Monday, September 20, 2010

Week of September 20 - September 27, 2010

"By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of weather

And autumn’s best of cheer."

- Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

I hope you enjoy this week’s GEMS and please feel free to share your own GEMS with us by emailing us at



It may seem a little premature to some, however, the holiday season is upon us. Soon we will find ourselves planning the Thanksgiving feast, the Nochebuena dinner and wondering what hostess gift we should bring along as we visit friends and family over the holidays. Why not take advantage of this chance to taste 70 wines including some ultra premium selections, a great oppor
tunity to preview extraordinary holiday wines, find gifts and sample excellent bottles for every day enjoyment.

Thursday, 9/23. Blue Streak Wines & Spirits. 4720 Center Boulevard, near Gantry Plaza State Park, LIC NY. (718) 706-9463. 8pm to 10pm. Ticket price: $45 (includes tastings of 70 wines).



Think delicious sausage and peppers, fresh zeppoles and entertainment for the whole family by over 300 street vendors set up along Mulberry Street. The 84th Annual Feast of San Gennaro, is New York City’s longest-running, biggest and most revered religious outdoor festival in the United States.

Through Sunday, 9/26. The feast runs along Mul
berry Street, between Canal Street (on south) and Houston Street (on north). It takes place east to west on Grand Street, between Mott and Baxter Street, and east to west on Hester Street, between Mott and Baxter Streets. Feast hours; Monday through Thursday, 11:30am to 11:30pm and Friday through Saturday, 11:30am to midnight. Free and open to the public.


In celebration of the upcoming 11th Annual Latin Grammy’s, which will air on Univision on 11/11. The Latin Grammy street festival will feature live performances by Gilberto Santa Rosa, Oro Solido, Zion y Lenox, and more. Be sure to visit the Las Vegas kiosk to sign up for a chance to win a VIP trip to Las Vegas and attend the 11th Annual Latin Grammy’s. Sunday, 9/26. Boulevard East between 54th and 60th streets, West New York, NJ. Festival begins at 12 Noon. Free and open to the public.




El Diario La Prensa, New York’s largest Spanish language daily newspaper is running a “Best of New York” competition, featuring the best Latino friendly restaurants, supermarkets, services and more. Help support these “Latino friendly” businesses and vote for your favorite picks by picking up a copy of El Diario La Prensa through 10/21, complete the entry form and mail it in. You can win a $500 cash prize and/or additional prizes. The “Best of New York” winners as well as the contest winners will be featured in El Diario on 10/29.




Is New York City’s first—and only—annual festival of contemporary Mexican art and culture. Encompassing cuisine, dance, film, literature, and music. Celebrate México Now has helped bring over 200 artists and projects to more than 60 of New York’s leading cultural institutions, proving that Mexico is overflowing with creativity in every discipline, and that New Yorkers from all backgrounds find these artists and their work invigorating, insightful and meaningful. Through 9/30. For more information and a complete listing of events, locations and time visit




The Grammy-winning bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez died in Coral Gables, Florida in March 2008, almost 90-years old. A maestro of legendary status on the world stage and ultimately considered one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time, he had made his home in the United States for the past four decades. Coming from a family of classical musicians, he had formal conservatory training and held a seat in the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra for 30 years, performing under the direction of all of the legendary international conductors of the time – beginning at age 10!

American Masters pays tribute to the Father of Mambo in the series’ bilingual film, Cachao: Uno Más. Monday, 9/20. 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS. For more information visit




This year, in collaboration with NYU’s Latino Studies and Latin American Studies Departments, we invite graduate students to present their work on Latino Folk Culture and Expressive Traditions. The NYFS seeks to encourage young scholars to continue their studies and become active contributors to the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and more.

Theme: Latino Folk Culture and Expressive Traditions

A cumbia group belting-out Colombian tunes at an outdoor cumbiamba, a Peruvian curandero diagnosing a patient through the use of animals, a Mexican family building a Diá de los Muertos altar in their home, a décima verse sung by a Puerto Rican jibaro—all of these are examples of Latino Expressive Traditions. While some of these forms have roots in African traditions and others have roots in Indigenous traditions, all are considered Latino Expressive Traditions or Folk Arts. These traditions speak to what Latinos say, believe, make, know and do—things that they first learned from their families and community.

