April 30, 2008

Art from a Nuyorican

I am pretty busy today but I managed to find this article and I really enjoyed it. It's about a New York artist who makes mosaics, many featuring Puerto Rican themes. I know it's not quite related to the usual but I think it is important enough to share.

April 29, 2008

Initiating Sex with Puerto Ricans and the Word of the Week: Wiki Wiki

So I pull open El Nuevo Día today, and of all things to write an article about, they have one about how Puerto Ricans use language to initiate sexual relations (I can't think of a better way to say that). It's an extremely interesting subject linguistically and I have to admit I am jealous of the researcher!

Here is their list of phrases used by people to ask for sex. I'm keeping the Spanish for the convenience but if anyone wants a translation I'll be quite happy to provide it!

• Vamos a hacer cositas.
• Quiero contigo.
• Vamos a meterle.
• Quiero wiki wiki
• Vamos a hacer el amor.
• Necesito un estrujón.
• Tengo hambre.
• Me debes algo en vivo.
• Estoy enfermita.
• Estoy caliente.
• Hoy me toca.
• ¿Hoy, hay guiso?
• Quiero hacerlo hoy.
• Vamos a la camita.

• ¿Qué vamos a estrenar hoy?
• ¿Vamos a comer?
• “I want to eat a fish taco” o un soki (Sexo oral)
• Mami, te quiero comer.
• Quiero comerte.
• Te tengo ganas.
• Nena, vamos a pelar pa'bajo.
• Si te cojo te rompo.
• Vamos a darle pa' bajo.
• Y para mí, ¿hay comida esta noche?
• Vamos a cocinar rico.
• Hay mambo.
• Vamos a hacer cuchi.
• Te hace falta un trabajo garantizado.
• Voy pa' allá.
• ¿Hoy hay fuegos artificiales?

So, looking at the title of the article, I'm sure it comes up: what is wiki wiki? It's actually a common slang word for sex. The article actually taught me something about it, as apparently the term comes from a reggaetón song, in which wiki wiki was onomatopoeia for the sounds of the mattress while getting frisky. News to me!

It also makes talking about Wikipedia funny occasionally.

April 28, 2008

Blogging in Puerto Rico

El Nuevo Día online today has an article (in Spanish, of course) about Puerto Rican blogs. Of particular mention is the parody blog "El Ñame", which is quite a funny read if your Spanish is up to par.

I know I have been unusually (or usually...) quiet lately, I swear sooner or later there will be something worth reading here!! Keep checking back.

April 24, 2008

Cleaning up beaches!

So I know I just wrote about beaches the other day, but here's an invitation to go to San Juan and help clean up the beaches right by the San Cristóbal fort! I know there are some of you out there who would want to participate, so I thought I'd spread the word.

April 22, 2008

About time!

Here are some photos, good although I wish they were larger, of the bombs on Vieques being detonated. Definitely worth a look (and a hurray!).

Short short history: The navy began using Vieques as a training base in WWII, promising to vacate after the war. This didn't actually happen until 2004, when heavy pressure from protesters forced action. Most of the island remains off limits, although if this keeps up perhaps someday this will change.

The Best Beaches of Puerto Rico?

Being an island, there are, of course, lots of beaches in Puerto Rico. Quality varies, but the geographical location is the greatest determining factor. North and east-side beaches touch the Atlantic. Most of these beaches are decent, but in general are nothing particularly special. The most outstanding include Luquillo, Loíza (so I've heard), and a few around the city of Fajardo. Also in Fajardo are ferries to Culebra and Vieques, both tiny islands known for the beautiful beaches. On the other hand, tourists will be disappointed with the beaches in San Juan--most are small, overcrowded, ugly, and even dangerous. There are some where swimming is prohibited because currents have caused various deaths. My suggestion is to head outside of the city if you want to find a nice one.

The west and south of the island touch the Caribbean Sea and thus are known for the better beaches. Anywhere from Mayagüez to Aguadilla have pleasant beaches, probably the best in the island. Of note is Rincón, not only an ex-pat hangout but a popular surfing spot as well.

I personally don't have much experience with beaches on the island--while this may be a surprise for some, Puerto Ricans don't go to the beach every day, or even at all. Each time I've been it's a special trip and I gather that it's the same for many other families. However, you've probably noticed that I do have a photo of the beach as a header for the blog. If you've ever wondered, it's a picture of the beach Seven Seas in Fajardo, which I visited a year or two ago. I would highly recommend this beach, since the water is slow, shallow, and crystal clear, and the beach in general is beautiful. It does, however, cost 3 dollars to park there (I don't know about entering in general, though... I'm pretty sure you could at least sneak in for free).

