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Las Jacarandas están in bloom in Los Angeles

22 May

It’s the last week in May, where does the time go?

Seems all the Jacaranda trees in L.A. got the memo recently that it was time to burst into full color. A beautiful, intense, rich lavender meets happy purple kind of color. A full bloom all over the place. How do the flowers know it’s time to shine?

It’s easy to spot them when driving, even on the freeway. But they’re especially powerful in downtown LA and Pasadena.

Sometimes you just need to take a break, stand still on the street and admire them. Because like Ferris Bueller said, “Blink, and you miss it.” Ya sabemos que cuando llegue el late summer, las jacarandas se despiden hasta el año que entra.

En eso estaba yo, muy “enjoying the moment” en el Central Park de Pasadena, cuando pasa un pájaro volando and he poops a bit on my hair. Eww! How’s that for “disfrutando el momento”?

Pasadena Jacarandas on Del Mar blvd.

Pasadena Jacarandas on Del Mar blvd.


"Central Park" on Fair Oaks in Pasadena, with a central jacaranda.

“Central Park” on Fair Oaks in Pasadena, with a central Jacaranda.


Pops of color everywhere you go. Fits in nicely with our nice weather we've been having.

Pops of color everywhere you go. Fits in nicely with the weather we’ve been having.


Bam! A street filled with Jacarandas. (Pasadena, Del Mar blvd.)

Bam! A street filled with Jacarandas as far as the eye can see. (Pasadena, Del Mar blvd.)


Out for a run, surrounded by purple violet.

Out for a run, surrounded by purple violet.


Just chillin' in DTLA.

Just chillin’ in DTLA.


On 8th street in DTLA, the Jacaranda becomes part of the cityscape.

On 8th street in DTLA, the Jacaranda becomes part of the cityscape.


This intense blue lavender violet is now my favorite color. I love Jacarandas!

This intense blue lavender violet is now my favorite color. I love Jacarandas!

Wordless Wednesday: Luna de Octubre

3 Oct

As Pedro Infante would sing, “De las lunas, la de octubre es mas hermosa…porque en ella se refleja la quietud…”

Almost like “Cosmo’s Moon” from Moonstruck.

Welcome to LA, Shuttle Endeavor!

21 Sep

So there we were, thousands of angelenos, even the jaded ones and the Hollywood “seen it alls,” lining up the streets, the SoCal landmarks, the freeways and the entire LA area, acting like seven year olds and suddenly going WOOOOW at once. All because of a lovely little fly by on “piggy back” that made us stop in our tracks this Friday and marvel at the power of NASA.

The Space Shuttle Endeavor arrived in LA and it did so in style, flying by on its last voyage in the air for a sentimental once around. It was joyous. It was awesome. It was patriotic and sweet. It was history in the making and even gave us a chance to acknowledge how much we’ll miss seeing the NASA program send these shuttles up in the air.

It flew over all the wonderful places we have in LA: Malibu/Santa Monica, LAX, the Getty Center, The Griffith Observatory, Pasadena, Downtown LA, Disneyland, Long Beach and arrived back at LAX.  It practically hit every neighborhood! It truly was a site to behold.

I had a chance to see it with my family (Mi Tia y Mi ML) at the Queen Mary. Our original plan was to catch it by El Segundo as it landed at LAX, but we heard on the radio the streets were already closed. So we made a mad dash to Long Beach and the Queen Mary and it was also a full house. But we managed to catch it in time.

Here are a few glimpses of the fly by. It went by so quickly, but all of us, ALL OF US there, were swept with emotion, with pride for the USA and with such a feeling of happiness, that we could only cheer in awe for the few precious seconds it came over us.

I heard someone shout “God Bless America” as the shuttle made it’s way north on the horizon, and it moved me very much.


The Queen Mary was the one of the LA landmarks chose for the Endeavor flyby. Full house!

Boats at a standstill waiting on water.

Suddenly people scream “Here it comes” and cheers erupt. The Queen Mary sounds off it’s horns. Such an exciting moment. There is an F-16 fighter jet on each side.

Getting closer!

Endeavor flies just above us.

Right above us.

On it’s final stretch of the trip, to land at LAX.

There are thousands of images worth seeing from locations all over LA. Check out a great gallery compiled by KCRW at Which Way LA’s site: Click here.

And of course, not to be missed, the LA Times’ has excellent coverage.

Now we wait for its land journey to the California Science Center, which will be Endeavor’s new home. Welcome to LA baby!

Getting to know Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse

18 Sep

Fall is a few days away and I’d like a new wardrobe. (Who wouldn’t?)

Maybe it’s the season when people look most polished and put together, not just flip flopping in summer T’s and shorts. It’s always admirable to see someone who has beautiful style, who always looks nice. Enter Ms. Nicole Richie! Seems she is everywhere these days and she always looks amazing. Last week she launched her Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse Collection, as part of their ongoing designer series.

Maybe I’m late to the game, because Nicole has been a fashion icon for a while, but now that she’s been introduced  to the masses via Macy’s, and the recent Fashion Star TV Show, among all her ventures, I am a fan.

She is a smart girl with a unique style. They call her look “boho chic” and even though that’s not really my personality, there is something about the way she combines textures and prints that makes me want to look like a “new bohemian.”

Last week Macy’s held an introductory mini fashion show/breakfast for the launch of her collection at Glendale Galleria. We had a chance to see everything up close and mingle with style experts and models. And we loved every single piece.