The length and breadth of Latino traditions literally covers two continents; and transnational migration to major U.S. cities such as Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, Newark, and New York have ensured that the impact of Latino culture continues to be profound. We support papers which explore the topic of Latino Expressive Traditions from both the homeland perspective and immigrant perspective. We particularly encourage papers that address Latino traditions in New York’s tri-state area.

Students can cover any number of topics related to traditional performing arts, materials arts, vernacular culture, sacred arts, etc. as long as the research is with a particular Latino group. While attendees should be graduate students from any academic program, they do not have to major in folklore or Latino studies. Participants can be ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, historians, etc.

Submissions are due by Thursday, 9/30. For more information visit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week of September 13 - September 19, 2010

Though the weather is still warm, with New York Fashion Week in full swing fashion lovers are beginning to think about updating their wardrobes for fall with the must-have trends.

Fall into Shoes

Making the transition from summer to fall can be as easy as switching up the look of a summer maxi dress or cargo shorts by adding a pair of fall shoes. We asked Marshalls style experts share some suggestions on how to make the move from the hot summer days to the brisk fall mornings:

  • Miniskirts get an updated look with a pair of platform booties instead of strappy sandals
  • Fall footwear colors like gray, plum or navy blue bring a neutral hue to summer styles
  • The romper is perfect with platform heels or knee high motorcycle boots.
For store locations visit:


Favorite New Place to Shop

MNG By MANGO Launches Exclusively at JCPenney as shop-within-a-shop. The partnership that brings high quality, affordable European chic runway fast fashion directly to its customers, making them the exclusive U.S. department store retailer for MNG by Mango.

Run, don’t walk to check out the full contemporary offering of career and casual women’s sportswear as well as handbags, accessories and footwear all which fall under JCPenney’s “better” and “best” pricing tiers retailing from $9.90-$19.90 for a tee to $59.90-$159.90 for a jacket.

For additional MNG by Mango trends and chic Fall styles visit your local JCPenney retail
location or


Hair Trends

For the 411 on hair we asked Christo, the King of Curls and the owner of New York’s Curlisto Salon for his suggestions for the hottest styles for men and women.

For women, “the tasseled look with lots of colorful ribbons and accessories will be very popular this fall,” explains Christo. Avoid becoming a fashion victim by choosing the right accessory; if you’re going to use a fun ribbon then make that it matches the color of your outfit.

As for men, Christo advises men to “grow their hair a little longer and have more of a structured style.”

Big Tip:
“Remember: Less is more! Avoid over using too much product to hold your hair inplace,” says Christo. Visit for more tips and info on the salon.


Back to the Classics

There’s nothing chic about being cold. And that’s why it time to start thinking about great coats. Ryan Roberts treats the coat with the same kind of reverence that most designers accord to the little black dress. With his winter 2010 collection, Roberts offers a complete coat wardrobe designed to cover every need – from office to evening to weekend. Roberts has spun his favorite fabrics – wool cashmere, cotton herringbone, and his signature boiled Italian wool -- into graceful modern silhouettes.

Classic shapes – trench, riding, and walking coats to name a few -- are emboldened with asymmetrical closures, dramatic collars, oversized and covered buttons, and exquisitely cut sleeves.

What do you get when you cross old school glamour with modern comfort and wearability? The Griffin, $770; the black and white washed cotton herringbone piece is soft yet structured. Impeccable retro details include a dramatic funnel neck, dolman sleeves, and self-covered buttons.

For stores, please visit



Usually when you think of Fashion Week food is not the first thing to come to mind. With cupcakes being the trend they are this season they seem to be the latest edible accessory!

For the duration of fashion week CRUMBS launched a yummy limited edition vanilla cupcake, filled with chocolate cream cheese frosting adorned with pink and white hearts around the edge and a heart shaped sugar cookie decorated with pink sanding sugar under light green frosting. The FNO cupcake available in NYC only will be sold for $4 and 20% of proceeds will benefit the New York City AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust.

Visit for locations.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week of September 7 - Septemeber 13, 2010

We’ve had great experiences this summer, and also had an awesome time with friends and family this past weekend for Labor Day – however in response to the recovering economy, GEM wants to give you the tools you need to attain a new job or achieve a whole new career! This is a very exciting time for us, so please feel free to email us at, if you’d like to suggest special topics, or would like to share your own GEMs.

