After all these years in “America” I still haven’t found an accurate way to translate “aguas mexicanas” into English. Some would say “juice” (no, they’re not really juices) while others insist on “ice-tea”. Nope. Tampoco.
Google Translate, of course, doesn’t help either, so I think my paisanos in this Harlem deli are right: Aguas frescas mexicanas has got to be “Fresh Mexican Waters.”
Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem 2019
Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem
I was just coming back from work and now this thing will hunt me forever…
Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem
… unlike racist New York lawyer Aaron Schlossberg, who once claimed to be “fluent in Spanish” but then went batshit crazy and threatened to call ICE on people speaking the language at his local deli.
Shame on you, Señor Schlossberg. You should learn from the fine lawyers of Spanish Harlem, who I’m sure are much more attuned to the sensibilities of a multicultural, multiethnic city –and the need for [true] bilingual professionals.
Photo: Laura Martínez, NYC 2018
The so-called President can say whatever he wants, and build a wall as big as his ego, but my people continue to make this blogger (and many more Mexicans) very happy on this side of the border.
Photo: Laura Martínez, 2017. Harlem
This shoe and clothing store has been around for ages in the corner of Broadway and 150th street, but only yesterday I noticed a new addition to their offer: a bright red baseball cap featuring none other than Pablo Escobar.
I have no idea if that thing is for sale or it’s just sitting there as a sort of good-luck charm. Either way, I think it’s awesome and Netflix should be super proud.
Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem 2016
The food is not as awesome as the name, but it’s OK.
Photo: Laura Martínez, 2016, Harlem
Awww, the wonders of gentrification!
I remember when you could just go have a simple, no-frills, $1 taco around my neighborhood. But these days the Hamilton Heights-West Harlem area is rapidly filling up with posh, mostly unaffordable “ethnic” places, catering to a mostly non-ethnic crowd who has realized living uptown is not that awful after all.
Take Oso, a recently opened Mexican restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue, whose menu would be simply awesome (or should I say Ósom?) if the currency of its plates were in pesos and not dollars.
Take the “platos ligeros” or appetizers (below.) I mean, really? I don’t want to have to get a job in Wall Street to be able to afford a tostada. Give me a break, man.
Mario Kreutzberger (aka Don Francisco) might have lost his job as Univision’s top entertainer, but that doesn’t mean we have to forget about him. ¡No, señor!
Thanks to New York City and it’s relentless Mayor, Bill de Blasio, we will soon be able to roam the Don Francisco Boulevard, a street that will be located nowhere else but in my neighborhood: 168th street and Broadway.
You know I’m going to have to move now, right?
Attention, New York Hispanics!
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is offering help to “prepare, plan and pay for your children’s university,” which is, like, great, but let’s be honest: Chances are you’re going to end up in debt anyhow, and your children, cleaning toilets for Donald Trump.
But don’t despair. You might want to call the number above and get yourself a steady job as a “delibrero,” which I can assure you is an activity in high demand — at least in Hispanic Harlem.
Now, if being a “delibrero” is not your thing, you might want to consider this awesome sandwich opportunity, also in Harlem and — naturally — well paid. (NOTE: little to no English required. Yay!)
But hurry! the American Dream might not wait for you forever.
Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem, August 2015
… your street’s garbage consists of abandoned tamales carts and the like.