I’m torn between choosing just a few items, but I’m sticking with the dresses. They are a fabulous deal at $69 dollars, and thumbs up to Macy’s and Nicole for keeping it real, since the range of prices is from $39 to $129, which is a pretty nice price for the rest of us.

One of the dresses reminded me of a dress my Mother used to wear in the 80′s. It had a similar look and feel to it. Se parecía mucho y me dió un flashback. No wonder, since Nicole has shared that her Mother, Brenda Richie is her influence, and she’s always looked up to her for inspiration, and to borrow the Azzadine Alaia’s from her closet…(que padre, no?)

Here are a few pictures of the fashion and the event.

Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse is now available at stores and online, and as with any designer collection, shop now. It’s here for a limited time only.

The runway comes to us. Nicole Richie’s Collection for Macy’s, up close at their launch event.

A lovely dress for any occasion, by Nicole Richie. Price: $69 dollars.

Three different looks, with her famous luxe bohemian style, that works for day or night.

A different trio of looks.

Very cool mix: Faux leather leggings con metal studs y una blusa con mucho “flow” in black and white.

Algunas de las fashion bloggeras que fueron a la presentación, todas tomando notas.

From a previous event, where she was interviewed about her fashion line, Nicole Richie talks about the details that make her peacock dress so unique.

The print detail is beautiful, combined with lace and chiffon.

Style and fashion sense comes from your Mother: Nicole’s Mom,Brenda Richie, recently posted this pic of them both on Twitter. So cute!

Party @ Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

13 Sep

Renovations have been on my mind recently, so when I got the invite to go to the Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams party in South Coast Plaza, I instantly rsvp’d.

I’ve been a fan of their furniture for a while, but more importantly, after watching the feature segment recently on CBS Sunday Morning, it is remarkable to see how they run their business. They are good, honest people that have built a great American company. Plus all their furniture items and designs are so gorgeous, and with such quality, it’s hard to pick a favorite. All I know is after seeing them up close, I want it ALL!

The event took place at their “Signature Store” which is spacious and airy, and yet it felt like you were hanging out at the house of a good friend. The party had that vibe, where everybody was relaxed and making themselves comfortable as they “test-drived” all the nice muebles on display. Of course, the beautiful people from the OC came to play, so it had to be a stylish part-ay!

Take a look at the pix below and then check out their catalog at… you can also find their stores all over the place, even Mexico City (Polanco) for all my amiguitos down there.

And by the way, if you watch “The Good Wife” on CBS, keep an eye for the set decor. Some of their pieces have made their way to the law firm and a few of the characters’ homes.

Arriving at the party, design enthusiasts and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams fans.

White leather sofas as decor for a party scene.

This is what I call a great living room space. Not too big, not complicated, all bold complementing colors, and comfort above everything else.

Neutrals and a vintage inspired mirror equals elegant sophistication.

According to the designers, “A bedroom should be sensuous and stylish at all once.”

Talk about Stylish!

Getting comfortable with the scenery… hanging out with another living room meets family table.

Beautiful people and design lovers.

Chit chat at the foot of the bed.

Beautiful photography ALWAYS makes a room! Love the horse.

This is the Finley “Banquette”… o la Banquita Finley.

Intriguing dress design at the sweets table.

The sweets table.. you know me!

Loving the pewter chairs.

They also had a few other vendors on display, like this optical store with fabulous specs.

Assouline books was also in the house.

This Bulgari bracelet was spectacular.

A great mirror to bring the room together.

The London chaise in burgundy velvet adds a rich pop of color.

Art is essential to every room.

Another angle.

Now that’s a Manifesto!

“People watching” @Dwell on Design LA Expo

22 Jun

The annual Dwell on Design Expo is going on this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center and it’s worth a trip to see. If you’ve ever read Dwell Magazine or like modern simple architecture, interior design and eco friendly materials and buildings, then this is your cup of tea.

I had a chance to go on their preview day and saw very unique and interesting takes on living spaces and everyday items for your home and lifestyle. But this is material for another post since there was so much to see; I still need to sort it out!

Right now I want to post about the very unique PEOPLE that go to the event. I love architects, designers and design enthusiasts. They obviously have a very cool aesthetic and it shows in the way they present themselves to the world with their personal style. They are not afraid to show their personality with their eclectic and often minimalistic outfits. I guess they know they have to match great design spaces, so they see themselves integrated as part of the “package”…

Here’s a few shots of interesting people my camera caught. Lets just say at some point the people watching took over, since there was a great mix of creative individuals.

Go to Dwell this weekend! Entrance is $30 for Saturday and Sunday. From 10am to 6pm at the Convention Center.

LA creative types gathere at the Dwell on Design Expo in DTLA. Great place for people watching!

Isn’t she the coolest person? Love the Cruella hair with the outfit and the flat T strap shoes.

Citrus colors are a big deal with these design enthusiasts.

Black on black on black ALWAYS works. Look at her sandals!

Cute Guys Alert!

A skirt to match the wall decor. Well, I don’t see why not!

So Chill.

Shopping for lawn chairs with multiple functions.

Updating Social Media Status.

Sundresses and heels, skirts and booties.

Reminds me a little of David Bowie.

Designers meet consumers.

Test driving the lounge chairs in black, white and red.

So which Peanuts character are you?

