Friday, January 29, 2010

Arte Público Press 30th anniversary/Piñata Books 15th


iRead iBooks: Thoughts on Apple's iPad

So despite (or maybe even in addition to) the obvious unfortunate name chosen for Apple's latest geek lust-inducing new product, it's been the thing everyone has been talking about this week on the web and online.
I always thought that aesthetically at least the ereader market needed Apple's touch and now we've got it:

Watch Steve Jobs unveiling the iPad at

Apple’s iPad: What book lovers need to know, on Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Harlem Get Funding for a New Arts Space

New York City is using $2.2 million in federal stimulus funding to develop My Image Studios (MIST), a 20,000-square-foot facility devoted to African and Hispanic arts and culture will offer three screening rooms, performance space, film and digital media studios for postproduction work, and a 7,000-square-foot restaurant, in Harlem - on West 116 Street on the ground floor of the Kalahari Condominium, a new 249-unit mixed-income development that was completed two years ago.

Via Crain's New York Business

Web News

Latin American films that made it to the Academy Awards shortlist for the top foreign film at ourlatinamerica

The Latin American Review of Books calls Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt by John Gibler the one book about Latin America you should read this coming year.

Liza's look at the grossly incomplete Latino Blogosphere list from BlogWorldExpo

Brian Solis takes a look at Social Media and real business metrics on Mashable.

Latinos and the Culture of Anti-Intellectualism

I love the thought-inducing posts over at Sociological Images. Here are three of their latest good reads:
Guest Post – Jersey Shore: On Beauty and Not Even Looking Italian,
Adultifying Kids in a Mini Daddy Video, and
Contradictions in the Depiction of “Plus-Size” Model Crystal Renn

Humorous: Relationship Dealbreaker >> You steal books from the public library

On a sadder note: Which City Has the Most Depressing Local News?

Latest censorship news: A Dictionary gets Banned in a school - the rest of the world laughs at us and
The Texas Board of Ed. Confuses Authors of 'Brown Bear,' with 'Ethical Marxism'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Narrative of an Italian American in East Harlem

Good stuff:

Fun for Bookish Folks

Some people get annoyed with the tendency of web to produce a wide array of lists covering everything but I tend to like them - their fun, neat wrap-ups and their low on verbage and to the point. Here are some I came accross this week:


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things of Value

Make for thyself a definition or description of the thing
which is presented to thee, so as to see distinctly
what kind of a thing it is in its substance,
in its nudity, in its complete entirety,
and tell thyself its proper name,
and the names of the things of which it has been compounded,
and into which it will be resolved.
For nothing is so productive of elevation of mind
as to be able to examine methodically
and truly every object
which is presented to thee in life,
and always to look at things
so as to see at the same time what kind of universe this is,
and what kind of use everything performs in it,
and what value everything has with reference to the whole,
and what with reference to man,
who is a citizen of the highest city,
of which all other cities are like families;
what each thing is, and of what it is composed,
and how long it is the nature of this thing to endure.

- Marcus Aurelius

Monday, January 25, 2010

Exploring Race & Literature

This is not a recent book but it sounds like a fascinating read to add to list:
Neither Black nor White yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature by Werner Sollors

Why can a “white” woman give birth to a “black” baby, while a “black” woman can never give birth to a “white” baby in the United States? What makes racial “passing” so different from social mobility? Why are interracial and incestuous relations often confused or conflated in literature, making “miscegenation” appear as if it were incest? When did the myth that one can tell a person’s race by the moon on their fingernails originate? How did blackness get associated with “the curse of Ham” when the Biblical text makes no reference to skin color at all? Werner Sollors examines these questions and others in Neither Black Nor White Yet Both, a new and exhaustively researched exploration of “interracial literature.” In the past, interracial texts have been read more for a black-white contrast of “either-or” than for an interracial realm of “neither, nor, both, and in-between.” Intermarriage prohibitions have been legislated throughout the modern period and were still in the law books in the 1980s. Stories of black-white sexual and family relations have thus run against powerful social taboos. Yet much interracial literature has been written, and this book suggests its pervasiveness and offers new comparative and historical contexts for understanding it. Via

The more recently published A New Literary History of America (Harvard University Press Reference Library) by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors looks very interesting as well:

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The full national-literary character of the United States is on display in this mighty history and reference work for our time. Written by a distinguished team, under the sure-handed editorship of musicologist and historian Marcus and Sollors, Harvard professor of English and African-American studies, this volume begins with America's first appearance on a map and concludes with the election of President Obama. Among the more than 200 contributors are Bharati Mukherjee (on The Scarlet Letter), Camille Paglia (on Tennessee Williams) and Ishmael Reed (on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).

