Entertainment

5 Tips For Traveling Alone

Punta Cana (Image via Secrets Resort Blog)

Punta Cana (Image via Secrets Resort Blog)

While many may dread the thought of traveling alone, there are some perks to this sort of adventure. For starters, you make plans on your own time and budget. No lingering, waiting for someone to chip in, or whatever else people do that often leads to over planning. And let’s face it, over planning has a tendency to cause stress. Though traveling with others can be a lot of fun, a trip alone can be just as enjoyable. Here are five tips to get you started:

1) As you board your plane (or ship), say goodbye to social media. Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but some people get so caught up in posting, they forget to look out of their airplane window and simply take in the view. Social media is a wonderful way to share your experiences with others, but if you’re not careful, you can miss out.

2) Socialize…with everyone. Talk to the cabbie driving you from the airport. Talk to other travelers staying where you’re staying. It may just be that you end up starting an everlasting friendship with someone abroad. You never know!

3) Don’t compare. As the quote goes, “Comparison is the thieve of joy.” So, don’t waste time comparing yourself to other travelers, or comparing your current destination to your hometown. Simply enjoy where you are now.

4) Document your experiences…through photographs and writing. Sure, it’s a good idea to stay away from social media, in order to thoroughly immerse yourself in the moment, but this doesn’t mean you have to shy away from documenting. On the contrary, the images and words you capture may help you feel like you’ve transported back once you return home. Vicariously living through your own experiences, so to speak.

5) Give yourself permission to disconnect from work and worries. You deserve the time off, so leave work where it belongs, and stop worrying. Worrying serves no purpose! With the right attitude, you can turn your next vacation into the kind of getaway you need and deserve!

Are you overdue for a vacation?

What You Didn’t Know about Celia Cruz

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Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, or for short Celia Cruz, was one of the most accomplished singers of the 20th century. Hailing from humble beginnings in the poor neighborhood of Santos Suarez in Havana, Cuba, her mother knew immediately that she was destined to be a singer.

It was on the radio in diverse Santos Suarez where Cruz would grow up listening to all types of music. Rumba, mambo, guaracha, bolero, cha-cha, salsa and son cubano was apart of her musical education. As a youth Cruz and her sister were taken to cabarets to sing by their aunt. At radio stations, Cruz sang tango “Nostalgias” (unrequited love songs) to win cakes during the “Hora del Te” broadcast, often coming first place.

Her piercing and powerful voice carried a great warmth. At a music conservatory, her own professor took notice of it and told her to drop out and let her talent shine as she was already gaining momentum on the radio for her recorded and live performances in the late 1940s.

Her vocal style was distinctive because it incorporated pregon, the wails of street vendors (usually fishmongers and peanut vendors). As an Afro-Cubana, her early music was influenced by santeria (Cuban blend of Christian and traditional African religious music) songs which used the religious African dialect of Lucumi.

After leaving school she was the singer for a dance group, Las Mulatas del Fuego. In 1950 she was the lead singer of Sonora Matancera, one of the most prominent Cuban orchestras. But that didn’t come easy, because when she joined Sonora, she was replacing a previous singer and she had to gain the public’s support. By her bandmates sticking up for her, Cruz eventually became well love not only in Cuba, but throughout all of Latin America. Slowly, she was becoming the leading female voice of modern salsa at a time when the music was dominated by men.

Soon, Cruz’s life will change forever, for better and for worst in the early 1960s. While travelling with Matancera in Mexico, Fidel Castro came to power turning Cuba into a communist country. With all but one bandmember refusing to go back under such a regime, Castro issued them a lifetime ban. Over a year later she would take up residency in New Jersey and marry Matancera trumpet player Pedro Knight.

In the mid 1960s, she followed the New York music scene which had musicians from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Outside of salsa, she also sang guaracha and all the other types of Latin music she grew up listening to. This was a time of experimentation when many artists would blend and mix many different musical styles and perform with musicians from different styles of music.

