Thursday, November 29, 2012

Event: El Gran Combo at the Tropicana (AC)

Sure I just moved to Atlantic City and I'm posting all this stuff about AC, but hey you post what you see. Anyways, this Saturday, December 1 El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico will perform at the Tropicana. Tickets are reasonably priced between $50 and $80 and can be purchased at  Maybe an after party at Cuba Libre in the same hotel?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Navaja's blog is back in action

Well folks I'm back in action. I know I didn't even give a hint of being on hiatus but things were hectic. First I purchased a car, then I moved to Atlantic City and finally I began my new job. Read about my role in my page. Again if there's anything you'd like me to review or write about let me know. I'm pretty flexible with topics; just as long as they deal with my ever lasting love to the Latino culture. I like videos and photos :).

In the meantime, here are some interesting recent articles by some great Latino outlets:

And don't forget you can always Tweet me at @navaja1cortes. Hasta pronto.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Awilda Rodriguez Lora aka La Performera

During the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures conference in Philadelphia, there was one performer that really stuck out from the rest. Awilda Rodriguez aka La Performera performed at the Prince Music Theatre during one of the night time activities. Amazingly hilarious and insightful is how I would describe her performance. Awilda brought to life her experiences growing up, finding her true identity and more. An astounding mixture of visual and sound, her performances really ask the questions, "Who are we?" and, "How do people view us?" Some may think she's a bit "too much," but I say we have the freedom to do whatever we want creatively. And that's exactly what she does.

In her bio, she says, "...the development of performance art is a constant exercise in self-reflection where she challenges her identity, sexuality and gender"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Latinos choose Pres. Barack Obama at 71%

As the election has come to a close, people are scrambling to find reasons why to hate our re-elected president, Barack Obama, and other reasons to stop voting. Well remember when Time Magazine wrote the article on how Latinos will decide the next president? happened. A new Pew Hispanic Research Poll stated, "Latinos voted for President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney by 71% to 27%, according to an analysis of exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Center, a Project of the Pew Research Center."

You may think that the top issue was immigration, but it wasn't. Our nation's economy was the most important. The study also stated, "the economy was followed by health care, the federal budget deficit and foreign policy." Republicans may not have to change their strategy when reaching out to the ever growing Latino population. As you can see from the image above, Barack Obama has our nation's second largest Latino vote since President Bill Clinton in 1996.

So who did you vote for and why?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rockford IceHogs rock the sombrero for a Hispanic celebration

What happens when a Hispanic Heritage celebration goes wrong? Our friends at shared this controversial story about the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs Hispanic Heritage weekend. The idea about having a Hispanic celebration outside of September/October is awesome but not with, "fans wearing the jerseys above, showing Hammy Hog, the team's mascot, adorned with a sombrero and thick mustache. ¡Que racista!" (via Deadspin)

I'll let you be the judge of it all but look at their flyer on the Icehog website. Celebrating Hispanic culture is not about bright colors, sombreros and coronas. Sure the Chicago market is predominately Mexican, but I doubt Mexicans will even want to come to this game. Oh wait? You said Dora the Explorer is coming to this event!? I wonder if Nickelodean knows about her appearance. So what could they have done different? Maybe honor a Latino leader in the community, maybe have a special performance by one of the local groups, maybe something other than what they are doing now. Oh well. See you at Cinco de Mayo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Community service: Thanksgiving for the Homeless

Every year Taller Puertorriqueño hosts their annual Thanksgiving for the Homeless event. During the event you get a sense of happiness and sadness. Yes you're serving the community by donating to a good cause, but at the same time there are so many people that enter their building who are homeless. However on a positive note (again), I'm glad to see so many people donate clothing and their time. This year's event will take place on Wednesday, November 21st from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. If you can't donate any food or clothes, Taller PR is also looking for volunteers the day of the event to help serve the food. *See flyer above for more information and contact info* 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My 2012 voting experience

I must say for the past two months I have seen and heard so many political ads that it drove me insane. I think this year it was far worse than others. Last night while watching the news there were five ads in a row...all attack ads. My feeling is will these last minute ads change your mind? Probably not. Regardless, this morning I woke up like any other day and went to vote. Last night during my random Twitter search, @anniemal tweeted a link to find my polling place. While I already knew where it was from my 2011 experience, I clicked on it to humor myself. Low and behold I had a new polling place with no notice.