The book includes entries on not strictly literary themes: the first U.S. natural history collection of painter Charles Willson Peale; the invention of the blues; and the art of Grant Wood. This balancing act is even less sure-footed as we enter present time with entries on Some Like It Hot and the National Football League. Although it is impossible to include every important author in one volume, Sylvia Plath barely gets a nod as does James Merrill. Such are the blemishes on exquisite skin. Overall, this is an astounding achievement in multiculturalism and American studies, which in the age of Google and the Internet lights the way toward serious interpretive reference publishing. 27 illus. 


In snapshots of a few thousand words each, the entries in A New Literary History put on display the exploring, tinkering and risk-taking that have contributed to the invention of America...A New Literary History of America gives us what amounts to a fractal geometry of American culture. You can focus on any one spot and get a sense of the whole or pull back and watch the larger patterns appear. What you see isn't the past so much as the present.
--Wes Davis, Wall Street Journal

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The greatest strength of America is that people want to live there

Love this:

Things to Know

Who was the first Latino U.S. Supreme Court Justice?
Sonia Sotomayor

What year was National Hispanic Heritage Month established?

Known for her role in the renowned musical, “West Side Story” who was one of the only two female performers ever to be given a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar?
Rita Moreno

Who were the first male and female Latino Astronauts?
Franklin Chang-Diaz and Ellen Ochoa

What body of water did Latino explorer Hernando de Soto discover?
Mississippi River

Who was the first Latino Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee?
Carlos Santana

Which famous fast food restaurant has a Latino President and CEO?
McDonalds – Ralph Alvarez

Which entertainer was the first Latin American to be on the cover of Time magazine?
Joan Baez

Who was the first Latino to be voted the Most Valuable Player in Major League Baseball?
Roberto Clemente

Severo Ochoa won the Nobel Prize in 1959 for medicine in his discovery for what process?
RNA in test tubes

What movie made actor Jose Ferrer the first Latino to win an Academy Award?
“Cyrano de Bergerac”

Who was the first Latino author to win a Pulitzer Prize?
Oscar Hijuelos

During what war did Philip Bazaar become the first Latino to earn a Medal of Honor?
Civil War

Which famous Latina writer is founder and publisher of the only Spanish-language children’s magazine in the United States?
Christianne Meneses Jacobs

What team did first Latino NFL football player, Ignacio “Lou” Molinet, play for?
Frankford Yellowjackets

Which famous Latino activist co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now the United Farm Workers)?
Cesar Chavez

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, who is the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time?
Marc Anthony

Who is the first female singer to be awarded the “Person of the Year” at the Latin Grammy Awards Ceremony in 2008?
Gloria Estefan

Who identified the cause of yellow fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes, which had no known cure for over 100 years?
Carlos Juan Finlay

Who was the first female and first Latin American to be a U.S Surgeon General?
Antonia Novello

Saturday, January 23, 2010

NFL to Blitz Latinos During Super Bowl

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Little Girl's Struggle Against Loss of Texas Bookstore

Acclaimed novelist Oscar Casares understands first-hand the changing publishing landscape. He grew up in south Texas along the Mexican border, where bookstores have always been hard to find. When his two books, "Brownsville" and "Amigoland," were published, he pushed to sell the books in a popular grocery store chain called H.E.B.

Right now the H.E.B. grocery store is what passes for a bookstore in Laredo. Casares spoke with CNN inside the grocery. As he talked, a woman bought a copy of his latest book and set it on top of a bag of flour tortillas and a sack of potatoes.

"We had to adapt. We had to realize this was the border," Casares said. "The first thing I realized was there weren't going to be any places to sell the book. I felt we needed another point of distribution."

Casares admits it took a little while to get used to book signings and readings in the midst of a chaotic grocery store.