By the 1970s, Cruz made music with Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, and the Fania AllStars. She had a catch phrase, Azucar, which she used to energize her audience and band. Also, she became a fashion icon because of her bold, daring, and wild costumes and wigs.

In the 1980s and 1990s, she performed and was featured on songs with Wyclef Jean, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle, and David Byrne. By the early 2000s, The Celia Cruz Foundation was created in order to help impoverished students that wanted to study music.

Celia Cruz made music until her death from brain cancer in 2003. Within the 55 years that she made music, she released 75 albums, 23 of which went gold. Throughout her career, Cruz was honored as the Queen of Salsa, La Guarachera de Cuba, and the Queen of Latin Music.

Fun Facts

  • She was awarded an American National Medal of the Arts
  • For the 2015-2016 TV lineup, Telemundo will have a musical drama about The Queen of Salsa
  • While with La Sonora Matancera, Cruz and the group appeared in five motion pictures
  • She sang the spot for WQBA in Miami
  • There is an exhibit in Washinton D.C. dedicated to her

 

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The Threads That Bind Bachata to the Blues

Excerpt by Juan Guillen

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Originally published in 2014

The rising popularity of (modern) Bachata in the US, and the globe for that matter, is understandable when you look at the history and similarities of Bachata and the Blues. They were both born out of pain…from the disenfranchised (slaves in the US and the poor and uneducated in the Dominican Republic). The lyrics are very similar and at times identical…both sang of a depressed mood. US Blues and Dominican Bachata were both rejected by society in their respective countries…yet Blues music is the grandfather and grandmother of what makes up most American music today.

LatinTRENDS brings you an in-depth look at the history and transition of both of these two genres and how this is influencing the growth and popularity of Bachata music in America and the world. Get the Blues – the Blues with a Latin twist – with this article.

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By Ray Monell

Bachata and Blues, musical genres wrought by two prongs of the African diaspora in the Western Hemisphere, have outlived the powerful forces fixated on their suppression as soon as they came into existence. Through them was expressed the proverbial plight of the poor, those who would endure ineffable racial and economic discrimination long before reaching comparatively finer pastures.

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Origins of Blues and Bachata

The term Blues and Bachata’s original name, amargue (which means “bitter” in Spanish), denote melancholy. Tales of unrequited love, randy encounters and the inhumane conditions beneath which the underprivileged lived and worked were common in both genres. Not coincidentally, Bachata is often referred to as Dominican Blues.

 

It is widely believed that Bachata first surfaced in the brothels and shantytowns of the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, in the early 20th century. It was virtually banned by dictator Rafael Trujillo, who instead made Merengue the country’s official musical form during the 1930s, according to the National Geographic Society. Trujillo’s three-decade reign (1930-61) was marked by torture, arbitrary imprisonments, the oppression and mass murder of Afro-Dominicans and Haitian immigrants, respectively, and economic policies that favored wealthy landowners over their workers.

Video 1,2 & 3 below shows 3 different kinds of Bachata rhythms

1.Video below shows a more traditional & faster paced Bachata, heavy on the acoustic guitars and drums

 

2. In the club- classic Bachata

 

3.Modern Day Bachata

The atmosphere was no kinder to African-Americans in the Deep South, where the institution of slavery was swiftly replaced by a sharecropping/tenant farming-dominated economy, Jim Crow laws (segregation) and the relentless terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan. During the first 3 1/2 decades of post-bellum America (1865-1900), wrote author Debra Devi for the Huffington Post this past January, “Plantation work songs were primarily sung a cappella, but after Emancipation traveling country-blues singers used the guitar and harmonica to earn money playing picnics and dances. Over time, the blues became music that expressed the singer’s struggles and passions, both carnal and spiritual.”

Harsh realities of the time required early Bachateros in the Dominican Republic, like African-American Blues musicians (known long ago as songsters) in the southern United States, to be as subversive as they were gifted in music.

