the paint layer and the human. She is haunted by stories of the suffragettes who would attack works of art in the years leading up to WWI, and in particular by the slashing of Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, which occurred at the Gallery in March 1914. 
Her best friend Daniel is a poet who works as a guard at the Tate Britain; their lives revolve closely around their collections, public and private (Marie crafts miniature landscapes at home, Daniel corresponds with poets overseas). When they go to Paris for the winter holiday their imaginary worlds come to life in startling ways, ultimately freeing them from their former confinement.

Reminiscent of Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station, ASUNDER is a short, powerful novel brimming with ideas and stop-you-in-your-tracks language, exploring materiality vs. spirituality, art vs. life, words vs. images, preservation vs. destruction, and those moments we all experience where we can either push something to crisis or take great pains to stop it in its tracks.


Read it and let me know what you think of it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

#FridayReads:Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island is memoir by Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist.

It reminded me very much of one of my favorite books when I was young, Dicey's Song (of Tillerman Cycle, The) by Cynthia Voigt. It was a story that I could relate to very much, in having had a large role in raising my younger brothers and also having an absent father.

It speaks so very powerfully to how much damage can be caused not just by physical and sexual abuse but specifically neglect and verbal abuse and how children are often at a no-win situation in cases like such as this one.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Farm Lit & First World Problems

I remember reading And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road
By Margaret Roach, a couple of years back when I still worked as an online book publicist at Hachette Book Group.

I was enamored instantly at the courage of the author, who left a 15-year career at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she reigned as Editorial Director, and moved into her weekend Upstate house to be closer to nature and lead an authentic life.

There is a certain glamour that comes with the fast-pace of New York City albeit the grittiness and rat race feel of it all. The deeper one is entrenched in the every-day monotony, the more you yearn for simplicity, frankness, and an uncharted course.

Of course, this may just be symptomatic of "the grass is always greener" or wanting what you don't have - which is simply human nature. Of course, the girl with curly hair envies the stick-straight locks of a friend or the successful high-wheeling executive wants to ditch it all and go surfing, it all makes perfect sense.

I've had so many conversations with so many friends who just don't want to work any more that I wonder if we've all been hoodwinked into this narrow path of college and making lots of money and moving up the corporate ladder qualifying as success. Perhaps that unfulfilled feeling points directly to something we are missing - that which cannot be satiated with a pair of designer shoes or organic, fair trade coffee beans.

Everywhere you turn, in all forms of art from movies, to books, to graffiti, every one is searching for a respite, an

The Atlantic published a  piece on the trendiness of  "Farm Lit" several weeks ago: "chick lit is dead (or dying, at least). But in its place, we now have a new genre. Call it "farm lit." In farm lit books, our heroines ditch the big cities beloved in chick lit—New York, Chicago, LA—in favor of slower, more rural existences, scrappily learning to raise goats on idyllic Vermont farms or healing their broken hearts by opening cupcake bakeries in their sweet Southern hometowns. Instead of sipping $16 appletinis with the girls, they're mucking out barns and learning to knit. Instead of pining after Mr. Big, they're falling for the hunky farmer next door."

The irony here is from the "first world problems" lens. These are the frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries.

I think back to another favorite, If I Bring You Roses By Marisel Vera, that speaks to another era, a simpler one in rural Puerto Rico and I think about my grandmother or migrant farm and day laborers - about working with your hands and the soil, what would they make of this "trend."

O my brothers, 
I beat my palms, 
still soft, 
against the stubble of my harvesting. 
(You beat your soft palms, too.) 
My pain is sweet. 
Sweeter than the oats or wheat or corn. 
It will not bring me knowledge of my hunger.
-- Jean Toomer, Harvest Song



Monday, January 14, 2013

New Book: Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

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 (Photo: Silicon Prairie News)
Another one for your to-read list:  Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang


Eddie Huang is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus—the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night—and one of the food world’s brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.  

Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way. He obsessed over football, fought the all-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolized Tupac. 

His anchor through it all was food—from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad’s restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother’s kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland. After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved—past and present, family and food—into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he’d melded into his own identity. 

Funny, raw, and moving, and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, Fresh Off the Boat recasts the immigrant’s story for the twenty-first century. It’s a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lit links & Scoops

Where I collect and share all the interesting random things I've read all week:

- The Slave Who Circumnavigated The World via The Awl

- Brazilian author Clarah Averbuck on why she wrote Cat Life: ""Unfortunately, Brazil is still a very sexist country. Girls are still seen like objects. The most important thing a woman can do is just be pretty, and it's a shame," she says." via NPR

- See Also: “I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’” Gabby Douglas rocks.

- Love: A Booklover’s Map of Literary Geography circa 1933 via BrainPickings

- Oddballs: People Without Facebook Accounts Are 'Suspicious.' on Forbes

- Stress-Free: Recipe for 1x/week Cleansing/Detox Bath Soak via Whole Living

- 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat via Shape

- THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT SRIRACHA - How To Make Sofrito, The DIY Condiment brought to you by The Awl

- Holy bat babies - Cuteness!

- Why dating artists is a terrible idea: I INSPIRED A "BAD" VERSION OF MYSELF ON AARON SORKIN'S "THE NEWSROOM" via xoJane.

- And now you know: How Advertisers Convinced Americans They Smelled Bad: A schoolgirl and a former traveling Bible salesman helped turn deodorants and antiperspirants from niche toiletries into an $18 billion industry via Smithsonian

- Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One is a post-apocalyptic tale of a Manhattan crippled by a plague and overrun with zombies. He explains that he created the novel, in part, to pay homage to the grimy 1970s New York of his childhood. at NPR

- Also How to Write By COLSON WHITEHEAD - awesomeness via NYTimes.