24 Apr

I grew up with a dog named Snoopy, a Dalmation we loved, named by my Dad after our favorite cartoon character. It was back in the late 70′s and the early 80′s and we would watch the Charlie Brown Specials on TV like it was the most special thing in the world. We had Snoopy PJ’s, Snoopy and Woodstock bed sheets and pillowcases, Snoopy loncheras (lunchpails), and Snoopy Tshirts which we almost never took off.

So naturally every time I see something “Peanuts,” it gives me a bit of nostalgia and joy. It’s nice to see that Hallmark has reinvigorated the classic characters and has nice little gifts and forget-me-nots at their stores. I ran into their mug collection the other day and it made me wonder… so which one am I? I’d love to be Snoopy but I’m not even close to being Joe Cool!

I guess I’ll have to get all three and toss a coin to see who I want to be as I drink my morning cafecito.

Charlie Brown: Good sport, full of hope, optimistic, persistent, cooperative thoughtful, loyal friend, helpful, team player, genuine, tenderhearted, good citizen, reliable, trusting, snappy dresser.

Lucy: Self-confident, sassy, born leader, no nonsense, takes charge, gives good advice, competitive, independent, energetic, self-assured, persuasive, savvy, says what she means and means what she says.

Snoopy: Imaginative, funny, COOL, spontaneous, creative, happy-go-lucky, joyful, high spirited, carefree, great dancer, appreciates literature, connoisseur, good friend, always up for adventure.

One of my favorite photos with my sister, and our dog SNOOPY in the background, right in the middle of us and all the tiradero de juguetes. It was taken by my Dad.

First time hiking in LA: Fryman Canyon

4 Apr

Los Angeles is a wonderful and complex city, filled with freeways and concrete, but surrounded by hills and a sprawling landscape that every once in a while reminds you to connect with Mother Nature.

A mi no se me da mucho eso del hiking y los nature walks, neither am I the outdoorsy R.E.I. type. But when presented for the first time ever with an invitation to go hiking last Sunday, it was honestly an offer I couldn’t refuse. The place: Dearing Mountain Trail: Fryman Canyon to Tree People Park.

Starting the hike.

The location was right off Mullholland Drive (the famous spot of many movies and weird incidents) and it was a hike that promised a bit of adventure.

A group of newfound very cool friends, all experienced hikers and nature lovers, organized and lead the hike. So off we went.

It was initially a challenge for moi; going down a hill with slippery dirt, rocks of all sizes, not to mention ubiquitous poison ivy. When you haven’t done this, it can be a task not suitable for the faint of heart (ni para los que sufrimos de vertigo- at one point where I looked all the way down, I thought to myself, what was I thinking?!) But I kept trying to not look below, enjoy it as much as I could, and take a few pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I may be eco-friendly, use those funky foquitos en espiral, and recycle often, but the thought of going too far with this did cross my mind. Some sections of the trail are extremely narrow and the way down looks quite bottomless.  (Or I may exaggerate. Aquí su segura servilleta se medio ‘panickeo’ cuando vio las profundidades de las barrancas, bien bien profundas y verdes. Pero mentalmente me puse a cantar la canción de “Sacaremos a Ese Buey de la Barranca” y me alegró el momento.)

Yet, the views are amazing and the walk provides time to meditate or just catch up with nature and make friends.  After a few hours on the trail, when we arrived back at the parking lot, I emerged with a newfound appreciation for nature in LA, and with a slightly improved concept of hiking.

This is another perfect example of why we are spoiled in California, with great backdrops and idyllic landscapes, a stones throw away from the city.

So I want to say Thank You AMIGOS- Gracias Ken, Aaron, Olivia, and everyone. They are new friends and made this experience one to remember. ¡Gracias a todos! And especially thanks to Loic for the post hike dinner. Truly a treat.

One of the views of the hike.

Poison Oak interweaves everywhere. It is not to be messed with! (Primera vez que la conozco en persona, pero de lejecitos.)

Ahi vamos todos, going up the hill.

Taking a mini break. Every once in a while you would find these kind of spots, with a bit of space for conversation.

When coming to a fork in the road, naturally we had to go in the direction of the rainforest.

Nice group shot by the lovely Ms. Erin Tamayo. We stood by the sign just to prove we had "arrived" at the rainforest.

Another group shot of the hiking friends.

Post hike rest and stretch at the parking lot. There is free parking, by the way.

A view from the trail. This is a great place for meditation and nature appreciation.

A visit to The Last Bookstore in DTLA

24 Mar

The Last Bookstore is located on the corner of Spring and 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

For those of us who love books, finding a new bookstore that speaks to our nerdy sensibilites as well as to our aesthetic values brings new thrills which are hard to describe. For me, I guess it’s one of those things that makes me want to do a happy dance. No me da pena admitirlo, estas son las cosas that get me all excited.

So it was a particular joy to discover such a place right in the middle of the vibrant downtown LA reinvention, on the corner of Spring and 5th street. The place is called “The Last Bookstore” and it is awesome.

Originally, I had read of about this bookstore in a fabulous article/list which was shared on Twitter called “The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World”. (Click on the link to go to the list.) I was particularly excited to see that El Péndulo, in Mexico DF (La Condesa) had made the list. I’ve been there several times and yes, it’s beautiful. But since one of the bookstores mentioned is right here in LA, I knew I had to visit. (I hereby proclaim a newfound obsession about visiting them all, even if it takes years to travel around the world.)

