Monday, March 29, 2010

Week of March 30 – April 6, 2010

As April is already here, let the sour weather not keep us back as we spring forward with a lighter step, head high and a boost of confidence! That’s my motto this week, because we all could use a little uplift from the dreary clouds – a little positive change and much healthy inspiration.

Let’s start with a much needed rejuvenation from the GEMs of the NYC streets and new online treasures…

FASHION: Ooh la la! The French label BGN, a premium women’s wear collection is offering discounts from 30-70% off current and past styles. This week’s sample sale items include linen dresses, silk chiffon tops and skirts, wool and leather jackets, cotton woven tops, tailored pants and much more. Make your way to midtown this week, and practice your catwalk across the isles of Parisian couture bliss.

BGN Paris S
ample Sale

30-70% off
250 West 39th St suite 700 (between 7th & 8th Ave)

New York, 10018
03/30/10 - 04/05/10
Mon-Fri 10 am- 7pm
212 278 8686

BLING: Purple is this season’s new power color, and at $41.00 this bold yet delicate cocktail ring certainly proves that a little bit of everyday indulgence is a necessary luxury. You can view this GEM online at, and work it like Beyoncé – by putting a ring on it!

I know my wonderful Latino gents out there want to impress their GEM gals this spring by complimenting their sky-high modern heels with a Decker Black Chronograph watch by Fossil. Available for $95.00 at most major department stores and their online shop at, you’ll sure be looking fresh with the mesh sensation that is the Decker!

CULTURE: Beat your Monday blues this April 12th in celebration of 5 years of El Grito de Poetas (The Poets’ Roar) at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. Founded circa 1973 by Puerto Rican writer and poet Miguel Algarín, NPC has emerged as one of the country's most highly respected arts organizations and has become an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, music, hip hop, video, visual arts, comedy and theatre. The show will be hosted by La Bruja, and tickets are available for $10.00 online here.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street
(Between Ave B & C)

NYC, NY 10009
(212) 505-8183

FOOD: As the little sister to Sofrito Restaurant on 57th Street, Sazón Restaurant of Tribeca owns up to its name, with big punches of traditional Latin Caribbean fair including its famous rum-glazed shrimp, “mofongo” (mashed plantain and pork dish), alcapúrrias and ropa vieja (shredded style beef). You’ll want to wander down to the lower level bar for Karaoke Thursday’s with DonQ Rum specials all night, and De La Vega inspirational paintings to muse your entertainment.

Sazón Restaurant
105 Reade Street
New York, NY 10013-3840
(212) 406-1900

GEM WEEKLY READ: Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City, by Mike Davis – Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

“SUNY sociologist Davis predicts that the many national origins denoted by the term "Latino" will become less distinct as U.S. Latino identity undergoes its own melting pot process through intermarriages between different Latino nationalities. Much of this concise and insightful book explores not only cultural syncretism, but the practical aspects of a huge shift in American identity” - Publishers Weekly.

With the census actively measuring the various populations of the US right now, it is ever more important to be proactive in the preservation of our wonderful Latino-American culture. The 1996 United States census identified that Latinos surpassed African Americans as the second largest ethno-racial group in New York City. However most Latinos are oblivious of this statistic and GEM is here to reinforce our growing influence as urban and professional Latinos.

Well, we’ve heard it all these past few months, whether it’s the stress of our punctured economy, or the New Year’s resolutions gone astray - but GEM is here to evoke your senses and inspire your spirit! Tune in each week to engage and rejoice in all that is GEMtastic in your NYC.

Yours truly,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week of March 16 – March 23, 2010

Welcome to the very first blog entry for GEM NYC!

ART: The Chicano movement invades the East Coast with an art exhibit titled "Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement", opening March 24th at El Museo del Barrio. The exhibit features 100 works in all contemporary media, and includes video, performance, and installation art by 27 artists and collectives.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Explore the Boogie Down Bronx through the lens of acclaimed South Bronx, born and raised photographer, Joe Conzo and his exhibit “The Bronx: Mi Barrio, Mi Orgullo” on view now through July 2010 at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College.

FOOD: Restaurateur extraordinaire, Jimmy Rodriguez delivers another crowd pleaser with Don Coqui, located in New Rochelle, NY. Dishes like Casuela de Marisco (seafood stew with lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari with coconut rice) and Pionono (ground beef wrapped in sweet plantains with pigeon pea rice)affirms why Don Coqui is referred to as the “shortcut to Puerto Rico”. For those of you hoping to sharpen your culinary skills, be sure to sign up for one of the weekly cooking classes.

A worthy mention goes out to the Brooklyn: Dine In Brooklyn promotion going on from March 15th through
March 25th, and featuring over 200 Brooklyn restaurants offering a 3 course; $20.10 lunch and $25.00 dinner (does not include beverages tax or gratuity). Several GEM NYC blog staff favorites include Luz Restaurant (Latin American; brunch, lunch, dinner), Bogota Latin Bistro (Pan Latino; dinner) and Maria's Bistro Mexicano (Mexican; brunch and dinner).

BOOKS: The Park Slope Barnes and Noble gets a little Latin flavor with an appearance and book signing by Food Network star Daisy Martinez, “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes” on Thursday, March 18th at 7:30 p.m.

ONLINE PICK: Have a shoe fetish? You are not alone, check out, an online magazine devoted to women’s fashion footwear. Launched in July 2009 by Lizmarys M. Armiza, has become one of the top sites dedicated to shoes from Steve Madden to Christian Dior. Guys there is no need to feel left out, the recently launched is sure to satisfy the potential, if not established shoeaholic in you.

TELEVISION: HBO’s buzz worthy show “How To Make It In America” a.k.a the New York version of Entourage, will inspire you to fuel your hustle, maybe start your own business, and remember why AMERICA is the “land of opportunities”. Cast favorites include: Luis Guzman (from Carlitos Way and Traffic), Victor Rasuk (from Raising Victor Vargas), and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi (Rapper).

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