- The Daily Chicana on Remembering My Brown-Skinned Dolls via Racialicious

- Chinese/Jamaican Poet StacyAnn Chin talks about being a single mother, in-vitro fertilization,and how her decision to have a child was met by the Black and LGBT community. Read more at Mater Mea.

- Read MOLLY RINGWALD's story about Infidelity here

- This October, Designers & Books are hosting the first-ever book fair in New York City to focus on architecture and design book publishing. Go here.

- Amazing #1: Site tells you what an awesome social media early adopter you are via ShinyShiny
- Amazing #2: AMAZON: We now buy more Kindle eBooks than printed books Here.

- Style, yes please: 20 fashion-focused Pinterest accounts via Mashable.

- Nicely done: A gender free toy store -Harrods Department Store via The Mary Sue

- The PlayTales App Teaches Your Kids To Love Books With Interactive Kids Stories via MakeUseof

- I cannot wait to go to the Netherlands this fall: AMSTERDAM CITY GUIDE: WHY I LOVE AMSTERDAM, THE GREATEST LITTLE CITY IN WORLD via MeltingButter.

Monday, August 06, 2012

NYC: Come See Me at The Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference

I will be speaking at the upcoming Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference on October 6, 2012, in New York City, drawing from my experience as social media strategist and former book publicist. I hope you all can make it and would appreciate it if you help spread the word as well.

Time: 8:00 am to 6 pm
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Place: Medgar Evers College
The City University of New York
1650 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, New York 11225

The Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference, which will take place at the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York on October 6, 2012, will provide Latino writers with access to published Latino authors as well as agents and editors who have a proven track record of publishing Latino writers.

In addition, the CCWC will offer an insider’s perspective on how best to navigate the particular challenges and opportunities faced by Latino writers in the current publishing landscape, as well as foster a vibrant national community of writers akin to what Las Comadres has already created with its Las Comadres international network and its Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club and Teleconference Series.

Keynote Speaker: Sonia Manzano, Actress and Author.

Having originated the role of “Maria” on Sesame Street, Manzano wrote two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and A Box Full of Kittens (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and will have her first YA novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, published by Scholastic in Fall 2012.

Participants currently include Johanna Castillo, Vice President & Senior Editor/Atria, Simon & Schuster: Jaime de Pablos, Director/Vintage Español, Knopf Doubleday Group; Adriana Dominguez, Agent/Full Circle Literary; Mercedes Fernandez, Assistant Editor/Dafina Books, Kensington Publishing; Sulay Hernandez, Editor/Other Press; Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor/Arthur A. Levine Books; Selina L. McLemore, Senior Editor/Grand Central Publishing; Christina Morgan, Editor/Harcourt Houghton Mifflin; Lukas Ortiz, Managing Director/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.;  Diane Stockwell, Founder/Globo Libros Literary Management; and Stacy Whitman, Founder and Editorial Director/Tu Books. (AND ME!)

To register to attend, sponsor or attend as vendor or volunteer, click here for more information.

Save the Date & See who else will be there:

RSVP via LinkedIn
RSVP via Facebook
RSVP via Plancast
Las Comadres Conference Program


Friday, August 03, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

- The Plantation in Puerto Rican Popular Music


The Biggest One-Man Run Online Book Club Leader Never Reads the Books

- Boston Review’s Paula M.L. Moya did a two part interview with Junot Díaz here.

- How to brew your own hibiscus sun tea. recipe here. Cooling, and packed with antioxidants. I add: 1 tablespoon of rose hips, 1 tablespoon of elderberries, 1 tablespoon strips of orange zest too.


- They fell in love at Borders. via Salon


- 10 Latino Olympians to follow on Twitter via NBC Latino


- A smart and candid rant about confused anger, girl crushes and Sheila Heti's acclaimed novel on friendship. via Salon


- There is still time to participate in the 3rd annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice - Soy Poderosa blog carnival. Sign up here.


- Dazzling: 37 Home Library Design Ideas With a Jay-Dropping Visual and Cultural Effect (here), 

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World (here) and Bringing Maker-Style Garage Tinkering Into the Local Library (here)


The Intercultural Self or, Race, Culture and This White Chick; Part One

- Cool KickStarter Project: A Crowdfunded Farm Brings Traditional Mexican Flavors to New York via Good.is


- Speaking of Food: Latin Eats: NYC Restaurant Week List

-  The trailer for this book includes a girl in blackface - enough said. Read the article at xoJane.


- More yum: 11 Delicious Latin food blogs you need to follow

- Some Brief Thoughts on Media Violence and Critical Literacy via PETER GUTIERREZ.


- Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids via Incultureparent

- How to Survive in a Interracial Relationship When You Don’t Have the Support of Your Family & Friends via Chantilly Patiño.


Coming Soon:


Now on Sundance:

 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stuff I'm Totally Sweating

I was lucky enough to finally get my hands on a copy of The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (my review copy never came for some reason) and I read it in two days flat. It was a great read, the kind you don't want to end - I cannot wait for Book Two. I finished it right before the meteor shower, which made me a little creeped out - but you'll understand once you finished.

I was delighted to find how much of New York is covered in the action-packed book - from Spanish Harlem to Ground Zero - The Strain is a tour de force.


You can visit www.thestraintrilogy.com for more information.

---------


I recently bought Sally Hansen Cooling Foot Spray because a long time ago I fell for the sensation of cool tingly feet after trying my best friend's Kiss My Face peppermint foot cream.

This spray has multi vitamins and Tea Tree Oil and smells delightful. It's not only refreshing and antiseptic but also repels mosquitos. I've taken to spraying it all over my legs, especially on a sweltering day like today (it's 92 degrees today in NYC) but be warned it might sting a bit if you are freshly shaved.
 
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