Do Your Research First
Don’t just look for a job --> focus on obtaining a CAREER which is different. Even if you do not have the educational requirements for the job you’d like – think of it as investing your commitment to your new career (even if you start off working as a receptionist for a real estate firm, you can eventually be an agent when you finish your schooling). The whole idea is that at least you’ll already be in your “chosen” career. So, tap the online resources to research companies you'd most like to work for and for positions that you're truly qualified to fill. Use the search engines to track information about a company and its employees. Make use of social media aggregators, such as Wink and PeekYou, once you have a contact for more information. Know the most important players in your field – reach to connect to them step by step by attending the same events they may attend, or finding “friends of friends” that can introduce you.

Don’t Treat Yourself Like a Freebie
Refrain from applying for more than one position at a given company. A company will not give you proper consideratio
n if your résumé appears uploaded for multiple opportunities, and also if several versions of your résumé are found within their company database because prospective employers may see you as unfocused, and desperate.

Tailor, Tailor, TAILOR!
Just because you're qualified doesn't mean yo
ur résumé will be viewed byskills, knowledge or experience listed in the ad, then tailor your résumé to include the keywords and phrases that were in the job description. This is the best way to “feed” the job board search engines with what they’ve been programmed to look for.

Introduce Yourself on Paper
When it comes to writing a cover letter (this is a must!), generic
introductions won't work. Tailor each letter to the open position, identifying your accomplishments and achievements. Anything you can quantify in terms of money, percentages or numbers will generally elevate your résumé above the rest, because it gives the employer perspective as to your future contributions with their firm. This is how you can establish your "value proposition"--what you'll do to make the company more money or save the company money – THIS in the end, is the bottom line.

Keep it Fresh
It's critical to upload your résumé with the job boards so that new search technologies (like semantic job matching engines – such as can highlight you as a prospective “labor investment”. HR professionals almost always search résumé databases as the first step in their recruitment strategy, even before posting the job description – this strategy is known as “assessing new inventory”. You’ll want to appear in these searches before any of your competition, so make sure that keywords in the job description are listed in your résumé. It's not repetitive or plagiarism; it's a mutual benefit to the hiring professional and yourself.

Polish Your Résumé Daily

Update your résumé every day, even if it's a tiny change, so that you'll stay at the top of searches conducted by hiring companies and recruiters. You’ll want to make this tiny change shortly after midnight each night. Post your non-confidential résumé on two or three major job boards if you are unemployed--but if you are employed, make it

Look at other résumés in your field by searching as if you were the hiring
professional. Notice if there is a pattern of certain words or phrases that you've left out. The goal is to polish your résumé and online profiles so that they look better than the pack. Give your posted résumé a relevant title or name, as most recruiters and hiring managers organize their results by this field. Though it sounds obvious, make sure your personal e-mail address is professional; do not use your email, as it will not please prospective employers.

Do Not Underestimate the Power of Social Media – Avoid Hiding
As mentioned above, you should avoid at all costs from being a “social wallflower”. To get out of your bubble - perhaps you can create a blog that hosts your résumé, personal interests and contact information. You should also use this blog space to share your thoughts about the
industry you are trying to break into – and follow other bloggers who share your same “associations” or may post insight that compliments your interests as well.

Maintain strong profiles on LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, two top sites recruiters,
human resource professionals and hiring managers refer to every day. Although some would say this has no affect on your competitive edge, having a complete LinkedIn profile, which includes a nice professional headshot (the same headshot can be used for all of social media profiles), can send the right message to an employer. Employer’s view profiles with clear and simple headshots to be evidence that the applicant is serious about their skills and expertise – classically, this also shows confidence in their personal accomplishments. At least three recommendations (two professional and one personal referral) are suggested for any LinkedIn profile.

Caution to the wind…

Google and Bing yourself often to see what the search engines reveal about you. If you can't
delete negative information, bury it by posting positive content, such as answering questions on forums, commenting on blogs or creating your own blog and updating it regularly. Do whatever you can to control the search results.

