New York’s Mom & Pop Businesses are Being Replaced by BIG Corporations

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Hey! Want to grab a bite to eat at the original 2nd Avenue Deli in the East Village?

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How about we grab some lunch at Manatus restaurant on Bleecker Street?

Then maybe grab something from Ralph’s Discount City up in TriBeca?

And why not stop by the great home of punk rock CBGB in the East Village, yeah?

Well, you kind of can’t anymore since these notable New York City landmarks are no longer around.

Considered local fixtures in the neighborhoods, familiar and popular mom-and-pop stores, diners, restaurants, and shops are slowly becoming extinct in the evolving city due to staggering rent hikes and a lackluster economy. Unable to withstand the hardship, many of these familiar shops are being replaced by big name corporations like Subway or Dunkin Donunts or banks like Chase and Capital One.

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In their photo book Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York, photographers James T. and Karla L. Murray take readers on a visual tour of some of the familiar and irreplaceable store fronts that line street after street of New York City.

Choosing places that “look like they’ve been around forever” the duo has in a way allowed such locales to exist forever in photographic form. Organized by borough and then subdivided into neighborhoods, the photographic book poses as an encyclopedia of sorts that manages to preserves the now extinct shops that have become replaced by commercial businesses.

“The purpose of the photos in the before and after project is to clearly spell out and provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in what replaces them,” said the photographers.

The book depicts the dramatic alteration in the appearance of many familiar local spots in New York City. From 2001 to 2007, the book contains a good decade of how scathing rental prices are forcing out mom-and-pop shops which are being replaced with chain stores belonging to commercial businesses.

The shop-owners frequently acknowledged that they were at the mercy of their landlords and the ever-increasing rents they charged,” and if the shop-owners could not meet the increasing rent, “big rent hikes meant that many small businesses closed to be replaced by chain stores or banks, which could afford the higher rent.

According to the book, Max Fish, a bar located on the Lower East Side is an example of being a victim to rising rent costs. The bar opened in 1989 and its rent was a mere $2,000 a month, however after a series of rent increases and being opened for a good 24 years the bar closed with a reported $16,000 rent cost. The rent was due to increase again if the bar remained opened.

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Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss,” explained the Murrays, discussing how powerful the images taken are when you show what was beside the what is.

The two also add, “the trend we noticed very early on while photographing the original stores was that if the shop-owner did not own the entire building, their business was already in jeopardy.

Mom-and-pop shops are not the only familiar local spots being replaced by commercial businesses. Late last year, 5 Pointz–5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center–was an outdoor graffiti haven considered an art cultural center to many was white-washed—the numerous art pieces that were spray-painted on its wall was marked out with white paint—by the builders owners.

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The white-washing came after 5 Pointz owner and supporters lost am ongoing battle to remaining standing. The building is scheduled to be torn down and make way for new condos and business shops in its place.

While the book can be a bit grim showcasing the demise of familiar shops, shops that are either replaced by corporations or gutted to the group, the book also contains some hope.

Among some of the photos taken, the Murrays have included side-by-side photos of old shops being replaced not by large corporations but fellow and new mom-and-pop shops. These images show some hope that not all is being taken over by large commercial businesses but there are still regular folk with businesses of their own trying to make it in this ever changing world.

Video Recap of 14th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards

The Latino Trendsetter Awards is one of various event-marketing opportunities presented by LatinTRENDS, LatinTRENDS is the source that helps shape, guide and tell the stories of those influencing pop culture with a Latin twist. It is the leading platform for acculturated Latinos in New York, producing content that informs, entertains and inspires the forward thinking.

And did we mention…

The Awards was mentioned on the 11pm news! Kristie Gonzales was one of the honorees.

George Lopez’s ‘Lopez’ on TV Land gets a 2nd Season!

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George Lopez seems to have another hit series on his hands with the recently announced renewal of his TV Land’s series aptly titled Lopez.