So today I did go to the new location and it was the easiest 10 minutes of my life. The volunteer did ask for my ID but all I said was, "My name is Eric Cortes," and she found my name. It was interesting because not once did I actually hand over my ID to prove it was me. Maybe she took my word for it. Polling volunteers are hilarious because they are always yelling at each other. Right after I pushed my buttons someone handed me a I VOTED sticker which felt great. And while most people tweeted and Facebooked photos of long lines, I only had six people in front of me...all older citizens. Regardless of who you vote for, just vote...not because someone told you to, but because you want to make a difference.

Monday, November 5, 2012

ALPFA's leadership summit talks social media

Earlier today I had the pleasure of speaking at ALPFA's 2012 Leadership Summit. Their theme was social media and as you all know I love me some social media. And not just for personal branding, but putting it to use in your professional life. Other panelists included Myrna Soto, SVP & CISO Comcast National Engineering & Technical Operations; Duncan Avis, KPMC Managing Director, Business Intelligence and Lee Raine, Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

So is your company using social media? How about you? There's a huge difference when it comes to personal branding and organizations using it to leverage their marketing efforts. Most of the panelists agreed that social media is turning (and integrating) into traditional media. The terms can be used interchangeably. Other takeaways included security issues. When you have giant insurance companies or even something like Best Buy, you have to be 100% careful about what your colleagues are distributing via social media. Remember, once it's out there in the world, it can and will be used against (or for) you.

Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor and Managing Director from the City of Philadelphia also gave a great introduction about the city's use of social media and where Philadelphia is in terms of use and strategy. Unfortunately, 55% of Philadelphians don't have access to broadband internet. That number is insane and needs to be dropped. Thanks to Negrin's efforts, the city of Philadelphia created the 311 mobile app which allows citizens to get involved with city government. I just downloaded the app myself.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My car buying experience

This post will be a little personal but I thought it would be interesting. For reasons I cannot announce right now I had to purchase a vehicle. Eric...with a car? Imagine that! Luckily I have friends who are car fiends and know everything there is to purchase a car. Also in my favor, I have driven ZipCars for the past two years and have improved my driving. Right? The next step would be to look up cars and narrow it down to three make/models as well as get quotes for insurance.

On a not-very-sunny Wednesday morning (considering I didn't have to work) my friend Randy and I went into South Jersey to look at Mazda, VolksWagen and Ford dealers all within a few blocks of each other. To be honest I didn't expect to be there for about five hours looking at cars and speaking with sales people. If you know me, I do not like all. They throw all these numbers at you, pretend to be your friend, feed you (I didn't get fed) and then make you sign all this paperwork. But luckily I turned down all three offers and made my own decision; thanks to Randy as well.

While the Mazda dealer was a little aggressive, VolksWagen brought out three different people and even ran out to offer us more random crap when we were driving away. The manager also spoke Spanish to us expecting us to feel more at ease. Sorry, that doesn't work with me. The Ford dealer was the nicest and less pushier of the three. His motto was if you're going to buy the car, you're going to buy it. And it's true. If we want something we're going to get it. Point blank. After a lunch break and some candy shopping I went with my top two: 2012 Mazda 3 and 2013 Ford Focus.So who did I go with? Well the top photo just says it all.

Now came the bad news. Since Hurricane Sandy closed down the entire world, the DMV wasn't able to process temporary tags. I had to wait one more day to actually drive off with the car. Luckily, the sales reps at Mazda were nice enough to pick me up from work the following day to go back to the dealer (it's 30 minutes away). Luckily I handled all the insurance information the previous night; thanks Geico! I signed a lot of paperwork, and then boom! Overall, the experience was tiring. But I am happy to have my own vehicle, awesome credit and now the ability to do a lot more.