He worries about what losing the only bookstore will do to Laredo's spirit. "I think it creates a void. It's a void that isn't instantly recognizable but it's one, that over time, is deflating," Casares said.

Friday Fun - Bring the Cheddar

Director John Nolan made this short for a fictional cheddar and like most things that are fun-for-no-reason, it's spreading through the internet like fire. Watch, and you'll see why:

The Presence of Hispanic women in American society

Great article:

According to the U.S. Census of 2000, Hispanic women represented almost 16 million (11%) of a total female population of 139 million that year.

Today, Mexican American women are the most significant Latina population in the country by far, numbering 10 million or 63% of all Latinas.

The next largest group to be identified by a single origin were the Puerto Rican women, who represented 1.6 million.

Cuban women formed the third largest single group at 713,000 of Latinas.

The 2010 census will increase these numbers and the important presence of Hispanic women in our American society.

* Image: “Mexicans at the U.S. immigration station.” El Paso, Texas. Dorothea Lange. June 1938. Photograph. Farm Security Administration Collection. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USF34-018215-E.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mexico 2010 Reading Challenge

Love this idea:

List includes:

A Sor Juana Anthology
Alan Trueblood (Trans.)
17th century poet, nun, feminist.
The Underdogs
Mariano Arzuela
Most famous novel of the revolution.
The Labyrinth of Solitude
Octavio Paz (Nobel Prize, Cervantes Prize)
Quintissential work on the Mexican national character.
Where the Air Is Clear
Carlos Fuentes (Cervantes Prize)
On the character of Mexico City.
Massacre in Mexico
Elena Poniatowska (Xavier Villaurrutia Prize)
One of the darkest chapters in Mexico’s recent history.
El arte de la fuga
Sergio Pitol (Cervantes Prize)
Selected Poems of Pacheco
Jose Emilio Pacheco (Cervantes Prize)
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
Laura Esquivel
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo
Hayden Herrera
On Mexico’s most famous artist.
Malinche: A Novel
Laura Esquivel
Re-imagining the “Eve” of the conquest era. any winners of the Sor Juana Prize I can find in English.

List includes:

Mexican Village, Josephina Niggli - This is a collection of interrelated short stories set in post-revolutionary Mexico.  Niggli incorporates Mexican folklore, legends, traditions, and songs in her stories.  It was first published in 1945.

Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, Norma Elia Cantú -  This is a fictional biography of growing up on the border in the 1940s, 50s and early 60s.

Tinisima, Elena Poniatowski - This is novel based on the life of photographer and revolutionary, Tina Modotti (one of, if not my favorite photographers).  Modotti was actually born in Italy, was a silent film star and the muse of Edward Weston.  They both lived in Mexico.  She became a photographer in her own right, but in the end she gave it up in favor of politics.

PBS Lines Up Family History Series "Faces"


It appears that genealogy is all over the television set these days. PBS is releasing a four-part series, "Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr." The special, which builds upon the Harvard University professor's popular documentary series "African American Lives" parts 1 and 2, traces the genealogical histories of 11 luminaries of various races and backgrounds. The list includes author Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, television actress Eva Longoria, and Oscar-winning legend Meryl Streep.

When "Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr." premieres on PBS in February, viewers will first get to see Kristi Yamaguchi learn about the grandfather she never really knew. Meanwhile, novelist Louise Erdrich is shown cheering out loud when she is told one of her ancestors was one of the founders of Detroit.

"What this special proves is that white people, Latino people and Asian people are just as ignorant about their ancestors as black people," Gates told reporters at a Television Critics Association lunch Wednesday. "The difference was, this time we were able to go back further," Gates said.

You can read more at:

The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, February 10 - March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

President Obama - Storyteller-in-Chief by Junot Díaz

Fifty of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World

Great post:

De Colores

I spotted this great post on ethnic diversity and reading:

And she offers a great list of suggested new books and blogs:

If you’re a fan of graphic novels, try anything by Shaun Tan, Incognegro by Mat Johnson & Warren Pleece, Bayou, Volume One by Jeremy Love, or Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki.

If you can’t get enough thrillers, reach for Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie. If you’re more the mystery type of person, try more village cozy style of Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartery or the more hard-boiled A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn.

