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No01 OCTOBER2008

Latino LifestyLe Magazine


toChiCagO Freddy Rodriguez pays tribute to his hometown in his new film

Will the latino Vote Matter? anna Fong: Flair For Fashion aztecs take oVer the Field MuseuM day oF the dead in style

No01 OCTOBER2008

Latino LifestyLe Magazine

No01 OCTOBER2008

FREddy RodRigUEz The Chicago-born actor explains in a one-on-one interview why his new film “Nothing Like the Holidays” is his love letter to Chicago. BY MIGUEL JIMENEZ


FEATURES EclEcTic And pERSonAl Ad executive Dolores Kunda combines rustic pieces and traditional furnishings in her River North loft. BY GLORIA ELENA ALICEA

FAll gETAWAyS Three fantastic destinations in Illinois to enjoy autumn’s colors. BY AMALIA RIOJA AND MARILIA GUTIÉRREZ

dAy oF ThE dEAd A unique fashion take on this traditional celebration.

Photography: alBerto Treviño Hair and Make-up: Yanira Garza Stylist: James Raby


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dEpARTmEnTS 8 10


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pUbliShER’S noTE Julián Posada EdiToR’S noTE Alejandro Riera conTRibUToRS

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cAFé ESpRESSo SomoS cUlTURAl biTES ThE bUzz lA plAzA VoicES SpoTlighT diVERSionS

Wendy Vega-Huezo and Norvis Huezo Curious cultural factoids Hot events around town Will the Latino vote matter? Rafael Romo questions identity Chicago artist Josué Pellot Latino bikers on peace and unity

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cAFé FilTER WoRk WiSE monEy mATTERS gET AhEAd UpgRAdE bE WEll

Your online profile A conversation with your cash Self-education Choose the right cell phone Our abuelita’s remedies

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cAFé gRAndE mi gEnTE TU cASA

Anna Fong’s fashion Create a picture wall

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cAFé blEnd mAin EVEnT nighTliFE mixERS & ShAkERS dining RESTAURAnT gUidE Food diy To do, To Sí ScEnE AT mE EnSEñARon

Aztecs at the Field Museum With DJ Hector Lopez Bartenders favorite potions Maya Del Sol A list from Latinos Borinquen’s Mofongo recipe Upcoming events Latino social scene The power of la bendición


the art of death


always be disco

Mictlantecuhtli ruled the underworld and required blood offerings from the Aztecs. Come explore the most comprehensive collection of rare Aztec artifacts ever assembled outside of Mexico, only at The Field Museum.

October 26, 2008 - April 19, 2009



pUbliShER’S noTE

EdiToR’S noTE



Do your best work with no regrets. That has been my guiding principle whether I was working in the private sector or in the non-profit field. Café Media is a step in that direction. Why Café Media? As a business executive, I noticed that the media industry treats Latinos as an either/or proposition: either Latinos are spoken to in Spanish or they are lumped into the mainstream audience. But I am not an either/or proposition. I am fiercely proud of my heritage and, more often than not, I communicate in English in both business and social circles. The common assumption is that language equals culture. But I believe that language is a part of the culture, not a determining factor. With this in mind, and considering that acculturated Latinos are the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, are our interests being catered to? I believe not. Café Media is an outgrowth of this realization. Its goal is to fill a void in the media landscape by offering culturally-relevant content that meets the needs of acculturated English-dominant Latinos. It is this space that most U.S. Latinos occupy, that delicate balancing act of living between–and embracing–the best of two cultures, that we at Café Media want to explore and celebrate. We are going to focus on relevant content first and platform second. We are looking to engage people with what they want, when they want it, where they want it. Our content will be generated by tapping into existing knowledge available in our community. For this purpose, we have created Editorial Advisory Boards to help identify the issues that impact and define the contemporary Latino lifestyle. Success for us will be defined by our ability to deliver content that inspires, educates and entertains across multiple platforms: Café magazine,, El Cafecito (bi-weekly newsletter) and Café Experience (proprietary events). My hopes are that Café Media allows readers to see themselves and engages them in the process of creating a voice that is truly representative.

If you were to ask me who the ideal Café magazine reader is, I would answer the cast and crew of “Ugly Betty.” Far-fetched? Not really. In that popular TV series, second- and third-generation Latinos like Honduran-American America Ferrera work hand-inhand with acculturated Latino immigrants who have their feet firmly planted on both sides of the border, such as executive producer Salma Hayek. Although it may seem presumptuous to compare Café magazine to the popular ABC show, we undoubtedly share the same goal: to tell stories that are culturally-relevant to Latinos but universal enough to attract a more mainstream audience looking for an entry point into our culture. And that is why actor Freddy Rodriguez is featured on the cover of this inaugural edition. His new film, “Nothing Like the Holidays,” tells a story that is both universal and deeply rooted in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community. It is also Freddy’s way of giving thanks to the city and the community that nurtured and nourished his acting bug. Before you turn the page, let me guide you through the key sections of Café magazine. “Café Espresso” gives you quick sips of information on upcoming events, our culture, the issues affecting our community, and the organizations and people who shape them. “Café Filter” provides tools to help you manage your life in the areas of finance, education, health, family, career and technology. “Café Grandé” is the home for our longer articles, ranging from one-on-one interviews to in-depth reporting on key themes affecting our life and times in the city and the suburbs. Finally, “Café Blend” is where you will find previews of cultural events, restaurant reviews, profiles of artists, and the mixers and shakers of our nightlife. So, pour yourself a cup of café, sit back, relax and enjoy this first edition of Café magazine. Then, let us know what you think, Send your comments to


Café OCTOBER2008

Publisher Julián G. Posada EdiToRiAl

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Managing Editor Contributing Editor Copy Editors



Art Director Graphic Designer Design Interns



Sales Director Sales Associate

MARCO lOPEz, MikE MAlEE, dAvid sElBy



Editorial Intern


dAvid MuRGA

EdiToRiAl AdViSoRy boARd

Capital H Cruz Registered Investors & Advisors LLC Executive Title Gomez Consulting HACE Harris Bank Home State Bank Mesirow Financial National City Bank National Louis University The Resurrection Project UIC Lares Program









SpEciAl ThAnkS dANiEl BlEiER, MiChAEl BlEiER, hENRy kiNGwill


Marketing Director Marketing Analyst Marketing Interns


conTRibUTing WRiTERS GlORiA ElENA AliCEA, FREddiE BAEz, ANGEl CRuz, ChERyl EsTRAdA, TOMAs GuERRA, MiGuEl JiMENEz, MiChAEl PuENTE, RAFAEl ROMO, JENillE RAMOs conTRibUTing phoTogRAphERS EliA AlAMillO, ABEl ARCiNiEGA, MARs hAll, MARk hiNOJOsA, AkiN GiRAv, lyNdA Guillú, sTEPhANiE MiliTO, JAsON ROss, MAuRiCiO RuBiO conTRibUTing gRAphic dESignERS MARs hAll, AhMAd yilMAz STock phoToS sTOCk.xChNG, isTOCkPhOTO FAShion conTRibUToRS

Fashion Stylists Hair and Make-up Artists

PETE kiNGwill, iAN lARkiN, williAM MCkENNA




Hendon Publishing hENRy kiNGwill, PETE kiNGwill, CANdy BusTER cAFé mEdiA llc oFFicE

660 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 226-0079


Adobo Grill Akira Borinquen Restaurant Chicago United Conexión Conexión Conexión Congress Theater Congress Theater DMT Communications FORD Models Grupo Entrada H and M Communications H and M Communications Harris Bank “The Hook-Up” Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Int’l Latino Cultural Center of Chicago Latin Street Dancing Maranon Capital Maranon Capital m?rk Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University National Museum of Mexican Art Univision Radio Univision Radio V5



plAcE An Ad

GEORGE ChAvEz, lON ChOw, AlisTAiR ClAy, EddiE CORTEz, Bill FisChER,



conTAcT An EdiToR



loS cAFETERoS oRiginAlES


JuliáN, GiNA, MARiliA, MElissA, dAvid y AlBERTO

dulCE RAMOs, MARiA RAMOs, BiBi vAlENzuElA, Bill zAyAs

Café magazine is printed on paper sourced from companies that practice sustainable forest management.


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gloria Elena Alicea Born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, she earned a degree in English literature and philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. Gloria has enjoyed using her communications skills in the private and non-profit sectors as a communications manager, community relations specialist, international business translator, English language instructor, and freelance writer. Through her writing, she hopes to open minds, touch hearts and inspire readers.

miguel Jimenez A talented writer born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Miguel was the assistant editor for the Chicago Artists’ News, a monthly newspaper of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition. Miguel earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from DePaul University. He lives in Fresno, Calif., where he is an M.F.A. candidate in the creative writing program at California State University, Fresno. He is an editorial assistant for The Normal School literary magazine.

michael puente An award-winning Chicago-area journalist, he has worked as a reporter for The Post-Tribune of northwest Indiana and The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. His stories have also appeared in the Chicago SunTimes, the Times of Northwest Indiana, Reflejos Bilingual Journal and the Daily Southtown. He is a full-time reporter for WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Radio, where he heads the station’s Northwest Indiana bureau. He was named “Best Reporter” in 2008 by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Rafael Romo The Emmy awardwinning journalist has an 18-year career in radio, television, online and print media. The television anchor/reporter, columnist and adjunct professor of journalism has covered presidential elections in both his native Mexico and the United States, as well as papal visits and other international stories. In 2004, he became the first Mexican-born reporter in Chicago to crossover from Spanish-language television to mainstream media.

Roy liu Roy started his career as a make-up assistant in his native Taipei, Taiwan, where he not only worked for the local fashion designers, but also with fashion magazines and modeling agencies. After moving to Chicago, Liu worked for dozens of well-known cosmetics companies, such as NARS, Dior, Laura Mercier, Armani and Cle de Peau. He currently lives in Chicago, where he has been working for Ford Models and photographers in New York and Chicago.

Akin girav This prominent Chicago photographer studied industrial design at the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy. After graduate school he attended the University of Italy, then moved to America to pursue his education in Graphic Design at Georgia State University where he found his true passion and calling in photography. Akin’s work has been published internationally, in Harpers Bazaar Int., Marie Claire Int., Modern Salon, True Beauty, Chicago Tribune and Estetica, among others. Check out his work at


FAMilygRoUndEd photographymark


Wendy Vega-Huezo

Norvis Huezo

29, Mexican American

34, Salvadoran

how did you two meet?

We met at a leadership retreat we both had to attend for the Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, a network of academic and social support for Latinas, and the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, that took place in New Mexico. how do you stay grounded?

It would have to be our family. We tend to get all revved up with work and doing home chores. It’s good that our families check in, and we call them just to catch up and make sure everybody is healthy. It’s nice that we keep in touch on a day-to-day basis. do you talk or text each other?

wendy vega-huezo with her husband Norvis huezo at their home in Oak Park. They have been married 4 years. wendy is human resources manager at the Breast Cancer Network of strength (formerly y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization) and Norvis is senior product specialist at united Airlines.

Wendy: I’d rather talk because I like to hear his voice. But when I need to send a quick message, I text. Norvis: We do both, but I prefer to communicate over the phone. how do you take your café?

Wendy: Con leche... y un poquito de azúcar. Norvis: Just black, nothing in it. My mom is diabetic. So a few years ago everyone in the family decided to go black to support her. 11


Comcast connects you with tu Familia, tus Amigos y tu Cultura.

Call today! 1.800.236.3957 *Not available in all areas (and may not be transferred) and limited to new residential customers. Comcast’s monthly service charges for promotional three-product bundles range from $79.99 to $159.00 for 12 months, depending on area and level of service subscription. After 12 month promotional period, or if any service is cancelled or downgraded, regular charges apply. Comcast’s current monthly service charges for three-product bundles (after promotional period) range from $88.88 to $192.89, depending on area and level of subscription. Digital Cable and High-Speed Internet service limited to a single outlet. Service subject to Comcast standard terms and conditions. Prices shown do not include equipment and installation charges, taxes, franchise fees, the Regulatory Recovery Fee, or other applicable charges (e.g., international calling or per-call charges). May not be combined with other offers. Cable Service: Certain services available separately or as a part of other levels of service. Basic Service subscription required to receive other levels of service. Converter and remote required to receive certain services. On Demand selections subject to charge indicated at time of purchase. HD programming limited to the programming provided to Comcast in HD format. HD programming varies based on digital package. HD comparison based on number of HD choices on linear channels and On Demand available at any given time. May vary by market. Not all programming available in all areas. High-Speed Service: Speed comparison between Comcast 8.0 Mbps service and standard AT&T High

12 Café OCTOBER2008


Once you have it, you’ll do anything to keep it Cable, Internet & Phone starting at $79.99 per month for 12 months.*

Speed Internet Elite DSL (downloads only). PowerBoost® provides bursts of download and upload speeds for the first 20 MB and 10 MB of a file, respectively. Many factors affect speed. Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed. Comcast Universal Address Book allows access to address book and calendar on any personal computer or mobile phone with Internet connection. Access to calendar through mobile phone requires WAP-enabled mobile phone or Plaxo Mobile Plus subscription. Not all features, including McAfee, compatible with Macintosh systems. Cable modem required. Comcast Digital Voice: Unlimited package pricing applies only to direct-dialed calls from home to locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and certain other U.S. territories. No separate long distance carrier connection available. Comcast Digital Voice service (including 911/emergency services) may not function after an extended power outage. Certain customer premises equipment may not be compatible with Digital Voice services. EMTA required ($3.00/month from Comcast). Savings claim based upon Comcast’s $39.95 rate (with 3 product subscription) to AT&T’s Select Feature Package/Unlimited Nationwide Calling II Service, with subscriber line charge, as of 4/15/08. Call for restrictions and complete details. Comcast ©2008. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

13 Café OCTOBER2008


¿sABÍAsQUE? don FRAnciSco The longest running television variety show in the United States is “Sábado Gigante” (Univision Television Network). This Spanish-language show has aired every Saturday night since Aug. 8, 1962. Its creator, 68-year-old Don Francisco, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, has been the show’s only host.

chocolATE Chocolate was discovered by the Mayans. They used the cacao beans to form a paste that, when mixed with water and other spices, made a drink used primarily in special ceremonies and rituals. By 1400, the Mayans traded cacao beans with the Aztecs, who converted them into a source of currency. The Spanish conquistadors brought it to Europe, which helped spread the love of chocolate throughout the world. gARcíA The most common Hispanic surname in the world is García, followed by Martínez and Rodríguez. The name García may have two meanings: “descendant of García, Spanish form of Gerald,” or “one who came from García,” a town located in the autonomous region of Catalonia, Spain. lUiS miRAmonTES On Oct. 15, 1951, Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes (1925-2004) worked with two other scientists to complete the synthesis of norethindrone, the first oral contraceptive to ever be synthesized.

photo courtesy of univision television

El díA dE loS mUERToS El Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday seen as a celebration of life and the life cycle. Celebrated on All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2) is a way of honoring loved ones who have passed away. Traditions include building altars honoring the deceased, displaying sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. A special treat, called pan de muerto, a doughy bread which has bone-shaped decorations on top, is key to the celebration. People also visit their loved ones’ graves and decorate them. Sources: The Field Museum, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, The Guinness Book of World Records, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and

