founder & publisher fernando de haro C I T Y M A G A Z I N E
june • july 2014
design & production graphic designer gabriela lozano design production assistants alicia ruíz-inzunza mariajose mendiola photographer ferch
o all our readers,
C I T Y M A G welcome A Z I Nto E our
25th edition! This issue is extremely special because it marks our magazine’s 4th anniversary. I still can’t believe this is real and that the dream I once had is something palpable today and has become an adventure every time a new issue comes out. When I first conceptualized Cream, my intention was to create the best publication in the city; something that was completely different from anything Laredo had ever seen before. My objective was to set the pace and distinguish ourselves from any other publication and be a worthy representative of a fresh, modern, and sophisticated vision with a unique look, which is what I believe we have achieved with these 25 amazing editions. There’s still a lot of things in our future, and that only motivates me further, because I’ve always loved a challenge. That’s what it’s all about...that spark that does not allow us to quit and to achieve an unparalleled higher level of excellence and quality, and making sure that every single piece, ad, and photograph are up to par with our standards. This is who we are. Thank you again to all our readers that have made this magazine the most important one in Laredo. Thank you to all my staff; I am extremely proud of every single one of you for sharing this vision with me and actually bringing it to life by putting all your effort and dedication into making Cream what it is today.
interns angie sifuentes and adriana martínez
rubén bazán iii, maita fernández, michelle cook gutiérrez, joe arciniega, sandy lugo, and fernanda maldonado special thanks laredo theater guild, claudia villa, fernando gaytán, martha pérez, luis felipe miranda, babysitters and starbucks
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Thank you for these four wonderful years. I love you all.
Cream Team Anniversary Issue Gabriela, Alicia, Mariajosé and Fernanda
Copyright © 2014 Cream City Magazine is a bi-monthly publication. All rights reserved. Points of view expressed do not necessarily represent those of Cream City Magazine. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we believe is incompatible with our mission. We also reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we deem competitive or contrary to the best interests of the magazine. Advertisers are legally responsible for the content, accuracy, and images of their ads. Printed in Mexico.
Father Knows Best
aayy unwW R to l
MARÍA E. ZEPEDA AND MARIO E. MORENO Helping students and parents gain adequate knowledge about the U.S.’ highly complex academic system
MOST REVEREND JAMES A. TAMAYO, D.D. Leading the Catholic community through the righteous path
JULIE BAZÁN Putting accessible, proficient healthcare at the forefront of our community
Meet three dynamic achievers who contribute to the development of both Laredos. They are flying high on Cream’s radar.
MARÍA E. ZEPEDA AND MARIO E. MORENO CEO and President, MORZEP
We have been involved in education our whole professional life, from being in front of students as professors, as counselors, all the way to being college administrators. Through this process, we were able to see first-hand the pressing need for guidance for motivated students who wanted access to highly selective schools but didn’t know how to get it. We also lived that unwanted experience with our own children. At MORZEP, we address that need by providing the personalized support and guidance students need to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges and universities. When our own children were applying to college, we noticed that there was a lack of information about the high school academic planning and the college admission process at their high school. Later, we noticed that the problem was prevalent in almost all high schools, public and private, across the United States. Overloaded counselors were not able to offer enough personalized information for students and families to make an informed decision about academic planning and access to colleges and universities, leaving many high school students with very limited higher education options.
As we started our work within communities, we realized that, unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated in the Latino community where many first-generation students oftentimes have linguistic, cultural, and financial barriers which impede families from having access to the information they need to make the best decision for their children. It was this realization that led to the creation of MORZEP.
The biggest satisfaction of our career is witnessing hundreds of students attending colleges and universities that they assumed were unreachable, despite the fact that they have experienced numerous setbacks. If we can successfully navigate the system and put two kids into some of the best universities in the United States, then we believe that with the right coaching and guidance, anybody can do it. Never give up! The reward is bigger than the effort invested in your endeavor. MOST REVEREND JAMES A. TAMAYO, D.D. First Bishop, Diocese of Laredo
The vocation to the priesthood is understood as a lifetime choice. My desire to become a priest began in the first grade of elementary school. In 1955, as I attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Sister who taught us in the first grade asked everyone in the class, “Who wants to be a priest?” Many hands went up, including my own. From those early years, I felt drawn to serve God and his people as a priest. I recall that in order to be an altar server I had to learn all the prayers in Latin. If one made a mistake in a Latin response, at least in
my parish, it wasn’t uncommon for the priest to extend his hand and give the altar server a coscorrón when we mispronounced or forgot one of the prayers in Latin. Imagine how happy I was when the prayers at the Mass could be recited in the person’s native language.
Innumerable are the instances that have brought satisfaction to me as a bishop. Among these instances is the ever deepening encounter with God through prayer. Time spent in prayer helps me listen to God as he guides me in my responsibilities. I rely on God’s grace to do my very best to serve God and his Church. I was led by God to choose “Todo Con Amor” as the motto depicting how, as a bishop, I am here to serve God’s people.
I have never doubted God’s call for me to serve him as a priest. At times, however, my mind wanders and I might think: “what would it be like if…?” However, every time a child comes running with open arms to greet me or after counseling a couple facing challenges in their marriage or when I pray at the hospital bed of a patient, I know I could never be happier doing anything else. JULIE BAZÁN
Executive Director, Area Health Education Center of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area of Texas, Inc. (AHEC)
I began my employment with AHEC in 1993 when the program was established in Laredo, Texas, to help increase the number of welltrained health care workers in the region by enhancing academic resources for existing health care providers and fostering a healthy lifestyle through community education programs. When I was recruited to be a part of this great program, I did not realize that it would be such a rewarding experience nor did I have a clue that one day I would become AHEC’s Executive Director. One of the things that really interested me about this program was the opportunity to be a part of starting something from the ground up and then enhancing it to make it better each time. However, as the program developed, I began to realize the value of the program in our community and its impact on the future of our youth in regards to their educational and career goals. AHEC is simply amazing and a very unique part of the educational canvas in our community.