Check out our exclusive interview with George Lopez below! 

 

The series follows Lopez as he portrays a fictional version of himself trying to cope with all the demands that comes with being a celebrity as well as trying to fulfill a desire to give back to the Latino community within the area in-which he grew up in.

The TV Land series is the third comedy series for Lopez. From 2002 to 2007, Lopez starred in ABC’s George Lopez and in 2014 in FX’s Saint George

Lopez serves as executive producer on the series.

Season one of the series began back in March, and the season finale is scheduled to air on June 22nd.

Sofia Reyes ready to dominate American music industry!

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Sofia Reyes is about to become a big name in the U.S. and could become the next pulling force to stir a new Latin explosion in the music industry.

Two years ago, bachata superstar Prince Royce signed the Monterey, Mexico native to his label called D’León Records, and since then Reyes has been garnering a reputation within the music scene.

Collaborating with reggeaton veteran Wisin, electronic dance music trio Cash Cash, singer Kendal Schmidt, and Prince Royce himself, Reyes could be the leading force that brings a second Latin craze similar to the one seen back in 1999 that introduced Americans to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira.

I’m really thankful for [Prince Royce’s] support,” said Reyes, 20, in a recent interview about her climbing success. “He’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. He works so hard, and that’s why I admire him so much, and I am just really thankful that artists like him and Wisin and Kendal Schmidt support my career.”

With only a few singles to her name, Reyes is nearing the release of her first studio album which some fans are expecting to drop in June.

I’ve been working on it for three years—which is a long time—and I’m actually working on my second album [as well], because I don’t want to waste any more time,” she said. “These singles are just a little bit of what my album is going to be.”

Reyes albums will feature some songs in English, some in Spanish, and some that are in both. Much like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira, Reyes album and would surely impact more audience members in the country.

I grew up listening to English music, to Spanish music – so singing in both languages for me is very natural,” she said. “It’s not forzado (forced). I feel like people all around the world keep listening to my music. Even people who don’t speak Spanish love my Spanish songs, which is really cool. I feel like music has no rules.”

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SHOBOY IN THE MORNING – The Latin touch that was missing in New York morning radio

Originally published in the May 2016 of Latin Trends Magazine

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Totally happy in his new city, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo wanders through the streets of New York as if he has lived here all his life. It is hard to imagine that, just a year ago, this popular radio personality was the host of one of the most popular radio shows in Dallas, TX, “Shoboy en la Mañana”.

He tells us about the afternoon he received the call that would change his destiny; a proposal to have his own radio show in English in one of the most important markets in the world.

“When I was asked to do the show, I almost fell backwards. It was amazing. It was something I wanted to do for some time, especially in the number #1 market in New York. At first, it was a difficult decision because my show in Spanish in Dallas was about to be syndicated nationally. My wife and I were happy in Texas, but we came to this city because we base our decisions on faith, not fear,” he says.

But Sotelo’s success is no surprise. This young man grew up at radio stations with his popular brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, one of most the renowned radio announcers in Spanish radio. He worked in promotions, pasting stickers and helping in everything that was needed at the station.

Despite being born in Jalisco, Mexico, and arriving to the United States when he was five years old, Shoboy speaks English and Spanish with such perfection and professionalism that he is able to brilliantly connect with his listeners in both languages.

“Shoboy In The Morning” is a new radio show that entertains and informs his English-speaking listeners, but of course, he always adds his Latin spark and throws and occasional word in Spanish. The audience that tunes into 92.3 AMP Radio from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. in New York City is already used to hearing phrases like “que rico” and other common words in “Spanglish”.
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Sotelo is fun, casual and sometimes a little crazy, and his listeners adore him because he is able to make his guests play all his games, such as convincing Justin Bieber and Chris Brown to dance the famous merengue “Culiquitaca”. Laughing out loud, he tell us:

“I told Justin and Chris that they would increase their potential to get Latina girlfriends if they learned how to move their hips.”