Or maybe you’re more interested in neo-gothic stuff? I loved White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi.

If you’re a fan of classic literature, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo trilogy are must reads. Or for those modern classics, be sure to include Toni Morrison and James Baldwin on your TBR list. They’re famous for a reason!

More of a historical fiction person? Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill, The Farming of the Bones by Edwidge Danticat, The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea, or The Book of Night Women by Marlon James might just fit the bill.

Itching for something contemporary, with a lyrical flavour to it? Why not try Song for Night by Chris Abani, Hardboiled & Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto or Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel?

Or maybe you just want a modern, strong woman as a book’s main character? Give a look to A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam or The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson.

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King proves that magical realism works outside of Latin Amerca!

I know that I have a thing for books set in the American South. Sugar by Bernice McFadden is one of the best I’ve ever read!

If you’re a fan of YA, you have to read Jacqueline Woodson. Lucy the Giant by Sherri Smith and A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott are both marvelous as well.

Perhaps you enjoy coming-of-age stories that feel more like adult literature? You can’t go wrong with Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid or Bless Me Ultimate by Rudolpho Anaya.

Looking for a challenge? A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth will make you feel like an endurance runner while My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk will push you to try out mental gymnastics.

If you’re a short story fan, be sure to give Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang a shot.

Don’t worry-I’ve got some suggestions for non-fiction readers as well.

Do you love travelogues? Serve the People by Jen Lin Liu is a marvelous one.

Atul Gawande writes some of the most amazing essays I’ve ever read: you can’t go wrong with either of his collections: Complicated or Better.

Notes from the Hyena’s Belly by Nega Mezlekia is the kind of memoir that makes me love the genre.

And if you enjoy reading books about books as much as me, try out A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haunting Words

I called a friend last night to see how he and his family were holding up vis a vis Haiti.

He said to me:  

Where the breeze once blew the scent of mangoes, 
it now blows the scent of rotting flesh.

Tourism and the Objectification of the Native

I got a shout out at Sociological Images:

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Look at Haiti Before the Quake

Haiti has always been in a state of dire emergency.

The poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere:
80% poverty rate
70% unemployment
52% illiterate

It's sad that it took a major catastrophe for the world to notice.

Spartacus - Be Still My Heart

So the other day I ventured into the subway station rather innocently when I was stopped dead in my tracks by this poster:

An ad for the new show Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which according to the web is looking to be a new racy steamy hit show.

Now, whoever designed that ad is genius because it oozes sex!!!

I am going to do some homework before the show premieres...but I just thought that the world needed to (see those pecs and abs) the ad too.

HW: Watch Spartacus: Behind the Myth is a fascinating one-hour special that unveils the truth about the man who is still a legend to this day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reading: Haiti

Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola by Michele Wucker

Mountains Beyond Mountains: by Tracy Kidder

Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat

Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug traffickingby Timothy T Schwartz Ph.D. The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat

The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalierby Amy Wilentz

Sign up to Review Latino Lit Online

Author and book blogger Jo Ann Hernández has created a new initiative in our quest to promote literary works by Hispanics.

At, bloggers can sign up to receive review copies of upcoming books in exchange for posting a review as part of the book's blog book tour.

It works out great for bloggers who regularly review books on their blog anyhow or like to try new genres and new reads, and also brings in traffic while promoting authors and their books.

Sign up here:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Book Cover Archive

If you like browsing book covers you'll love the Book Cover Archive, where you can enjoy "searching by designer, title, author, art director, photographer, illustrator, genre, publication date, publisher or typeface."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wikilengua Launches, a Web site devoted to Spanish usage, compiling the different ways the language is spoken throughout the world.