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ThEbUzz moSh piT One is a punk rocker, the other a classically trained musician. But as Plastilina Mosh, Jonaz and Alejandro Rosso create a tapestry of sounds that fuse rock, electronica, dance and some punk with street sounds and gallons of kitsch. Nearly two years in the making, “All U Need Is Mosh” (Nacional Records) blends every single musical, cultural and political reference you could imagine. Check out Plastilina Mosh at the Congress Theater Oct. 17. Listen to their music at ARoUnd ThE WoRld in 200+ FilmS Chicago film lovers will be eating a lot of popcorn when the Chicago International Film Festival kicks off Oct. 16. The festival will devote an entire program to environmentally-conscious films and will cast a spotlight on Latin America with its “Cinema of the Americas” program. For more info, visit www.

killing mAchinE “Casino Royale” brought us a deadlier, colder James Bond. Expectations are running high for “Quantum of Solace,” Daniel Craig’s second adventure as the legendary spy with a “license to kill.” The trailers promise more physical action a la “Jason Bourne” and less gimmicky gadgets. “Quantum of Solace” opens Nov. 14. Watch the trailers at

45 RoARS pER minUTE They have been compared to The Cure and have shared the stage with British rock star Morrisey. But Mexican rock group Jaguares walks its own path. Their latest album, “45” (EMI Televisa), refers to the 45 million people who live in poverty in Mexico. Bandleader Saul Hernandez’s lyrics are full of metaphors and abstract images that demand your attention. Jaguares will perform at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Oct. 31. Go to www.hob. com/chicago for details. lA pASARElA Chicago is claiming its place in the fashion industry, and Latinos are leading the way. Chicago Latino Fashion Week kicks off Oct. 27 with a “Hair War,” a face-off between Chicago’s top cosmetologists, and will continue throughout that week with a celebration of established and up-and-coming Latino designers. For more information, visit

photo courtesy of mgm 15


To coUnT, VoTE Will Latinos leverage their political power? writermichael


Couples do a lot of things together. They stroll, they dance, they sip wine. And sometimes they register to vote. That’s exactly what Mario and Diana Dávila did on a Sunday afternoon while taking in the Fiesta del Sol festival in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. “I want to make a difference,” 27-year-old Mario Dávila of Chicago said moments after signing his name on the form registering him to vote in the November general election. Mario and Diana are both natives of Mexico, Mario being from Guanajuato and Diana from Jalisco. Diana, 26, has been living in the United States for 16 years, while Mario has been here for 9. Diana said it took her awhile to come around and register to vote, but her husband wasted no time. Mario

became a U.S. citizen in July and wanted to sign up immediately. “You can’t raise your voice if you don’t vote,” Mario said. The couple was among the nearly 1,000 people who registered to vote during the three-day festival in early August. That’s actually a drop in the bucket compared to the number of Latinos in Chicago who are eligible to vote but aren’t registered. “We’ve got over 100,000 (Latino) citizens of voting age (in Chicago) who are not registered to vote,” said Juan Andrade Jr., president of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) in Chicago. In the rest of Cook County, another 150,000 Latinos of voting age aren’t registered to vote, according to the institute’s Almanac of Latino Politics.

illinois latino electorate

Estimated Latino voting age population (VAP) and registered voters in 2004 and 2006 Year

Total Latino VAP

Total citizen VAP

Latino registered voters

Actual Latino voters

Actual Latino voters (%)













*The 2004 figures apply to the national presidential election, while the 2006 figures include state, county and congressional elections. Source: 2008 Almanac of Latino Politics, U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute

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That’s not to say there isn’t good news as the United States inches closer everyday to perhaps the most important presidential election in its history. Since last year, approximately 1 million Latinos nationwide have registered to vote, according to Andrade. Nationwide, an estimated 11 million Latinos are registered, he said. “We expect that number to hit 12 million before the November general election. That would be good for us,” Andrade said. “Voter turnout has also been increasing at a very steady rate. (Latino) growth in voter registration is six times greater than the general population. And our growth for voter turnout is five times greater than the general population.” Signing Up iS hARd To do

If Andrade’s prediction comes true, an estimated 9 million Latinos could end up casting votes in November. “On one side, we’re doing phenomenally well. We’re doing incredibly well. The downside is that we still got a large number of people who have not gotten on board yet,” Andrade said. “There are also over 2 million Latinos who are still not in the naturalization pipeline who need to make that move.” The USHLI is at the forefront in registering as many Latinos as possible for the upcoming election with its “Get Out The Vote” campaign. The organization is averaging about 1,500 new sign-ups every week, Andrade said. Much of that comes at naturalization ceremonies for new U.S. citizens in the Chicago area. This year alone, the institute has registered about 20,000 newly naturalized citizens; and 55,000 citizens overall. And even with the dozens of volunteers USHLI has, along with several other not-for-profit organizations who are signing up people in the city to vote, it’s still difficult to get to all those newly naturalized citizens registered. “We don’t have enough help. We don’t have enough volunteers,” Andrade said. “And voter registration is a slow, painstaking process. People do not like to do it.” But all of these newly registered voters mean little if they fail to show up to their polling places come Election Day, An-

drade said. “These numbers are not as important as the votes you get,” he said. “We have to deliver on Election Day.”


9 million latinos are expected to vote in november


Who are you supporting for president?


Mario and Diana Dávila also represent another voting trend in Chicago: They are young. In Chicago, 42 percent of Latino voters are under the age of 29. It’s that group, Andrade said, that helped Sen. Barack Obama win the Illinois Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday in February. It’s easy to assume that all these newly registered Latino voters bode well for the Democratic Party in November, but those numbers might not translate to a slam-dunk. While Hispanics tend to vote Democratic, the Republican Party and Sen. John McCain are going to try to win as many Latino voters as possible. Is this a waste of time for the GOP? Andrade says no. In the last 40 years, no Democratic presidential candidate has won the White House with less than 72 percent of the Latino vote. Both Al Gore and John Kerry received less than that percentage in their failed bids for the White House. “McCain knows that he doesn’t have to carry the Latino vote. He’s not going to compete with Barack for the Latino vote,” Andrade said. “But if McCain can keep (the Democrats’ percentage of the Latino vote) in the low 60s, McCain has a shot to win.” Helping Obama win the White House isn’t the driving force for Roberto Larios, one of the volunteers with USHLI’s voterregistration efforts. Larios spent hours signing up folks at Fiesta del Sol, having to explain the process to interested people as reggaetón and salsa blared from nearby booths. The 20-year-old Chicagoan, a junior English and film major at the University of Notre Dame, said he just wants Latinos to have a voice. He said some of his friends who refuse to sign up to vote say the “system” isn’t working for them. “They say the city is corrupt, the suburbs are corrupt,” Larios said. “But if you want change, you have to vote.”

interviews amalia

lETiciA AyAlA 25, Chicago

Barack Obama. He’s amazing! He has inspired so many people to give a damn. Even people who typically are resentful of the government or disinterested in politics are, at the very least, curious about the ever-famed “change” he intends to bring about in our nation. I support [John] McCain because of his reform agenda to reduce federal spending and lower taxes.

bRyAnT gUERRERo 19, Plainfield What is your reaction when non-latino political candidates speak Spanish?

zAndRA lAzARSki 41, La Grange

JoSE mUñoz 33, Chicago

Impressed. I think it’s impressive if someone takes the time to learn Spanish. It shows they care enough. It’s like when you interview for a job and you care enough to research the company and read up on it. If someone made the effort to speak Spanish, I would not be insulted. It doesn’t offend me in any way. I think it’s great. People are recognizing that there are a large number of Latinos. I see it as being respectful. It’s important to speak Spanish, at least to make an effort, especially if you want to connect with the audience. In fact, I encourage it. 17

cAféESpRESSo | voices

rrrroll with it writerRafael


“May i ask who’s calling, please?” The voice at the other end of the line sounded smooth and professional. The accent was unmistakable: Midwestern with the nasal quality that some Chicagoans have when their families have lived here for generations. “This is Rafael Romo,” i said, trying to mimic her accent and making it sound more like Rough-uh-El ROw-mow. To my surprise, she then repeated my name the way my parents intended it to sound. “¿RRRRafael RRRRomo? ¡un momento, por favor!” The tone in her voice led me to believe she was offended or at least disappointed. As it turns out, she was Mexican just like me and could roll the Rs in my name like a disc jockey at a Mexican radio station. it’s the kind of dilemma many latinos in this country face when their names sound too foreign or too difficult to pronounce in English. what are we supposed to do?

Being Latino was oK if you were an entertainer and didn’t ruffLe too many feathers. if we’re true to our roots, most native English speakers are either unable or unwilling to pronounce our names correctly, not to mention that we also run the risk of alienating potential employers. if we anglicize it, we make it easier for the majority of the population in this country but, at the same time, we feel like we are betraying our ancestors. it’s a dilemma that has to do with our history in this country, our heritage and, more than anything else, our identity. There was a time in this country when latinos were harassed, beaten up or worse if they spoke spanish. it’s hard to believe now, but the language of Miguel de Cervantes, Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz, spoken in spain, latin America and Equatorial Guinea by hundreds of millions of people was seen as a second-class dialect. That’s probably why many hispanic celebrities in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s decided to change their names to make them catchier and friendlier to the Anglo-American ear. Thus, the Mexican-born Antonio Rodolfo Oaxaca quinn, who rose to stardom playing the

18 Café OCTOBER2008

main character in the movie “zorba the Greek,” became simply Anthony quinn. The Cuban-born desiderio Alberto Arnaz, famous for his role in the Tv comedy “i love lucy,” shortened his name to desi Arnaz. The Puerto Rican Rosita dolores Alverio changed her name to the still very hispanic but Anglo-friendlier Rita Moreno. Even when Ricardo valenzuela’s greatest hit was the rock-and-roll adaptation of the Mexican folk song “la Bamba,” he still preferred to be known simply as Ritchie valens. This was the time before César Chávez, the migrant farmworkers movement and the chanting of “sí, se puede.” Being latino was Ok if you were an entertainer and didn’t ruffle too many feathers. Nowadays, barriers are being broken everywhere, and latinos and latino culture seem to be fashionable almost everywhere in America. Benicio del Toro, Antonio Banderas and Gael García Bernal are among the hottest hollywood stars who kept their spanish names intact, probably because they were already big before coming to America. More money is spent buying salsa than ketchup in this country; tacos and burritos have become ubiquitous; and words like siesta, piñata and chorizo are heard across America. when i crossed over from spanish-language Tv to a mainstream station here in Chicago, i realized most native English speakers couldn’t even understand my name, much less repeat it. i was forced to stop rolling my Rs. Rafael was an impossible word for my irish-American father-in-law who lives in the dallas area and speaks with a Texas twang. we finally settled on ROuGh-uh. As i sit down in a café in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, enjoying a spiced Mexican hot chocolate and reading Raymond Chandler’s all-American novel “The long Goodbye,” i realize that the question of our identity is not a big dilemma after all. in this great mosaic of cultures and races called the united states of America, we have the opportunity to embrace the American values of democracy and freedom at the same time that we enrich this country with our culture and passion. To put it in the terms of the all-American, Chicago-based wrigley Company, we are “double the pleasure, double the fun.”


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About 1 in 3 Iowa students come from the Chicago area. The Chicago Center connects University of Iowa students to internships and jobs around Chicagoland.

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The opportunities. The excitement. The tradition. The University of Iowa.


BOdEGAART writermiguel


Jimenez Arciniega

Chicago artist Josué Pellot displays his work in unlikely places stroll down Paseo Boricua along division street, between Mozart street and western avenue, and you’ll find more than just businesses and organizations. along with murals that mirror the faces of humboldt Park’s residents and the occasional overnight masterpieces from graffiti Picassos, you’ll find some of Josué Pellot’s work when you least expect it .

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Pellot’s “Temporary Allegiance,” a 15’x25’, 51-star rendition of the Puerto Rican flag, was erected Dec. 2007 in San Juan, P.R.

ABOVE: Chicago Artist Josué Pellot poses in front of La Municipal Supermarket (2559 W. Division St., Chicago).

Born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and raised in Chicago, Pellot initiates conversations on colonialism and culture through his artwork. And although his pieces address what could be considered taboo themes, Pellot breaks through those barriers with humor. “I use humor as an opening line,” he says. “I have to warm up the crowd, while at the same time having some impact.” With a Bachelor of Arts in art and biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Pellot planned on combining both concentrations to pursue a career as a medical illustrator. Instead, he went on to earn a Masters of Arts in art theory and practice from Northwestern University. “The theory being that if you practice, you’ll improve,” he jokes. Luckily for Pellot, much of that practice began during his childhood, giving life to coloring books and copying street graffiti onto paper. Years later, those early exercises would lead him to develop thoughtprovoking work and exhibit everywhere from Puerto Rico to Bosnia. Using “whatever works,” Pellot’s materials come from his life. His art supplies can be found in Humboldt Park’s stores. (In “Acquired Instinct,” for example, he uses cases of malta drink.) The topics he addresses are familiar: immigration, colonialism and consumerism. Yet, as with family, his work can sometimes resemble that brutally honest relative we unsuccessfully try to avoid, making us face some uncomfortable truths. Pellot transforms common materials with a hint of comedy, the boldness of conceptual sculptor Tom Friedman, a tinge of pop artist Andy Warhol and his own artistic vision to discuss the influence of post-colonialism in the United States and Puerto Rico. Through his work, we are invited to laugh, remember and think – to embrace that annoying relative with a sip of malta. Pellot’s works represent the many stories of people either haunted by colonization or trapped in a bullying capitalist society. “Many of the conversations are about post-colonialism and commerce,” Pellot explains. “Today, you colonize by invading and taking over the market.” His use of malta raises this concern. He gives the beverage the glorification that Puerto Rican culture invests in it, but reminds us

TOP: Portrait of Pellot’s figurines.


of Josué pellot

BOTTOM: Two examples of Pellot’s neon art depicting Spanish conquistadors and Taíno indians on display at La Municipal Supermarket.

that much of the malta we drink is produced in the United States. Inevitably, Pellot reminds the viewer of the often forgotten colonialist implications of Puerto Rico’s association with the United States. This question of colonization resulted in a 15’ x 25’ Puerto Rican flag raised in a pole in the middle of a highway in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It waved its red, white and blue colors, and glittered 51 stars. Yes, not one, but 51 stars. “My flag gained 50 stars,” Pellot says, “to ask questions about colonialism, like, why not colonize the colonizer?” On the other hand, Pellot’s “Boricua Family” series gives us a closer look at ourselves. His “Boricua Family” toys take on “Boricuas” vending machine toys, that like the well-known Mexican-American “Homies,” mold offensive stereotypes into toy figurines. Pellot’s version was inspired by his own family members, as opposed to the lusty wide-hipped women and the men wearing tank tops and holding beers. “‘Los Boricuas’ was not part of an evil plan. It was just done irresponsibly. It made us, the ‘other,’ into a commodity,” Pellot explains. “I made my family into ‘Boricuas’ to create a balance, because just as some stereotypes hold truth, there are other truths we need to see.” In more recent work, Pellot uses advertising tactics to recall history. On the storefront windows of a Paseo Boricua grocery store, Pellot installed neon signs that animate historical events with flashing lights. One of Pellot’s multi-colored Meet his art neon signs is that of a Spanish visit Josué Pellot’s web site at conquistador aiming a sword at the back of a native Taíno male. FUTURE ExhibiTS In another neon sign a luminous New works by Josué Pellot will be conquistador waves his arms as exhibiting next year at Elmhurst he is drowned by two Taínos. College, Northeastern illinois university and in Puerto Rico. “The people I talk to through Pellot’s work will be featured in a my work tend to be from this solo exhibition at Chicago Cultural community [Humboldt Park], Center in 2010. so I come here to address them,” Josué Pellot is represented by vane Gallery, Pellot says. “I just hope people Newcastle, England. ask questions.” 21


cAféESpRESSo | Diversions

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Abtahi Valentín Treviño


Beyond Borders

Established in 1977, lAMA (3519 w. Fullerton Ave., Chicago) has come a long way from its humble roots in humboldt Park. The group boasts more than 4,000 members in 10 different countries, with a chapter slated to open in Portugal. They have established chapters in venezuela, uruguay and even in Cuba.