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Culturally, the role of Bachata musicians in society was similar to the role Blues musicians played,” iASO Records President Benjamin de Menil, 38, told LatinTRENDS in late March. “Bachateros viewed themselves, similar to how Bluesmen viewed themselves, a little bit like outcasts. And sometimes defiant outcasts, like, ‘I’m a crazy drunk and I’m proud of it.‘ There was a flamboyant style to Bachateros and Blues players. There was also the association of Blues with brothels and prostitution back in the old days, and Bachata also had that association.

Both styles were the popular music of the underclass. These were people that lived in rural areas and worked in farms, people who were manual laborers, and this was their outlet.”

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History of Musica Bachata

What came to be known as Bachata—a term that previously denoted Bolero parties in poor, rural or urban communities—blossomed artistically following Trujillo’s assassination in 1961. Bachata’s commercial viability, on the other hand, was stunted by how poorly it was still perceived by the establishment in the 1970s, a decade in which it received little exposure on Dominican radio and television.

By the early 1980s, however, popular demand (specifically among U.S.-based Dominicans) ended Bachata’s censorship, paving the way for the genre’s growth and modernization.

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Many of the Dominicans that emigrated to the U.S. came from a working class background, and they brought with them their taste in music,” de Menil, who has worked with Leonardo Paniagua and Joan Soriano, said. “They came to the U.S., they were able to rise up and get better lives for themselves, and have supported Bachata. That community helped bring the Bachateros that started to perform in the U.S. They also helped to spread Bachata to other [Latinos], and then those people brought it back to the country of their origin. That recognition has helped Bachata’s case in the Dominican Republic. People actually feel more pride for the music when they see foreigners respecting it.”

You can separate the Bachata that we know about,” he continued, “which is the Bachata that’s been recorded, into two categories: The old fashion style, what was going on from the 1960s through the end of the 1980s, and the modern style, when the electric guitar replaced the acoustic guitar. The 1980s was the transitional period. Anthony Santos and Luis Vargas was the beginning of the 1990s, and they were the first generation of truly modern Bachateros. Blas Duran was a little bit before them, and many people say he was the first one to develop the modern Bachata sound.”

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Originating in the Mississippi River Delta area prior to spreading to other parts of the Deep South, Blues was a secular derivation of African-American religious music (i.e., the Negro spirituals). Back then, it was considered sinful to play, often referred to as “the devil’s music.” But much like the nationwide condemnation of gangster rap by politicians and concerned parents in the early 1990s, the indignation targeting Blues music made it a forbidden fruit too tempting to resist.

Thus, the Blues sound transcended racial lines, but initially under race-specific designations introduced by the recording industry in the 1920s: race music (performed by/marketed toward blacks) and hillbilly music (performed by/marketed toward whites).

An estimated 1.6 million southern blacks relocated to northern states between the 1910s and ’30s, greatly expanding the sphere of Afro-American music’s influence. This particular wave of the Great Migration—i.e., the migration of 6 million African-Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest and West from 1910-70—coincided with the Harlem Renaissance, a time that saw the rise of composer Duke Elington and poet Langston Hughes, among other prominent artists. Blues would serve as a template for rock and roll and experience a resurgence in the late 1960s and early ’70s courtesy of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, both of whom are members of the (dead at) 27 Club.

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Any similarity Blues, or any of its myriad relatives, has with Bachata, de Menil believes, can actually be traced as far back as the ’60s, long predating Aventura’s imbuing of the genre with hip hop and contemporary Rhythm and Blues (R&B) elements.

I think that infusion has been going on for a very long time,” de Menil said. “When you hear the first [Bachata music] that was being recorded in the 1960s, some of them had this sort of doo-wop sound to them. It’s hard to go back now and speak to those artists and ask them what their influences were, but it sounds like they were getting some influence from the music that coming out of the U.S.”

Indeed, by sheer happenstance or design, the chorus of Bachata pioneer José Manuel Calderón’s “Llanto a La Luna” does have, in part, a doo-wop feel to it. That said, the line between both genres was permanently blurred by Aventura’s groundbreaking work, and it is due to that musical innovation—which began in the latter half of the ’90s—that we especially cannot ignore what the “B” in R&B actually stands for.