My career is filled with great opportunities. It is a dream job that allows me to grow as an individual because I am able to impact the lives of our future leaders – our students. In the process, I also get in touch with their families and their teachers and together we build a collaboration that helps each student exceed their own expectations; they really shine.
My inspiration has always been my family and the ability to help others in any way possible. God blessed me with many angels without wings. They are the ones that give me the strength, courage, and willingness to make each moment a precious gift. cream june / july 2014
tennis The month of May brought along with it the highly anticipated Laredo Tennis Open at the Laredo Country Club, and it was a great day for camaraderie and friendly competition. As a big supporter and event sponsor, Cream congratulates all those who participated!
cream june / july 2014
X E D IN
At the dawn of this year my very good friend Carlos asked me why it was so easy for me to share most of my life with others. “You have so much on your plate,” he said, “yet you still find the time of day to dedicate many of the things you have to everyone that surrounds you.” I had never really thought of it. I guess I saw it more of an obligation rather than an inherent
characteristic. However, in an attempt to answer his question, I tried to put together the “why” of the actions that lay embedded in his inquiry. “I’m indebted,” I said. Nothing moves me more in my actions, be it in my professional or personal life, than the gratitude I have towards anyone who at one point displayed love, aid, camaraderie, or loyalty to who I am or what I do. Even the simplest “thank you” cannot begin to describe the gratitude I have to those who praised one of my triumphs, who welcomed me into their lives, who took care of me, who held the door open, who delivered my mail, or who told the chef of the restaurant that I was allergic to shellfish just so I could have a pleasant dining experience.
eave it to me to complain about people who are ungrateful about the things that others do for them, a man raised in a single family home where the children were berated for being spoiled brats when they didn’t recognize the effort that other people were placing on their happiness and comfort. So, yes, it’s not enough for me to say that people who are not thankful for what are supposed to be common displays of politeness irritate me to my core. I was in New York not too long ago and I held the door open for a mother and daughter who were exiting an Armani Exchange store and neither of them said “thank you.” My fiancée noticed this. We rolled our eyes. It was rude, yet unsurprising. Funny, almost.
Last year I heard of a Christmas party thrown by a successful local business. Populated solely by its employees, at some point during the evening, after the bonuses and catered food and alcohol were enjoyed by those on the payroll, the manager graciously surprises the staff by raffling an unexpected monetary prize. The winner was ecstatic, yet fellow coworkers were angry at the fact that this person had won the prize not because they themselves hadn’t won, but because the lucky winner had only been working there for a couple of months when they, in fact, had been working there for years. “That person doesn’t deserve it,” they said, knowing too well that had they won that same prize months after BY RUBÉN BAZÁN III THERUBENINDEX@GMAIL.COM 10
cream june / july 2014
having been employed, they would have cashed the check the very next day because “hey, I’m an employee too, just like everyone else here.” It angers me that, instead of being happy for their coworker, they refused to see the fact that they hold a job in an economy that has seen its share of difficulties and, instead of being grateful for the opportunity they have, they shun those who were selected for a bonus out of the draw of a hat without acknowledging that they themselves had an equal chance of taking home that extra cash. Ungrateful, envious individuals, to say the least. “It takes a village to raise a child,” they say. I yearn for that village to raise a child capable of adopting a sense of gratitude for the things they have without expecting preferential treatment from the world they are brought into. It is a quality that, after years of investment, will yield a dividend of humility that will forever mold the way they will see things and treat other people.
When I was in 7th grade, part of our education involved a vocabulary book that taught us words we may never use again. We called them “fifty dollar words” because they were too fancy for us to incorporate in our quotidian vernacular. However, I’ve noticed that the words with real value were taught at home. The words “please” and “thank you” weigh more than any other phrase published by McGraw-Hill. So always remember that everyone that you run into, be it your spouse, your caring boss, your parents, the bartender at your favorite watering hole, or the cashier at Walgreens, all go out of their way for you to have a pleasant day. Return the favor, and breathe life back into the words that open so many doors and display both your humility and gratitude. Thanks for reading!
LOLITAS BISTRO 6950 McPherson Rd. Suite C Laredo, Texas 956.568.5334
SKILLET EGGS & SAUSAGE HASH at Lolitas Bistro
o meal stirs passions quite like it. It’s not quite breakfast; it’s not quite lunch; it’s brunch and it’s delicious. Whether you woke up feeling like P. Diddy or not, brunch is the ideal meal to talk about last night’s crazy party or simply hang out with friends. If you’re in a weekend milk-and-cereal rut, and feel like kicking it up a notch, call your friends and head out to weekend brunch. If everybody’s working for the weekend, then brunch is the reward. Unlike a quick grab-and-go breakfast, the best brunches are drawn-out, indulgent meals, like blueberry granola buttermilk pancakes or thick-cut brioche French toast drenched in syrup and berries. Brunch is decadence, served with a side of bacon; brunch is a cheerful, sociable and inciting, late morning weekend meal that gets you in a good mood, especially when in good company. It sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week and transports you into a good time, making you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings.
Brunch is decadence, served with a side of bacon; brunch is cheerful, sociable, and inciting...