Members of the latin American Motorcycle Association (above) in front of the lAMA headquarters on Fullerton Ave., Chicago.

22 Café OCTOBER2008


Latino riders take peace and unity to the open road

The sun shines brightly off the rotating spokes of a motorcycle cruising down the highway with no destination but the present moment. The rider’s hair flails fiercely in the wind as the roar of the engine competes with a seemingly endless road. This experience, intimately known by the biker community, is summed up in one word: freedom. “When you straddle your motorcycle, you feel free. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from,” says Mario Nieves. “When you straddle your motorcycle, you have a lot in common with all those other [people]. That’s a bond that brings — and keeps — us all together.” Nieves has fond memories of growing up in a farm in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. Years later, Nieves suddenly found himself surrounded by the bricks, asphalt and noise of Chicago, a drastic change from the peaceful environment he once knew. From his new home in Humboldt Park, longing for the peace he felt as a child, Nieves went on to assemble the largest Latin American motorcycle club in the world, the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA). It is this freedom that draws others to the love of “hogs,” as motorcycles are sometimes affectionately called. “That’s what brought me back to the bike,” says Dulce Ramos, a female rider from Chicago. “That very first take off

Tego Ca l

that showed me just how much power my steel horse had. Without the cage of the car, I have a connection to nature and everything around me.” Despite their loud bikes and seemingly tough facades, it is clear the driving force behind this passion is the collective desire to live in harmony with all people. “We’re not scientists or anything special,” Nieves says. “But we can set a darn good example of what the future of the world could be like — and that is peaceful and harmonious.” “When you cross that border you are no longer a Puerto Rican or a Mexican, you’re Latino,” Nieves says, “We are a club without borders.” Nieves emphasizes that LAMA is, above all, a humanitarian group brought together by their love of bikes. His fellow bikers follow and respect not just the rules of the road, but the natural rights of all humans. “It is when we unite that we’re going to become more and more powerful,” Nieves says. “As long as we keep thinking of ourselves as Puerto Rican or Mexican, we will be divided.”




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It’s good to be here. A strong, vibrant community relies on everyone pulling together to help make it so—from visionaries who lead the way to volunteers who lend a hand. At American Family we welcome the opportunity to do our part.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its Subsidiaries Home Office – Madison, WI 53783 © 2007

002775 – 6/07


cyber-scrub it

Think twice before revealing demasiado in your online profile writersArman

If you find images or text about you on the Internet that portray you in a poor light, you can fix it. Since 2006, ReputationDefender, based in Redwood City, Calif., has been removing inaccurate or harmful information for their clients. Services range from $9.95 a month for a

do-it-yourself solution to a one-time fee of $499. “The No. 1 reason customers sign up for our services is that they are applying for a job and the second is that they are going on a date,” says Michael Fertik, CEO of ReputationDefender.

Abtahi Valentín and tomás Guerra

Uploading images from your spring break vacation in Cancun onto your Facebook or MySpace page may seem like a good idea. But, your current - or potential - employer might think otherwise. Job seekers have lost employment opportunities, and employees have been negatively affected on the job since companies started actively researching networking sites in 2006. Today, 44 percent of employers use social networking sites to check the profiles of job candidates, according to, a Web site devoted to career information. Employers can legally use any information they find on the Internet or elsewhere to make a job-related decision, as long as the basis for the decision is not prohibited by law, according to Alejandro Caffarelli, an employment lawyer with Caffarelli & Siegel Ltd., a Chicago-based law firm. For example, employers cannot discriminate or retaliate against an employee, but they can terminate one for showing poor judgment. In Illinois, no laws prohibit the use of Internet information or images for making employment decisions, according to Caffarelli. “A lot of employers will use Internet information in wrongful-termination cases as character evidence,” says Caffarelli. “Just be careful of what you do and put out there because it may come back to haunt you.” Take precautions to protect your image. If you are inclined to use networking sites, create an online identity specifically for your professional needs. Choosing a network site to meet your needs can be confusing, but knowing where to post your profile and what to make public can save your online image. “It’s essential to have an online identity, especially if a recruiter is talking to you about a high-profile job,” says Andrea Sáenz, executive director of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement in Chicago. “It adds to your credibility if the information that they find about you is tied to your career goal.” Sáenz says it’s best to create some boundaries. She encourages job seekers to use LinkedIn for professional networking. She also recommends that employees use MySpace and Facebook only to connect to their friends and people they want to talk to on a more personal level. Jaime Velásquez, the assistant director of career services at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says Facebook is increasingly becoming a space for professional networking and that a couple of employers have found him through the site. Even so, he warns people not to get carried away. “Employers do use these (sites) to do background searches if they feel that there are things about the applicant that are questionable,” says Velásquez, who uses LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace to connect with students, co-workers and Latino groups. 25



Everything you always wanted to ask money, but were too busy spending it to ask writerAngel


For some Latinos, revealing their financial selves might be like showing up naked to a dinner party. A great conversation over arroz con pollo probably won’t include statements like, “I don’t know if I can afford my mortgage payments and continue helping my parents.” If you can’t bring yourself to talk to a financial expert about your money, at the very least have that conversation with yourself. An imaginary conversation with your money might very well sound like this...

retirement i’m younG. why shouLd i worry About retirement iF i pLAn on workinG For At LeAst Another 30 yeArs?

Whether you’re just starting out at your first job or days away from turning 45, you need to be automatically and systematically saving each month — even if it’s a small amount — into a retirement account or another savings vehicle. There are three basic retirement vehicles: Roth IRA, traditional IRA and 401(k) plans. If your employer offers some kind of match on your contributions (say, for every $1 you contribute the employer puts in $1) then it would seem wise to contribute to your 401(k) until your employer stops matching. Otherwise, try to diversify your future tax liabilities. The Roth IRA has no future tax liabilities, as long as you follow the rules, but your contributions aren’t tax-deductible. Contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deferred, in hopes that you’ll be in a lower tax bracket when you eventually make withdrawals — but those withdrawals are taxed. Talk to your financial adviser to organize a sound tax-planning strategy. Look, if you live to be 65, you have a very good chance of living into your 90s. If you retire at 55, that leaves you with at least 35 years with less, if any, earned income. insurAnce whAt’s disAbiLity insurAnce?

It’s a way to manage big risks in case something happens. Disability insurance protects your income and, that way, I won’t just disappear from your life. Once you’re insured, the worst thing that can happen is that you’re healthy and never become disabled.

26 Café oCToBEr2008

emerGency Fund i hAVe A sAVinGs Account. thAt shouLd coVer me.

How much? How long will it cover you? You should have enough money to pay all your expenses — including your mortgage — for at least six months. An emergency fund should be secure and accessible. A checking or savings account that earns interest and is insured is a good option, but consult your financial adviser first. You should know that the maximum amount that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will insure an account is $100,000 per individual. For instance, if you’re married and your expenses for a six-month period amount to $200,000, then you can set up a joint account so you have $200,000 worth of FDICinsured funds. If you have a business that has significant amounts of cash in a savings institution, look for a bank that participates in the CDARS program — the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service — which offers up to $50 million in FDIC coverage. debt mAnAGement i hAVe A Few credit cArds And most oF them Are mAxed out.

Debt used to create wealth, like a mortgage, is good. Remember the goal is to increase net worth, so investments — assets that have the potential to increase in value at a higher rate than the interest rate on the loan — are just some of the factors to look at when taking on credit. Credit cards and other forms of immediate or short-term debt are usually bad. I mean, come on, can you make 17 percent interest payments and feel good about it?

monEymAtters how to prepAre A monthLy househoLd budGet

5% 5%

insurance (life, disability, long-term care, auto)

transportation (gas, bus/train fares)





Savings (retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, college savings)


Household expenses (clothing, food, holiday spending, entertainment)

Housing And Debt (mortgage/rent, credit cards and other loan liabilities)

Percentages may vary by household.

SOURCE: Cruz Registered Investment Advisors, LLC

whAt About A second mortGAGe? i wAs thinkinG About tAkinG one to pAy For other debts.

Be careful or you’ll find your home value under water. Keep mortgage debt to no more than 75 percent to 80 percent of the home value. If you’ve got 20 percent equity and the home value drops 5 percent and you sell the home, you’ve lost 25 percent of your equity! That’s not good for your net worth. Imagine if you had zero equity. You’d have to write a check to the bank to cover the loan after selling your home. Increase your net worth by managing your risks, managing your cash flow and managing your debt. Angel Cruz, President of Cruz Registered Investment Advisors, LLC, is a Certified Financial Planner and has been providing investment and financial advice for more than 20 years. He can be reached 27

CAFéFiLter | GET ahEad

iLeArn Enriching your life with knowledge has never been easier or cheaper, with podcasting writermarilia


To the neophyte, a podcast is nothing more than an audio recording that is posted on a Web site and can be downloaded into a computer using free software that is readily available online. The vast majority of podcasts are available for free. All you need to do is subscribe and the podcast software downloads the latest files to your computer, where you can synchronize your portable player. You take your player with you and can listen to your classes anywhere, anytime.

openculture Hundreds of free online courses from universities such as UCLA Berkeley, Yale University, Stanford University, MIT and other top institutions. Voices en español Learn Spanish with this conversational Spanish podcast with native Spanish speakers from Spain, Latin American and the United States. coffee break spanish Okay, so you’re a beginner speaker of Spanish. No problem. This popular, low-key podcast is the perfect solution. Gramophone podcast podcast.asp Expand your knowledge of classical music, try this monthly podcast from the world’s most renowned classical music magazine.

28 Café oCToBEr2008

Jazz in chicago Information and interviews with leading figures in the Chicago jazz scene. Lit2Go Download free classic books like Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. university of chicago Graduate school of business multimedia/podcast University of Chicago’s renowned faculty discusses current topics and ideas that affect companies around the world. the digital photography show digiphoto.thepodcast Tips to improve your images and interviews with top photographers.

the Advanced selling podcast billcaskey.podshow This podcast brings you weekly tips for sales professionals. Learn good sales processes, closing skills and the mental outlook to advance your career in sales. business english podcast businessenglishpod. com Whether you are a native speaker or a lifelong English-language learner, this podcast will help you communicate effectively in the business world. This free weekly podcast covers topics such as negotiations, meetings, presentations and job interviews.

cpA podcasts Calling all CPA’s! Get your daily money fix in this series of podcasts that include tips, tutorials, games, book reviews, everything for the accounting enthusiast. Topics range from assets management to personal finance to corporate taxation. In other words, an accountant’s paradise! interfaith Voices getpodcast If your interests lean toward religion and philosophy, this podcast will help you expand your knowledge of faith around the world. Interfaith Voices is a weekly public radio show that promotes religious harmony and interfaith understanding.

editor’s note: Due to the nature of the Internet, podcasts may change or stop publishing altogether.

Proyecto Comunidad It’s time to stop talking about what must be done and time to shape the future of education for the next generation of Latino students.

Become the leader you were born to be.

National-Louis University

Chicago’s next generation of Latino leaders: the difference makers


t is to Latino Chicago that businesses, neighborhoods, universities and government are now looking for leadership. Chicago’s growing Latino community is shaping our city’s economy and its quality of life. A new, highly educated generation of Latino men and women is moving in ever greater numbers from the classroom to the corporate board room—leading our largest multi-national corporations, using their entrepreneurial talents to build the Fortune 500 companies of the future and advocating for change in their children’s schools and their parents’ neighborhoods. And it is to National-Louis University (NLU) that this new generation of Latino leaders is looking for the education they need to become difference makers—men and women who dream big and who do no small things.

Since its founding in 1886, NLU has been a university committed to access, excellence and innovation. Men and women, often the first in their families to get a college education, have been coming to NLU to get a degree—and come out transformed. They go back to their jobs with knowledge they can put to work immediately. They become advocates for better schools and safer neighborhoods. They make their families proud and their communities better places to live. Listen to what Chicago’s next generation of Latino leaders has to say about the power of education. Join the conversation at and see why NLU is the university that is the place to find the Latino difference makers of today—and tomorrow. To learn more go to or call

Join the conversation with the difference makers: Maribel Ireta Ana Maria Soto Javier Hernandez Mayra Hinojosa

National-Louis University Access. Innovation. Excellence. Since 1886.

CAFeFiLter | upgrAde

Upgrading to a new phone has become somewhat similar to buying a new car. The new one has more features than the last one, but many of those features don’t necessarily fit your lifestyle. And, with six out of 10 Latinos owning a cell phone, and half of them using it to send and receive text messages, the Pew Hispanic Center says, coming up with the perfect fit is quite a challenge. Today, there is a cell phone on the market suited for everyone: from a T-Mobile Sidekick for the teenager who can’t live without texting friends near or far,

might be particularly handy if you need to transfer large quantities of data wirelessly using your phone. On the other hand, different types of keyboards change the cell phone experience greatly, from having all the keys flush in a QWERTY keyboard to using predictive text messaging in a normal dial pad. Sending and receiving e-mail messages become much more manageable when a full set of keys is at your disposal. Yet, if texting is not relevant to your lifestyle, stick to a normal keypad, which is smaller. For some, a large screen can seem nice on the eyes,

mAke the riGht cALL



With all the new acronyms and high-tech bells and whistles, choosing the right cell phone can seem as complicated as a telenovela. to RIM’s Blackberry phones for the international business person who needs to be accessible 24/7. But with acronyms such as GSM, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA or even CDMA understanding product features is a daunting task. Screen size, Internet connectivity, keyboard, battery life, multimedia features, cost and overall design of the mobile phone are all key features to keep in mind when making a well-informed decision. Of course, choosing the right wireless phone will greatly depend on the carrrier and the service plans available. These simple yet helpful questions can quickly narrow your phone to hopefully one category: • Am I going to use the phone for e-mails? • Am I going to use text messaging more than calls? • Do I want to listen to music? • Do I need a good camera? • How often do I need to recharge it? • Do I need it to fit in my pocket? The third generation of wireless technology, more commonly known as 3G, is set to become the standard. It allows for faster data transfer speeds, but not all the cell phone models available in the market use it. 3G

but the battery will significantly reduce its lifespan. If you don’t want to run out of juice quickly, stick to a smaller screen. Otherwise, make sure you carry a phone charger with you at all times. Battery life is also key if you want to listen to your MP3s, watch a movie or surf the Web. However you slice it, it does no good if the battery dies after only two hours of use. Since Apple’s iPhone 3G was introduced in July, touch screen phones have quickly become a staple in every cell phone provider’s product line. They generally fit two categories: the screen is either all touch or the phone includes a slide-out keyboard. Using a touch screen phone with a dedicated Web browser makes surfing the Internet easy. It is an experience that resembles using the Internet on a computer. Choosing a phone is all about finding the middle ground between fun and business. Take all the features that are key to your lifestyle and factor in battery life. Next time you walk into your cell phone provider’s store, you will be ready to choose the right phone to fit your lifestyle.


choosinG wiseLy

Some definitions that can help make your decision easier: source:

Gsm hsdpA umts


refers to all third-generation mobile technology. It allows users to transfer data at speeds that can reach 2 mbps (megabytes per second).