Anyways, for those who have spent more time on the beaches, which ones are your favorites? Any secret gems?

April 19, 2008

Word of the Week: Coquí!

Sorry I've been taking so long to write, life has kept me busy as usual. Moving on...

I was thinking about what to post and I realized there is something I really should have talked about by now: the coquí!

For those who have never been to the island, you're probably a bit confused. To those of you who have or are Puerto Rican, right now you are either sighing with nostalgia or thinking evil thoughts. Or both.

The coquí is a tiny brown frog from Puerto Rico. They are, like I said, tiny, usually about the size of a quarter or so, and they're quite easy to squish--it doesn't help that they're everywhere, too. Their name comes from the sound they make at night, coquí coquí, which is very loud and very high. If you live on the island either you get used to it (and miss it once it's gone) or you hate it.

They're a really popular figure on the island so they're put on every tourist thing you can imagine. If, after staying on the island, you've decided you like the sound and want to buy a souvenir with a coquí on it, for God's sake don't buy something with a green coquí on it. Coquís aren't green, yet stuff keeps getting made with green coquís on it. I don't understand.

Here's a great example. A friend got this from another friend (who, by the way, neither are smokers). On here is a bright green, cross-eyed coquí. Bleh! Actually, I think it's pretty funny (hence why I ended up with it).

Also, they have coquís in Hawaii because of an invasion on imported plants. Hawaiians hate them. Can't blame them.

... okay, I'm starting to sound really negative. I do love coquís, they're really cute and having the noise helps me fall asleep on the island. But I can definitely understand how they can be hated as well.

Here are some quite nice photos of a coquí. If you want to hear the sound, just youtube "coqui" and you should find plenty of videos of the little guys.

Personally, whenever I want to hear them, I have a little box that, when opened, plays the sound of the coquís. Really nice gift from some friends, I think. I also have a little coquí figure that's pretty cute.

Says "Canción de Puerto Rico" (the song of Puerto Rico).

Inside of the box, with an illustrated map of the island and the little coquís.

April 10, 2008

Some Puerto Rican Old-School Humor

I found this video a while ago but I've decided to share it now.

Here's a transcription and a translation:

Iris: ¡Ay bendito se le paró el carro! ¿Y eso cómo fue?
Hombre: ¡No sé! Yo le había echado coolant, pero se calentó.
I: Mira, lo voy a ayudar, porque yo tengo un tremendo coolant... Amelie. La proxima vez échale Amelie. Este sí es un coolant de calidad superior. Porque... todos los coolants no son iguales, ¿sabes? Amelie es mejor de lo que tiene que ser.
H: Ah pero oiga, ¿Usted no es Iris Chacón?
I: Sí-í-í... Y de coolant, yo sí sé. Exiga Amelie -- tremendo coolant.

Iris: Oh you poor thing, your car stopped! How did that happen?
Man: I don't know! I gave it coolant but it got hot anyways.
I: Look, I'm gonna help you, because I have this tremendous coolant... Amelie. Next time give it Amelie. This really is a superior quality coolant. Since not all coolants are the same, you know? Amelie is better than it has to be.
M: Oh... hey, aren't you Iris Chacón?
I: Yep! And I know coolant. Ask forAmelie -- tremendous coolant.


  • This is a good video for practicing Spanish. They're speaking pretty clearly, the video is short, and it's funny.
  • Iris Chacón is a very famous actress in Puerto Rico who had her own variety show there for about 15 years. David Letterman calls her the "Dolly Parton of Puerto Rico" and even though I hate both Dolly Parton and analogies (and to a lesser degree David Letterman) I'm inclined to agree. A lot of her act involved showing her butt, as seen in the commercial here.
  • The joke going on here, for those perhaps less in touch with their Spanish curse words, is that the pronunciation of "coolant" sounds an awful lot like "culo" (ass). So at first it seems as if she is saying "I have a tremendous ass", which, all things considered, isn't too far from the truth. Anyways, it's simply a clever play on words, and it works very well. Too bad Amelie doesn't exist anymore; well, it might, but it failed the Google test.

April 9, 2008

Green Puerto Rico

I'm real busy, but I did want to pass along this blog article about being green in Puerto Rico. It's also just a good general guide to visiting the island!

April 7, 2008

Baby Sea Turtles!

Okay I know I just posted something but I really have to post the link for these amazing photos of baby sea turtles in Culebra from the Culebra blog. They are adorable!