Skillet Eggs & Sausage Hash ingredients
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 ½ cup diced potatoes • ¼ diced onion
• 1 cup diced red bell pepper • 1 ½ cup sausage
• 2 cups sliced mushrooms • 5 eggs
• Salt and pepper to taste instructions
To top it off, it’s the only early meal where drinking is not only socially acceptable, it’s almost a requirement. So, shake off those bed sheets and stop by Lolitas Bistro for a round of refreshing bottomless mimosas with your favorite brunch entrée. BY MAITA FERNÁNDEZ
Maita has had a passionate relationship with food for as long as she can remember. As a chef and restaurant owner, she seeks to put a smile on people’s faces by creating original dishes.
In a heavy skillet, heat oil and sauté onions and potatoes until soft and beginning to brown. Add bell peppers and sliced sausage and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Take the skillet off the heat and with a spoon, gently push ingredients to form 5 little wells. Crack an egg in each well, season with salt and pepper, and put skillet in the oven at 350° F for 10 to 13 minutes.
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PHOTOGRAPHY FERCH HAIR J STUDIO / JANET BARRERA MAKEUP KRISTINA HOGAN
MODELS SANDRA RENDÓN MADRIGAL MARTHA AND LUZ MARÍA PÉREZ SPECIAL THANKS CLAUIDA VILLA AND REGINA BOUTIQUE
Inspired by our love for diversity of cultures, colors, and textures, we created a mix of elements to transport our vivid imaginations to worlds where every hue stands out on its own and awakens the senses to a new level of awe.
MODEL LUZ MARĂ?A PĂ‰REZ
MODEL MARTHA PÉREZ
MODEL SANDRA RENDÓN MADRIGAL
con Laredo Country Club 2.5 USTA Team
¿Cómo inicia en ti el gusto por este deporte? El interés en el tenis empieza gracias una amiga muy querida, Heidi Elyd, estando en el campestre en Nuevo Laredo me invita a jugar y formar un grupo de señoras para convivir y hacer ejercicio.
¿Cómo combinan el ser madres, esposas y el trabajo con el tenis? Nuestras prácticas normalmente son por la mañana y jugamos partidos en tiempos libres y que no interfieran con las actividades de nuestros hijos.
¿Cómo es que se formó el equipo, cuál es su nombre y cuántas integrantes tiene? El nombre del equipo es LCC 2.5 USTA Team, se forma por 7 jugadoras seleccionadas por nuestro pro – Homer Jiménez. Las jugadoras son Irlanda Alonso, Brenda Benavides, Marina Casso, Chacha Cavazos, Sandra Noriega, Gaby Pérez y Gaby Ruvalcaba. Y nos acompañan Alejandra Covarrubias, Juany Leal y Claudia Guarneros.
¿Cuáles son algunas de las ventajas de practicarlo y con que frecuencia lo hacen? El tenis es un deporte muy flexible porque lo puedes jugar con una o con varias personas, también tú misma puedes medir la frecuencia en que lo deseas hacer y sobre todo puedes convivir con amigos y con la misma familia. Nosotras normalmente vamos al club dos veces por semana y aparte cada una de nosotras toma sus clínicas privadas dependiendo en su tiempo y dedicación.
Amistad, salud, bienestar y buenos tiempos es lo que este equipo de tenis ha ido cosechando en cada set, además de muchos triunfos en distintas competencias. Hoy les presentamos una mini entrevista en la cual comparten un poco de esta experiencia y lo interesante de todo lo que conlleva el practicar el deporte blanco. Cream platicó con Julia Cavazos acerca de la trayectoria del equipo.
¿Participan en torneos y eventos? El equipo participó en McAllen el pasado 27 y 28 de marzo y ganamos todos los partidos, lo cual nos calificó para ir a Dallas el 7 de agosto de 2014, para jugar la liga de seccionales donde participarán más equipos. Los ganadores del evento tendrán la oportunidad de ir a California para el título de nacionales. ¿Qué se requiere para ser parte del equipo? Nuestro equipo ya está completo puesto que se compone por 7 personas, pero las personas interesadas aunque no sean miembros del club puede formar sus equipos por medio de USTA.COM, ahí encontrarán los requisitos para formar un equipo.
¿Algún mensaje para quién desea también empezar con algún deporte y balancear la agenda de trabajo y madre? Practicar un deporte es muy importante para toda persona ya que es una forma de distracción y convivencia donde te puedes cargar de energía y nuevos motivos para seguir siempre adelante. Creo que cada persona debe buscar lo que le gusta y así mismo lo hará siempre con gusto. A nosotras nos apasiona, nos desestresa y nos ofrece una manera de mantenernos en forma, puesto que los outfits nos te dejan engordar mucho. ¿Algo que te gustaría agregar? El tenis es un pasatiempo que me ofrece varios beneficios como convivir con personas divinas, hacer ejercicio y esforzarme por cada día jugar mejor.
cream february / march 2014
Giselle by Lily Hachar Lily Hachar Dance Studio held itâ€™s annual recital, titled â€œGiselle,â€? May 18 at the Laredo Civic Center. All the dancers delivered an outstanding performance, with every movement being a work of art that brought the audience to their feet. From everyone at Cream, congratulations for hosting an unforgettable event once again!
cream june / july 2014
Rodrigo Cázares and his father, Dr. Rodrigo Cázares Elizondo
Father Knows Best F
atherhood is a sometimes undervalued bond that forms between fathers and their children. They contribute something unique to the formation and upbringing of a child, whether it’s giving them pointers on how to score the perfect touchdown or help out with that tedious math homework, every father is uniquely qualified to share their own experience with their children as proof of their love and support for them. To the stay-at-home dad, the breadwinning pops, the sensitive, caring father whose advice never fails, to the single guy raising a kid; to every person who although of no biological relationship, has taken on the role of mentoring and guiding a child through the path in life, we salute you. Happy Father’s Day!
