Monday, August 9, 2010

Week of August 10 – August 16, 2010

GEM NYC would like to remind everyone to support the winner of this year’s Dominican Republic Global Film Festival – the independent film “La Soga,” for their opening night at major theatres nationwide this Friday, August 13, 2010. For more information about the movie, please view our post from last week below, and visit their official website for participating theatres in the tri-state area here.

Also, feel free to share some of your own GEM NYC finds or if you’d like to drop us a few words please do so at

With Latino Heritage Month just around the corner, I wanted to showcase the pure genius of two of our own up and coming jewelry makers.


Vanessa Montiel was born in Mexico and trained as an artist in California and London. She travels the world in pursuit of brilliant colors and shape inspirations and her sensibility draws from a variety of visual cultures. Her art works have been featured at Sothebys, The Courtauld of London, Rio de Janeiro’s Biennale and in national museums. Vanessa's jewelry collections are extremely special because she not only creates unique and beautiful jewelry, but every piece is eco-friendly. She refers to her business as "socially conscious" and a business that encourages independence for local women.

Oprah is just one of Vanessa's many celebrity fans and has been spotted wearing a pair of her earrings on several occasions. GEM NYC, and the ULM family admires Vanessa for the powerful message behind her brand, and the Latino empowerment that she boasts with her accomplishements, contributions to society and current endeavors. For more information about Vanessa Montiel’s designs click here. As a child growing up in Veracruz, Mexico,


Issy Salomon would often use scraps from his
mother’s hemming projects to create dresses for his niece’s dolls. Over the next decade, his hobby evolved into a focused commitment to the study of art and design. After graduating from high school, Issy moved to Miami, where he began to create necklaces using semi-precious stones.

One morning in 2004, Issy impulsively decided to move to New York City; 3 days later, he found himself on a plane to Manhattan. During the flight, he became inspired by an article he read about a young woman who had started selling her jewelry on the streets of SoHo in downtown Manhattan. On the day of his arrival, Issy made his way to SoHo; the next day, he purchased a folding table and set up shop on Prince Street. He sold his first piece 3 hours later. And so his business was born. GEM NYC is very happy to hear that Issy Salomon continues to hone his talents in fashion design through both formal and informal training, and hopes to launch his first line of women’s ready-to-wear in the coming year. Issy’s preliminary collection is now being previewed at here.


Grab your camera and get ready to experience El Barrio de Nueva York!

The "El Barrio Today" photo contest encourages El Barrio residents and visitors to capture what they consider to be the spirit and essence of East Harlem today. The contest is part of an arts cluster initiative of local organizations to promote El Barrio as a cultural destination. Photos will be judged on four primary categories: Relevance, Clarity, Composition, and Wow-Factor. A panel of judges comprised of community leaders, artists, and curators will select 25 entries to enter into a semifinal round. Winners will be chosen by public voting.

Contest runs until August 22, 2010

Please visit El Barrio’s Flickr group for complete rules. In case your photo is selected as a winner, all contest participants should complete the following forms in advance.

Forms will be required of all finalists:

Photo Release Form (for all subjects who appear)
Affidavit of Eligibility (for photographer)

If you are selected as a Prize Winner – these are the prize packages that YOU and two other winners can win!

First Prize:
$250 cash $100 gift certificate to La Tienda at El Museo del Barrio Free membership for one year to El Museo del Barrio

Second Prize:
$100 cash $75 gift certificate to La Tienda at El Museo del Barrio Free membership for one year to El Museo del Barrio

Third Prize: $50 gift certificate to La Tienda at El Museo del Barrio Free membership for one year to El Museo del Barrio

This contest is brought to you in part by the Deutsche Bank Group.