Despite having received major awards for his radio career-raising over a million dollars to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being invited to the White House by President Obama, Shoboy is a young man that reflects great humility, passion and a genuine desire to proudly represent Latinos.

His greatest goal is to positively impact the community. When asked how he see himself in the future, he stares at us and answers with a big smile.

“I see myself with more wrinkles from laughing so hard and thanking God for all the beautiful blessings he brings to my life.”

Here’s the Links to some of Shoboy’s most popular youtube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_mS5mS7cDQhttp://

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dv9KNXyN70://

Sanders & Clinton battle it out for Latino votes in California!

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Bernie Sanders & Hillary Clinton are about to battle it out once again when it comes to snatching the next set of Latino votes as the Californian primary is right around the corner.

But which democratic hopeful could win big with Latinos on the West Coast come June 7?

According to some political analysts, when it comes to winning over Latinos in California, Sanders could be clawing at the win considering Clinton is still favored amongst the community and is already described as to having a “near-lock” win in the state.

Amongst Latinos, according to an independent field poll taken last month, it revealed that while Clinton had a 7 point edge with Latinos over Sanders, Sanders could still be a challenge since he is closing in with a 3-to-1 margin attracting young Latinos.

According to Ben Tulchin, a Sanders campaign pollster, Sanders could have “a real potential to win Latinos,” in California because when it comes to acquiring votes from the state he “needs an influx of young Latinos and he’s getting it, it’s happening.”

In California alone, it is estimated that as many as 2 in 10 voters are Latino. And of those voters, many of them are first time voters who are eligible to—and want to participate—in the upcoming election that decides who will be a fitting leader.

And this is where the early predications for Clinton’s ultimate win may be too quick a draw. With Sanders favoring well amongst young Latinos, he also happens to favor well with first time Latinos of any age.

I don’t ever feel like I believe politicians, but I believe him,” says Mercedes Hart, 35, who lived for years in Mexico. Hart, like many of Sanders’ voters who have been showing support for him, has backed the Senator finding his stance on defending every day, workaday Americans within an economy divided by haves and have-nots to be appealing.

If Sanders is able to win California, snatching the state from Clinton, it is believe it would be a huge dent in Clinton’s campaign and will back Sanders argument amongst fellow Democratic party members that he can stand and win when in a race against the already identified Republican candidate Trump come this November.

However, while there are estimations of who within the Latino community could be voting for Sanders when it comes to Clinton there is a large probability who will likely back her to become the Democratic nominee.

The most likely Latino voter is still an older voter in California,” said Jamie Regalado, former executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, “And those voters, almost to a person, will stay with Clinton.”

With a sense of familiarity with older Latinos, Clinton also has a significant backing from California’s prominent Latino politicians. With endorsements from the likes of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to Secretary of State Alex Padilla and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra as well as many more, Clinton’s endorsements could further sway Latinos in California into voting for her.

With both presidential hopefuls hitting the campaign trail and publicly addressing key issues Latinos want addressed like: education, immigration and wages. While there is no definite knowing who Latinos in California will vote for, one interesting fact is that there is a pulling factor that has made Latinos, of various ages really, become registered to vote so that their votes counts.

And this is in thanks to the unsavory commentary of one Donald Trump who’s hateful comments have resulted in a somewhat positive outcome.

June 7 is steadily approaching, and soon we will have a clearer picture of who—either Sanders or Clinton—will be going head-to-head with Trump come this November to become our 45th President of the United States of America.

Eva Longoria to Wed this weekend! Maybe.

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Eva Longoria might be a married woman come next week.

According to sources, the former Desperate Housewives and Telenovela star will be reportedly tying the knot with her fiancé Jose Antonio Baston in Mexico this upcoming weekend

After dating for nearly three years, Longoria,41, and Baston,47, announced their engagement back in December after being on a romantic getaway vacation to Dubai.