With Aventura, we’re talking about a whole other thing, where [bachata] is really fused with R&B,” de Menil said. “It doesn’t have that traditional sound anymore. It’s a whole different animal.”

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The Rise of New Bachata Songs

As Dominican-Americans from The Bronx, Lenny Santos and Anthony “Romeo” Santos (who is also half Puerto Rican) were raised on a steady musical diet of Rap, R&B, Merengue, Bachata and Salsa. Heck, Lenny, looking back on his childhood when I interviewed him and his brother, Max, in the summer of 2009, even mentioned regularly listening to grunge rock’s Pearl Jam on a walkman while rollerblading around his neighborhood.

Via Lenny’s guitar-playing, production and arrangements and Anthony’s songwriting and singing, Bachata has been unmistakably impacted by Blues-derived American popular music. Aventura’s last album—appropriately titled “The Last” (2009)—unequivocally validates said notion.

For instance, one of the album’s singles, “Dile al Amor,” ends with the repeated, reverberated and mellifluously delivered double-negative line, “I don’t need no love … in my life.” That portion of the song, I’m compelled to say, is eerily similar in sound and mood to The Flamingos’ version of “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959).

Bachata Aventura Breaks Up

The group disbanded in 2011. Lenny and Max (bass) went on to form Bachata supergroup VENA with fellow Bronx native Steve Styles (formerly of Xtreme), leading to their 2012 hit, “Ya No”; singer and supporting vocalist Henry Santos embarked on a solo career and exhibited his famous dancing skills last year on “Mira Quien Baila,” Univision’s answer to ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”; and Anthony, in 2011, featured R&B singer Usher on “Promise,” a single from his solo debut album, “Formula, Vol. 1.” “Promise” has peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Songs charts, and its video has (as of April 10, 2013) nearly 40.2 million views on YouTube.

Aventura’s distinct sound was met with disdain by Bachata’s traditionalists early on, but the group ultimately authored an important chapter of the Dominican narrative in the U.S. Their oeuvre, influenced and enriched as it was by hip hop and R&B music, linked Bachata to Blues through its two aforementioned descendants. Once separated by the vastness of the Atlantic ocean, bachata and Blues—each of which was born out of struggle—now proudly occupy common land.

6 Powerful Things A Cold Shower Will Do For You

Start your day with a bang. Take a cold shower, you don’t have to go hardcore. You can gradually increase the temperature and the time spent as you go along, but don’t sleep on this,it really . Don’t procrastinate, like the Nike’s slogan so famously quotes: “Just Do it”!

  1. Cold showers boost recovery after exercise
    Athletes often take ice baths after vigorous training do reduce soreness. No worries, you don’t have to go to that extreme (thank God), but you can obtain a similar benefit with a quick cold shower after your training sessions. It will surely help you and your muscles will agree.

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2. Cold showers increase mood and alertness
Many people feel groggy when they take that first step out of bed. So a great way to wake first thing in the morning is to take a cold shower before you go to work. When cold water pours over your body, your breathing deepens in response to the shock of the cold (this is your body trying to keep you warm by increasing overall oxygen intake). Your heart rate will also increase, resulting in a rush of blood through your body that will help you get energized for the day.

3.Cold showers strengthen immunity and circulation
Cold showers can aid weight loss in an unexpected way. The human body contains two types of fat tissue, white fat and brown fat. White fat is accumulated when we consume more calories than our body needs to function, and we don’t burn these calories for energy. This body fat piles up at our waist, lower back, neck, and thighs, and is the one we all struggle to eliminate. Brown fat is the good fat, which generates heat to keep our bodies warm, and is activated when exposed to extreme cold, according to a Harvard Medical School study.