Lucky for me that my friend Olivia is also a nerd (I say it with respect and admiration) and was psyched to go along for the discovery. So off we went. The site is a wonderful building with great “bones” and architecture. Its wide open space and columns made me think of an opulent time from the past in downtown LA, when it may have been a bank or financial institution, but thankfully has been rescued/recycled into a place of knowledge.

You can read the story about The Last Bookstore here, and you may be curious to know, they buy books in good condition (no encyclopedias, no books that are falling apart or smell like kitty litter) and they are usually interested in classical literature in hardcover. Pero yo les voy a llevar algunas novelas/libros en español que talvez puedan quedar en mejores manos…

Here are some pictures, and just so you know, you can find books on almost any subject here at a great deal. Most of them are very cheap and you won’t feel like you are breaking the bank.

Happy Reading!

A wide angle view of the bookstore.

The cashier is a beautiful sculpture of books.

Grab a book and make yourself comfortable.

Just don't stay there too long, lounging and not buying anything. This is a business after all. There is a one hour time limit for sitting and reading. ¡No se vayan a dormir!

La sección de libros en español. I personally plan to contribute to new reading material, since I think they could use more titles.

Hey, you can find paperbacks from James Joyce and the book of Dream Interpretation from Freud. (I have a few dreams I have to analyze myself!)

Olivia finds a Decca record she likes. They have a huge selection of LP's for 99 cents.

She also found a disco de Menudo, from the early days, and I almost flipped. Look: Miguel, Xavier, Charly, Ricky, and Jhonny!

They also have a coffee bar that serves "Cafecito Orgánico" coffee and other treats.

The lovely Miss O at The Last Bookstore.

Frivolous Friday post: How I love thee, Kate Spade

23 Mar

TGIF and Happy Friday everybody.

Can you believe it’s almost Easter? Ya falta bien poquito.

I remember when I was a kid, we used to get new dresses for Easter Sunday and we used to love it. I thought about recreating that for this year, pues traigo ganas de estrenar vestido.

So the first place I thought of  for a dress was my favorite designer, la Kate Spade. It is pretty incredible that everything she has in store is everything I would want in my closet. But you need to win the mega jackpot for that to happen.

Pero pues como soñar no cuesta nada, I was browsing through the Kate Spade website and found lovely things (although carísimas!) and came across a great ebook  made for her blog called “things we love,” and I fell in love with it.

You can see a link to the book here.

One of the pages of the "Things we Love" book on the blog from

I really like this brand, have always loved her clean designs and girly-cutesy-preppy-fresa style, but lately their branding and marketing has been so original and fresh that I take my hat off to the team behind it. It’s pure feminine inspiration. They make a jeans and t-shirt girl want to dress up, so that is a miracle.

A  few months ago I took this picture at one of their stores and I thought, my God, does Kate know me or what?

I think Kate me conoce bien, me describió a la perfección, especialmente the part about losing the umbrella and calling my grandmother. This big board decorated the cashier at Kate Spade's store.

Of course, I had this beautiful Kate Spade iPhone case last year, which was my absolute favorite thing ever, but I broke it TWICE and have not been able to use it since. They don’t make it anymore, she has new designs, but I managed to get the iPad Case on sale, so I guess I can’t complain.

You can imagine tears were shed over this one: my broken newspaper print case is now unusable. The classified NY messages circled with red lipstick are Brooklyn Book Club and Piano Lessons in NYC.

Walking the High Line in NYC

13 Mar

Spring is almost here, and I’m still thinking about a wonderful park where I left my heart a few weeks ago.

Anyone who is visiting New York City soon should take note of the wonderful and recently opened space called the “High Line.” It is a an elevated park built over the old railroad tracks in the Meat Packing District.  It has revitalized the area and made it the most energetic and cool part of town at the moment. Es el lugar mas padre, en mi humble opinion. A true re-invention of unused resources transformed into a city park. Recycling…What a genius idea!

On a cold day in late February when we visited, the views and the sunshine/lighting around the city were absolutely beautiful. Had we had a bit more time and the weather would’ve permitted, it would have been a lovely spot for lounging in one of their benches and reading a book, or just sitting and enjoying the view, which is what I suspect New Yorkers like to do when the weather turns nice and when they want a little escape. How lucky are they?

As if it were an act of serendipity, or maybe because I can’t stop thinking about it y luego ya ven como the Law of Attracion works, el latest issue de Architectural Digest tiene un articulo de Diane Von Furstenberg, who helped fund the High Line along with her husband Barry Diller with a nice donation of 35 million dollars. The article shows her new digs and store right at the entrance of the High Line. She has incredible taste of course, and she is such an icon of New York City that when you see what she’s done in the area, you can’t help but be grateful to her. I love you Diane. Muchas Gracias DVF!

You can see a few of the images of DVF residence headquarters at the Architectural Digest website by clicking here and on the image below.

From the Architectural Digest issue, February 2012. Diane Von Furstenberg's residence by the High Line. Click on the image for a photo gallery from the magazine.

You can get more information about the High Line here. (Open from 7am to 7pm. Free. No Smoking please!)

And below are some of images of my visit. Enjoy!

The DVF building right by the entrance to the High Line at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street in the Meat Packing District.

The stair entrance to the High Line is just past the Diane Von Furstenberg store.

A street view from one of the many observation decks along the line.