Book Piracy Huge in Latin America?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Harten Haiti

“The only way we'll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuelan Haiti and Cuba.”
Malcolm X

At the same time, it is obvious that clinicians in Haiti are faced with different, and, in fact, greater, challenges when attempting to treat complications of HIV disease.
Paul Farmer

Civil and political rights are critical, but not often the real problem for the destitute sick. My patients in Haiti can now vote but they can't get medical care or clean water.
Paul Farmer

Haiti looks like a bomb hit it. - 10/9/01
Jim Fowler

I think Haiti is a place that suffers so much from neglect that people only want to hear about it when It's at its extreme. And that's what they end up knowing about it.
Edwidge Danticat

It is the destiny of the people of Haiti to suffer.
Jean Claude Duvalier

Napoleon had been fighting this army of slaves and free people in Haiti and it depleted his forces. And after the Revolution, when the French were driven out, they stopped and sold this big chunk of North America to the Americans for very little money.
Edwidge Danticat

Paul Farmer has helped to build amazing health care system in one of the poorest areas of Haiti. He founded Partners in Health, which serves the destitute and the sick in many parts of the world from Haiti to Boston and from Russia to Peru.
Tracy Kidder

People think that there is a country there that these people are only around when they are on CNN. I don't think that's limited to Haiti.
Edwidge Danticat

Since I do not believe that there should be different recommendations for people living in the Bronx and people living in Manhattan, I am uncomfortable making different recommendations for my patients in Boston and in Haiti.
Paul Farmer

The stakes are very high for us in Haiti. We have many important interests there. Perhaps the most important to me is our interest in the promotion of democracy in this hemisphere.
Warren Christopher

This election marks a significant moment in Haiti; it not only serves as the basis of hope along the road to democracy, but also serves as a testament to the resolve and character of the Haitian people during their long struggle for peace, reconciliation, and prosperity.
Kendrick Meek

Two hundred years ago, our precursors in Haiti struck a blow for freedom, which was heard around the world, and across centuries.
Baldwin Spencer

We all would like to see a brighter future for Haiti, and I hope this conference will serve to explore many views. Respect for human rights, freedom, and the rule of law must be established in the poorest nation in our hemisphere.
Eliot Engel

While Haiti has recently celebrated more than 200 years of independence from French colonial rule, the citizens of the island remain vulnerable to poverty, poor health, and political chaos.
Eliot Engel

Without question, conditions in the Haiti are worse since Aristide's removal, and continue to deteriorate.
Charles Rangel

GalleyCat Looks at Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America

Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe

Dominican Republic aid to Haiti eases historic tensions but...

DR is helping but is not allowing anyone without a visa through it borders.

1000 Social Media Quotes of the Decade

Gary Hayes is killing it with the dope social media widgets! Here is his latest:
"A randomly generating display of growing selection of meaningful social media quotes from the past ten years (a few a little earlier!) written or spoken by over 250+ key people in the area (and even a few from Gary!)."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race

Featured in the 2009 Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival in downtown Los Angeles

The multiracial population may be small compared to the total population of the country, but they're springing up among the nation's youth. A once impossible thought is now playing a role in how people see race and racism, whether or not they're multiracial.

In this documentary, seven women share their experiences and the results highlight how complex the issue is as some deal with the struggle to be accepted by people who identify with one race while others have no trouble at all. You'll also hear how mixed celebrities affect the discourse.

Update: In the "Story Time" segment, Natalie's discussion on international experience reflected mostly on Mexico; there are complex issues with race in the Dominican Republic where she studied abroad.

For more info please visit

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Exponential Growth of Social Media in Real Time

Here's a pretty mind-blowing living stats gadget by media innovator Gary Hayes:

Mi Niña, Lola by Concha Buika

Love this! The words remind me of my mom so much, it makes me feel like crying.
Discovered this artist's at @Dolen's blog.

New Book: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky: A Novel by Heidi W. Durrow

I had mentioned this book last summer Here because it received a lot of early buzz and the author is just outright cool (a former attorney, the podcaster behind Mixed Chicks Chat.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is already on the The 2010 February Indie Next List.

Book info:

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy.

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

Meanwhile, a mystery unfolds, revealing the terrible truth about Rachel's last morning on a Chicago rooftop. Interwoven are the voices of Jamie, a neighborhood boy who witnessed the events, and Laronne, a friend of Rachel's mother. Inspired by a true story of a mother's twisted love, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky reveals an unfathomable past and explores issues of identity at a time when many people are asking "Must race confine us and define us?"

In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl—and society's ideas of race, class, and beauty.