It was such a surprise,” the actress told the Today show earlier this year. Longoria also added that the wedding will be a “big fat Mexican wedding.”

Sources are saying that the wedding will be held at Jane the Virgin actor Jaime Camil’s home which is located in Acapulco, Mexico. The source also stated that guests may include the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Mario Lopez, as well as Longoria’s Telenovela co-star Amaury Nolasco.

Reps for Longoria refused to give a comment regarding the possible nuptials. So, whatever the case may be—congratulations to the star!

Bernie Sanders visits Puerto Rico!

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Bernie Sanders may not know Spanish, but that prevent the President hopeful from visiting Puerto Rico on Monday and speaking before crowds of his supporters.

If elected president of the United States, you will have an ally in the Oval Office” promised Sanders, who began a day of campaigning in the island prior to the Democratic primary which is to take place three weeks from now.

Throughout his campaign trail, Sanders mostly talked about the “greed” seen on Wall Street which may have been a strategy by the Sanders campaign considering the debt crisis currently plaguing Puerto Rico.

When it comes to making its debt payments, the country of Puerto Rico has defaulted on millions in debt payments over the last year and will likely continue to default if Congress does not act soon.

I’m not going to lower the standard of living of the people in Puerto Rico, so that billionaires can have more profits,” Sanders said at a rally held Monday evening, “It is unacceptable that venture capitalists are buying Puerto Rican bonds at a fraction what they cost and they expect 100 cents on the dollar. Together we will not allow that to happen.”

According to Sanders, for the country to bounce back from its debt crisis it should not be met by strict measures that will further harm the lives of the people living in the county economically when it comes to facing the country’s budget issues.

Austerity will not solve this crisis. We must vigorously oppose all efforts at austerity,” he said. “In the midst of this massive human crisis, it is morally unacceptable that billionaire hedge fund managers have been calling for even more austerity in Puerto Rico.”

Rather than simply impose measures on the country’s budget issue, Sanders called for an independent audit of the island’s debt and addressed the U.S. Federal Reserve System to aid the country by using its emergency authority to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt through bankruptcy court.

In-addition to the country’s economic crisis, Sanders also addressed the country’s relationship with the United States of America.

The people of the United States cannot continue a colonial-type relationship with the people of Puerto Rico,” said Sanders during a morning event.

In-regards to the country’s relationship with the U.S., Sanders vowed that as President he would increase the island’s political autonomy. Sanders also promised to bring a “binding” vote during his first year in office; this binding vote would allow the people of Puerto Rico to decide their own political status.

Some people I know want statehood, some people want independence, some people want something else. But that is a decision to be made by the decision of Puerto Rico,” Sanders stated, during a town hall event held at an elementary school.

Sanders also laid out his plans regarding healthcare, education, and the environment.

Before his supporters on the island, Sanders proposed a “Medicare-for-all health care system,” and free public college tuition that would expand to the island country and benefit Puerto Ricans as well. As for the environment, Sanders talked about cutting Puerto Rico’s dependency on fossil fuels and bringing a renewable energy sector to the island.

His environmental platform is so much more eco-friendly than that of Republicans and also his opponent, Hillary Clinton,”said Wilson Santiago, a 31-year-old a Ph.D. student and a supporter of Sanders who attended one of his rallies.

While campaigning in Puerto Rico, Sanders rarely mentioned his democratic opponent Hillary Clinton who tends to have a higher approval rate among the Latino community, specifically Puerto Ricans hailing from New York City. However, Sanders has drawn an impressive crowd of supporters in the mainland.

During an evening rally at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras it was estimated that an additional 3,000 supporters had to wait outside the rally in the dark after the large theater in-which it was held in reached capacity.

To see how much Puerto Ricans on the mainland are behind Sanders we will have to wait until the primary results in three weeks.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ returns to FX with a Latino Twist

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Sons of Anarchy fans can rejoice as the show will be returning to FX, but it will be returning with a Latino twist.