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4.Cold showers burn fat
There are two kinds of fat in your body: white fat and brown fat. White fat is the bad guy and brown fat is the good guy. White fat is the body fat we all know and struggle to get rid of. When we consume more calories than our body needs to function and we don’t burn those calories for energy, they are stored as white fat, which tends to accumulate at your waist, lower back, neck, and thighs. Brown fat is the good guy you might have never even heard of, and its function is to generate heat to keep your body warm. Here’s the good news: when brown fat is activated due to extreme cold, it burns calories to keep you warm, which could provide a helpful assist in your weight loss plan.

 

5.Relieves Depression
Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an ant depressive effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up experience. A 2008 study found that cold hydrotherapy has an analgesic effect, and does not appear to have noticeable side effects or cause dependence. This treatment included one to two cold showers of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, two to three minutes long, followed by a five-minute gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking.

 

5.Refines Hair and Skin
When it comes to hair and skin, a cold shower is one of the ways to maintain a healthy appearance. Hot water has the tendency to dry out our skin, so it’s best to use cold water to tighten your cuticles and pores, which will prevent them from getting clogged. Cold water can “seal” the pores in the skin and scalp too, preventing dirt from getting in.

What You Didn’t Know about Cameron Diaz

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Cameron Diaz was born on August 30, 1972 in San Diego, California. The daughter of Emilio Diaz, a second-generation Cuban-American oil company foreman, and his wife Billie, who is of Native American, Italian, and German descent, Diaz began modeling when she was 16 years old. Her successful modeling career took her to Japan, Australia, Morocco and Paris, among other locales, and landed her in such magazines as Mademoiselle and Seventeen as well as advertising campaigns for companies like Calvin Klein, Coca-Cola and Levi’s.

Cameron is an advocate for female empowerment, she inspires women to take control of their bodies. In The Body Book, written by Diaz, women can find the resources they need to build a healthier body so they can live happily for the rest of their lives. She has also been an ambassador to support an international campaign that raises awareness for UN Women’s gender equality and women’s economic empowerment programs globally.

I love participating in things that mean something. I make movies because I want people to feel and laugh and have fun and learn about themselves and learn about other people. Says Cameron

Personal Life (relationships)
In addition to her work onscreen, Diaz is often in the news for her personal life. Diaz’ five-year relationship with video producer Carlos de La Torre ended in 1995. She dated her There’s Something About Mary costar Matt Dillon from 1996 to 1998, and Diaz later became involved with actorJared Leto in 1999. The couple broke up in 2003, and she started dating singer Justin Timberlake. Diaz and Timberlake dated for several years before calling it quits in 2007. She has also been linked to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Diaz began dating Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden in May 2014 and was engaged to the rocker that December. In a whirlwind move, the pair tied the knot on January 5, 2015 at Diaz’ Beverly Hills home. Drew Barrymore and Nicole Richie were two of her bridesmaids, along with her sister Chimene Cain and assistant Jesse Lutz.

 

(2) Q & A from Harpers Bazar Interview

What is the biggest realization you’ve had about yourself after turning 40?

That as you get older, your body changes in so many little ways. It doesn’t react the same way that it used to. I don’t get the results that I used to as easily as I once did. Now I look at myself and I realize, “Oh, right. I’m in this time now in my life where I have to be thoughtful. If I slack off, things don’t come back so easily. I have to be committed.” In part that’s what my new book, The Longevity Book, is about. But just like everybody else, I’m more and less disciplined at various times based on what’s going on in my life.

Which trend has enjoyed too much longevity?

Social media is great for a lot of things but not as a substitute for actual human connection. We need more actual human contact with one another. And less screen time.

Fun Facts
Snoop Dogg also went to that high school the same time Diaz was there. The rapper has said, “She ran with my homegirls, all my little cheerleading homegirls” and that “she was fly and she was hip.” Meanwhile, Cameron said “he was very tall and skinny. He wore lots of ponytails and I’m pretty sure I bought weed from him” during an interview with George Lopez on ‘Lopez Tonight’ in January 2011.

Diaz says she loves a good rare piece of steak and greasy french fries as one of her favorite foods to indulge on.