It is a winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.
Heidi's Blog

from her blog:

My Real Grandmother from Heidi Durrow on Vimeo.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Legion Looks Hot

I've always been fascinated with the idea of angels walking the Earth. I think it all started when I read Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle. She's one of my favorite writers. I'm so glad I got to meet her before she passed away. Anyway, here's more on the movie:

In the supernatural action thriller Legion, an out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race.When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany). Legion also stars Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton and Willa Holland and is directed by Scott Stewart.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Visions for 2010

It's important to dream and put forth ideas, even if they don't come to fruition or can be brought to reality alone. Just releasing to them world bring them into existence. Things I would like to see in 2010:

- A literary bestseller/award-winning novel by a Latino.
- A Latino-focused blog with daily traffic in the millions that is not tawdry, salacious or reprehensible in nature.
- More Latino-angled start-ups, communities, directories and web services
- More Dark-skinned latinos cast in Latino movies but not playing a criminal/crack hoe role.
...(more ideas to come)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Fitness in El Barrio?

For those of you living in the Spanish Harlem vicinity, I thought I would put together a list of places to get going on your fitness resolutions for 2010.

Bikram Yoga East Harlem studio is located at 4 east 116th Street, on the 2nd Floor, where yoga classes are taught both in Spanish and English. The rates are pretty normal but classes are 90 minutes long (as opposed to an hour) and they also offer massage and babysitting services, in addition to towel and mat rentals - so you have no excuse.

Across the street NY Sports Club has a gym at 1400 Fifth Avenue and 115th Street. You can sign up for a 2-week trial membership for $19.99.

At the NYC-run Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center, located at 2180 First Ave, you can purchase a 6-month membership for $25! While the gym is no frills, they do have everything required from treadmills, bikes, weights, resistance machines, a running track & field to an an outdoor pool in the summer. Also offfers martial arts classes, as well as dance and aerobic classes.

Bally Total Fitness has a club at East 106th Street and 3rd Avenue. Now Bally is considered to be at the low end of the Gym spectrum when compared to more upscale boutique gyms but after recently filing for bankruptcy they have really low membership deals.

You can get a free 2-week trial membership by signing up for the 2010 National Body Challenge. I should warn you that most places offer these guest passes and then hit you hard with the sell once you come in.

If you like to dance, check out the Bomba and Plena Workshops at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center (1680 Lexington Avenue Between 105th and 106th Street). * PAYMENT PLANS, DISCOUNTS AND GROUP RATES ARE AVAILABLE

If martial arts is more your thing, then check out The Ultimate Karate USA & Uptown Meditation Center located at 1950 3rd Ave. They offer both martial arts, personal coaching, as well as Zen training. Rates not listed.

Shape Up NY Is Back! Tuesdays from 4:30- 5:30 pm and Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 pm or 5:30–6:30 pm @ Tito Puente Educational Complex 240 East 109th Street (b/w 2nd & 3rd Ave) Free fitness class available to teachers, school staff, parents and community residents that offers: aerobic conditioning and strength training with a certified group fitness instructor. Click here to download flyer.

At NEXT EVOLUTION MMA & FITNESS ACADEMY (1786 3RD AVE, you can take yoga classes or kickboxing or sign up for combat cardio. No rates listed.

An Anthropologist Breaks Down the Honor Culture of Social Media for Businesses

Lene Pettersen, one of the few web2.0-anthropologists in Scandinavia, published on Slideshare:
Good read on how business need to understand the "value" of honor, respect, and person v. product in regards to bloggers and social media:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Latinos, Reading and the Web

Interesting stats:
Among Latinos, English-reading ability was linked with internet use -- 81% of Latinos who read English very well were online, as compared with 63% of Latinos who read pretty well, 52% of Latinos who don't read English well, and 24% of Latinos who can't read English at all.Conversely, Spanish-reading ability was not associated with internet use at all among Latinos. from

New Book Alert: The Rhythm of Success by Emilio Estefan

Emilio Estefan tells all in his new autobiography (a true Latino, rag to riches story. See the pic of the Estefan home below): The Rhythm of Success: How an Immigrant Produced His Own American Dream by Emilio Estefan and Quincy Jones

From one of the most dynamic business men in the country: a motivational doctrine for those who want to make their most ambitious dreams comes true.