Rodrigo Cázares and his father With a fun-loving personality and a mindset to pursue a positive and balanced life, Rodrigo Cázares and his father, Dr. Rodrigo Cázares Elizondo, are men of character. Their down-to-earth nature has taken them to many places through their numerous family road trips, which include incredible destinations, historic sights, delicious foods and non-stop fun. As they are invigorated by their respective love of children and grandchildren, they strengthen that powerful connection that links them together deeper as father and son.
What is the thing that you admire most and have learned from your father? His passion! He’s driven to excel in everything he does. With his occupation, he took a leap of faith and relocated to a new city, then a new country. He’s operated a successful dental practice for over 40 years. His ambition for a master’s degree while we were in elementary school. His entrepreneurial spirit to open three other businesses. Nothing was an obstacle! With friends and family, he’s always setting the right example. He engrained in us strong core values and the importance of our relationship with family and God. Because of him, I’ve learned to pursue all opportunities with his work ethic and passion. The more I follow his footsteps, the better I’ll be. cream june / july 2014
Misael Rodríguez Vázquez and his father, Misael Rodríguez Garza
Has becoming a dad changed your outlook on life? Absolutely! Especially when I’m so fortunate to be a father. We endured challenges each time to become pregnant. Both were incredibly difficult pregnancies...the type you get told by doctors you should have never become pregnant. We almost lost them, but through faith, medical specialists and family, we persevered. My daughters are miracles! I count my blessings every day. My outlook is to not take anything for granted and pour every ounce of love in them. I teach them what I’ve been taught, stress core values and guide them along to find their own way.
Tell us a brief anecdote about a time in your childhood that you shared with your father and still cherish to this day. My dad is a brilliant man, cultured and well versed on current events. However, if there’s one thing he’s never been is athletic. When I was in grade school, the school had a father/son basketball game. I’ll always remember and cherish his involvement in that event. One of many moments he stepped outside his comfort zone, dressed up in basketball gear to support and make me happy. My MVP!
What is the importance of being a good role model and dedicated father? With two young girls, my goal is to raise them to become strong, confident, independent women. My dedication to them comes through motivating them, giving them attention, supporting their goals and protecting them. I’m committed to teach them respect and having caring hearts. They want our time, they seek our guidance. I’m motivated to be the type of man they’ll eventually want to marry. The more relentless I am, the stronger my bond becomes with them. I will be the most important man in their lives.
Is there one particular trait that every good father must have? Communication. Staying connected with children is crucial. Teaching them to communicate effectively will help them in friendships, relationships and their careers. Learning to express their feelings for what they believe in an honest and responsible way is equally important. Talking through hard times prepares them for life’s bigger challenges. 28
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If you could write a user’s manual on how to be a good dad, what would be at the top of your list of instructions? Tough one as many things come to mind. Children are sponges following us around, waiting to see what we say, feel, think and do. So ensuring our instructions are character building and positive is key. Recently I’ve found myself teaching them to be humble. I’m an enthusiastic parent and will do all I can to bolster their self-esteem. But being genuinely humble will shape a balanced life, and they will enjoy more meaningful and joyful relationships.
What has been the most tender moment you’ve shared with your old man? We’ve traveled miles and miles together but there’s been a few moments on road trips, when everyone was asleep in the back. It’s dark, not a soul on the road. And we just talk about family. He’s told me he approves of things I’ve done, goals I’ve achieved. Making him proud. Those have been precious moments.
Misael Rodrígez Vázquez and his father Sharing their name and profession, Misael Rodríguez Vázquez and his father, Misael Rodríguez Garza, both prominent otolaryngologists in the community, are strong, family-oriented men. Though joined through their passion for medicine, they are separated by their hectic work schedules, which deepens their need for those treasured Sunday afternoons together, enjoying lunch with the entire family. Valued traits they admire of each other are honesty, compassion, and humbleness. Has becoming a dad changed your outlook on life? It definitely has, and it has also taught me to be a better son.
Tell us a brief anecdote about a time in your childhood that you shared with your father and still cherish to this day. I loved the fact that it was as if we had another kid with us. He would always take us to all the amusement parks like AstroWorld, and he would get on all the rides with us. We would always laugh because he was really afraid, but he would still do it. What sorts of things do you like to do with your dad? What does a regular day with him look like? At this stage in our lives, we’re working all day long, and our day is very ordinary. When we get a break, we enjoy some great food and have a good talk. When we were younger, we would love to play tennis.
What is the importance of being a good role model and dedicated father? Our children are our best imitators. I do not think that personality is inherited, but rather acquired through observed behaviors, so we must be very careful of how we act around our kids.
Is there one particular trait that every good father must have? They must be understanding and patient; as any loving parent, love will always be there. If you could write a user’s manual on how to be a good dad, what would be at the top of your list of instructions? “Help mom, she can’t do everything.”
What is the most gratifying part of being a father? Being able to see your genes mirrored on someone else and being able to understand so many things that you could never understand as a son. Also, being able to teach and educate that person in the hopes of making the world a better place.
Jorge E. Lozano and his father As the owners of a prestigious ironworks business, Jorge E. Lozano and Jorge L. Lozano have an ironclad bond built upon the love, strength, and family unity. Both are creative minds with great work ethic and value each other’s love and support above all else. They spend time together through the traditional carne asadas where they reminisce about all they’ve lived through together as a family in the company of their loved ones. What is the thing that you admire most and have learned from your father? His ability to always find the positive side of things even in the toughest situations.
Has becoming a dad changed your outlook on life? Yes, it has rearranged my priorities and my goals.