Nice little bridge. Photo by CB.

The "street cinema" steps are meant for admiring the city views. What a concept!

This is the view from the benches.

Another view, now looking north, towards the modern landscapes and residential high rises.

A close up of the new modern façades along the High Line.

Keep walking, you'll be amazed at the fusion between old and new.

This set of buildings is amazing, It is just so grand, so immense. ¿Cuánto tiempo tendrá ahi, cuánta gente vivirá en ese espacio?

The new skyline: postmodern, mixed and matched, and very sexy.

Walking towards the end of the line.

NY City Bites, or how I ate my way around Manhattan

28 Feb

“If this town is just an Apple, then let me take a bite.” – Michael Jackson, Human Nature

What is it about New York City that makes its food so delicious and unique? Is it the water?

I was  there last week celebrating my birthday with two of the most important women in my life (Mi Mamá y Mi Tia)  and in retrospect, it seemed our mantra was let’s “Eat, Drink and Be Merry.”

According to one of the city’s tourist gurus, there are 31 thousand restaurants in New York City (Manhattan) alone. THIRTY ONE THOUSAND!

Here are a few photos of recently discovered and eternal favorites. This was my 7th trip to New York and it was wonderful. (Gracias Mama y Tia!!)

PS: Full disclosure: I took all the photos except for one, and I am happy to share as long as you give me credit for them.

Balthazar SoHo:

Balthazar from its interior. A French Bistro that feels like heaven.

It was 10 am and the place was already busting at the seams. We needed a reservation for breakfast.

Still one of my favorites after all these years. Balthazar on Spring street in SoHo never disappoints.

Prune, Lower East Side:

We went on the recommendation of my beloved Anthony Bourdain, from a  few seasons ago on “No Reservations.” And I don’t say this lightly, but it was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. We ordered several things, but for my dinner I chose the short ribs over the Yorkshire bread and every bite was a delight. This is a tiny tiny restaurant with a French feel. We absolutely loved everything about it, even the price.

Bone Marrow dish with salt and toast, a glass of wine, and radishes with butter and salt. Simply Amazing. No le pide nada a los taquitos de tuétano que nos comemos en familia.

Tiny place on the Lower East Side. Prune is frequented by stylish New Yorkers who love good food.

Make a reservation in advance. Prune is located on 1st street between 1st and 2nd Avenue in New York City.

Waverly Restaurant (around the Village)

Here’s a great place for breakfast, which I initially confused with the “Restaurant” from the Seinfeld show. Nos estabamos muriendo de hambre when we walked in, and we were delighted with all the options, it has the look and feel of a coffee shop, but has a full scale menu.The price is nice too.

The Waverly Retsaurant is a full scale restaurant with a coffee shop feel. Inexpensive and a really great spot for breakfast on a Sunday morning.

When I saw the sign I initally thought it was the original "Restaurant" from the Seinfeld show, but that is another restaurant altogether. The sign is pretty great though.

Tiny coffee shop/restaurant with all the typical breakfast noshing your heart desires, and then some. They have a huge menu to choose from.

You can also eat at the tiny bar, which resembles a diner. Cash only, please.

PizzArte, at 56th Street. Midtown

A modern, elegant, artsy place with great pizza napolitana, salads and pastas. Very cool setting and we also loved the food. As a bonus, they had a great soundtrack. Owners are ITALIANOS. Can’t go wrong with this place.

Entrance of Pizza Arte at 56th Street.

Margherita Pizza and Linguini al Vongole at Pizza Arte. MUUUY RICO.

Hot dog stand in front of the MOMA museum:

Need I say more?

You can't miss them, they're all over the place.

No guts no glory: Le pedi a este chavo tomarme una foto con el. Nunca habia visto un vendedor tan guapo. Nice guy too with a great smile.

Bar at the St. Regis Hotel:

A very swanky and posh place to have a drink. Elegant, rich, old school, and hits the spot after a long day. “Sip it slowly.”

Lovely place for a drink or two.

One martini, Two Martinii, Threee Martiniii...

At the Oscars: Demián, Demián, Ra! Ra! Ra! (New Bromance: Bichir and Clooney!)

27 Feb

¡Seguimos echando porras!

However, Oscar night did not go as planned for our favorites, at least for the Mexican nominees Demián Bichir and (five time!) nominated cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki. When all is said and done, we still feel a little bit robbed, but as they say, “it is an honor just to be nominated.”  I’ll leave out my nationalistic sentiments and all the “shoulda woulda” comments. Ni modo, no nos ha tocado ver ganar a nuestros nominados todos estos años, but at least it was a fun ride.

Para mi Demián fue el ganador y no sólo porque en mi humilde opinión fue la mejor actuación. Ganó porque sólo hay que ver como lo reciben y quieren todos los del Hollywood royalty to know he’s up there with the big guns.

Look at this picture below from the arrivals last night and how Clooney greeted Bichir in this lovely “Quiubole compa!” moment. That is genuine love among men, my friends. You can’t fake that, I don’t care how good an actor you are.

We witnessed a true Hollywood romance brewing before our eyes on national television in the Oscar pre-telecast:

Feel the LOVE. Clooney and Bichir are the newest Hollywood power couple. (photos from the E! Telecast)

From, a lovely moment between Demian and Clooney.

We also found these great pictures on, back from the Oscar nominee luncheon in Beverly Hills a few weeks ago. You can practically feel the joy in these images en donde se ve que le están echando muchas porras a Demián. 