Emilio Estefan-husband to singer Gloria Estefan and founder of the Latin pop legend Miami Sound Machine-is the embodiment of the American dream. He came to the United States as a Cuban refugee and went on to become a 19-time GRAMMY(r)-winning producer and develop an evergreen business with investments in real estate, entertainment, hotels, and restaurants.

Emilio succeeded on his own terms, and now, in The Rhythm of Success, he shares his guiding principles that readers will need to start and grow their own business or climb higher on the corporate ladder. Here Emilio imparts the basics needed for readers to identify their values, believe in their ideas, and establish their own plans for success.

Emilio Estefan is a nineteen-time GRAMMY(r) Award-winning producer and songwriter, husband of international superstar Gloria Estefan, and CEO and founder of Estefan Enterprises, which encompasses businesses such as music publishing, hotels, restaurants, artist management, real estate, televisions and film production, and more.

The Miami Beach home of Gloria Estefan, located on Star Island. Built in 1959, this 15,547-square-foot property has 6 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, plus a guesthouse in the grounds.
. This is just a slice of the empire the Estefan's have built.

More coverage at

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lone Star Legend - A Book about a Latina Blogger

New Book Alert:

Digital Native, Gwendolyn Zepeda, (who launched and worked gigs at other Web sites such as Television Without Pity during the 1990's) brings us Lone Star Legend, a story that any Latina writer and/or blogger will relate to completely:

When Sandy Saavedra lands her dream job with the popular website ¡Latino Now!, she can't wait to write hard-hitting pieces to combat all those stupid Latino stereotypes. While visions of Pulitzers dance in her head, her editor in chief is suddenly laid off, replaced by the infamous Dolores Villanueva O'Sullivan.

Dolores has one mission: make ¡Latino Now! an internet phenomenon, no matter how many pandering puff pieces she has to pack onto its pages. Sandy doesn't see how she can keep this job without losing her soul, especially when she's sent to Middle-of-Nowhere Texas to investigate the dumbest legend her people ever created, the Chupacabra.

Will she have to sell her soul to further her career? Have any of you ever been in a similar situation? Do tell...

New App from LibraryThing: Local Books

Breaking News: "Local Books resembles popular dining apps like LocalEats or UrbanSpoon—but for book lovers. It shows you local bookstores, libraries and bookish events wherever you are or plan to be."

Features. Features include:

Search for venues (bookstores and libraries) as well as events near your current location using the iPhone's built-in location features.

Search for venues and events at any location or by name.

Venues can be sorted by distance, name, or type.

Venues are color coded, following the maps on LibraryThing Local (colors correspond to the colors used on maps in LibraryThing Local).

Each venue has a detail page with a map. Tap it to jump to the iPhone Maps application.

Venues often sport a description, clickable website and phone number links, events, and a photo.

You can favorite locations and events, and there's a "Favorites" list where you can find them.(1)

"How You Can Help:
Even with 51,000 venues listed, not every bookstore and library is in LibraryThing. If you know of one that's not in there, go ahead and add it."

More info at:

Wordless Wednesday: #in2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang

For those of you that like true, gritty reads:

This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang by Samuel Logan

Like any American teenager, Brenda Paz spent much of her time with her friends. They would go to parties, listen to music, and show off their cars late into the night. But Brenda and her friends belonged to the Mara Salvatrucha--the MS-13--the most violent gang in America, and in addition to enjoying the things that all teenagers do, her friends were thieves, drug dealers, human traffickers, and murderers.

A street gang that began in Los Angeles in the 1980s, the Mara Salvatrucha has spread across the United States and Central America with startling speed, boasting tens of thousands of members. They deal ruthlessly with competing gangs and any members who display disloyalty, often leaving a trail of dismembered corpses in their wake. They are poised to surpass the Mafia as the country's most organized criminal network.

And by operating within the insular Central American immigrant communities, the Mara Salvatrucha has been able to easily elude law enforcement. All that changed when Brenda Paz turned informant for the FBI, exposing the incredible scope of the gang's operations. But Brenda's cooperation with the FBI was only the beginning. What followed is an extraordinary story of strength, intelligence, and incredible courage.

This is for the Mara Salvatrucha takes us into a dark and violent world that few people have seen, but is closer than you think.

It has been optioned by Paramount Vantage to be made into a major motion picture.
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