A little unknown fact about Cameron Diaz is that she has has ADD, or attention deficit disorder, which can make many sufferers unable to focus on one task for a prolonged amount of time. She told OnTheRedCarpet.com in January 2011: ‘I have no interest in directing movies or producing movies. I like my role in making films. It’s the perfect amount of involvement for me. I have ADD. I would never be able to spend two years making a movie or even one year. I would just, I’d be someplace else within a few short moments.

She loves to play extreme sports, even if it means getting hurt! She broke her nose in a surfing accident in Hawaii in 2003 and has reportedly suffered four broken noses.

Cameron Diaz is a bit of a germophobe. In an interview with Time magazine in 1997, she admits to scrubbing her Hollywood home scrupulously and washes her hands many times. She also uses her elbows to push open doors.

In 2003, she became only the third actress to have earned $20 million for a single role, in the film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle

Cameron Diaz told Maxim magazine in a June 2011 interview that her favorite word is ‘sex,’ adding: “Just the word is sexy to me. There’s something to it.”

View complete celebrity profile section: http://bit.ly/1OIZF0p

 

New York’s Havana Film festival. Now Through April 7th

New York’s Havana Film festival Now through April 7th.

HFFNY RUNS MARCH 30 – APRIL 7, 2017

The Havana Film Festival NY (HFFNY) announces two new and hot releases coming from Chile and Uruguay to join the competition for the Havana Star Prize: Vida de Familia (Family Life), a 2017 Chilean drama directed by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, which premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and El Candidato (The Candidate) by renown Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler, who recently won Best Director at the Miami International Film Festival.

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Family Life, the collaboration between Chilean directors Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, is an adaptation by writer Alejandro Zambra of his own story (Jiménez also directed a feature film version of Zambra’s previous novel, Bonsai). A funhouse mirror of self-examination, one that turns intimate spaces inside out and reveals how even the most private corners of our lives are not entirely safe from invasion.

The Candidate, second film directed by Daniel Hendler, delivers a behind-the-scenes tale of a campaign run in an effort to get voiceless millionaire Martin Marchand (Diego de Paula) elected to office. A team of advisors is brought in to shape the image of Marchand, producing social media profiles, commercials and a new public persona. Conflict arises when it is revealed that not everyone is who they present themselves to be. Is fiction mirroring reality or vice versa?

HFFNY will award the Havana Star Prize for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor/ Actress. The awards will be given at the Closing Night Ceremony, April 7 at 6:30 pm at the New York DGA Theater (110 West 57th Street). The recipients will be chosen by three prominent members in the film industry, award winning directors Flavio Florencio (Made in Bangkok), Martin Rosete (Money, Voice Over); and actor Carlos Enrique Almirante (Fátima, Four Seasons in Havana).

The 18th Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) showcases the diversity of Latino voices and stories in a program that includes over 35 films. This year, HFFNY pays homage to one of Cuba’s foremost forces in animation and storytelling, Juan Padrón, and the late Argentine director Eliseo Subiela. The festival continues its tradition of presenting the history of Cuban rhythms with a cinematic retrospective on the music, religion and dance of the island. Plus, our audience can look forward, as they do every year, to screenings of critically acclaimed films, many in their World, US and NY debut accompanied by panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and other special events hosted by leading figures in Latino cinema.

 

HFFNY Venues:

  • Bronx Museum First Friday HFFNY Kick-Off at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture: March 24, 2017
  • DGA Theater: March 30 & April 7, 2017
  • Museum of the Moving Image: March 31 to April 1, 2017
  • SVA Theatre: March 31 to April 2, 2017
  • The NY Film Academy: April 3 & 4, 2017
  • Art exhibition opening & screenings at The Clemente: April 3, 5, 6, 2017
  • AMC Loews at 34th St: April 5 & 6, 2017

 

The presenting sponsor of the 18th HFFNY is NBC/Telemundo 47. Additional sponsorship is provided by El Diario La Prensa, Cuba Travel Network, Roger Smith Hotel, Singani 63, Habanero Films, AMC Independent, New York Film Academy, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, Aguijón Films, DGCine, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Funglode, Horns to Havana, Ron Barceló, Lipariri Photography, OnCuba, EnRola TV, QueensLatino.com, Playa Betty’s, Cinefuegos, Matiz Latin Cuisine, Publimax, and Giovanni Quinche. HFFNY is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Honorable Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State legislators and supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the City Council.