Tell us a brief anecdote about a time in your childhood that you shared with your father and still cherish to this day. When I was in elementary, dad would sometimes “magically” convert my weekdays into Saturdays…this meant I could be out and about all day with him working, running errands, and going to the ranch. My mom was not always happy about this, but I’ll admit that it was unforgettable.
What sorts of things do you like to do with your dad? What does a regular day with him look like? Grab something to eat, and then watch a football game. What is the importance of being a good role model and dedicated father? I believe that when we have children, we have the responsibility to show them right from wrong and guide them to a life full of dignity and righteousness. Is there one particular trait that every good father must have? Always treat their mother with respect.
If you could write a user’s manual on how to be a good dad, what would be at the top of your list of instructions? Act as if they are recording every word you say and every action that you make. What has been the most tender moment you’ve shared with your old man? When my daughter was born.
What is the most gratifying part of being a father? After a long, tough day, coming home to see my daughter run to me shouting “papá” and hugging me really tight….this always changes my day!
Jorge E. Lozano and his father, Jorge L. Lozano
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It was the end of the final show of the run, and the audience’s applause pulsated against the bricks framing the Stanley Keilson Stage of the Guadalupe and Lilia Martínez Fine Arts Center Theater as we, the cast of the musical “The Wiz,” began our curtain call bows. This stage musical, an urbanized adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” resonated deeply with Laredo audiences; they had simply never seen anything like it before. They were all on their feet, but they sure weren’t ready to leave. the performers entered at planned intervals from the stage wings in reverse order of the prominence of their roles to bow before the audience of over seven hundred, whose fervor surged with each entrance, adding sustained whoops as they elevated their applause from chest level to arms outstretched and lifted above their heads. I was still waiting in the wings for my own turn, when they began to stomp their feet.
The audience comments for “The Wiz” were unanimously rhapsodic; perhaps it was the mass appeal of the iconic world of Oz; or the soulful pop songs that peppered the musical numbers, influencing everything from the choreography to the flamboyant, glittery costumes. Or perhaps it was a combination, including the fact that we further adapted this musical from its previous Afrocentric incarnations by adding a Latino flavor, converting the character I played, “The Wiz,” into “El Wiz,” a Tony Montana “Scarface” archetype, complete with white linen suit over an emerald green sequined shirt, a white satin cape, and a Cuban accent. When we did “The Wiz” that summer of 2009, it was just after my return to Laredo ending a 26 year business career in Los Angeles and Seattle toward a better quality of life, especially family life. This included some heady days as an executive at Atari, Microsoft and at a “dot com” through an IPO. My step into theater with “The Wiz” was not my first; it was a return to the theatrical interests of my youth, begun before I left Laredo in 1979, and sustained for five years after as an actor in Los Angeles. Those jobs that I took to eat and pay rent while the “Hollywood Universe” came to its senses eventually took over in priority, first in earning opportunities, and then in serving the major choices of my life that followed, like marriage, fatherhood, and homeownership. Upon reflection, I regret nothing; I can even see the benefits of having followed this particular path.
My early training and experience as an actor and singer helped me significantly toward mastering some of the more critical abilities required in business. Championing a product or a business concept with banks, venture capitalists or customers, and then managing and inspiring a team to deliver, requires the most elevated communication skills, especially those of observation and listening. In fact, the study and performance of acting is based upon listening; it is a well-known adage that acting is simply reacting. Once I entered the business world, I discovered that the analysis of the human condition that was such a part of my research as an actor also provided me necessary intelligence to understand the behavior and motivations of allies and opponents, an invaluable advantage in negotiations. Similarly, the comfort level I developed as a performer before audiences and critics gave me an inherent skill and inviolate confidence in public speaking, crucial in the board rooms,
shareholder meetings, and press briefings of life as an executive. And though there are certainly other intellectual and technical requirements toward a successful business career, those that I drew from my participation in theater, including lessons in teamwork, discipline, and standards, led me most effectively toward success.
I followed my performance in “The Wiz” by co-founding Laredo Theater Guild International, and as Artistic Director leading this nonprofit arts organization and its Board of Directors in successfully producing an annual season of plays for this community. In an ironic quid pro quo, I found that my business experience and management abilities significantly supported my organizational responsibilities. Five years later, this July, we will close our 5th season with the musical “My Fair Lady,” and I am performing in this one too, my first musical in four years. So here we go again! As I exited for my curtain call, “El Wiz” running toward the cheering, hollering, stomping audience, their happy faces fully visible by the lights flooding the entire house, I could now see as well as hear their joy and appreciation. I was absorbing this powerful moment, when I noticed a man in the center of the first row slowly shaking his head back and forth, mouthing the word “wow.” Yes, my sentiments exactly. BY JOE ARCINIEGA ARCINIEGAJOE@GMAIL.COM
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y a w n Ru ay
W l a e R
We’ve all seen them strut up and down the runway, the prediction of the only certain thing in the next six months to come in the ever changing world of fashion, runway collections. These showcase the proposals of each designer for that specific season and most likely leave many of us drooling over them so much, until we foresee the heartbreaking fact; a whole look of mentioned proposal is probably worth more than our life savings. So while we wait for our lottery numbers to hit the jackpot, we might just have to resort to our old creative juices and copy the trends as any true fashionista would do. In a challenge called from “Runway to Real Way,” I sketched three of my favorite looks from spring’s ready-to-wear 2014 collections of Chanel, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler, thus creating similar, on-a-budget looks. Now the good news; achieving an almost identical look isn’t that hard. Nowadays, major retail companies have created the term of “fast fashion,” (I’m looking at you, Zara, Asos, and H&M) where they take a designer’s runway look and mass manufacture to bring those unattainable trends to their racks and into our closets without breaking the bank.
Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” couldn’t have been a better choice of song for
colorful and artsy collection. Deemed by fashion critic Tim Blanks as a “Chanel/Basel mash up,” the runway was surrounded by Jeff Koons-like installations, and the clothes were a dream wardrobe to anyone related to the art world. With prints based on swifts of brushstrokes, pearls and crochet, I’m wearing a skirt with that same concept paired with a lilac crop layered over a button down crochet top. The details of socks, heels, and backpacks create a fun element easy to add and keeps true to the runway look.
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Many of these designers are indeed artists themselves. Therefore, the origin of inspiration related to the art world is no surprise. So is the case
Proenza Schoulerâ€™s collection, the modern, cool girl
go-to designers. With a sophisticated color palette consisting of neutrals, beiges and metallic, their pleated midi skirt with silver razor thin strips made numerous appearances in the red carpet due to the easy to wear element. Making this collection one of the best from NYFW. For this look, pleated midis were easy to find, I paired it with a self-tie knot crop top and mules, minimal and cool just as the genius duo.
the talk of the town after becoming head designer for Balenciaga, is considered no less of a genius. I love this girly and athletic look with a nineties flair, a single strappy pleated dress worn with Mary Jane pastel platforms and no more detail than that. Presented here in the form of, yes, another crop top over yes, a pleated skirt. Keeping the look monochromatic to be seen as a dress Iâ€™ve paired it with Birkenstocks.
By the looks of it, these designers are definitely on to something. In their own way, they all present big (here to stay) trends for this season; pleats, crops, and midi skirts. Some of these might be tricky to master, but are worth a try. Take advantage of the cheap thrills these retail companies have to offer and get the look for less than your monthly coffee intake, damn you Starbucks! BY MICHELLE COOK GUTIĂ‰RREZ
Michelle is a street fashion blogger living in Laredo, Texas. Follow her blog at nicethingsandstuff.blogspot.com
My Fair Lady BY FERNANDA MALDONADO
iving in a city as culturally diverse as Laredo, we are no strangers to various forms of arts in the form of either plays, dances, or musicals. Fortunately for us, this coming August we’ll have the opportunity to watch them harmoniously mesh as we see Kristelle Martin bring Eliza Doolittle to life in the stage adaptation of the multiple award winning musical film “My Fair Lady.” A both charming and incredibly lively story, we can only expect a masterfully crafted production by director Verónica Ramírez and an artistically proficient cast which includes the aforementioned protagonist, Joe Arciniega, and Vernon Carroll, amongst others. As we ask the leading lady and director a few questions to get more depth behind the play itself and its production, it is safe to assume that the opening night of “My Fair Lady” will be all the rage and more. Personally, here at Cream City Magazine, we cannot wait to attend this noteworthy manifestation of Laredo’s ever-expanding talent.
interview to director
verónica ramírez why did you choose to direct my fair lady? how did it all start? This musical adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” has an extraordinary mixture of wit, movement, color, and melody. Not only has “My Fair Lady” been a resounding success on Broadway, but to this day, touring companies are met with riotous applause by riveted audiences all over the world. Alan Jay Lerner’s book and lyrics are a great tradition of biting wit and humor. Frederick Loewe’s music enhances the cockney flower girl who became a great lady “simply” by teaching her diction and poise. This all started when the Producer/Artistic Director and high school friend Joe Arciniega and I discussed that one of the musicals Laredo Theater Guild International (LTGI) wanted to bring to life on the Laredo stage was this classic production of “My Fair Lady.” That conversation took place about 5 years ago. Never in my dreams did I think I would have the honor and privilege of directing this beautiful, iconic show. Joe approached me to direct the show, and dangled the “proverbial carrot” of this is going to be a great production and a tribute to four of the most iconic theater personalities Laredo has ever known and loved, Hortense Offerle, Stanley Keilson, Elmo López and the late Sam Johnson. How could I resist! Offerle, Keilson, López, and Johnson were all in the production of “My Fair Lady,” which was the very first musical presented at the Laredo Civic Center when it opened its doors back in the 1960s. LTGI’s production, set for July, will be a tribute to them and I am so excited to be a part of such a fitting tribute to these four icons that paved the way for the Laredo theater we know, love, and enjoy today. what kind of experience have you had as a director? As a theatre director, “My Fair Lady” will be my third musical production. In 2006, Laredo Little Theatre asked me to direct their summer musical, “Heidi.” That is where I got my directing feet wet. The summer of 2012 brought me back to the director’s chair with LTGI’s production of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” I consider myself a singer/actress, first and foremost. But directing has given me a whole new perspective on vision on both sides of the chair that few get to experience. who is your favorite character? why? This question is like asking a mother, “Who is your favorite child?” I will have to say that all the characters, from Eliza, Higgins, Pickering, Doolittle, all the way to the character(s) playing a bystander or the chorus, are my favorite because this show focuses on a flower girl, it takes the whole cast to bring the beauty of the show to life. Let me add that every single person involved with “My Fair Lady” is a character in this show. From the actors on stage to the crew and orchestra backstage and in the orchestra pit. Everyone is a piece of this huge puzzle that makes up the production of “My Fair Lady.” If a piece goes missing, the picture is incomplete. would you rather be a director in broadway or in hollywood? Broadway all the way! I like the spontaneity of live theatre and the immediate audience reaction. You get to feel the audience’s energy in the air. Most of the time, it’s electrifying!