30 Café oCToBEr2008

stands for Universal mobile Telecommunications service. It’s a 3G broadband transmission platform that allows for data transfer speeds of up to 2 mbps.

stands for high-speed downlink Packet access. It’s a new protocol that allows for ultra-fast broadband speeds on a mobile phone. In conjunction with UmTs and 3G, hsdPa is said to bring speeds up to 8 mbps.

stands for Global system for mobile Communications. It’s the world’s most popular cell phone technology. among other things, it has international roaming capabilities. If your lifestyle requires you to travel with your cell phone, then Gsm is a must.

stands for Enhanced data Gsm Environment. It’s basically a faster version of Gsm designed to deliver data at rates of up to 384 kbps (kilobytes per second). It is a high-speed Internet access technology that allows for faster and more reliable delivery of data, particularly multimedia. Cell phones that lack this technology have data transfer speeds ranging from 75 to 135 kbps.

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| Be Well CAFéFiLter CAFeFiLter

home remedies Part whimsical and part scientificallybased, home remedies are a key component of the collective wisdom of every culture, and Latinos are no exception. writermarilia


bAnAnAs or pennies Got a nosebleed? lie back and place a banana peel or penny on your forehead until it stops. honey as nature’s antiseptic, apply to cuts and scrapes and cover with bandage to prevent skin infections. tomAto To soothe colds and congestion, place roasted tomato slices on soles of bare feet. Lemon/Lime sodA drink a lemon/lime soda to relieve the discomfort of gas or nausea. VApor rub To stop nighttime coughing, smear on soles of the feet and wear socks. Limes dry out pimples and acne by rubbing half of a cut lime onto affected areas. chAmomiLe teA drink a cup of this hot tea for indigestion relief and a good night’s sleep. oLiVe oiL drink 3-4 tablespoons to relieve constipation. Take1-2 tablespoons daily for overall maintenance. potAto slice raw potato and rub temples to alleviate headaches. Listerine Get rid of dandruff by massaging onto scalp, then shampoo and rinse. sALt dissolve 2 tablespoons into a glass of water and gargle for sore throat relief. witch hAzeL Use as an astringent to treat cuts, cleanse face and control acne. Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute the advice of a qualified health practitioner.

32 Café Café oCToBEr2008 oCToBEr2008

eucALyptus Pour hot water into a bowl with a few leaves and inhale the steam from the water to clear nasal and sinus congestion. ALoe Alleviate burns and itchy rashes by applying the pulp of a cut leaf directly on the area. peppermint Make tea by steeping 1/2 teaspoon of leaves to relieve indigestion, colic, stomachache and nausea.


33 Café oCToBEr2008




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34 Café oCToBEr2008

FashionStrong “Latinas don’t hide their curves; they Like to feeL Like women… they Like to feeL fLirty, feminine and dressed up” — anna fong



Anna Fong’s coveted designs celebrate culture, femininity


Elena Alicea photographyLynda guillú

Just days before she is expected to open her Halsted Street studio, Chicago fashion designer Anna Fong gets a call from actress Nadine Velasquez asking her to fly to New York. Velasquez, who plays “Catalina” on the NBC sitcom “My Name is Earl,” wants Fong to help her choose an outfit for an exclusive celebrity party and some new pieces for her summer wardrobe. The warehouse loft that serves as Fong’s studio is nowhere near ready for an opening: The workspace looks unfinished, industrialsize sewing machines and fabric scraps are spread out on the floor, and the plumbing has sprung a leak. Fong’s slightly creased brow shows a hint of concern, but she shakes it off and flies to New York the next day to meet her client. After two days of fittings at Fifth Avenue’s high-end boutiques, Velasquez’s bags are brimming with chic summer gems chosen and accessorized by the Humboldt Park native who is attracting a growing clientele of celebrities. A FLAIr For FASHIon When Fong beat out New York and Los Angeles designers last year to win the first AOL Fashionista Award in Design — an online reality talent competition patterned after Bravo’s “Project Runway” — her last name raised eyebrows among members of the Spanishlanguage media, a reaction that doesn’t surprise her. “In grade school, when my name was called, they weren’t expecting me to show up. Now when I’m in a room full of Latinos, they’re intrigued,” she says. “Once they see me and learn about my background, they see the connection to my designs.” Fong’s name is the legacy of her father’s Chinese grandparents, who settled in Guatemala in the 1800s. Her mother, Rosa, says Fong’s talent for dressmaking runs in her blood. “Ana Victoria was named after my mother, Victoria Ana,” she explains. “She was a tireless woman who liked to sew. The townspeople would pay her to make the costumes and uniforms for their children” to wear for the Independence Day festivities. Her mother says Fong still treasures her first toy sewing machine, as well as the first real one she used to make candy-colored dresses for her younger sister when she was in high school. She thrived in the arts programs for teens at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. But it was at Columbia College’s High School Summer Institute where she focused on textile design. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in fashion design from Columbia College in 2001. Fong’s Five Secrets to Success: 1. Never give up on your dream 2. Be creative and flexible — things don’t always go as planned 3. Keep positive individuals around you and have a positive attitude yourself 4. Be willing to take risks 5. Believe in yourself

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CULtUrAL ConnECtIon As she evolves her line, many things inspire her designs, Fong says. Her airy figure-hugging summer dresses with full skirts are reminiscent of a ballerina “that I first started sketching as a child.” She soaks up different cultural influences, which she infuses into her creations. She is also influenced by her travels, and collects fabrics wherever she visits. Fong acknowledges the distinctive Latin American influence in her creations, particularly in how her feminine silhouettes accentuate a woman’s curves. “Latinas don’t hide their curves; they like to feel like women…they like to feel flirty, feminine and dressed up,” she says. Her predilection for gold stitching and details, and her signature thin metallic gold leather belts — especially prominent in her Fall 2007 Black & Gold collection — suggest the Mayan fascination with gold. In her Spring 2008 collection, she included pieces in soft shades of khaki, but many of her garments pop playfully with the vibrant hues of South America. These influences are subtle, not heavy handed, says Denise Carrasco, a client who zips into the studio one afternoon and — in five minutes — finds a very feminine magenta outfit to wear to a benefit event. She laments that a lot of Latina designers “try to do too much.” She describes Fong’s line as “comfortable and really simple, clean and classy.” Locally, she has showcased her designs at the Chicago Latino Fashion Week and the Asian American Fashion Show, among others. She can be found styling a local actress, television anchor or an everyday buyer one day, and megastars like Beyoncé Knowles the next. “Confidence is a state of mind, and my clothes are an accessory to this beautiful state of mind,” says Fong, who has supreme confidence in her career. Fong’s collections are available at her studio located at 1932 S. Halsted Street, Suite 504, in Chicago, and online at Her prices range from $80 to $500. GettinG Personal

If you could talk to your grandmother ... “i would tell my grandmother that what i do as a job doesn’t feel like a ‘job.’ i do what i’m passionate about on a daily basis. tradition from your childhood? “sharing a meal together and extending it out for hours just talking and laughing.” Have you ever received a serenata? “Yes... From my family on my birthday every year at the time i was born ... 5 a.m.-ish.”

Describe a family gathering in one word. Why? “Loud! Family gatherings always combine food, libations, laughter and a dash of sarcasm for amusement. We’re loud in a very good way...” Salsa, merengue, norteño, reggaetón, tango or flamenco? “salsa.” How do you drink your café? “Leche con café... and (it) must be very sweet.”

RiGhT: anna Fong in her studio on halsted st.


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MigEntE 37



“dime con q uién andas y Te diré q uién eres.”



Harris® is a trade name used by Harris N.A. and its affiliates. Member FDIC



ComFort ComFort mEEtS mEEtS LUxUry LUxUry

Dolores Kunda’s loft is a studyKunda’s in contrast Dolores loft is a study in contrast

Dolores Kunda’s bedroom is an oasis in white.

39 Café oCToBER2008 39



Elena Alicea guillú and mars Hall


Just steps from the East Bank Club, a residential development constructed of heavy timber on the west end and concrete on the east stretches across an entire city block on Illinois Street, from Orleans to Kingsbury streets. Built as an industrial warehouse in the early 20th century, the building stands as a reminder of an era of brawny, horizontal architecture amid the sleek high-rises of the River North neighborhood. In 1997, Dolores Kunda, president of Lápiz Integrated Hispanic Marketing, noticed when developers began to rehab the historic warehouse into what would later become The Sexton. At the time, the area was a drab concrete cluster of empty warehouses, and, she says, not a place where she felt secure walking after dark. “I was really lucky,” says Kunda. “Because it was under construction, I had my pick (of apartments).”

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LEFT: a Chinese screen covers the wall in the living room that holds Dolores Kunda’s media center. RiGhT: This 7-foot-tall painting by artist Joseph Kunda, Dolores’s brother, is the focal point of the dining area. BoTToM LEFT: Dolores enjoys a panoramic view of the Chicago skyline from the living room of her River north loft.

From the floor plan, she selected the northeast corner loft on the 11th floor, where she enjoys a spectacular panoramic view of the city’s skyline from the floor-toceiling glass doors that open to her private balcony. “The sun makes me happy,” she says, as she takes in the bright morning sunlight cascading through her windows. The conversion of the grand warehouse that had housed one of the nation’s largest industrial food-distribution companies into one of the city’s largest residential loft developments is credited with spurring the building boom in this once neglected neighborhood. Today, The Sexton enjoys a new life as a home for urban professionals seeking to live within walking distance of some of Chicago’s best shopping, dining and entertainment venues. An advertising executive who oversees bigbudget campaigns, Kunda has taken a hands-

on approach to making her River North loft her dream home, from changing the floor plan by removing and adding walls to designing a $7,000 custom-made tiger maple cabinet for her bathroom, where she keeps some of her favorite books. This Washington, D.C., native of Puerto Rican and Ukrainian heritage thrives on taking on new projects. Kunda joined Leo Burnett in 1984 and worked at the ad agency’s office in Mexico City from 1990 to 1993. There, she fell in love with Mexican furniture and handcrafts, and brought with her most of the furniture she bought there when she returned to Chicago. In 1993, she became the head of Hispanic marketing for Leo Burnett Worldwide and began laying the groundwork to launch Lápiz, the stand-alone Hispanic advertising agency she established in 1999. In less than ten years, Lápiz has become one of the nation’s leading Hispanic advertising agencies. In 2007, Kunda

was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the Chicago Advertising Federation. Her late work hours and frequent business trips as president and CEO of both Lápiz and Leo Burnett Puerto Rico often keep her away from home for long stretches. “I stay in great hotels. But the Four Seasons can’t compare to my home,” she says. In her home, comfort – not luxury – is the quality she values most. And she emphatically avoids what she considers the “boring” look of “houses where everything matches.” Instead, she has created an eclectic, deeply personal and comfortable “livedin” home by combining warm organic and rustic pieces, mostly from Mexico, with traditional and modern American furnishings – many of which have a special association with a friend, family member, or an important place or time in her life. Instead of bringing in an interior de 41


signer, she and her close friend, Tom Thate, an architect based in Los Angeles, redesigned the loft’s floor plan by eliminating walls and raising the ceiling to accommodate Kunda’s love of natural light. They added crown molding, says Thate, to “give the place the traditional look and feel of a home,” rather than the more impersonal feel of a loft. In addition, they selected furniture that either complements or provides a counterpoint to the rustic Mexican furniture. “Dolores is a modest, not a showy, person,“ says Thate. “She is traditional in her roots, but she has a great sense of adventure that allows her to experiment.” the Living room

A red velvet Baker sofa anchors the living area, which is an eclectic composition of traditional and modern American furniture. “It’s going to look like a bordello,” Kunda says she told Thate when he suggested it. But when she saw the sofa sitting against the apartment’s beige walls next to her goldish down-filled love couch, she appreciated how it brightened the room. Above the sofa hangs a richly colored still life, painted in the primary colors of Mexican folk art and pottery. Above the fireplace, a Chinese screen of a cherry blossom that Kunda bought in San Francisco covers the wall that holds her built-in media center. “I like it because it’s calming. And it’s got red in it,” she says. The oval coffee table is a Nancy Corzine creation, as are the two gold lamps, whose geometric shapes serve as counterpoints to the table’s more organic shape. The three-tier, dark mahogany table and the smaller side table are from the Barbara Barry collection by Baker.

The dining table, with its 600-pound granite top, was purchased in Mexico.

the Dining Area

The focal point of the dining area is a 7-foot-tall painting that her brother, artist Joseph Kunda, created to memorialize their time together at a Cirque du Soleil performance. The painting captures in kaleidoscopic colors the fluid movement of an acrobat leaping forward, in the spirit of Toulouse-Lautrec’s “At the Cirque Fernando” series. The piece adds an interesting flash of whimsy to an apartment whose underpinnings are rustic and traditional with an eclectic, modern sensibility. To provide more wall space around a 6-by-6-foot mirror that she bought in the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende, Kunda extended the ceiling to its 11-foot height. The generously sized mirror is encased in a heavy, ornately carved wood frame that has been gilded with a technique called estofado to give it a luxurious, antique look. Along with the mirror, Kunda brought back from Mexico a dining room table with a 600-pound granite tabletop. It took six men to carry it up five floors to the apartment from the freight elevator’s last stop on the sixth floor. Made of Rosa Porrino granite, a pink stone with black and gray spots, the tabletop was designed by her father when he visited her in Mexico. A fitted corner was built in to ensconce a rustic, hand-carved corner cabinet made of pine purchased in Coyoacán, the area of Mexico City where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived. On its shelves is a tableware collection made of Mexican pewter.