Detailed information about all festival programs available at www.hffny.com

The Havana Film Festival New York is a project of American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC), a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba through programs in the arts.

 

J.Lo sued for NOT being INFLUENTIAL enough

It pays to be a star, but stars also get sued more than people no one knows, and J.Lo is no exception. The curvy actress, singer, dancer and all-around-influencer is being sued for not being influential enough by a hoverboard company.

Jennifer Lopez is being sued for failing to make hoverboards look sufficiently cool. Sidekick Group, a company that manufactures this hot consumer trend, is taking J.Lo to court for failing in her contractual obligations to promote its brand on social media.

In exchange for providing 42 of its products to Lopez’s Planet Hollywood show in Las Vegas, the Shades Of Blue star supposedly agreed to post their product on Twitter or Instagram once every three months. But she seems to have actually only done so only once, back in May of last year:

Sidekick is suing Lopez for $54,390,the cost of 42 of the company’s very expensive wheeled toys, that’s $1,295 a pop!! No worries for J.Lo, if she loses this court battle, 55k won’t even put a dent in her net worth, estimated to be “hovering” around $300 million, according to various celebrity net worth sites. However the more respectable of these entities that nose around trying to establish a worth in dollars to the “rich and famous” is Forbes, and they have “Jenny from the block” clocking in at the poverty level of $17 million, but we don’t think, that’s accurate, based on her various entertainment and business involvement. Either way Jennifer Lopez is batting strong…no pun intended A-Rod.

23 Hispanic Americans that Were the First to Excel in Their Fields

 Being the first to achieve and move up the ladder of success must have not been easy, as they don’t have role models to follow a path or get inspired by. These 23 Hispanic American men and women were the first to arrive and accomplish in their respective sectors and because of it they cemented their names in American history. We suggest you google each one, read about them with an open mind, to not only be entertained, but to understand how they accomplished what they accomplished and what or who motivated them.

 

Military
Medal of Honor recipient:
 Philip Bazaar, a Chilean member of the U.S. Navy, for bravery during the Civil War. He received his Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865.

Admiral, U.S. Navy: David G. Farragut. In 1866, he became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of admiral. The first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral was Horacio Rivero of Puerto Rico, in 1964.

General, U.S. Army: Richard E. Cavazos, 1976. In 1982, he became the army’s first Hispanic four-star general.

 

Government
Member of U.S. Congress: Joseph Marion Hernández, 1822, delegate from the Florida territory.

U.S. Representative: Romualdo Pacheco, a representative from California, was elected in 1876 by a one-vote margin. He served for four months before his opponent succeeded in contesting the results. In 1879 he was again elected to Congress, where he served for two terms.

U.S. Senator: Octaviano Larrazolo was elected in 1928 to finish the term of New Mexico senator Andieus Jones, who had died in office. He served for six months before falling ill and stepping down; he died in 1930. The first Hispanic senator to serve an entire term (and then some) was Dennis Chávez, of New Mexico, who served from 1935 through 1962

 

 

Literature
Nobel Prize in Physics: 
Luiz Walter Alvarez, 1968, for discoveries about subatomic particles. Later, he and his son proposed the now-accepted theory that the mass dinosaur extinction was caused by a meteor impact.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Severo Ochoa, 1959, for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA).

 

Art & Entertainment
Tony, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1975, The Ritz. In 1977, Moreno became the first Hispanic American (and the second person ever) to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, picking up the last of those for her performance as guest host on The Muppet Show.

Opera diva: Lucrezia Bori, who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1912.

Oscar, Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn, 1952, Viva Zapata!.

Star of a network television show: Desi Arnaz, 1952, I Love Lucy.

Hollywood director: Raoul Walsh, 1914, The Life of General Villa.