Y así se acaba otro Oscar season. Congratulations to Lubezki and Bichir, you made us very proud.

From (Demian y su momento Whiskey, articulo 26 de febrero 2012)

Demián, Demián, RA RA RA!! Foto de ("Demián y su momento "whiskey" articulo 26 de febrero 2012)

Great Maps of LA exhibit at the Central Library in downtown

13 Jan

I’m always amazed at the sprawling, extensive size of the City of Los Angeles. This city I love está toda spread out, es enorme, llena de tráfico y luces, y freeways y mini-malls. What’s not to love?

So it was such a nice surprise to run into a very interesting exhibit of old Los Angeles maps at the Central Library in Downtown LA called “As The City Grew.” These maps are from the 184o’s to more recent ones from the last century. They all are amazing to look at just for the fact that they portray the gradual growth and initial distribution of el pueblo de Los Angeles.

This is one of the texts from the exhibit:

“The historical maps here trace Los Angeles’ challenges and illustrate its evolution into the metropolis we know today. The maps tell a story about a Spanish pueblo settled by eleven families that, in just 130 years, was to become the second largest city in America. From a Wild West frontier town that lived mostly outside the law, the city grew more sophisticated, surviving periodic cycles of “boom and bust” and doubling its population every decade, from a meager 5,000 at statehood to over a million by 1930.”

I’m always intrigued by the transformation of a place, of how things used to be and how people used to live before.  Did they ride horses? Can you imagine LA without freeways? How did people get to Santa Monica? What was life like here? These maps give you an idea of how LA transitioned into the place we live today.

So it’s worth a visit, and you may also want to check out some books at the library too! Everything is GRATIS, as you know, so take a trip soon if you can.

DTLA Central Library at 5th and Figueroa hours are Monday, Wed, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5:30 pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed  Sundays and will be closed next Monday due to Martin Luther King’s Day.

LA Maps exhibit at Central Library hallway, 1st floor.

Map of the City of Los Angeles, 1884, by Henry J Stevenson.

Birds Eye View of Los Angeles in 1909. Shows LA growing fast and becoming one of the nation's major cities. Population is 300,000.

This was one of the more elaborate maps, very colorful and showing different ethnicities.

The Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Los Angeles County, 1937. Shows LA in the years 1784 to 1849. "The Ranchos as they were called were sometiems as large as 48,000 acres."

Yes people, WE were here first. Se les olvida quien formó esta ciudad.

Hollywood star maps, version 1937. But I doubt they had any paparazzi then.

Hey, with this map you could go look for Cary Grant, Marion Davies and Gary Cooper. Their head drawing was used as the pin point for their house!

Well, Hello There Mr. 2012!

4 Jan

Happy New Year Everybody!

My five readers have been wondering where the heck I’ve been hiding, since it’s been A WHILE since my last post. Don’t worry, I’m still around, although I needed a few days to recoup after the Christmas break with LA FAMILIA. And then all of a sudden, the New Year crept up on me and the ball was dropping in Times Square on TV. Not to worry, I have some posts to elaborate on in the next few days, so you can see what your pochita friend was up to.

I must confess, I’m also having a bit of a blog existential crisis, as I have been going through some PROSPECTION (the act of looking forward in time or considering the future) which may or may not have to do with an upcoming birthday in February.

“Why?” you may ask. Well, it’s a big one and I won’t elaborate until I’m closer to the date. Yet somehow it has permeated a bit into “Life In Spanglish” and made me consider which material may be suitable enough for posting. I can be trite and trivial, but I do worry about the content and how to keep it fresh. You may not know this about me, but writing this blog for almost 3 years, and working on everything I post here, has been a unique joy- self serving, indulgent, mainly concerned with my own interests- and yet I am extremely surprised when I see a new reader, a comment or a follower. So of course I’m concerned with what to do next and how to keep you coming back for more.

On that note, here’s a promise to get more creative, to get more Spanglish, and to get more informative. The year 2012 looks and feels like the kind of year that will have lots to blog about. I sincerely thank you for sticking around and reading. It means the world to me.

I wish you all the best for this Año Nuevo, may it be a wonderful year for us all.

(Que no nos asusten las proyecciones de los locos, las amenazas “doomsday” y la gente que solo quiere infundir el miedo. Let’s work to make it a good year, shall we?)

Here’s a glimpse into the days I was out and about, truly a beautiful Christmas, one which yet again made us realize how blessed we are to live in Los Angeles, California. ¡Gracias Diosito por todas mis bendiciones!

The Lamps at LACMA are a great photo op. Here's a shot as the early evening progressed on one of the last days of 2011.

I'm going to need my Cinderella shoes for 2012 and all the "festejos" I need to get to. Hopefully this pair of glitter pumps from Kate Spade eventually goes on sale so I can celebrate my birthday in style.

I said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE LA. This shot of the Miracle Mile with a pink sunset makes me wanna pinch myself. Can you believe this weather? 78 degrees throughout the day, thank you very much.

Dando el rol por el “LA Auto Show”

26 Nov

The Honda display at the LA Auto Show.

I love my car, a beautiful VW. But… I hate driving in LA, for obvious reasons.

