3/24/08

The Deep East: Nueva York

What could I say new about NYC that hasn't already been said?
We had my 11yr old Q and R's 15 yr cousin F, so we did a lot of the tourist stuff that you've probably seen or heard of time and again.
We went to see "Grease" at Q's request, and saw "Shutter" in the AMC 25 in Times Square at F's request. Both cool, but let me say seeing a scary film in NYC surrounded by locals was a helluva lot of fun and loud. Here are some brief thoughts and pics about our trip.

One of the big highlights for me was the Florencia 13 restaurant, that Adrian of G727 recommended to me. This was a much needed slice of East L.A. in the middle of SoHo. The owner Ralph Camarillo came over to our table, since I made it clear to the waitress that we were from Boyle Hts. He dropped some heavy knowledge on us about his life and what inspired him to do this. He mentioned that due to the success, he is considering opening up another restaurant in L.A. but obviously would need another name that wouldn't lead to drive bys on this coast. So if you see a restaurant called Bronx 13 or Brooklyn 13, just know I gave him those names.

Another supa dope spot was Little Branch a recommendation from my poet homegirl Diana Delgado, who is just about finished with her MFA at Columbia. This place is so cool it belongs in L.A. It is total speakeasy, with a low profile door that opens onto a steep flight of stairs going underground. The drinks aren't cheap but worth it for the home made ingredients, like their 12 kinds of ice!!! They really take care in the art and mixology of drinks.

Cielo, the 'hottest' club in NYC was a let down in terms of space, due to all the hype I've heard about this place. I just expected it to be bigger. The sound was impeccable. It was very supa dope that Joe Berinato of King St. hooked me up, that it was Louie Vega's "Roots" party and that Barbara Tucker was celebrating her birthday. It was house heaven.












We went to the Whitney for the Binneal and Alex Gray's CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors), both very inspiring and impressive.





This is a sneaky pic at El Museo Del Barrio where Harry Gamboa Jr. was showing. They don't allow pics in here, so R snuck one for me.











One memory I will always have is about my Q showing me her haggling skills. We had come off the Statue of Liberty ferry in Battery Park and were making our way to the subway. There were the usual African immigrants selling bootleg goods along the pathway. One minute we noticed Q was digging into a box full of purses. She then pulled out the pink Chanel bag. She asked the 6' 3'' African man how much he wanted for it. He said $45. She responded with $25!!! He dropped and dropped again. Looked at us when he hit $35 and he saw the shock on our faces. I never knew this side of Q since I don't take her shopping to the alleys with me, now I know better. He looked back at her, knowing he HAD to deal with her and only her. She said again $25!. He said, "No, No, $35." She gave him look and said "It's my birthday, $25!" (She is a July baby). He said $30. She said in a lower voice "It's my birthday, $25." He looked around and said, "OK, take it and get out of here." She paid him and practically floated away. Her mom told me later on the phone that she does that all the time. New to me. Thanks to NYC for letting me see this side of my Q.

12 comments:

chicanaskies said...

Way to represent on the East Coast!

MsAbcMom said...

I love the Chanel bag story...priceless!

Stefanie M. said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! I'm headed over there in a couple of days and I definitely want to check out Museo del Barrio. I've been searching for good Mexican food in NY forever with no success, so thanks for the recommendation on Florencia 13!

la rebelde said...

Wow, sounds like yall had a great time! I love that hat/shades/mustache combo!

Wendy Carrillo said...

great storytelling!
Your Q is adorable w/ her pink bag! Can I borrow her sometime? I need as many discounts as possible!

HispanicPundit said...

Wow...Florencia 13? I'm more of a Playboys fan myself...even 38 st.LOL. I kid...

Seriously though...is this guy some veterano from F13 moved to NY? Has to be...I mean, that can't be a coincidence.

If so...I wonder if the negros that may eat there know anything of this gangs racial past...

Tina said...

El Sereno Al Pastor Tacos!!
florencia .. classic.

Tania said...

Harry Gamboa is one of the most interesting individuals I have met in recent years. I've had the privilege of having him as a creative writing professor both my freshman and sophomore years of college. I love his story telling. You wouldn't happen to own his book 'Urban Exile'?

Diana Marie Delgado said...

I'm glad you liked Little Branch. It's epic, no? Have to try Florencia 13. Been meaning too...

Pachuco 3000 said...

We represented very well.

Absolutely need to see the Museo del Barrio exhibit. Very powerful art/actions/moments in there. Be sure you have a good amount of time. Also be sure to go the Whitney Binneal, it is like the Super Bowl of art.

Mr. Camarillo grew up in the area but was not 'involved' in F13. He said when people from the East coast ask what is means he replies with "It's my grandma's name and she had 13 kids." He also told me some West coast veteranos have gone there while visiting and kept if cool and gave respect for representing the culture.

Of course I have Gamboa's book! 'Urban Exile' is a source of great inspiration.

cindylu said...

I kept meaning to check out a museum while I was out there since that's the only tourist-like stuff I'm interested in. But alas, too much conferencing...

Glad you enjoyed your time. Looks like Q has some skills. I'm impressed.

tacosam said...

Your photos are great. Looks like you and your familia had a great time. How was Grease?

I like the Q's relentless bartering skills. Maybe she has a future as a business woman.

The logo of the F13 restaurant looks like they stole it from Lowrider Magazine. I wonder what kind of crowd goes to eat there. I probably wouldn't step foot in there while visiting NYC, when you can get much better Mexican Food around these parts of California.