USE Twitter.
Twitter is one of the most innovative tools that will help you learn “firsthand” about a job with a potential employer. Once you have signed up for Twitter, you will be able to follow people, job sites, and companies to get job leads and job
search advice. You may use sites like and Here, you'll be able to search for and get recommendations for whom to follow. If you can brave the information overload, you can start by following sites like and to get job listings that are specifically posted on Twitter.

More often than not, the people or groups that you follow will work in companies that may be of interest to you, and via the “TweetChat” service, you can speak with these experts in real time. Essentially, your extensive interactions with these industry professions will help prep you for the
interview process.

People don't mind being used. In fact, what they do mind is being “taken for granted”. With the upsurge of Social Media, it’s no longer “what” you know, but “who” you know. What better way to put a face and experience to this phrase – in these modern times, by networking “smartly” instead of “en-masse”. Some rules to abide by are:
  • Know your purpose for networking. Is it to increase your circle of influence, or are you seeking more involvement from this individual?
  • Don’t act desperate, and listen to the person you’re establishing a rapport with.
  • Respect your contact’s time, and ask permission to “friend” them.
  • Note that networking is a “two-way street”… It’s not only you that are seeking to gain here.
NetworkingEventFinders, and Meetup are good places to start if you wish to join upcoming events for your industry of choice.

Attending the Coveted Interview
Show up 10-15 minutes early for your scheduled interview. Always
add 30 minutes to your perceived commute for the location, and if you arrive too early, take a moment to relax and review your “list of expected questions” prior to checking in with the attendant.
Dress neatly, conservatively but not too “wound up”. Avoid trendy clothes or personal identity statements (like bedazzled nails, or a Disney tie) unless they are fitting to the job, for example; trendy is OK if the job is in a trendy clothing store.
  • Men should wear a two piece suit and tie. Avoid wearing shiny materials, or light colored suits. Navy works best for male interviewees.
  • Women should wear a pant suit if they feel more comfortable this way. The worst thing to see if when a woman who never wears skirts, dresses for an interview in a skirt suit, and is completely uncomfortable in the attire (during an interview, discomfort displays itself in your non-verbal cues). Dark grey suits work best for women, as black can look too stark and unapproachable.
  • White shirts are the most recommended – and women should stay away from trendy details, such as ruffles or bell sleeves.
  • Men should have proper length pants, and buffed shoes. Women should always opt for wearing stockings if they chose to wear a skirt suit.
Shake hands and remain standing until offered a seat. Confidently state your name and thank the interviewer for seeing you.

Whenever possible prepare your answers in advance. There are some standard interview questions you can expect. Examples of these types of questions can be:
  • So, tell me a little about yourself.
  • Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work at XYZ company?
  • If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?
  • How do you deal with pressure and stressful situations? Give me an example.
  • What is your biggest weakness?
Regardless of where you may see yourself in terms of job search, or career considerations – start off by consulting the free resources on CareerPlanner, as you’ll find ways to organize your thoughts, wants and actions via the perfectly categorized tools offered to you. Additionally, if you’re considering a complete career switch, you’ll want to read Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want, by Lisa Johnson Mandell. Most importantly, keep a positive outlook toward your efforts. Always remember that this time is crucial, and it’s meant to test your endurance – so show it who’s boss!



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week of August 30 - September 6, 2010

As you prepare for the upcoming Labor Day weekend and say ADIOS to another NYC summer we have been hard at work here at GEMS NYC rounding up a few good GEMS for you to look forward to this September. REMEMBER...we encourage you to share your GEMS with us, from events to your favorite NYC spots! Please email us at



Presented in collaboration with the New York Historical Society, this
intriguing exhibition reveals the powerful role that Latinos and Spanish-speaking countries have played across four centuries to help shape New York into the most culturally vibrant city in the world. Art works, documents, printed books, artifacts, an installation by Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell, and a documentary by Ric Burns all serve as testaments to this dynamic history. Exhibit opens Friday, 9/17 through 1/9/11. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, NYC. (212) 831-7272. For museum hours and admission information visit



The All American denim brand has gotten the “curvaceous” jean fit right. The Curve ID line which focus on shape rather than size, were created as a result of studying more than
60,000 body scans and listening to women around the world of all shapes and sizes. Through this research, Levi’s® designers created a new approach to measuring a woman’s body and identified three distinct body types that account for 80 percent of women’s shapes universally. I am 5 feet 7 inches tall and typically wear a size 31” waist jean and found that the Bold Curve style fit amazing, it hugs in all the right places, no waist gap in the back area, slimming thigh effect and the perfect length for a mid to high heel shoe. Visit to shop this line. Prices range from $59.50 to $128.