I think every angeleno has a special relationship/bond with their car. Or their imaginary car they will someday own and remains on their wish list. You know which one I’m talking about. Es el carro de tus sueños que ves que otra persona al lado tuyo va manejando mientras estás atorado en el 405…y de repente te vas en tu daydream driving off into the sunset.

But I digress…

This week every car maker and brand in America had their annual big “dog and pony show” which is appropriately called “The LA Auto Show.”

You still have this weekend to go see it at the Convention Center. The entrance is $12 dollars (parking is another $20 or so) and it’s open until 10 PM. If you’re a car aficionado, then this is something that’s totally worth your time. Get up close and personal with every new car on the market. You can even pretend it’s yours as you slide into it and sit in the driver’s seat, since most of the cars are open to get a sense of what they feel like on the road.

A few things really stood out. The trend this year is to finally convince us, the regular people, that the fuel efficient, eco-friendly, gas saving, “small is the new reality” vehicle is here to stay. It’s no secret that we are all minding our dollars and cents, and oil ain’t ever going to be free, so we might as well start thinking that “smaller is better.”  At least that’s the big push by most of the companies, including the luxury brands. Every brand has some sort of hybrid, electrical or fuel efficient option. Everybody is reinventing itself. The future looks like it’s here when you see the electric plug enchufando al carro en el garage. Could it be that we all drive electrical cars some day?

There’s still many models of gas guzzlers and big ass trucks, so don’t despair. (A los latinos nos gustan mucho los big cars todavía.) It all depends what you like and how much you are willing to spend on your next car. Even if you are of the idea that an automobile is just something that gets you from point A to point B, I think there’s never been a time when the driver has had so many options to choose from.

Go visit the LA Auto Show before it ends and have a little pipe dream yourself. Total, soñar no cuesta nada.

Here are a few images from the show. I had so many I wanted to post, but made a brief selection for browsing purposes.

Germans do cars right. Here are a few Audi pics. They have a beautiful line and are quite popular.

An electrical BMW "Active" can be yours if you lease it for $499 a month, plus deposit.

Looks like the future arrived. The BMW i8 (concept) cars are all electrical. And they are amazing to look at.

The new 5 Series BMW. No wonder it's the ultimate driving machine.

Concept cars by Chevy will be here in 2013. Already sold in Europe.

The Chevy Volt is one of the more popular electrical cars. But I'm not crazy about the design.

Cool display by the new CODA cars. But the car design is so boring, I did not post a picture. It's all electrical and just a basic 4 door sedan.

Mini Cooper: still a very expensive toy car.

The new VW Beetle is amazing. Loved it!

Even Land Rover is going smaller with the Evoque and their new concept cars.

The Mercedes Benz G Series is BACK!! If I had an extra 100 thousand dollars, I would buy this car in an instant. My absolute favorite thing in the show. I don't care if it's big and boxy, this is it. They had stopped making them a few years ago so I wonder if it's back by popular demand.

I could also get a Fiat Gucci. So cool, so now. Too bad J-Lo endorses it!

Even the inside of the Fiat has the Gucci branding. Nice!

You can also get the Gucci accessories to go with you car, so you'd be all Gucci'd out. Qué fresas!

More people are embracing the new electrical vehicles. Here's the Nissan Leaf, which are now on the road. You hook up this baby through the front outlet and charge!

UPDATE- SATURDAY: A petición de X, Chucho:  Here’s a photo of the X1 car I took and some others that just had to make it to the list. Había muchísimo y quisiera poder subir más. Sorry if the pictures are small, they have to be optimized for the site.

Para X:

Yes, there were Formula 1 models.

I actually took a pic of la moto with my name on it (my initials, always have loved the CBR) but there's a peek of the Target F1 Model in the back.

I know you like the Audi Spyder!

 Para mis sobrinos-ahijados:

Life size Mario Kart model was a big deal!

Me encantó el display de Hot Wheels.

Para mi Papá, que le gustan los Bentleys…

Fit for a king...or a famous hip hop artist.

Saturday Night Quinceañera Party

21 Nov

La quinceañera está de vestido largo, aquí con todas sus friends.

I went to the best quinceañera party EVER last Saturday night. Of course, I am not even remotely close to the quinceañera festivities age but rather a generation above la quinceañera (no estoy yo para contarlo ni ustedes para saberlo) and I still had a fabulous time.

I think this is the first party in a long time where everyone from the baby sobrinita, to the padrinos, the tios and couples, as well as el abuelito y la abuelita, had a blast and danced the night away. Ya sabemos que a los latinos nos gusta divertinos “en bola”.

Here’s what I learned from attending the party:

  • ALWAYS have a theme and stick to it. This was a Havana nights themed party, and EVERYTHING matched the theme: the invitations, the decor, the beautiful quinceañera dresses she used, the MUSIC (at least during the dinner phase, Pérez Prado ruled the ambience) and of course, the food.
  • Girls will be girls and boys will be boys: I don’t know if this was a very “wholesome” crowd, but the kids were respectful and well behaved, and they genuinely had fun without thinking that partying with their parents was boring. Although on the dance floor the girls stuck to their all female group and the boys were “echando su desmadre” over at their corner, making funny faces and jumping up and down. Give them a couple of years…
  • Rihanna Rules. As soon as the dj played the first beat of her new song “We Found Love”, the kids went NUTS. I mean, they were screaming and singing every word of the song verbatim. (They did NOT play Katy Perry, thank God!)
  • Ditto for PitBull and LMFAO “Party rockers in the house tonight“….(Both a los chavitos y a los grandes nos gusta mucho.)
  • Salsa and Cumbias colombianas still makes us all dance. Esa música pone a bailar hasta las piedras.
  • Have a dessert and candy table in addition to the birthday cake. At the end of the night, chicos y grandes had their own “bolsita de dulces” to make and everyone left happy.