why should everyone buy a ticket to go see “my fair lady”? “My Fair Lady” is easy to love. We are still completely obsessed with the social experiment thing; taking someone from a deprived background and putting them in a different social setting. Our audiences will love to see how they thrive in different social circles. Let’s face it, people love to see a small town girl succeed. It is like the American dream and that’s why the show does so brilliantly! interview to protagonist
kristelle martin in what way do you feel you can relate to eliza doolittle? Eliza, to put in the simplest terms, is a diamond in the rough. I have always thought of myself as a raw talent that has the potential to shine but most definitely needs refining in order to be the best at my crafts, music, theatre, and dance. That is exactly what Eliza needs in order to be a lady and reach her true potential. She needs to put her whole heart into what she is doing and allow someone else, Higgins, to guide her and correct her in order for her to become refined and ultimately become a true lady. I believe that all women need to have that desire to work harder than they ever have before and grow for the better, all the while having the willingness to allow others to help them along the way. what was the hardest part about transforming into this character? Becoming what is called a “guttersnipe.” All the characters I have played thus far are very demure, but not Eliza. She must be so obnoxious that she can make the hair on your neck curl. Becoming annoying isn’t that hard when you’re not intentionally doing it, but when you know you must be obnoxious to everyone around you, it is definitely more of a chore. what is your favorite line/song in “my fair lady”? My favorite song is “Without You.” It is the last song Eliza sings in the show to Henry Higgins and it is an absolute blast! It is the one chance where Eliza truly stands up for herself and puts everything into perspective. It is the first time where Eliza truly believes that she is a lady and is capable of holding her own. It’s fun and sassy, but so powerful at the same time. prior to production, what were some ways in which you prepared yourself to play eliza? I guess I technically have been preparing for the show since I was six years old when I first saw the movie and I completely fell in love. I actually went to a theater intensive in Michigan where I entirely focused on “I Could Have Danced All Night” the entire camp having no idea I would play Eliza now. In the past couple months I have been focusing mostly on my vocal technique for the songs and on the infamous cockney accent. There is still more work to be done! how do you feel about the rest of the cast? I adore the cast! Joe Arciniega and Vernon Carroll are like family to me. It’s like they raised me in the theater world. Vernon was the director for my very first play, “The Sound of Music,” and Joe was the producer and Captain Von Trapp, so now that I am co-starring with both of them it almost feels surreal.
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this is my place EDICIÓN ALICIA PASQUEL CANTÚ
ada rinconcito de esta casa tiene su historia y disfruto cada lugar que comparto con mis seres queridos. Mi parte favorita de mi casa no es necesariamente una sola, sino todo en conjunto. Me califico como una mujer sumamente sensible y en esto me refiero a casi todos los aspectos de la vida. Mi personalidad está reflejada completamente en este lugar porque cada cosa que se ha puesto para hacerlo más agradable ha sido con la sensibilidad que me caracteriza. El estilo es tan único que no sabría cómo definirlo, pero tiene una mezcla europea de francés con italiano. Además, mi parte favorita de estar aquí es que puedo reunir a toda mi familia. La característica más especial de este lugar definitivamente tendría que ser el comedor, donde todos nos sentamos para contar historias y para compartir una comida. Cuando estoy en este lugar, me siento sumamente feliz porque es un lugar que no se hizo de la noche a la mañana; ha sido cada detalle que se ha llevado mucho tiempo, pero finalmente estoy aquí en mi momento, mi lugar.
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CASA DE ALICIA PASQUEL CANTÚ Alicia nos recibió en su hogar.
fatherhood to me is
my favorite memory is from
i often dream of
skintology Skintology officially welcomed the public to their demure, high end spa. Want to treat your skin to a heavenly treatment and indulge in the pampering of a lifetime? Make sure to book an appointment and experience this majestic place.
ground breaking Ancira Volkswagen of Laredo broke ground at what will be their new location in Loop 20, accompanied by friends, customers, and many other renowned Laredo public figures.
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chano aldrete BY SANDY LUGO
Chano Aldrete has become a household name in Laredo for being the owner and master chef of Chano’s Patio, a simple hole in the wall with a comfort food menu set within nature, or as he affectionately calls it, “a groovy burger joint!” His deep love and passion for food had him in the company of great chefs that helped him continue preparing throughout his culinary career. His intellectual curiosity takes him through the pages of cookbooks from all around the world, which inspire him to experiment with new flavors and deliver his one of a kind, delicious concoctions. DO YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF VISITING OTHER KITCHENS AND SAMPLING DISHES?
Yes as much as I can, I love food. WHEN YOU GO OUT TO EAT, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A RESTAURANT?
food always served hot!
WHAT WAS THE
MOST EXOTIC FOOD YOU EVER ATE?
WITH WHOM? Six course meal at Pearls in Austin with Miss Pauline. ARE THERE ANY FOODS YOU WON’T EAT OR EVEN TRY?
WHAT DO YOU SNACK ON
Peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich with a big glass of iced chocolate milk. WHAT ARE
WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS AROUND?
YOUR FONDEST FOOD MEMORIES FROM
CHILDHOOD? Cooking on the ground fires with my grandfather at the ranch. WHAT CELEBRITY WOULD YOU INVITE OVER FOR DINNER AND WHAT WOULD YOU
The Pope; a smoked bone in rib eye and fresh cut fries. IF
COOK FOR THEM?
YOU WERE TO PARTICIPATE IN A TV SHOW,
WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE? Hawaii Five-0.
WHICH CELEBRITY CHEF SHOWS DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH?
Anthony Bourdain’s FAVORITE
EQUIPMENT OR GADGET?
Knife or spice
FUNNIEST KITCHEN INCIDENT?
