Dando el rol por el “LA Auto Show”

The Honda display at the LA Auto Show.

I love my car, a beautiful VW. But… I hate driving in LA, for obvious reasons.

I think every angeleno has a special relationship/bond with their car. Or their imaginary car they will someday own and remains on their wish list. You know which one I’m talking about. Es el carro de tus sueños que ves que otra persona al lado tuyo va manejando mientras estás atorado en el 405…y de repente te vas en tu daydream driving off into the sunset.

But I digress…

This week every car maker and brand in America had their annual big “dog and pony show” which is appropriately called “The LA Auto Show.”

You still have this weekend to go see it at the Convention Center. The entrance is $12 dollars (parking is another $20 or so) and it’s open until 10 PM. If you’re a car aficionado, then this is something that’s totally worth your time. Get up close and personal with every new car on the market. You can even pretend it’s yours as you slide into it and sit in the driver’s seat, since most of the cars are open to get a sense of what they feel like on the road.

A few things really stood out. The trend this year is to finally convince us, the regular people, that the fuel efficient, eco-friendly, gas saving, “small is the new reality” vehicle is here to stay. It’s no secret that we are all minding our dollars and cents, and oil ain’t ever going to be free, so we might as well start thinking that “smaller is better.”  At least that’s the big push by most of the companies, including the luxury brands. Every brand has some sort of hybrid, electrical or fuel efficient option. Everybody is reinventing itself. The future looks like it’s here when you see the electric plug enchufando al carro en el garage. Could it be that we all drive electrical cars some day?

There’s still many models of gas guzzlers and big ass trucks, so don’t despair. (A los latinos nos gustan mucho los big cars todavía.) It all depends what you like and how much you are willing to spend on your next car. Even if you are of the idea that an automobile is just something that gets you from point A to point B, I think there’s never been a time when the driver has had so many options to choose from.

Go visit the LA Auto Show before it ends and have a little pipe dream yourself. Total, soñar no cuesta nada.

Here are a few images from the show. I had so many I wanted to post, but made a brief selection for browsing purposes.

Germans do cars right. Here are a few Audi pics. They have a beautiful line and are quite popular.

An electrical BMW "Active" can be yours if you lease it for $499 a month, plus deposit.

Looks like the future arrived. The BMW i8 (concept) cars are all electrical. And they are amazing to look at.

The new 5 Series BMW. No wonder it's the ultimate driving machine.

Concept cars by Chevy will be here in 2013. Already sold in Europe.

The Chevy Volt is one of the more popular electrical cars. But I'm not crazy about the design.

Cool display by the new CODA cars. But the car design is so boring, I did not post a picture. It's all electrical and just a basic 4 door sedan.

Mini Cooper: still a very expensive toy car.

The new VW Beetle is amazing. Loved it!

Even Land Rover is going smaller with the Evoque and their new concept cars.

The Mercedes Benz G Series is BACK!! If I had an extra 100 thousand dollars, I would buy this car in an instant. My absolute favorite thing in the show. I don't care if it's big and boxy, this is it. They had stopped making them a few years ago so I wonder if it's back by popular demand.

I could also get a Fiat Gucci. So cool, so hip...so now. Too bad J-Lo endorses it!

Even the inside of the Fiat has the Gucci branding. Nice!

You can also get the Gucci accessories to go with you car, so you'd be all Gucci'd out. Qué fresas!

More people are embracing the new electrical vehicles. Here's the Nissan Leaf, which are now on the road. You hook up this baby through the front outlet and charge!

UPDATE- SATURDAY: A petición de X, Chucho:  Here’s a photo of the X1 car I took and some others that just had to make it to the list. Había muchísimo y quisiera poder subir más. Sorry if the pictures are small, they have to be optimized for the site.

Para X:

Yes, there were Formula 1 models.

I actually took a pic of la moto with my name on it (my initials, always have loved the CBR) but there's a peek of the Target F1 Model in the back.

I know you like the Audi Spyder!

 Para mis sobrinos-ahijados:

Life size Mario Kart model was a big deal!

Me encantó el display de Hot Wheels.

Para mi Papá, que le gustan los Bentleys…

Fit for a king...or a famous hip hop artist.

Pedro Almodóvar Forever! A night @Taschen Beverly Hills

This week, gracias a mis amigas Lucia y Martha, fuimos al book signing de Pedro Almodóvar’s book “The Almodóvar Archives” at the beautiful Taschen Book Store in Beverly Hills.