  • Slight Curve – designed to celebrate straight figures. 
Slight Curve is designed to define a woman’s waist, while accentuating her curves. If jeans usually fit in the hips and thighs but are too tight in the waist, a woman should try the Slight Curve.
  • Demi Curve – designed to fit even proportions. 
Demi Curve is designed to flatter a woman’s waist, while smoothing her shape. If jeans usually fit in the waist, but don’t flatter the figure, a woman should try the Demi Curve.
  • Bold Curve - designed to honor genuine curves. 
Bold Curve is designed to hug the waist, without gapping or pulling. If jeans usually fit in the hips and thighs, but gap in the back, a woman should try the Bold Curve.


A Shopaholics dream come true…… entire night dedicated to shopping and all it’s glory. The second annual; Fashion’s Night Out event is hosted by hundreds of New York City stores throughout the 5 boroughs and celebrates and supports the fashion and retail industries with full-price shopping. From designers to retailers, to fashion and beauty brands, all will incentivize you to shop with special treats from live performances, fashion shows, free samples, make-over’s and more. Friday, 9/10 from 6p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information and to plan your Fashion’s Night Out itinerary visit



Friday, 9/10. Madison Square Garden, 7th Avenue and 32nd Street, NYC. 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $59.50 to $179.50. To purchase tickets visit

El Gran Combo performs along with Andy Montanez and special guest Silvestre Dangond. Saturday, 9/11. Paradise Theater, 2403 Grand
Concourse, Bronx, NY. 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $36.50 to $96.50. To purchase tickets visit or


Tuesday, 9/21. Madison Square Garden, 7th Avenue and 32nd Street, NYC. 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39.50 to $149.50. To purchase tickets visit

Here’s another great reason to visit the Brooklyn Flea Market for the third annual Superstar D.J. Record Fair, featuring dozens of D.J.’s, record labels and collectors selling their vinyl. Be sure to check out over 100 vendors of vintage furniture, clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as new jewelry, art and crafts by local artisans, and last but not least try the delicious food. Sunday, 9/19. Brooklyn Flea Market, One Hanson Place at Ashland Place, Brooklyn. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Image: see attached image labeled “vinyl record.”



A film festival presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and featuring 16 films from eight different countries, Latinbeat’s 13th edition will offer some exciting special events not to be missed: Latin-O-American, a panel discussion co-presented with Cinema Tropical featuring up-and-coming, New York-based U.S. Latino and Latin American filmmakers; Women Leading the Latinbeat, a brunch and panel co-presented with New York Women in Film and Television celebrating the extraordinary work of Latin American women filmmakers in the series; a special screening of the aptly named Extraordinary Stories, co-presented with Film Comment Selects; and a special program of shorts celebrating the bicentennial of Argentina. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles except for the Argentine Bicentennial Shorts. 9/8 -18. For more information on film showtimes, locations, and tickets visit

Director and Producer Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids and Sin City) is back with this action/crime/thriller titled, Machete. The cast includes Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Steven Seagal. PLOT: The highly skilled Federale Machete is hired by some unsavory types to assassinate a senator. But just as he's about to take the shot, he notices someone aiming at him and realizes he's been set up. He barely survives the sniper's bullet, and is soon out for revenge on his former employers, with the reluctant assistance of his old friend Cheech Marin, who has become a priest and taken a vow of nonviolence. Opening Friday, 9/3. Check your local newspaper for theatres and showtimes.



A commercial-free, star studded, prime time television event to help raise funds for the fight against cancer. Support the fight against cancer by watching the show and making your donation. Four major networks; CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC will air the show starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 9/9. For more information visit

American Experience presents Roberto Clemente, a one-hour documentary about an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian, who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball’s first Latino superstar. From independent filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz, Clemente features interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors David Maraniss (Clemente) and George F. Will (Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball), Clemente's wife Vera, Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates, to present an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend. Monday, 9/6 at 10 p.m. on PBS. For more information visit

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