Showing up for work on my day off! IN THE ACT OF CREATING NEW FLAVOR COMBINATIONS, At Chano’s Patio, the Moonrise Cove, Mi Tierra burger, and my brisket. WHICH IS THE BEST DRINK THAT COMBINES WITH MOST MEALS? Beer. WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OR SURPRISING CHANGES IN CULINARY ARTS? Going back to the basics; good old comfort food. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE, HOW WILL PEOPLE EAT? I hope we continue to eat more fresh vegetables and whole foods and stray away from anything that is processed. But “Be good, be smart, and without the honeybees, humans will not have many food options, so we must save follow your dreams.” the honeybees. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT WHICH HAVE BEEN A GREAT SUCCESS?
THAT YOU ARE MAKING AN IMPACT IN
Yes, I have been cooking healthy, clean, fresh and flavorful meals my whole career. I always use fresh ingredients, natural, no MSG spices, and try to stay away from anything that is processed. IF YOU HADN’T BECOME A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW? Who knows! I would probably be somewhere by the water or the mountains. But I can’t see my life without food, I’ve loved it since I was 6 years old; it’s who I am. TELL ME SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN OR IMPROVE UPON. The red road of spirituality to become a better human being. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE CULINARY ARTS? Just as I have always told my daughter Andrea, “Be good, be smart, and follow your dreams.” BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE A FOOD ENTHUSIAST? Be adventurous! Discover new places, try new food, listen to new music, learn from others, read, do anything to keep your passion ignited, and follow your fuego. HEALTH CARE?
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crème brûlée BY FERNANDA MALDONADO ILLUSTRATIONS RICARDO A. GUERRERO III
Oh Nick Carter, quit playing games with my heart. I’m willing to bet that there is no girl (and some boys) out there who did not get at least a teensy bit excited at the end of This is the End when the Backstreet Boys made that, literally, celestial appearance. The Backstreet Boys marked a very special era of my childhood, along with the likes of pre-breakdown Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera before “Dirrty.” I still keep the same copy of Millennium my mom got me for my 6th birthday in my car and I ENJOY it. Unfortunately, I was born the year that grunge royalty died, more specifically King Kurt Cobain; however, Nirvana’s undeniable impact in the subsequent years continues to live. But of course, one can’t talk about 90’s music and neglect to mention riot grrl Alanis Morissette, ska punk band Sublime, and some of the star contributors to the golden age of hiphop: Dr. Dre, The Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac. And this only scrapes the surface of a defining decade for music.
F ROM T HE
For the times when there were certain lessons school simply could not teach you, there was always Mr. Feeny offering us his timeless wisdom in Boy Meets World. And for those lessons your parents were just too uncomfortable to teach you, Dawson, Joey, Jen, and Pacey from Dawson’s Creek took the reins with their intelligent quips and knowledge beyond their years. The 90’s also brought us the equally hilarious kid’s version of SNL, All That (or the time when Amanda Bynes still had an ounce of sanity). Yet for those who desperately wanted to believe, X-Files paved the way and reinvented the sci-fi/mystery drama genre by influencing incredibly compelling shows such as Lost, Supernatural, and Fringe; yet, nobody will ever take the place of Agents Mulder and Scully (and the unforgettable Cigarette-Smoking Man). And saving the best for last, my personal favorite, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer because there was simply nothing the Scoobies could not do. Buffy had everything I could ever want in a show: teenage drama, romance, comedy, action, and supernatural elements all rolled into one. Not to mention the irresistible 90’s cheesiness.
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Every time I think about fashion in the 90’s, I internally weep. Had I been conceived about 12 years prior, I would’ve been out sporting overalls with one strap undone (for added coolness) with multicolored tattoo chokers, while my wonderfully crimped hair would’ve been held up in a ponytail with a scrunchie and strategically placed butterfly clips, for added measure. And it would’ve been socially acceptable… and I would’ve looked AWESOME. Seriously though, if ever a girl was in need of a fashion inspiration, she wouldn’t look further than Ms. Cher Horowitz (or Alicia Silverstone in Clueless) who was THE holy grail of 90’s style. However, if coordinated plaid outfits, over-the-knee socks, and platforms weren’t your thing, another trend that dominated this decade was, obviously, grunge, and those afflicted by this movement would not leave home without their tartan flannels, Doc Martens, and acid wash denim. Mark my words, 90’s style will dominate again… perhaps not, but at least I got to wear mood rings and slap bracelets.
of the month
Warrior I, Virabhadrasana I, is one of the most essential yoga postures. It is accessible to almost everyone, but challenging enough for even
the most advanced yogis. It offers numerous benefits, beyond what the eye can see. Not only does it strengthen the shoulders, arms, and back muscles, but it offers a deep internal stretch for the shoulders, chest, lungs, belly, and psoas. Practicing this posture encourages excellent circulation and respiration and improves stability, balance, and focus. Just five minutes can energize the entire body and leave you feeling ready to conquer the day. Like all yoga postures, Warrior I should be practiced with awareness.
Finding the right balance of intensity and breath is key to achieve optimal results. Concentrate on finding your strength and level 10 in the pose, while simultaneously allowing your breath to help you relax into the stretch that the posture offers.
Model: Adriana RodrĂguez
We with the cream radar set in awesome mode, we set out to find the latest innovative trends that stand tall from the rest. It didn’t take long for us to ﬁnd the treasure we were looking for at Crisda Collections - we’re talking about the fashion forward bracelet by Kranz & Ziegler. You’re able to choose from a selection of leather, silk, gemstone, and even pearl bracelets in order to start making your STORY. Add silver charms, gold plated buttons, rose gold plated spacers, rhodium plated watches, or mix and match, or add some funky neon colors to it - your imagination is literally the limit. We happily give STORY a fabulous plated Cream Certiﬁed metal to add to its ever-growing collection.
*Available at Crisda Collections, located at 5601 San Dario, Suite 2B in Laredo, Texas. BY ANGIE SIFUENTES