Mom’s Vintage Shoes Kunda, who achieves in her decor an intriguing tension by harmonizing pieces of contrasting styles, is herself an embodiment of contrasting influences. The adventurous, sharply competitive strategic marketer keeps on the shelves such titles as the ruthless, Machiavellian book “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, and the unconventional, topsy-turvy management wisdom of “The Pursuit of Wow!” by Tom Peters. on the other hand, this feminine, sentimental woman, rooted in a traditional upbringing, keeps nestled between her power management books, her mother’s coquettish vintage patent leather shoes from the 1940s. “i remember, when i was a little girl, seeing my mother wear these shoes when she went out (on special occasions),” she says. “My mother gave a pair of her shoes to each of my girlfriends,” she says, explaining that having these shoes make them feel more connected to each other.

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the Kitchen

From the original floor plan, Kunda and Thate eliminated a curved wall in the kitchen that obstructed the light from the living room window. “Tom said, ‘We’ll square off the wall,’” she says. “That circular stuff, he said, is a trend, but it’s not very practical.” Because she loves entertaining large parties, they removed a small island in the kitchen and created a peninsula, or wraparound breakfast bar. They chose green granite from Brazil, called Verde San Francisco, with “cinnamon red coloring swirled in” for the breakfast bar, the kitchen countertop and the wall along the splash back. At her father’s suggestion, they reinforced a kitchen wall with beams and added a giant pot rack that can hold up to three dozen large pots and pans neatly without cluttering her kitchen. The beautiful washed oak kitchen cabinetry was installed by Merillat. On the top of the cabinets are two lithographs by Costa Rican artist Francisco Zúñiga painted in earthy, soft hues. She bought the prints from a friend, who salvaged them from a fire. the Bedroom

What Kunda says she loves most about her loft is the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcase Thate custom-designed for her bedroom to hold the hundreds of books she owns. Here, she displays items that are dear to her heart. “I keep on these shelves all my little presents I’ve received from my friends’ children,” she says. She also keeps quirky comic strips her father sends her that remind him of her. Soft, luminous landscape paintings by local artist Gerard Erley bring the beauty of the natural world into her bedroom. “My favorite (painting) reminds me of the mists of Avalon, the mythical place in England,” she says. Mexican pine furniture provides a rustic touch to a room awash in the serenity of white -- white walls, white bed linens and billowy white pillows. Here she keeps an antique Chinese lacquered bookcase from the 1800s that she purchased at The Golden Triangle, an antique Chinese furniture showroom just blocks from her home. “I like the combination of Chinese and Mexican,” she says, remarking how noticeably Asian influences appear in indigenous cultures.


ToP: The bedroom, with its floorto-ceiling bookcase, is Dolores’s favorite space in her loft. BoTToM: The hand-carved corner cabinet was purchased in Coyoacán, Mexico.




A clutter-free and easy way of creating a picture wall find it at Affordable frames: Textured frames: Antique look without the antique price: Local thrift stores The painless route if time or patience are issues, go to This company offers a complete kit containing all the essentials: a ready-made template, frames and even access to its stock photos in case you don’t have any – which isn’t likely!

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tHE ProBLEm Pictures, photos, snapshots... Stashed in drawers, scattered around the house or picking up dust on the mantelpiece, photographs have always been a core part of Latino culture. It is how we preserve and recall those precious moments in the lives of our loved ones – Juanito’s latest school portrait, Carmencita’s quinceañera, the twins’ bautismo. But what do you do when you have a family the size of Texas? What if you can’t decide on which photos to display? And most importantly, what if space is an issue? tHE SoLUtIon The solution to these dilemmas is a picture wall -- an effective way of displaying a collage of photos that adds warmth and personality to a space. You’ve seen picture walls before. You’d like to have one. You wonder if you can do it without creating chaos on the wall. Picture walls don’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are simple ways to organize photographs to create an eyecatching effect. Yes, it does require measuring -- the kind that involves a measuring tape, and not using your nearest relative as a surveying tool. Another approach: Use old paper bags and create paper cutouts of each frame. Use the cutouts to design a layout that works for you. It may sound tedious, but in the end you’ll save yourself the time and aggravation that would arise from having to patch all the holes from the trial-and-error method.

Composition is a key part of creating a great picture wall. When deciding what photos to use, think about a story you want to tell. Select photos that have the same color scheme so they don’t compete with one another. To achieve balance, try using frames of the same color or limit your color palette to two or three colors. If contrast is more your style, use several types of frames -- antique, textured or modern -- for a more eclectic look. Experiment with different sizes, balancing larger frames with smaller ones. Rearrange them until you find the right combination, keeping in mind that you need to maintain consistent spaces between the pictures. If you have too many photos and deciding which ones to use isn’t easy, try choosing different themes and create several separate photo walls throughout your space. Don’t worry about overkill. The use of several walls can become the tying element to your space. Once you have selected your favorite pictures and decided on the perfect layout, you will need to measure your wall to help mark the placement of each frame. And don’t rely on your relative’s word to figure out if a picture is hanging straight. Save yourself the aggravation by using a level. LASt PIECE oF ADvICE Don’t be afraid to add color to your wall. It will help separate it from the rest and create that visual impact that you’ve been looking for.



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45 Café oCToBER2008 State Farm – Bloomington, IL –®


auTuMnESCAPES Illinois has a lot to offer the fall traveler

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rioja and marilia gutiérrez


When the leaves start turning yellow, red and orange and the warmth of the summer days makes way for the chilly air, you know it’s time for the most picturesque season of all: the fall. It’s a perfect time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in search of lush and colorful landscapes. photo courtesy of illinois bureau of tourism

We have chosen three destinations to help you plan a fall retreat: a day trip to Anderson Japanese Gardens, a weekend getaway to Starved Rock and a three-day trip to Galena. All these offer visitors spectacular views of autumn landscapes and opportunities for relaxation and discovery. Enjoy the trip! 47


photography jason ross

Waterfall at starved Rock state Park AnDErSon JAPAnESE gArDEnS


The beauty and tranquility of nature

The best-kept secret in Illinois

There’s a place in Rockford, Ill., were nature and tranquility coexist in perfect harmony. The soothing quality of the water falls beautifully complements the different textures of the rocks and the colors of the vegetation in the Anderson Japanese Gardens. The idea for the gardens More info originated in 1966 when local businessman and inanderson Japanese Gardens vestor John Anderson vis318 spring Creek Road Rockford, iL 61107 ited Japan for the first (815) 229-9390 time. Twelve years later the Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; construction of the garden Fri., 9 a.m.-sundown; sat., 9 a.m.started in a plot of land he 4 p.m.; sun, noon-4 p.m. and his wife had purchased Admission: adults, $7; seniors $6; students, $5. Kids under 4, free. in Rockford. The son Japanese Gardens were designed to balance three essential elements: water, rocks and plants. Today, the 12-acre authentic Japanese gardens are the perfect place to experience the natural scenery in all its glory, as well as to find serenity and inspiration. The integration of the landscape with the paths and bridges and the water provide visitors with a peaceful environment that is both relaxing for the adults and fun for the kids. Guided tours for groups of up to 30 people and self-guided tours are available. There is a visitors’ center that includes a restaurant, a gallery and gift shop. Parking is free of charge. Visitors need to be aware that the garden has a strict photograph policy. Please visit the garden’s Web site for more information.

About 94 miles southwest of Chicago, Starved Rock State Park offers a picturesque and fun adventure for a fall weekend getaway. Located in Utica, Illinois, Starved Rock is known for its unique rock formations that consist of canyons formed by glacial meltwater and stream erosion. The park More info was named one of the Seven starved Rock Lodge and Wonders of Illinois in 2007 Conference Center by the Illinois Bureau of Routes 178 and 71, utica, iL 61373 Tourism. (800) 868-7625 The name “Starved Rock” comes from a Native American legend about a group of Illiniwek who were surrounded by a band of Potawatomi and Ottawa Indians who were trying to avenge the death of the Ottawa Chief Pontiac. When the Illiniwek climbed to the top of the rock, the Ottawa and Potawatomi kept the Illiniwek trapped until the Illiniwek starved to death. While there is some controversy over whether historical evidence of this battle exists, the name “Starved Rock” survives to present day. There are plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family, including hiking, boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding and picnicking. One of the best places to stay is right in the park at the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center. The lodge features a registration lobby, an indoor swimming pool, saunas and an outdoor sunning patio. Another good hotel option, especially if you have children who enjoy swimming, is Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort, in Utica. The indoor water park at Grand Bear Lodge features a lazy river, a wave pool and water slides. It also has a motion and sound adventure waterslide. According to the park, guests choose their adventure, experience images and sounds as they ride the enclosed slide. In addition, the resort offers a small indoor amusement park with nine rides, as well as a restaurant, an arcade and an on-site candy shop.

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Back roads and country flair Located in the northwest corner of Illinois, the city of Galena is part of Jo Daviess County. With its picturesque storefronts and historical architecture, Galena is the quintessential allAmerican town. But right beyond the town lie scenic backroads that traverse a spectacular rural setting rich in history and traditions. To the visitor, Jo Daviess County offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Illinois and the Midwest. Start your visit by checking in to one of the many bed and breakfasts, resorts or inns in the area, like Tierra Linda Bed & Breakfast, 826 South Rocky Hill Road. Owner Armando Villa says Tierra Linda offers the visitor “nature at its best.” “We don’t cut the vegetation around here. We let everything grow wild,” says Villa, a native of Colombia. He moved from Chicago to Galena after visiting the area in the fall and falling in love with its rural atmosphere. In 1996, Villa opened Tierra Linda, a pet-friendly bed and breakfast that was chosen best in the nation in 2007 by Continue with a visit to Apple River Canyon State Park in the hilly Jo Daviess County where, along with a scenic canyon area, you’ll find springs, streams and wildlife. Finish the day with a visit to one of the local wineries, such as the Galena Cellars Vineyards, in Galena, or the Rocky Waters Vineyard and Winery, in the nearby town of Hanover, where you can enjoy a glass of wine while taking in

Where to stay

Tierra Linda Bed and Breakfast 826 s. Rocky hill Road Galena, iL 61036 (815) 777-1234 on a hillside just outside Galena, this small B&B is pet-friendly. owner armando Villa offers a mixture of hospitality, charm, good meals and beautiful scenery. Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa 444 Eagle Ridge Drive Galena, iL 61036 (815) 777-5000 The Eagle Ridge Resort is in the heart of Galena Territory, a private development several miles southwest of downtown Galena.

Pond on the grounds of Tierra Linda Bed & Breakfast, Galena. photo courtesy of armando villa the beautiful countryside. Start the second day with a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Flights take about an hour (the whole experience takes three to four hours), during which time you begin by viewing the scenery at tree-top level before reaching an altitude of approximately 3,500 feet above the ground. Flights depart from Galena Territory, a privatelyowned development area southwest of downtown Galena. Upon your return, take a casual country bicycle ride through the hills of Galena Territory. A horse-drawn carriage ride through

Pine Hollow Inn 4700 n. Council hill Road Galena, iL 61036 (815) 777-1071 unique hideaway on 120 acres of secluded, wooded valley located 1 mile from the city of Galena.

WhERE To Go Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery 515 s. Main st. (store) Galena, iL 61036 (815) 777-3330

the historic streets of Galena followed by dinner for two at a gourmet restaurant are the perfect end to a sight-seeing day. The third day of your excursion should be devoted to exploring historic downtown Galena, complete with a walking tour, shopping and lunch. If time permits, remember that Galena is located a short drive away from the Port of Dubuque, Iowa, where you can learn about the Mississippi River ecology and history.

Rocky Waters Vineyard/Winery 2003 W. hanover Road hanover, iL 61041 (815) 591-9706 started by Jared and Phyllis spahn in 1997, Rocky Waters is a 25-acre vineyard that produces and sells six different varieties of wines.

Sinsinawa Mound Center 585 County Road Z sinsinawa, Wi 53824 (608) 748-4411 Located on 450 acres of lush woodlands, orchards, vineyards and gardens, sinsinawa Mound offers an atmosphere that invites reflection.

Apple River Canyon State Park 8763 E. Canyon Road apple River, iL 61001 (815) 745-3302 canyon.html This 297-acre park is in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border.

More information Galena Visitors and Convention Bureau Galena Downtown Galena Chamber of Commerce 49




BrIngIn’ It HomE writermiguel

Jimenez photographyalBerto treviño

The Chicago-born actor talks about his upbringing and how it shaped his brand new film The Congress Theater’s lobby is steamy. Its classic movie-palace décor is way too regal for it to be a sauna, but it definitely feels like one. But somehow, Lincoln Park native Freddy Rodriguez stays cool. He looks cool, too. 51


“i aLways say that i come here to recharge. i just feeL drained when i’m not here” — freddy rodriguez


omething about his poses for the photo shoot are way too natural. His stance is all b-boy with just a little extra suave flare. And although he switches it up every few seconds, each pose is just a head nod away from a “What up?” gesture you’d get on any Chicago street.

Right before a wardrobe change, he walks towards a stereo playing reggae from an iPod, which turns out to be his. It’s a fine selection of a little dub, dancehall and roots. He asks a woman nearby, “You like reggae?” He turns the volume up and busts a move — slowly digging into the beat with his hips. “Yeahhh...” he says. A few minutes later, after greeting everyone along with a few “thank yous,” Freddy sits on a couch in a studio around the corner from the Congress. The heat of the theater follows him, but still nothing squeezes a drop of sweat out of him.

HoW Do yoU StAy So CooL? [Seeming a bit surprised, he laughs] I don’t know, man. I just do.