This summer you want to end your GEM fashion swing with a bang, so let yourself go gracefully in this Windswept Beauty Dress in Magenta. Delic’ate crepe fabric falls in elegant tiers down the entire length of this dress, and at only $47.00 online – this is quite a steal! The scoop neckline transitions to a halter strap with two fluttery panels framing an open back, so ladies, this is the perfect time to invest in a Victoria Secret “Invisible Shaping Bra” ($68, also know as the “stick-on bra”. This dress is fully lined, and we recommend that you hand wash or dry clean this item to ensure the ruffles remain fluttery. To purchase this Lulu dress – to view the entire collection of delicious dresses, and for more information click here. also has a contest this month for a $500 shopping spree! To sign up for this promotion, you may visit Lulu here.



La Raza Latina, Salsa Suite featuring Rubén Blades

Salsa master Larry Harlow performs his 1977 suite La Raza Latina, which outlines the history of Latin music rooted in African rhythms, and cooked throughout the years in the urban melting pot of cosmo New York. Full of rhythm and color, it features eclectic sounds sprinkled with English, Spanish, and African words; some jazz, rumba, salsa and, of course, great vocals by Grammy winner Ruben Blades. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the famous Panamanian salsero interpret once again pieces from La Raza Latina Suite, which he and Harlow’s Orchestra made famous 33 years ago. The show will also feature Bobby Sanábria and his 19-piece Afro-Cuban big band! This event is FREE, and for more information visit the venue’s site here, and view details below.

Where: Lincoln Center (Dambrosch Park)
- W 62nd St & Amsterdam Ave - NY, NY 10023
Date: Saturday, August 14th
Time: 7:30pm EST

Bachata Fest: Andy Andy, Luis Miguel de la Amargue, Kiko Rodriguez, and Alexandra

Dominican singer Andy Andy has emerged as one of a handful of musicians on the cutting edge of the bachata craze. Andy began his music career as a merenguero before making the switch to the increasingly popular bachata style. With 5 solo chart-topping bachata albums to his credit, Andy Andy has consistently maintained himself on Billboard’s Top Tropical album charts .

Luis Miguel de la Amargue
, known as the “King of Bachata” has taken his music worldwide and is one of the most respected artists in the genre. The multi-award winner and recipient of 2009’s “Bachatero of the Year” and “Bachata Song of the Year” is a genre favorite not to be missed.

Bachata star Kiko Rodriguez exhibited an interest in music, first experimenting with percussion instruments around the age of 12 before moving to guitar. With four original albums to his credit including Directo al Corazon, which spawned a number of singles, and an impressive international touring career, Rodriguez is popular throughout the tropical music listening community.

Alexandra is best known as half of the hugely successful, Monchy y Alexandra, who began singing together in 1999. They have been often credited with being instrumental in popularizing bachata music outside of the Dominican Republic. Alexandra is now embarking on a highly anticipated solo career, and is certain not to disappoint.

Presented in association with Globe Star Media and the City Parks Foundation.

Where: Central Park/Mainstage

Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010
Time: 3:00PM

Calle 13 Teaser! – New Album coming out in October, 2010

Calle 13 is a Puerto Rican alternative rap/reggaetón duo formed by stepbrothers René Pérez Joglar (Hato Rey, Puerto Rico), who calls himself “Residente” (lead singer, writer) and Eduardo José Cabra Martínez, (Santurce, Puerto Rico) who calls himself “Visitante” (multi-instrumentalist, particularly keyboards, vocals, beat producer). Their younger sister, Ileana (aka PG-13) has contributed the female vocals to some of their songs, and so has Residente's mother, Puerto Rican actress Flor Joglar de Gracia (on the single "Tango del Pecado").

They are now preparing for their northeastern tour this fall, and as if we needed help getting hyped up for Calle 13’s new album, now we can follow the countdown until its release in October for what promises to be an epic masterpiece!

The Boricua alternative rap/reggaetón group, prove once more, that they’re the most imaginative crew in the Latin urban scene right now, with their GEMtastic teaser video titled Detonación C-13. Click here to watch the Calle 13 Detonación C-13 teaser vid, and send us your thoughts! Is it good, too racy, not enticing? Post a reply to this post here, or email your anonymous comments to


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