    Los chavitos baile y baile. The guys "dance" by jumping up and down and making a huddle. Girls are much more elegant!

    Hey! A los grandes también les gusta bailar. Here's a group dancing to Pitbull's "Tonight".

    The candy bar was a hit! This was just one of MANY cool and unique details that made this quinceañera party above and beyond the rest. It's all in the details, people.

Pedro Almodóvar Forever! A night @Taschen Beverly Hills

11 Nov

This week, gracias a mis amigas Lucia y Martha, fuimos al book signing de Pedro Almodóvar’s book “The Almodóvar Archives” at the beautiful Taschen Book Store in Beverly Hills.

A few lucky fans got a chance to meet and greet the film maestro, and he is a lovely, funny and charming man. Se me hace que es una persona que se ha de divertir mucho con sus ideas y su creatividad. Imagine what his mind looks like! All those colors popping all over the place, all those stories and visuals of the movies he creates.

As an added treat, también estuvo Antonio Banderas, one of his first actor discoveries all the way back in the late 1980′s, and apparently still a beloved friend after all these years. They had a brief Q&A session which was initially done in English, but as Mr. Almodovar got more animated, he asked for a translator, para poderse expresar agusto. Banderas is currently starring in the latest film, the dramatic thriller “La Piel que Habito” (The Skin I Live In) which is getting rave reviews.

Here’s a few pictures from the event. Truly a memorable evening I shall never forget.

Even after all these years, they still love each other. Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas had an animated and funny Q&A session for the fans who attended the book signing.

The man, the film genius! Almodóvar was happy to sign copies of his book for his fans.

Two of his biggest fans, Martha Coronel and Lucia Peraza pose with their friend, Pedro Almodóvar.

Here it is, a book signed for a Very Important Person!

Lucia admires the book as they specially package it. The book weighs all of 12 pounds and has all sorts of pictures and memorabilia from all of Almodóvar's films.

The actor Carlos Leal starred in the Almodóvar movie "Abrazos Rotos" with Penelope Cruz. ¡Es muy guapo! Además saludó a Almodóvar muy efusivamente y compró su libro.

This is the carrying box of the book. Only 1,250 copies were made of this special edition.

Charlotte Taschen, one of the Taschen family daughters, flew in from London to present the book.

Todos queriamos "say hello." The Taschen bookstore in Beverly Hills, California. Almodóvar fans crowd the store for a chance to meet him.

At Taschen they have the most beautiful and original books on art, lifestyle, travel, and photography.

My kind of place.

Arte en el techo. One of the many fabulous art collages hanging from the ceiling.

Wordless Weds: New stamps honoring Latino Music Legends

9 Nov

At the post office yesterday, loved these stamps: Selena, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Carmen Miranda, and Carlos Gardel. Nice way to adorn your regular mail, if you're still sending any.

Art in the streets of Los Angeles

25 Oct

A funny thing happened the other day when I did the AIDS Walk. Me percaté de muchos murales y cool art in the street popping all around us. How come I hadn’t noticed this before?

I guess it takes a good walk around town to become aware of how much talent surrounds us. Los Angeles is an amazing hub of designers and artists, in addition to the Hollywood industry folks, and you can enjoy the scene and vibe if you just start looking closer and observing the little gems artist leave for us here and there. Aproveché la vuelta por el West Side y alcancé a tomar unas fotos.

Y ahora this has become a new fascination of sorts, and with this in mind I set out to DTLA (my fav place) for a little street art inspiration. And there was something cool and photo worthy on every street!

You’d be surprised how many shots did not make it to the list, since it was the magic hour and my car was running on only 1/4 tank of gas, so I had to apurarme y editar on the fly. No fue precisamente un walking tour, but it helped that it was a Monday night and I found street parking here and there.

Here are a few of my observations around LA. Hope you feel inspired to do a little street art tour yourself.

West Side:

“Ignite the Imagination, Awaken a Dream.” From one of the windows at a gallery on La Cienega Blvd in West LA.

Los Angeles is in my heart. I ADORE LA and this mural spoke to me like you have no idea. Found it on Melrose Avenue.

Dennis Hopper was one of the coolest people ever, in addition to being an amazing artist and photographer. This mural is on Melrose.


Peace out James Dean. This mural is in DTLA.

So much sentiment going on here. Mural on a Los Angeles St. parking lot.

Looks a little Roy Lichtenstein inspired. “Vargas didn’t paint me”. On 3rd street DTLA.

“I always feel like… somebody’s watching me..” On Spring St. DTLA.

This seems to be inspired from the “Obey” series. I’ve labeled it as Woman Rebel Commie in Black and Red (the artists probably has another name for it.) Found it on an undescript alley on Olympic Blvd. DTLA Fashion District.

The Arts District in DTLA is worth a trip.

Mural collage and phone booth on Traction St.

Enlightened floating Ghandi on Traction St. ( Had a little help from Photoshop.)

Entrance at 800 Traction St. Does the artist Mondrian live here?

Lost Angels on 4th Street.

Spartacus points to Downtown LA.


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