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you’re back in chicago. what are you up to? I bought a place here. So you know, I try to come back as often as possible. It’s usually around the summertime or winter break. But I’m just sorta living here right now. WHErE ExACtLy DID yoU groW UP? I grew up right down the block from here, on Armitage and Western. I moved to Bucktown in 1980. I was born in Lincoln Park. WHAt WAS It LIKE For yoU? Well, you know, we’re talking about the 80s. It was rough. It was the height of gang culture in Chicago — especially in Bucktown, which you know, borders Humboldt Park and Wicker Park. It wasn’t the greatest place to grow up in. There were drug dealers in every corner, and it was also the height of the crack era. It was a pretty rough place to grow up in. But, you know, it shaped who I am as a person. I survived it, and I appreciate it much more now. AmIDSt ALL tHAt, HoW DID yoU gEt Into ACtIng? I started when I was 13, about 20 years ago, because of the condition the area was in. There was an independent theater program that


came in and offered the arts to my grammar school — Pulaski Fine Arts Academy. As we all know, whenever there are budget cuts in the school system, the first thing to go are always the arts and sports (programs). So, this independent theater company came in for that year. I had a fluke audition, and I got in. I was hooked ever since. IS tHErE SomEtHIng From yoUr CHICAgo ExPErIEnCE tHAt yoU CHAnnEL Into yoUr roLES? Growing up in that kind of environment shapes who you are as a person. No matter how much success you achieve or how much money you make, you always carry a little bit of that with you — always, throughout your whole life. SomEonE toLD mE tHAt yoUr FIrSt gIg WAS DAnCIng For A KIDS’ SHoW. IS tHAt trUE? [Briefly trips on his words as he laughs] That’s the messed-up part about coming to Chicago, because you come across people that you know since you were 12 years old, and they always bring up old stuff. [Laughs] Yeah, I was involved in all aspects of the arts when I was younger. I used to dance, I used to do choreography, I used to rap... I was just a natural hustler. I was gonna do it no matter what — whether it was through dance or music or acting. The acting stuff hit first, so that’s what I went with. DID yoU ExPErIEnCE Any CHALLEngES BEIng A LAtIno ACtor? Yeah, of course, you always face challenges being Latino because there’s always a certain box or category that they try to put you in because of your last name. My philosophy was always, “I came out of the theater, and in theater there is no ethnicity — you embody a role, you play a part, and that’s your job.” Early on in my career I refused a lot of work... Now we’re at a different time when Latinos are in power in Hollywood and are doing more mainstream commercial films — doing better work. I feel good that I didn’t succumb to some films back then. tELL US ABoUt yoUr nEW FILm. “Nothing Like the Holidays” is the first film that I executive produced. I did it with my production partner, Bob Teitel, who is a half-Puerto Rican, half-Jewish guy, also from Chicago. I’ve known him since the early 90s. We always talked about putting together a film. But back then we were rookies, you know, we didn’t really have the power to do it. So for three years we kinda threw ideas around, and we had the rights to a couple different books, but he always had this idea to do “Nothing Like the Holidays.” And I thought the idea was great. I just said, “It’s great, but we just have to do it in a way, in a level of quality, where everybody will go see it. Not just Latinos, but also white people, black people... everybody. So that was our base for writing the script, creating the project and setting the tone. “Nothing Like the Holidays” is my love letter back to Chicago, saying, “Thank you. Now, I’m able to do this and bring a movie back home, and film it in the neighborhood where I frequented as a kid.” And it’s just sort of my thank you, my love letter back to Chicago. WHAt’S tHE Story? WHo IS yoUr CHArACtEr? The story revolves around a family. The parents are empty-nesters, and all of their children have left the house. John Leguizamo’s character is this sort of uptight Wall Street lawyer who moved to New York and married a Jewish girl, played by Debra Messing. Vanessa Ferlito, who

I did “Grindhouse” with, plays my sister. She plays this Hollywood actress who moved to L.A. And then I play this guy who joined the Marines and went to Iraq. The family hasn’t been together in three years. They decide to get together during Christmastime because I got hurt in Iraq and got honorably discharged. My character is coming home for Christmas, so that gives incentive for the family to get together. But we’re a dysfunctional family. So, you know, a dysfunctional family gets together around Christmastime and all the dysfunctionality ensues. HoW InvoLvED WAS tHE HUmBoLDt PArK CommUnIty? Oh, man, the community of Humboldt Park... The people who live there were absolutely incredible to us, man. They were just incredibly hospitable. We would be filming in the neighborhood, and people would invite us into their houses. First of all, last winter was probably the coldest winter in, like, 20 years, and we shot about 75 percent of the film outside. So, people in the neighborhood were aware that we were freezing our butts off outside. (They) would open up their doors to us, allow us to come in. They would cook us meals. On a personal level, I would have expected that, but because I was there as a professional, it was just shocking that people were that nice, because nine out of 10 times when we film in neighborhoods, people are not that nice. If anything it’s the opposite, and people are pissed off that we’re in their neighborhoods and we’re closing the streets. WHAt Do yoU Do WHEn yoU’rE BACK In CHICAgo? I love to just get out. There’s such an energy in the city. I’m like a sponge. Whenever I come to Chicago I always say that I come here to recharge my batteries. I just feel drained when I’m not here. I love to just get out, get by the lake. I like to bike a lot. I like to hit these little clubs around here in Chicago, go to Wicker Park and hang out in little clubs. QUICKLy, WHAt’S yoUr FAvorItE... ...PLACE to EAt At In CHICAgo? Rumba. That food, that atmosphere... It’s just phenomenal, man. It’ll blow your mind. ...PUErto rICAn DISH? Pasteles. ...tEAm CUBS or Sox? [Without hesitation] The Cubs, man! Northwest Side all the way, baby! Yeah! The Cubs! ...CHICAgo SLAng WorD? Ol’ girl. Ol’ boy. I still say that when I go back to L.A., and (people) say, “What? Ol’ girl? Ol’ boy?” ...SPAnISH WorD? Chacho. LAStLy, yoU SAy tHAt “notHIng LIKE tHE HoLIDAyS,” IS yoUr “LovE LEttEr” to tHIS CIty. WHAt WoULD yoUr P.S. notE on tHAt LEttEr SAy to CHICAgoAnS? Just that I’m continuing to produce projects. My goal is to continue to produce things and act in projects that I can bring back to Chicago because I love coming home and working back home. Now that I’m in a position where I can do it, I want to keep doing it. 53


Freddy’s castmates feel at home in Humboldt Park LUIS gUzmán Chicago’s Puerto Rican community left its mark on the Nuyorican character actor. yoU’vE ACtED on A FEW roLES WHErE yoU’rE StrAIgHt-FACED SErIoUS, yEt StILL mAnAgE to BE FUnny. WHo Do yoU PLAy In tHIS HUmBoLDt PArK BorICUA Story? I play cousin Johnny, who is the older cousin in the movie. And I look out for my younger cousins. I’m like the 48-year-old cousin who thinks he’s 28. He’s the cousin that’s always trying to fit in, so I guess he may seem humorous. Johnny just wants to be loved, you know. He just wants to be part of the family. WHAt WAS It LIKE to FILm A PUErto rICAn Story, BEIng PUErto rICAn yoUrSELF? Oh, man, it was fantastic! Not only because it was a Puerto Rican story about a Puerto Rican family, but because it’s a universal story that we can share with everybody. I was just totally thrilled about that. I think it’s been long overdue, but the right material came along. We made it happen, and hopefully it will be embraced by all kinds of people. WHAt ABoUt tHE PEoPLE oF HUmBoLDt PArK? Man, being in Humboldt Park took me back 20 years. I’m from the Lower East Side in New York City, and before the Lower East Side really got gentrified, that’s how it was (like). So I was really proud to see the murals, all the Boricua businesses and the people in the community. I was really, REALLY impressed and moved by that. yoU WorKED WItH A PrEtty gooD CASt. It SoUnDS LIKE yoU ALL SHArED SomE gooD tImES. AnD yoU HAD A FEW oUtDoor SCEnES? I loved everybody from the neighborhood. They totally embraced us. People welcomed us into their homes. We did a couple of domino games, drinking Café Bustelo, and people cooking us up a storm and stuff like that. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Just the people from the neighborhood alone put me in the spirit of things, you know. And like I said, they were very welcoming and very inviting. And I was really humbled by that. I REALLY was. It was an awesome show of love and support. ArE yoU HAPPy yoU ALL got to tELL tHIS Story? Yeah! For me it was a wonderful experience. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. I got to know Chicago. I love the people there. The food was great. Everybody was very inviting and very warm. I can’t wait to go back and hang out in Chicago again, man. FILL In tHE FoLLoWIng BLAnKS... Freddy rodriguez: mi papi chulo John Leguizamo: the brother I never had Debra messing: Wow, look at her! Elizabeth Peña: Coño, don’t mess with mami! Luis guzman: Ese es ... I don’t know. I don’t know what to say with that guy. I think YOU fill in the blank on that one.

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ELIzABEtH PEñA The Cuban-American actress reflects on the community and dishes on Freddy’s “delicious mortal sin.” yoU PLAy tHE motHEr, An AnCHor In ABoUt EvEry LAtIno FAmILy. WHAt WAS tHAt LIKE? The irony was that I read the script and I loved it, but the producers kept saying that I was too young to play John Leguizamo’s mom. The irony in Hollywood is that I’m usually too old for the role, and this time I was too young. So they aged me. The character is a Puerto Rican woman who, in her late teens, moved to Chicago looking for work and met her husband there. They made a life in Chicago. There seems to be some kind of bizarre behavior from my husband, and I suspect that he’s having an affair. HoW DID yoU PrEPArE For tHE roLE? You know, because I came in late in the game, I pretty much went head-first. I did hang out in the neighborhood with the women, so that I could see their body language and the way they relate to each other, and the way they relate to their neighbors. That was fun. HoW DID yoU mAKE It tHroUgH tHE FrEEzIng WEAtHEr DUrIng tHE FILmIng? It’s the first time I’ve been in a movie — when shooting exterior — with a bunch of actors saying, “Oh God, I don’t want another take. Don’t give me another take!” (But) the neighborhood was awesome. This community just really embraced us. They opened their homes to us... They made us coffee. FrEDDy roDrIgUEz SAyS tHEy WErE InvItIng EvEryonE to tHEIr HomES... To eat! They were extraordinary and then the biggest irony was that on the very last day I turned to Freddy because we’d received this little note. We opened it and it was the families of the community thanking us. I looked at Freddy and said, “Shouldn’t this be the other way around?” DID tHE HomEtoWn Boy, FrEDDy, SHoW yoU AroUnD tHE CIty? Well, Freddy did what to me was the most delicious mortal sin. He turned us all on to jibaritos (sandwiches). That’s very, very dangerous. That stuff is good... I don’t even want to know how many calories are in there. One jibarito must be like 2,500 calories or something. And then John Leguizamo became addicted to them. He wouldn’t even go eat lunch. He would just order the jibaritos. And I’d say, “Don’t order me any more jibaritos, I’m becoming obese!” FrEDDy CALLS tHIS HIS LovE LEttEr to CHICAgo. yoU’rE A PArt oF tHIS LovE LEttEr. So to WHo ELSE WoULD yoU ADDrESS tHIS LEttEr to? I think it is a love letter to Chicago. I certainly rediscovered Chicago and fell in love with it during that shoot. And I love Chicago in the winter, but going there when you don’t have to wear a coat. ... It’s a glorious, glorious city.


TOP (from left): Actors Jay Hernandez, Freddy Rodriguez and Luis Guzman get a taste of the Chicago winter during the filming of “Nothing Like the Holidays.” BOTTOM: Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo and Vanessa Ferlito on location in Chicago. photos courtesy of overture films nothing Like the Holidays Release: Winter 2008 Director: Alfredo de Villa Executive Producers: Freddy Rodriguez, Rene Rigal, Reid Brody, Paul Kim Cast: Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, Jay Hernandez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito, Luis Guzman, Elizabeth Peña It’s Christmastime and the far-flung members of the Rodriguez family converge at their parents’ home in Chicago to celebrate the season and the youngest brother’s safe return from combat. When one of its members is faced with a true crisis, the family pulls together, forgets old resentments and re-affirms familial bonds to discover that laughter works its magic to make them much stronger than they ever realized. Photography Courtesy of overture Films

FREDDy RODRIGuEz SELECT FILMOGRAPHy FILM Nothing Like The Holidays 2008 Release Date: Winter 2008 Genre: Comedy | Drama Grindhouse 2007 Character: El Wray Genre: action, horror, sci-Fi, Thriller source:

Bobby 2006 Character: Jose Rojas Genre: Drama

Harsh Times 2005 Character: Mike alonzo Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller

TELEVISION Ugly Betty 2007-2008 Character: Giovanni ‘Gio’ Rossi

Lady In The Water 2006 Character: Reggie Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

The Pest 1997 Character: ninja Genre: Comedy

Six Feet Under 2001-2005 Character: Federico Diaz

Poseidon 2006 Character: Valentin Genre: action, adventure, Drama, Thriller

Dead Presidents 1995 Character: Jose Genre: action, Crime, Drama, Thriller, War

For Love Or Country: Arturo Sandoval Story 2000 Character: Leonel Genre: Biography, Drama, Music 55


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VoLVERvoLvEr Festive and solemn styles come together to honor the departed Photography: Akin Girav Stylist: Maggie Morgan Hair and Make-up: Roy Liu Models courtesy of Ford Models: Alexandra Rubio and Cindy Taylor all noted clothing and accessories available at aKIra.


thIs PaGe: AKIrA RuFFLE shiRT 4900 nECKLaCEs 2200 oPPosIte PaGe: AKIrA MiLiTaRY JaCKET 7900 siLK sCaRF 2200 mIEKo mELLUCCI siLK PanTs 9900 METaL RinG 2200

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AKIrA shEER REnaissanCE ToP 5900 LuCiTE BanGLEs 2200 LAroK LEaThER sKiRT 18900 JEFFrEy CAmPBELL suEDE PuMPs 10900

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FoLEy & CorInnA a-LinE DREss 39900 JESSICA gUzLAS LoCKET 4200

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DKny FoiL ToP 17500 AKIrA WooDEn BanGLEs 3900


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AKIrA RuFFLE shiRT 2200 AKIrA nECKLaCEs 2200

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Aztec Rising




CaN you say Mictlantecuhtli?

The Field Museum pays the Aztec civilization a long overdue tribute with an exclusive new exhibit The Aztecs surely had some tough names to pronounce, but once you take a virtual tour of their empire through The Field Museum’s The Aztec World exhibit, you’ll want to train your tongue to tell your friends all about the god of war and other deities in this once-in-alifetime display of ancient Aztec treasures. The Aztec World (opening Oct. 31) offers visitors the opportunity to view nearly 300 artifacts from distinguished museums in the United States and Mexico, including the Field’s own collection. The exhibit is special not only because it will exclusively show at the Chicago museum, but because it will pay the Aztecs their long overdue tribute through an allencompassingexhibit of the rise and fall of their civilization. It respectfully covers the Aztecs 200 years of growth from a nomadic group to one of the most dynamic societies of all time. Curated with the intention to provide visitors a tour through the empire, the exhibit’s journey begins at Lake Texcoco. (Brief history lesson: While in Aztlán, the debated ancestral home of the Aztecs, a god by the name of Huitzilopochtli [pronounced, wee-tsee-loh-POCH-tlee] advised its people to establish their city wherever they found an eagle devouring a serpent. That place was Lake Texcoco, where the city-state of Tenochtitlán was later built.) Visitors are welcome into the exhibit by Tlaloc, god of rain, depicted on a blue pot with the fangs of a jaguar. This part of the exhibit focuses on the importance of Aztec gods. It transitions into a detailed look at the life of those Aztecs we hear very little about — farmers, artisans and merchants. An up-close look at these common folks is made possible through the use of figures of family members and their prized possessions — including a vessel in the form of a drunken rabbit lying on its side, humorously made to store pulque, an alcoholic beverage made

