Monday, October 20, 2014

Eat, Pray, Elizabeth Gilbert! 

"Be the hero of your own journey!"

"Go on a min-quest!"

"Ask yourself, what stirs you, what moves you, what interests you?... Point yourself in that direction, curiosity is going to lead you to your very own life."

Those are some of the nuggets from Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert that she shared for a story I wrote about her upcoming appearance. She's one of Oprah Winfrey's featured trailblazers on Oprah's The Life You Want tour which rolls into Miami this weekend.

 I had a chance to chat with Elizabeth during a stop in Miami. As expected, she was gregarious and gracious and had always something positive to share as she did in her book which I read mostly on my gym's ellypitcal machine when lived in Boston. I also remember being the only proud (and giddy) dude at the AMC movie theater in Braintree during a Sunday matinee screening of the movie in Aug. 2010. Welcome to Miami, Elizabeth!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Looking for Providence at Boston's Channel 7


A big thank you to Alberto Vasallo of El Mundo newspaper - Boston's oldest Spanish-language weekly - and to Boston's WHDH Channel 7 for having me on their Sunday morning show Urban Update this weekend. I got to talk about my new book Looking for Providence, my late mom Mily being my biggest fan, adjusting to a new job and Jamaica Plain!  Below is what I reference in the video.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey cheapo, you're cool

Admit it, it's cool to be frugal these days. When people get a great deal or something free, they can't help but brag about it, flaunt it like a badge of honor via social media or in person.  Here's my Sun Sentinel story on how it's chic to be cheap.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book readings in Boston and Providence

To all my Boston and Providence peeps, I have two book readings next week for my latest novel Looking for Providence.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 30, I return to the South End branch of the Boston Public Library where I've always had a great enthusiastic turn out for my previous book readings.  I'll have some books for sale for $10 and there will be refreshments.  Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. 685 Tremont St., Boston.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 2, I'll have a reading at the Providence Public Library for Hispanic Heritage Month.  I'm so honored to read from my Providence book there because the book is set in this beautiful city that I am very fond of (in case you haven't noticed.)
There will be some books for sale there too. 150 Empire St., Providence.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Versailles the book

Anyone who has been to Miami knows Versailles Restaurant, the brightly lit Cuban palace with accented wall-to-wall mirrors, green borders and sparkling chandeliers. It's where where the aroma of Cuban coffee mixes with the succulent scent of fresh garlic butter bread.

Now there's a new book that celebrates the family and the history of this Cuban restaurant. I wrote a story about the book, The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook which features some of the eatery's more popular recipes.

Besides the food, the restaurant is a great place to people-watch because of the cross-section of residents and tourists that gather there every day. The restaurant is usually abuzz with activity from the chatter of overly dressed older Hispanic ladies who have just come from one of the funeral homes down the street to the tables of sun-burned tourists and young couples in beach shorts, tank tops and flip flops.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miami's Motown

Record cover for Helene Smith of Deep City Records
 Before the Miami Sound Machine and Expose, there was another sound that defined the South Florida music scene. It was the Caribbean-flavored, marching-band inspired soul music of Deep City Records, Florida's first black owned record label in the 1960s.  The enterprise helped launched the careers of singers Betty Wright and Helene Smith.

South Florida public broadcaster WLRN TV along with the Knight Foundation have produced a documentary that introduces viewers to this little unknown Miami record company and its artists. Here's my story on the film called "Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound."

Monday, September 8, 2014

beach head

Why do we feel so goood at the beach? Is it mental or physical or are the benefits a mix of both? I hit the beach (of course) to find out why being near the water is so soothing and healing, something I've always wondered whenever I ran along the shores of Boston Harbor or along the Neponset River in Dorchester (where I used to live) or along Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami (where I spend a lot of my down time these days). There's nothing quite like breathing in the sea air during a run or a walk. Here's my story.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Please, take my palm!

Palm trees are true natives in South Florida. But there are a lot of them around and some homeowners can't seem to get rid of these lush towering trees from their yards. So they're giving them away for free on Craigslist but there's a catch. Here's a story I wrote on these free trees.