A few lucky fans got a chance to meet and greet the film maestro, and he is a lovely, funny and charming man. Se me hace que es una persona que se ha de divertir mucho con sus ideas y su creatividad. Imagine what his mind looks like! All those colors popping all over the place, all those stories and visuals of the movies he creates.

As an added treat, también estuvo Antonio Banderas, one of his first actor discoveries all the way back in the late 1980’s, and apparently still a beloved friend after all these years. They had a brief Q&A session which was initially done in English, but as Mr. Almodovar got more animated, he asked for a translator, para poderse expresar agusto. Banderas is currently starring in the latest film, the dramatic thriller “La Piel que Habito” (The Skin I Live In) which is getting rave reviews.

Here’s a few pictures from the event. Truly a memorable evening I shall never forget.

Even after all these years, they still love each other. Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas had an animated and funny Q&A session for the fans who attended the book signing.

The man, the film genius! Almodóvar was happy to sign copies of his book for his fans.

Two of his biggest fans, Martha Coronel and Lucia Peraza pose with their friend, Pedro Almodóvar.

Here it is, a book signed for a Very Important Person!

Lucia admires the book as they specially package it. The book weighs all of 12 pounds and has all sorts of pictures and memorabilia from all of Almodóvar's films.

The actor Carlos Leal starred in the Almodóvar movie "Abrazos Rotos" with Penelope Cruz. ¡Es muy guapo! Además saludó a Almodóvar muy efusivamente y compró su libro.

This is the carrying box of the book. Only 1,250 copies were made of this special edition.

Charlotte Taschen, one of the Taschen family daughters, flew in from London to present the book.

Todos queriamos "say hello." The Taschen bookstore in Beverly Hills, California. Almodóvar fans crowd the store for a chance to meet him.

At Taschen they have the most beautiful and original books on art, lifestyle, travel, and photography.

My kind of place.

Arte en el techo. One of the many fabulous art collages hanging from the ceiling.

Wordless Weds: New stamps honoring Latino Music Legends

At the post office yesterday, loved these stamps: Selena, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Carmen Miranda, and Carlos Gardel. Nice way to adorn your regular mail, if you're still sending any.

Walking the AIDS WALK LA 2011

The annual AIDS WALK Los Angeles took place last Sunday October 16th and it had an impressive turnout. I’ve done this walk for 3 years in a row and this year I noticed people were happier and much more spirited. Maybe it had to do with the weather, which was Biu-Ti-Ful…a bright, crisp, spotless LA Sunday morning, perfect for a 6 mile (10K) walk on the West Side.

I walked as part of the Macy’s Team, thanks to the invitation of my friend Olivia. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, Macy’s is committed to the community and especially to the AIDS cause, donating millions of dollars each year. (So think of that every time you shop and know somehow it comes back to benefit someone else.)

It was fun to rediscover the neighborhood most of us drive through but never really notice when we’re on Santa Monica Blvd., or Melrose, or La Brea. We got to see all the little shops, restaurants, art galleries and murals at a walking pace, and we did a little window shopping and dreaming too.

Here are a few pix from the event and if you want to support this wonderful organization, please visit the AIDS Project Los Angeles website at apla.org

The Macy's Team at AIDS Walk LA 2011.

Meeting point was the Pacific Design Center.

The Abbey, the famous spot in the West Side, was the site of the VIP breakfast before the walk.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez from the U.S. House of Representatives during her speech at the VIP breakfast. She promised to continue the fight for equal rights for homosexuals.

The starting line at Santa Monica Blvd.

Walking past the Marc Jacobs Store on Melrose.

The Paul Frank store is hot pink!

Around 30 thousand people showed up. This is 3rd Street and La Cienega, looking west.


Certificate of completion, another 10K under the belt!


Esta semana voy a ver “The Latino List” on HBO

This week HBO premieres a new documentary that I’m excited to see. “The Latino List” presents 25 influential Latinos who’ve had an impact in society and who represent us in one way or another, in this day and age in the USA.

The movie has an interesting mix of personalities in all trades, from pop culture and music icons (Pitbull, los Estefan) to politics (Henry Cisneros) to actors (John Leguizamo, America Ferrara, the ubiquitous Eva Longoria) and other faces you’ll recognize. There are writers (Sandra Cisneros), media personalities (El Piolín, Eduardo Sotelo) and even Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.