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from the fermented juice of the maguey plant. Other eye-grabbing artifacts include the “Eagle Man” in the “Warrior” section of the exhibit (pictured below). Co-curator Gary Feinman urges visitors not to miss it — and he’s right. This life-size warrior of barbed wings and a face guarded in an eagle’s mouth, along with its significance in Aztec society, puts any blockbuster superhero to shame. And just as striking is another life-size figure of the god of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli [Meekt-lahn-te-kootly]. The beautifully crafted figure leans over as his liver escapes his body out through his chest. It will stare at you with its round blank eyes and a long grin, innocently displaying its palms. Don’t stare back too long, after all it did receive blood sacrifices from the Aztecs. The journey doesn’t end there. Closer to Tenochtitlán, visitors get a glimpse of the lives of the rich and famous. This gallery doesn’t only offer a chance to see some of 1 the glamorous objects that were gifted to rulers, but it also provides a detailed description of the dutiful ruler position. These exquisite art pieces, accompanied by rich stories intertwined with the history of the Aztecs, are what make the exhibit both visually exciting and educational. The Aztec World highlights the participation of every member of the community in Aztec society — giving visitors the chance to not only be amazed, but to draw parallels between the lives of some of the Aztecs and their own. The Field Museum’s ability to gather such artifacts under one roof gives viewers a unique opportunity to view extremely sacred items up-close. With all its excellence, The Aztec World demonstrates the need for more exhibits of its kind in a country with a growing population of Latinos — urging other museums to put Latin American history on the main stage. Here’s your chance to take yourself back hundreds of years to the Aztec empire. You can’t miss out on The Aztec World. Photos courtesy of The Field Museum


Beyond the exhiBition



1 eagle Man

Life-size ceramic eagle sculpture

2 zapotec Urn

Ceramic urn portraying Cocijo

3 Michtlantecuhtli

Life-size figure of the god of the dead

4 tlaloc Pot,

Ceramic pot of the god of rain

5 Moche Owl Warrior ceramic,

nahuí Ollin The dance troupe performs indigenous ceremonial dances from Mexico and play native instruments. Free with basic admission to the museum. Saturday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. chicago Youth symphony Orchestra Free with basic admission to the museum. Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. Kraft story time Hear a story and make an art project to take home at the Crown Family PlayLab. Free with basic admission to the museum. Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 p.m. creating codices This workshop introduces codices as primary sources for understanding Aztec culture. Learn about the artistic techniques used to create them. Admission is $7 for the general public, $4 for members. Children 7-12 years old. Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. scientists at the Field Meet a Field Museum scientist and see rarely displayed specimens from the museum’s Mesoamerican collections. Free with basic admission to the museum. Saturday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aztec stories The history and traditions of ancient Mexico are revealed. Free with basic admission to the museum. Saturday, Mar. 7, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Ceramic owl warrior with club



6 tenochtitlán

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DJ Hector Lopez takes spinning to a new level writerFreddie




Latinos were there when the thumping beat of house music first took the Chicago underground scene by storm in the early ‘80s. Hector Lopez, a teenager at the time, was captivated by the sound, and soon would learn the basic moves from his big brother, Dave, who had started spinning back in 1979. Today, the Mexican-American-Chicano DJ from the North Side is a source of influence and inspiration for a new generation of DJs. What made you become a dJ?

It would have to be the excitement of watching my brother work his magic on the turntables and [seeing] the crowd’s response. It just blew me away, and I knew then and there it was something I wanted to do. At the time he wasn’t even playing house yet, he was playing R&B and disco. But I felt it... I felt what he and the crowd felt... It was very spiritual. Yes, I was only 13 at the time, but it was amazing how much I learned by just observing. The only time I would have to practice was when my brother was away at work. So, I took full advantage of the little time I had and spent hours learning the breaks and getting my blends down. Needless to say, I learned and I learned quickly. DJ Hector Lopez spins classic house music at Morseland. He performs at the Rogers Park club on Sunday nights.

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What role do latinos play in the chicago house music scene?

Right now our position in house music is secure. Latinos have been in the house scene since it all started. I know when the word ‘house’ is mentioned people bring up Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy. But, for me, it was guys like Jesse Velez and WBMX’s (Chicago’s no. 1 radio station at the time) Ralphi “The Razz” Rosario who paved the way for me and other Latino DJs.

nightliFe Now, I wish to give back by passing the torch onto the up-and-coming DJs. I’m just proud to be one of the many Latino DJs to have kept the legacy going. What is your biggest contribution to the local house music scene?

I think I play an essential part on the musical influence of other house DJs due to my position at Gramaphone Records, and my experience and reputation as a connoisseur of house music. I’m hoping that DJs and producers will look up to me as a guide to what they should achieve and expand upon. Look at Martini Ranch, for example. I never had so many other DJs come up to me and thank me for helping them become a better and diverse DJ. They acknowledge how much time and effort I put into my craft, and I guess that’s what separates me from the rest. vinyl, serato (computer software) or cd’s?

There’s no substitution for vinyl, but I could see how others would use an alternative. I’m currently using CD’s when I play out or when I travel. I’m not saying that using Serato is a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s the ideal equipment for a mobile DJ, who needs just about everything from his music library to perform. But, what happens if your computer freezes up? I guess it’s about what’s convenient to the DJ. I just can’t bring myself to use a computer to spin. What are your favorite places to play in chicago?

Well, I don’t have a specific place and I wouldn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, especially the club owners. I like the smaller venues where it’s more intimate and comfortable. Don’t get me wrong. If I’m asked to play in a bigger club, I’d do it in a second. What influences your music choices?

I’m pretty diverse when it comes to music. I truly love it all, whether it is house, down tempo, hip hop, techno... Producers like Santana, Stevie Wonder, Louie Vega, Joe Clausell, Blaze, Kenny Larkin, Derrick Carter, house guru Andy Moy and others have influenced me and have given me much to work with. I’m blessed to call most of them my friends. What’s the biggest difference between house then and now?

The passion and camaraderie for house isn’t there anymore. I don’t blame the [public] because back then they had the radio station [WBMX] to rely on. Now they need to go out to the clubs to get a taste of what’s hot and new. Usually they don’t give the new stuff a chance because it’s not familiar to them. I remember when you would walk into a party and you would see people going nuts – throwing their hands up in the air, jackin’ and singing to the music. I just don’t get that anymore. At least not with the newer stuff. But, believe me, you play some old school and you still get the same response. What future role do latinos play in house music?

I am familiar with a lot of the younger DJs and producers, many of them Latinos that are coming into the scene. And these guys are talented, determined and love the music. They have the ability to bring in a younger crowd. They play a lot of the newer stuff, and that’s essential to keeping house alive. They respect the history and want to keep it going. Some of them have already started their own labels, something I have wanted to do myself. I get motivated when I see these young cats moving forward. It keeps me on my toes.

Get your house on

Best nights and places to catch house music MOndAY Green Dolphin Street 2200 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago Neighborhood: Lincoln Park tUesdAY Club 720 720 N. wells St., Chicago Neighborhood: River North WednesdAY Evil Olive

1551 w. Division St., Chicago Neighborhood: west Town

sAtURdAY Cuatro 2030 S. wabash Ave., Chicago Neighborhood: Near South Side sUndAY Morseland 1218 w. Morse Ave., Chicago Neighborhood: Rogers Park

note: Schedule is subject to change without notice. 69


MixeRs And sHAKeRs Four bartenders share their favorite potions

writerFreddie baez photographyelia Alamillo

luis Herrera

Roberto Adan

Your drink name: Malibu Rumba

Your drink name: Don Julio Ultra Premium Margarita

What’s in it: Malibu Tropical Banana, Midori, pineapple juice

Melissa Huerta Your drink name: Rugburn What’s in it: Malibu, Bacardi O, Bacardi Limon, orange juice, pineapple juice, a splash of grenadine syrup and a splash of 7UP. Coolest thing about being a Latina bartender: People are shocked that we come in all shapes and sizes. Work: Club 720 (River North), Religion (River North), Loft 610 (Bucktown)

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Coolest thing about being a Latino bartender: I am what you call a “Flair Bartender,” which involves entertaining with the manipulation of bar tools and liquor bottles in tricky, dazzling ways. Flair can include juggling, flipping (bottles, shakers), flammable liquors or even magic tricks. Work: Buzz (River North), Ruby (River North), Vain Nightclub & Lounge (Lincoln Park)

Maureen sanchez Your drink name: Stoli Around The World What’s in it: Stoli Citros, Stoli Razberi, Stoli Ohranj, Stoli Blueberi... mixed with sour mix and a splash of cranberry juice, topped with a lemon and cherry. Coolest thing about being a Latina bartender: I add a little spice into every one of my drinks! Work: Zentra Nightclub (Old Town), Sound Bar (River North), Y Bar (River North)

What’s in it: Don Julio 1942 (tequila), Jero Lemosa cocktail mix, triple sec liqueur, sour mix, ice, salt (on rim) and lime Coolest thing about being a Latino bartender: I like to compete against others on who makes the best drinks. Work: Lalo’s Restaurant (Berwyn)


Seared scallops [left], Ensenada taquitos [top], Ecuadorian sweet plaintains [center], Tres leches cake [bottom] photography courtesy of maya del sol

FUsed lAtin FlAvORs



Maya Del Sol offers unique menu, welcoming ambiance in Oak Park There’s a restaurant in Oak Park that offers a touch of spice to the Western suburbs and beyond with its unique and vibrant Pan-Latin cuisine. Maya Del Sol, which opened on October 2007, combines fresh ingredients to create bold combinations of flavor in dishes that hail from Mexico, Cuba, Central and South America Executive Chef Ruben Beltran, who sharpened his culinary skills during his more than 10-year tenure at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill in Chicago, decided to expand beyond his experience with Mexican cuisine to create a menu that showcases an array of Latin American flavors. Beltran combines high-quality ingredients to present a savory selection of appetizers, ceviches, salads, entrees and desserts. The Baja California quesadillas, one of the most creative appetizers on the menu, are served with house-made tortillas filled with shrimp and blue crab meat, alongside roasted poblano chiles, guacamole and a cheddar jack mix. One of the recent additions to the appetizer menu is the chicken empanada, filled with Cuban-style stewed chicken and topped with a celery root slaw. As far as ceviches go, the piña colada ceviche, with Ahi tuna, calamari, grilled pineapple and red onions tossed with coconut milk and cilantro, stands out from the rest. The menu not only offers a variety of hearty and satisfying Latin American dishes, but also attempts to blend the flavors of traditional favorites without being pretentious. One example is the chipotle marinated carne asada steak served with a chimichurri sauce. It combines the Mexican smoky flavor of chipotle chiles with an Argentinean blend of herbs and spices. On the other hand, the arepa de ropa vieja brings together the popular Cuban dish with a Colombian staple, the arepa or corn cake. The combination of the seasonings in the beef with the sweetness of the corn cake

creates a surprisingly well-rounded blend of flavors. To compliment the variety of flavors in the dishes, Maya Del Sol offers an assortment of cocktails and wines, including some not-sotypical-flavored margaritas and Cuban mojitos, as well as Spanish sangria, Peruvian pisco sour and Brazilian caipirinha. For those with a sweet tooth, there is a unique selection of desserts. Amongst the most innovative options is a candied pear with pear ice cream topped with a red wine reduction sauce. A coconut brownie with a subtle beet reduction sauce, although an odd combination, is another example of a dessert that brings together different flavors quite nicely. The décor consists of warm earth-tone colors, dark woods and exposed brick walls. Dim lighting provides the perfect atmosphere for any occasion, from a casual dinner date to a special family event. The staff is very accommodating and inviting and is always on hand to answer any questions about the menu or restaurant. Aside from dinner, the restaurant also offers a Sunday brunch with some of their regular menu items, as well as a couple of added items such as tomatillo chilaquiles, enchiladas, huevos a la mexicana and baked cinnamon french toast, among other classics. Maya del sol deets

Address: 144 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, iL 60302 Telephone: (708) 358-9800 Web site: Cuisine: Pan-Latin Prices: Average entree, less than $25 Dress code: Casual

Reservations: phone, reservations@ or online Alcohol: Full bar Additional features: Live entertainment, outdoor seating, private room Wheelchair access: Yes Parking: Street parking 71


let’s eAt! Latino culture is blessed with a variety of delicious food. In the Chicago metro area we are especially fortunate to have offerings from all over Latin America and Spain. If you’ve never eaten — or heard of — mofongo, ceviche or morcilla, our growing list of restaurants points the way for you to experiment and indulge. ¡Buen provecho! Note: This section does not include every Latin American or Spanish restaurant in Chicago or the suburbs. It contains a selection of Café magazine’s favorites. We invite you to submit your favorites to

ARgentine el ÑAndÚ Bucktown 2731 w. Fullerton Ave. (773) 278-0900 Delicious variety of empanadas: traditional (ground beef with raisins and egg), shrimp and spinach. The chimichurri is great on anything they serve. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-wednesday, noon-10:30 p.m.; Thursday, noon-2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon-1 a.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. tAngO Naperville 5 w. Jackson St. (630) 848-1818 Perfect place for meat lovers. Go for the “world’s longest steak”: a 32-inch-long grilled skirt steak. Sangria is made fresh at the table. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday brunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. belizeAn ticKie’s belizeAn cUisine Rogers Park 7605 N. Paulina St. (773) 973-3919 For something different, try the oxtail with red beans and spicy rice. Plenty of chicken, pork and vegetarian options. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. cOlOMbiAn el llAnO North Center 3941 N. Lincoln Ave. (773) 327-1659, if you’re hungry go for the bandeja paisa: a huge plate of rice, beans, chicharrones, avocado, sweet plantain, arepa (thick cornmeal tortilla), yucca fries, a fried egg and steak. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. lAs tAblAs Portage Park/Lakeview

72 Café OCTOBER2008

4920 w. irving Park Road 2942 N. Lincoln Ave. (773) 202-0999 Great matrimonio: churrasco steak and chicken with potato, sweet plaintain, yucca fries, rice and beans. BYOB; $8 cork fee. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Varies by location. Please contact the restaurant for more information. COSTARicAn iRAzÚ Bucktown 1865 N. Milwaukee Ave. (773) 252-5687 Try the chicken casado, served with gallo pinto (rice and beans), sweet plantains, an over-easy egg and a cabbage salad. Big and delicious burritos and sandwiches also served. People swear by the oatmeal shakes. Cash only; ATM inside. HOURs: Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday. cUbAn cOn sAbOR cUbAnO Ravenswood 2739 w. Lawrence Ave. (773) 728-2226 Tasty ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce) and steak sandwiches. BYOB. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 a.m. HAbAnA libRe west Town 1440 w. Chicago Ave. (312) 243-3303 Try the combination appetizer, which includes croquetas (ham and cheese fried dumplings), yucca, tostones (twice-fried smashed green plantains), empanadas (meatfilled pastry) and papa rellena (potato filled with ground beef). For dessert, taste flan de coco. BYOB. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-10 p.m. ecUAdORiAn lA HUMitA Portage Park

3466 N. Pulaski Road (773) 794-9672, The name comes from a traditional dish of cheese-filled corn masa wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. Favorites include arroz con menestra (grilled steak) and seco de chivo (lamb stew). Most meals come with rice, fried sweet plantains and salad. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. gUAteMAlAn MAYAn sOl lAtin gRill Albany Park 3830 w. Lawrence Ave. (773) 539-4398 Marinated grilled beef and chicken served with rice, beans, sweet plantain, yucca, potato and guacamole. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. LATiNOFUsiOn cUAtRO Near South Side 2030 S. wabash Ave. (312) 842-8856 Serves up the best of Latin American favorites: spicy pinchos de pollo (chicken kabobs); black beans and rice; sweet fried plantains; mashed yucca; tender, flavorful steaks; interesting desserts, like sweet potato upside-down cake; and good drinks — mojitos, sangria, etc. All major credit cards accepted, as well as Traveler’s Checks. HOURs: weekend brunch and dinner. Full dinner menu available Friday through Saturday night until 12:30 a.m., with desserts until 1 a.m. MexiQUe Noble Square 529 w. Chicago Ave. (312) 850-0288 Offers a blend of Mexican ingredients using French cooking techniques. Try the sweet and savory pato al tamarindo (duck leg with tamarind sauce) or the

RESTAuRANTgUide asada (steak). For a unique treat, check out the chocolate enchilada. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Lunch, Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner, TuesdayThursday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; FridaySaturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Brunch, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Monday. OlÉ OlÉ Andersonville 5413 N. Clark St. (773) 293-2222 Takes the best of Mexican and Spanish cuisines and adds hints of other Latin American influences. Try the ham empanadas, that come with some unique dipping sauces, and the puerca en tequila, pork with a mix of sweet and hot flavors. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Dinner, Monday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-midnight. (Food is served until last call.) lA PintA La Grange 25 Calendar Court (708) 354-8100

variety of ceviches: shrimp, tilapia and salmon. Good chile relleno (poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp), scallops and gouda cheese on a bed of refried black beans covered in a chipotle coconut sauce. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.11 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m. veRMiliOn Near North Side 10 w. Hubbard St. (312) 527-4060 indian and Latin American flavors. Try the tandoori skirt steak with plantain chips and garlic-sautéed spinach. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner, Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-9:45 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

(312) 266-7999 Guacamole made right at your table to your spice tolerance. Ceviches are fresh. Tasty and varied selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Lunch, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner, Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday only. lA cAbAÑA Aurora 835 S. River St. (630) 859-8885


Famous for chips and salsa. Also try the Tampiqueña steak. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.8:30 p.m.