Matinee idol: Ramón Navarro, 1923, The Prisoner of Zenda.

Leading lady: Dolores del Río, 1925,

 

Sports
Hall of Fame inductee: 
Roberto Clemente, 1973. He was also the first Hispanic player to serve on the Players Association Board and to reach 3,000 hits.

Grand Slam championship winner: Richard “Pancho” González, 1948.

NFL player: Ignacio “Lou” Molinet, 1927.

Major league player: Esteban Bellán, 1871, Troy Haymakers

No-hitter: Juan Marichal, June 15, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants, against the Houston Colt .45s.

Rookie of the Year: Luis Aparicio, 1956, shortstop, Chicago White Sox.

Other
Astronaut: Franklin Chang-Dìaz, 1986. He flew on a total of seven space-shuttle missions.

Labor leader:Juan Gómez, 1883. The first female Hispanic labor leader of note was Lucy González Parsons, 1886.

Shakira Opens another School in Colombia

Shakira is opening the 7th school in her hometown of Barranquilla.

The ‘Hips Don’t Lie‘ star launched her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation in 1997 and has opened six schools in the country. The new Institucion Nuevo Bosque will open in 2019.

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Shakira said: “When we started to build schools in Colombia 20 years ago, we chose remote areas where there was nothing at all – no infrastructure, roads or even potable water.”

“We built the schools where the government was absent and  children did not have access to quality education. The results were immediate, jobs were generated, malnutrition plummeted and the students responded very well academically.”

In December last year, another one of Shakira’s schools, which was established in 2008 was named the number one public school in the country in a study, which was measured on the strength of students’ test scores.

Gisele Bündchen the World’s Richest Model

Gisele Bündchen the World’s Richest Model

The highest paid model of 2014 (she’s held this title for the last eight years) is Brazilian-born Gisele Bündchen, who according to Forbes made over $400 Million Dollars in her career so far. Gisele is also philanthropic, she volunteers with the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.

In addition to her endorsements, Bundchen has also cashed in through deals with companies that want to monetize on her name. Her line of sandals with Grendene, one of the world’s leading makers of synthetic footwear, is a huge success in Brazil and abroad. Plus she recently teamed-up with Hope, Brazil’s answer to Victoria’s Secret, to launch her own lingerie brand. She also launched her own line of beauty products in 2011, Sejaa Pure Skincare. Altogether, the products that bear Bundchen’s name generate roughly $1 billion per year in sales.

In case you didn’t know: The top male model brings  in less than 2 Million a year, a whopping difference to the 47 million Gisele brought in in 2014.  Clearly this is an area in which females make more money than males

The partnership has been so successful that Hope is now using Bundchen’s name to create a network of stores in Brazil and internationally which will sell exclusively the pieces designed by the supermodel.

“Gisele is our best brand today, Fabio Figueiredo, Hope’s director of expansion, told Bloomberg. “We still have lots of room for growth in Brazil, but we have to think strategically where we want to grow and we want to be a global brand.” The first Hope store dedicated to Bundchen’s Gisele Bundchen Brazilian Intimates brand has already been opened in Paris’ Galeries Lafayette, one of the oldest and most visited department stores in the world.

Gisele is married to Tom Brady Jr.quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (see photo below). He is one of only two players to win five Super Bowls the only quarterback to win five and the only player to win them all playing for one team. After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. In Brady’s 15 seasons as a starter  he has quarterbacked the Patriots to seven Super Bowl appearances, the most for any player in history. As a couple their total net worth is $500 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. It appears the Brady’s and Bundchen’s won’t have to worry about a slumping economy….

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Since Forbes began tracking Bundchen’s numbers in 2001, her estimated total earnings over the period totaled $386 million. If corrected by US inflation based on the buying power of the dollar over time, that sum goes to some $427 million. That does not include management, agent and attorney fees, but assuming Bundchen’s been managing her cash, spending wisely and making smart investments, which seems to be the case, it’s safe to say she has amassed a respectable net worth.