Back in December 2014, Kurt Stutter’s hit biker gang series aired its final episode after 7 seasons. Since its end, Stutter announced just 8 months ago that he had plans to revisit the biker drama that he created and millions of fans came to love.

So now his announcement comes to life as FX has ordered a script for a spin-off to the series entitled, Mayans MC.

Much like SOA, the show will have the same tone and spirit as the original series but will have a “Latino lens” of the biker world of the show by following the Mayan biker gang that held a big role on the original series.

SOA was FX’s highest rated series during the show’s run on the network and followed the biker gang known as SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original) and its main character Jackson “Jax” Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) rise to ultimately leading the gang and his fellow bikers.

In a recent interview about the series, Stutter will work on the series with Elgin James in co-producing the series.

I wanted to find a strong, unique Latino voice. Because I didn’t think a white guy from Jersey should be writing about Latin culture and traditions—Elgin is that voice,” said Stutter.

James could be a good source for the upcoming series considering the hardships he has had to overcome in his own life. Homeless as a teenager, James found himself forming his own street gang that reportedly targeted Neo-Nazis & Drug Dealers.

After spending more than 15 years in the gang, James eventually left the gang and traveled to Los Angeles where he entered the Sundance Institute Feature Film program and got his start in the film industry.

James made his directorial debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for the film Little Birds which starred Juno Temple & Leslie Mann.

However, a few months after his debut James began serving time in prison for a past gang-related matter. But despite the brief stint in jail, once out James continued what he started in Hollywood and is now branching into the small screen.

On the original series of SOA, the Mayans MC bike gang was led by Marcus Alvarez who was played by Emilio Rivera. No word yet on if Rivera will appear on the series as a regular.

Donald Trump’s continued offense of Latinos

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It’s no surprise that there is no love between Donald Trump & the Latino community, especially since last June when Trump verbally assaulted the Mexican community—which also impacted the Latino community at large—during his announcement speech which entailed his intention to become our 45th President of the United States.

In the speech, Trump associated Mexicans, Mexican Immigrants, and Latinos really to “killers” & “rapists” when he stated how in his presidency he would build a border wall between the United States & Mexico in order to keep out such people from entering the country.

Since then, Trump’s continued anti-Immigration/anti-Latino rhetoric has found some acceptance by Americans who believe his rhetoric. However, while this notion is disturbing Trump has been a benefit of sorts for the Latino community since more Latinos have become more politically active to prevent the possibility of Trump becoming president.

Last month, a Gallup poll revealed that 77% of the Latino community have an unfavorable opinion regarding Trump. So, could a recent blunder by Trump be just another typical bigot and lack of common sense posting to social media to mock Latinos or a bigot and lack of common sense attempt to sway Latinos to find him more favorable as a potential Republican candidate in the 2016 elections.

Last week for Cinco de Mayo, Trump took to his Twitter and posted a photo of him before a Taco bowl that was captioned: “ Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

As expected, whatever his intention was, when the photo instantly went viral, Trump did receive the usual laugh and positive comments from like-minded racists but he also attracted a great deal of criticism from Latino groups who found the photo offensive as well as pandering.

Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza—the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization—expressed what many Latinos felt in a respond tweet to the photo.

Eating a taco or wearing a sombrero doesn’t cut it w/our community in 2016.”

Trump is not exactly suffering in the election. With no real challengers to take the nomination from him and with a great deal of support from some Americas, whatever challengers that Trump may face from in-party challenges won’t hinder him.

What could prove to be an issue is the Latino vote, which as of now probably doesn’t even exist for him; even with 12% of Latinos finding him favorable, so say the Gallup poll. Whatever his intention was, whatever he may plan to do in order to win over Latinos remains to be seen, but there is still a long time for something to arise in-between now and November.

Sidenote, the Taco bowl meal is not an authentic Mexican dish. It was one created in America.