I’m also happy to see it because, earlier this year, the production company that produced this documentary contacted me and asked for a photo of the financial mentor Julie Stav  that I took a few years ago. It was during an event honoring accomplished women and Julie was part of that group. Me cayó super bien la Julie, y le tomé una foto que después puse en la reseña del evento aquí en este blog. (How they found it I don’t know, pero me dio mucho gusto that the producers wanted to include it.) I’m not sure my picture made the final cut, but I’m excited to see the documentary nevertheless. La próxima vez que vea a Ms. Stav, I’m going to have to tell her this story.

So here’s the synopsis below and if you have HBO, the documentary premieres this Weds. Sept 28 at 9pm on HBO Latino and Thursday, September 29 at 8 pm on HBO. No se la pierdan!

Screen shot from HBO.com/latinolist

Bye Summer! Getting ready for Missoni for Target on September 13th.

So it’s already September 1st and Summer 2011 is practically gone after this long holiday weekend. (Unless of course you live in Mexicali, B.C. My peeps from Mexicali would love to hear that summer is over, pero aguanten un poquito más cachanillas, ya falta menos para que pase el calorón termonuclear del verano mexicalense.)

I’m actually looking forward to fall for one reason. Call me frivolous, but I can’t wait for September 13th, when Target (Tar-jay, Targé or “La Target”) launches their exclusive Missoni for Target line.  And of course I’m not the only one. Twitter and facebook are abuzz with people commenting on the beautiful stuff they have coming out. You better believe I’m going to be in line during the wee small hours of the morning, waiting for the store to open, armed with my coffee mug.

Here’s a few of the items on my wish list.You can check out their complete line at www.target.com

This bike is going to be a best seller, van a ver.

Have your laptop travel in style.

New flats are in my future.

Fancy an Italian latte? Love this set.

Too much Missoni? I don't think so.

For your home office, stationary with the iconic stripes.

But they seemed so happy…

Forgive me for indulging in a little mid week chisme, but the recent celebrity breakups have me doing all sorts of mindless reflections. One could argue it’s a waste of time, but I figure since they’re practically everyone’s guilty pleasure, why not address it here?

Maybe they all got together and planned out the month (or at least their publicists did) but two very high profile famous couples called it quits this July, in a very quick succession.

You all heard of J-Lo and Marc Anthony’s parting of the ways during Carmageddon weekend , almost entirely wiping out all the other news. Ya salieron in every talk show, magazine, news outlet you can think of, and it’s interesting how mostly everybody is taking HER side while painting an unflattering portrait of Marc Anthony. Dicen que he was an insecure, controlling husband who also happened to have a few flings. Call me jaded, but I don’t think la J-Lo es una santa and she very well must have her own little issues as well. (Y’all know I’m not a big fan, but I digress.) I’m just saying it’s kind of unfair to him.

Sell more issues! Sell, sell, sell!

El único beneficiado fue el William Levy, who got plenty of air time and mentions on all the shows as the possible leitmotif of all this drama, after he shot that music video on the beach with her. (Hey Wills, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?)

Otros que nos dieron la sorpresa fue La Reina del Sur herself, Ms. Kate del Castillo,  who very casually announced, over Twitter, that she and her husband of 2 years, Aaron Diaz, are separating. It was one of those vague messages that don’t say anything and still meet with the pc codes of the industry. Según esto, se quieren tanto que se tienen que separarSay what?

Kate's Tweet.

I know it’s none of my business, but since I just saw La Reina del Sur (only like the best drama series en español ever) I can imagine it was uncomfortable for him to watch the love scenes with El Guero, El Gallego, and El Teo,  even with the ugly panzón character (I forget his name) and have to deal with her traveling all over the place to work and promote the series. Her dear old Dad, the wonderful actor Eric del Castillo, didn’t do her any favors by saying to People en Español they did not have “un matrimonio normal” just last week. Not only that, but the recent premiere of her new movie “Without Men”  in which she has a lesbian scene with Eva Longoria, has ignited more fuel to that rumor that has been going around ever since she ended her last marriage to the soccer player.

So who knows the real motives, and really who cares? The magazines/websites  will keep adding rumors and spin this just to sell more issues, get us all hooked until the next big chisme del corazón comes along.  All I know is, como decía mi amigo Alex Munguía, qepd, “En Hollywood, hasta el amor es falso.”

Here’s a link to Kate and Aaron’s happier days in a photogallery from Quien.com.