AdObO gRill Old Town/Lombard 1610 N. wells St. 356 Yorktown Shopping Center

lA cAsA de isAAc Highland Park 431 Temple Ave. (847) 433-5550

Family-owned kosher (but not strictly kosher) restaurant. Serves warm homemade chips and chipotle salsa and delicious guacamole. Try isaac’s mother’s favorite: a large portion of chicken enchiladas with green sauce and an artful drizzle of sour cream. A flavorful and light flan with a mug of freshly made Mexican coffee end a meal perfectly. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, open one hour after sundown until 11 p.m. lA cOcinA de FRidA Andersonville 5403 N. Clark St. (773) 271-1907 Good tortilla soup. Nice chicken quesadillas. Good tamales. Try the chicken in mole negro. interesting pork chops with mole mancha manteles. unique Kahlúa-spiked flan. All major credit cards accepted.

be healthly. be happy. be together. belong. Café OCTOBER2008


caféblend HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.10 p.m.

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FUegO MexicAn gRill Arlington Heights 17 w Campbell St. (847) 590-1122 Gourmet-style Mexican fare. Menu favorites include rollitos de pollo (spicy chicken rolled-up like an egg roll with black beans, corn, onions, peppers and cilantro, melted cheese with an avocado-lemon cream sauce) and huachinango al mojo de ajo (red snapper with olives, capers, cilantro in tomato sauce). Good vegetarian and dessert options. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, noon-10 p.m. Mi tieRRA MexicAn RestAURAnt Lakeview 1039 w. Belmont Ave. (773) 929-7955 Fresh and delicious chips and salsa, melt-in-your-mouth chicken nachos and delicious margaritas. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3:30 a.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m. PAncHO PistOlAs Bridgeport 700 w. 31st St. (312) 225-8808 Good place to go before or after a white Sox game at u.S. Cellular Field. Go for the chicken flautas and tacos; excellent margaritas. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m.10 p.m. PeRUviAn el RincOncitO sUdAMeRicAnO Bucktown 1954 w. Armitage Ave. (773) 489-3126 Meals made fresh to order. Favorites include: the papa a la huancaina (sliced boiled potatoes

74 Café OCTOBER2008

in cream cheese sauce) and lomo saltado (ribeye steak with tomatoes and onions) made in an amazing green jalapeño sauce. while you wait, sip on a pisco sour. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-9 p.m. tAste OF PeRU Rogers Park 6545 N. Clark St. (773) 381-4540 Order the arroz con mariscos for lots of seafood mixed with warm, fluffy, yellow rice. while you wait, don’t fill up on the bread served with a spicy green sauce made with jalapeño and huacatay (an herb found in Peru). All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. MR. POllO Avondale 3000 w. Belmont Ave. (773) 509-1208 Delicious rotisserie chicken with yucca fries and sweet fried plantains. Cash only. HOURs: Closed Tuesday; wednesday-Monday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. PuERTORicAn bORinQUen Humboldt Park 1720 N. California Ave. (773) 227-6038 Home of the original jibarito sandwich (fried green plantains with meat, lettuce and tomato). Vegetarian options available. All the classic frituras (fried treats): morcillas (blood sausage), alcapurrias (green plantain filled with ground beef), rellenos de papas (potato filled with ground beef), pionono (sweet plantain rolls stuffed with ground beef). See next page for their mofongo recipe. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight. lA bOMbA RestAURAnt Hermosa 3221 w. Armitage Ave. (773) 394-0106


MOFONGOde-“ligHt” Mofongo is a Puerto Rican side dish of African influence made of a garlic-rich mixture of mashed plantains, olive oil and chicharrón (pork rind). It is typically made with twice-fried plantains and deep-fried chicharrones. Juan Figueroa, owner and chef of Borinquen Restaurants and creator of the “Jibarito” sandwich, updated this classic recipe by cutting down the frying to make it “lighter.” Instead of frying the plantains, he baked them. Also, for your convenience, instead of deep-frying the chicharrones, this recipe calls for bagged pork rinds found in the chips and snacks aisles of supermarkets.



MOFOngO ingRedients (makes about 4 to 6 medium-size balls)

instRUctiOns 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place plantain half slices on a baking sheet, arrange on a single layer and bake for 15 minutes or until tender throughout. (NOTE: You may use a panini grill to cook the sliced plantains.) 2. while plantains are baking, crush the garlic cloves and combine with olive oil to create a garlic mixture. Set aside. 3. Once cooked, mash the plantains one at a time in a pilón or bowl. (Note: Never use a food processor. Add a little bit of the garlic-olive oil mixture.) 4. Mash and combine plantain slices with garlic-olive oil mixture in individual batches. when done with all the slices, mix all the batches together and add the pinch of salt for even distribution of seasoning.

•  3 green plantains peeled and sliced lengthwise in half •  3 cloves of garlic crushed •  3 tablespoons of olive oil •  Half a medium-size (5 oz.) bag of chicharrones (coarsely crumbled) •  Pinch of salt

5. Place a generous tablespoon of the plantain mixture in the palm of your hand and add a sprinkle of the coarsely crumbled chicharrón to form mofongo balls. Keep forming balls until all the mixture is used up. Note: This is a dish that needs to be served warm. Mofongo can be served as a side dish with sautéed onions, beside a salad or choice of meat or seafood. This same recipe can be prepared to make smaller bolitas de mofongo to add to soups or stews. Shape the mofongo mixture into smaller balls and drop into any stew or soup when ready to serve. ¡Buen provecho! 75

caféblend Crispy jibarito sandwiches and tasty mofongo (green plantains with garlic and pork rinds). weekend specials include verduras con bacalao (root vegetables with cod fish) and soups: sopa de res con arroz o fideos (beef soup with rice or noodles). Major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. cAFÉ cOlAO Humboldt Park 2638 w. Division St. (773) 276-1780 Puerto Rican coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Cash only. HOURs: Monday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. deliciA tROPicAl cAFe Elgin 780 Villa St. (847) 695 6207 Savory arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), steak with sautéed onions and beef stew. Cash only. HOURs: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m.



PUPUseRiA lAs deliciAs irving Park 3300 w. Montrose Ave (773) 267-5346

ARcOs de cUcHilleROs Lakeview 3445 N. Halsted St. (773) 296-6046

Variety of pupusas (stuffed cornmeal cakes and toasted, not fried, on a flat griddle), The chipilin (herb particular to El Salvador) and cheese is popular. The combination platter comes with two pupusas, black beans, rice and plátano sweet plantains. All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. RestAURAnte el sAlvAdOR Brighton Park 4125 S. Archer Ave. (773) 579-0405 Delicious variety of pupusas: cheese and jalapeños, frijoles (beans) and tres leches. Enjoy them with the curtido salad (pickled vegetables), served on top, and hot sauce. Cash only. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Favorites include bacon-wrapped dates, smoked salmon with capers, fried eggplant with Spanish sausage, and mejillones en salsa verde (mussels in a white wine and cream sauce). All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Sunday 4 p.m.-10 p.m. AROMA tAPAs RestAURAnt Algonquin 3907 w. Algonquin Road (847) 658-5656 Go for the paella valenciana (saffron-seasoned rice with chicken, pork, chorizo and seafood). All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

lA esPAÑOlA tAPAs bAR Berwyn 6543 Cermak Road (708) 788-7400 Delicious scallops, potato salad and empanadas. The flan has a unique mix of flavors (lavender, espresso and vanilla). All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. MesOn sAbiKA Naperville 1025 Aurora Ave. (630) 983-3000, Favorites include crepa rellena (crepe filled with goat cheese, pine nuts, spinach and apples with a pimiento sauce) and plátano con helado (banana with pistachios and ice cream). All major credit cards accepted. HOURs: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner, 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

Exploring the


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Register online to receive your complimentary subscription

TO DOtO sí

MUsic Vicente Fernandez Allstate Arena 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont (847) 635-6601

OUtdOOR Mistletoe Magic Downtown Batavia (630) 761-3528

F R I D ay

OUtdOOR Thanksgiving Day Parade State St. (Congress Parkway to Randolph St.) (312) 744-6630


OUtdOOR Celebration of Light Festival Batavia Riverwalk Houston St. and North island Ave., Batavia

tHeAteR “Nunsense” Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666


OUtdOOR Magnificent Mile Lights Festival North Michigan Ave. (Oak St. to wacker Dr.), Chicago (312) 409-5560


MUsic The Fab Four Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666

FAMilY All Hallows Eve: A 19th Century Halloween Through Oct. 25 Naper Settlement 523 S. webster St., Naperville (630) 305-5555

MUsic Jaguares House of Blues 329 N. Dearborn St., Chicago (312) 923-2000


tHeAteR “The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe” Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666


tHeAteR “A Christmas Carol” Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666


F R I D ay


saTuRDay s u N D ay

tHeAteR “Stomp” Through Nov. 30 Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666

F R I D ay

s u N D ay

MUsic Celine Dion united Center 1901 w. Madison St. Chicago (312) 455-4650

FAMilY Day of the Dead Food Series Nat’l Museum of Mexican Art 1852 w. 19th St., Chicago (312) 738-1503 www.nationalmuseumof

OUtdOOR Holiday Magic 44 E. Downer Place, Aurora (630) 844-4386

FAMilY “The Polar Express” Blackberry Farm 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora (630) 892-1550

MUsic Madonna united Center 1901 w. Madison St., Chicago (312) 455-4650




OUtdOOR Veterans Day Parade Grand Army of the Republic Museum 23 E. Downer Place, Aurora (630) 844-4731 events

F R I D ay


FAMilY Day of the Dead Community Night Nat’l Museum of Mexican Art 1852 w. 19th St., Chicago (312) 738-1503 www.nationalmuseumof

FAMilY “Playhouse Disney Live!” Rosemont Theatre 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont (847) 671-5100

cOMedY cOMedY Carlos Mencia Sinbad Rosemont Theatre Paramount Theatre 5400 N. River Road, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Rosemont (630) 896-6666 (847) 671-5100

F R I D ay

MUsic New Kids on the Block Allstate Arena 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont (847) 635-6601

FAMilY Batfest Downtown Batavia and Batavia Riverwalk 100 N. island Ave., Batavia (630) 761-3528


gAlleRY “Deceptive Design: Experiments in Furniture” Through Jan. 4 Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. washington St., Chicago (312) 744-6630

s u N D ay

F R I D ay


MUsic Luis Miguel Allstate Arena 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont (847) 635-6601

saTuRDay saTuRDay



11 1718 2324 25263031 1478 11152227 28 30 6 6 71215 gAlleRY “Hidden Treasures: The Lane Tech Murals” Through Dec. 31 Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. washington St., Chicago (312) 744-6630

tHeAteR “The Nutcracker” Paramount Theatre 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666 www.paramountaurora. com

dOn’t FORget! Pick up the December/ January edition of Café featuring: • Shopping Guide • Fantasy football 77

caféblend | Scene at

tHe sAlsA OlYMPics



The finalists of the Chicago Qualifier for ESPN’s World Salsa Championship met one last time at Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, Aug. 24. The winners of the event organized by Latin Street Dancing will fly to Orlando, Fl., to participate in the competition that will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World.

Emilse (left) and Jherson from Cali, Colombia, were first place winners in the Cabaret Division of the Chicago Qualifiers for the next ESPN World Salsa Championship.

lAtinO tHeAteR FestivAl photographyAbel

POssessed photographyalberto


Judges Andres Meneses, events producer for Latin Street Dancing, left, and Willy Torres, from the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

PlAY bAll! photographyeileen



Elisa Vizcarra, national account manager Sales for CMN (Cardenas Marketing Network), left, and Ramón Cepeda, senior vice president of Northern Trust, during the opening reception for the festival held at Carnivale on August 14.

78 Café OCTOBER2008

Charles Slamar (back left), Carlos Morales, Cedric Thurman, Karl Allemann, Maria Bechily, Adela Cepeda; Jorge Solis (front left), Scott Hodes, Kristin Carlson Vogen.

Ford Model Robin Harris (right) backstage at Akira’s Fall Fashion Show held at the House of Blues on September 14.

On Aug. 13, Nuestro Futuro, The Chicago Community Trust’s philanthropic initiative, hosted an event to raise funds at U.S. Cellular Field. Led by Latinos, the initiative works to build an endowment that will serve the Latino communities of metropolitan Chicago in perpetuity.



A Mí Me enseÑAROn… photgraphyalberto


“la bendición” As a young Puerto Rican girl, one of my earliest memories was learning how and when to say “bendición.” It was one of the most important rules on the endless list of do’s and don’ts that revolved around socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior. If left unsaid, it carried the consequence of being regañada (scolded). “Bendición” is what is said to elders accompanied with a kiss or hug upon greeting or leaving their presence. It is literally a request for their blessing. Saying “bendición” acknowledges the importance of the elders’ place in the family and the unspoken spiritual

80 Café OCTOBER2008

power they hold Your turn Send your stories in relationship about the lessons on social to all the other graces and manners you learned family members while growing up to readers@ who follow in the family lineage. As a child, this rule was a drag. Now, as an adult, its role in preserving tradition and instilling in our children the significance of showing respect takes on the same importance that it held for our own parents. Gracias, mami, y bendición. — Gina Santana, Chicago


Summer’s over bu� �h� �usi� c�ntinues














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CAFE Magazine 01 - Oct-08  

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