La Comay and some trashy Bochinche on Obama

So, as Bill Clinton campaigns in Puerto Rico, apparently SuperXclusivo decided to put a video of a man claiming to have had in sexual relations with Obama, which is completely unfounded, of course, and American news have so far refused to do anything with it even though the creator has been asking.

For those not on the island, SuperXclusivo is a gossip show that features a human-sized puppet with giant blond hair (she's a little freaky looking) called la Comay. While I am, in general, not against bochinche (Puerto Rican for gossip), sometimes they are a little desperate and these seems to be another one of those occasions. If you want an idea of what the show is like (which is definitely worth a look), watch this video.

On the other hand, I'm kind of surprised I'm expecting this from la Comay. D'oh.

Y ahora, porque quiero, voy a escribir en español... no sé, hace poco que he querido escribir algo en español aquí.

Eniwei, sólo supe de la Comay por la madre de mi amiga (desafortunadamente no dan SuperXclusivo en gringolandia...), que dijo que Obama era "pato" según ella. Pa' mí es increible que la gente crea esa porquería. Y también la visita de Clinton aparentemente ha dejado to'a la isla enamorá de su esposa al pasar un solo día en Ponce. No sé. A mi me interesan las elecciones más o menos pero no tanto... lo que más me interesa es que Puerto Rico por primera vez va a tener posición importante en la política estadounidense en que antes no tenía voz. Pues, no ha mejorado tanto. Sólo espero que cuando llegue el momento de votar en la isla los americanos se den cuenta de la ironía. ¡Y que los boricuas piensen antes de votar!

Creo que ya he hablado demasiado de la política y no voy a hablar más de ella hasta que algo pase en la isla. ¡Se lo juro!

April 4, 2008

A Bunch of Interesting Things from the Island!

I know it's been a couple of days but I've found some decent stuff this time, including some acceptable articles in English! Hoorah!

... but first, let's start with some Spanish.

This video was brought to my attention by this blog post, which kindly mentions that this greatness has been mostly ignored. Really sad, since it features the amazing Sunshine Logroño, Puerto Rico's most popular comedian (a very informative Wikipedia article is here). Definitely worth checking out, especially for linguistic reasons. Just sayin'.

Okay. Anyways... good news for anyone reading in California (if there is anyone)! There are flights in May for $225, which is cheaper than for us on the East Coast, although I'm not sure how that makes sense. This is a really low price so take advantage of it while you can.

Back to the real agenda... First off, I have this article about Obama and Hillary courting Puerto Rico's voters. Not too different from the usual but I think I just about died laughing when I saw this:

At the conclusion of the 1898 Spanish American War, the U.S. seized the island, and for five decades treated it like a whore.

¡Qué pavera! (Hilarious is the best way to translate that, I suppose... pavera is a laughing fit) Very unprofessional but I definitely got a kick out of it.


This article doesn't have the same eloquent writing as the last one but it is interesting. It's a collection of census results. It really sheds some light on the housing difficulties (and then some) of Puerto Rico. For example, the homeownership rate of Puerto Rico is about 74%, only behind 2 states (Michigan and Minnesota), and yet they spend almost as much paying for their house (mortgage, etc) as Californians, who spend the most on their houses in the country. I don't think this is due to a lot of Puerto Ricans needlessly buying houses, but rather the massive jumps in costs for amenities and morgage. Also, it says that Puerto Rico has the lowest graduating rate in the country, yet it's bachelor degree rate was higher than three states. Doesn't seem to match up. Poverty has decreased but it's still three times the rate of the United States and twice as bad as the worst state.

I think that's enough of that since it depresses me a bit.

Finally, my favorite newspaper, the Washington Post, has finally got something about Puerto Rico, and it's even in both English and Spanish! Very useful read for understanding some of the roots of Puerto Rico's economic/political problems today. I don't think I need to say much more than that.

April 1, 2008

I really thought I was done, but...

My friend just showed me this article and I really had to share. Really.

According to this guy they interviewed:

“Quizás parezca una idea algo cruda, pero es muy acertada. Una iguana sacada de un lugar limpio, y preparada en un buen fricasé, sorprenderá a sus invitados con su sabor, textura y calidad. Su carne es baja en grasa, liviana, fácil de digerir y gratis.”

"Maybe it seems a bit of a crude idea, but it's actually quite wise. An iguana taken from a clean place and prepared in a good fricassee, will surprise your guests with its flavor, texture, and quality. Its meat is low in fat, light, east to digest, and free."
As I am sure a lot of Puerto Ricans are saying right now, "¡Foooooo!" (Ewww!). Anyways, the best part of the article is the recording, which is very very Puerto Rican sounding. It's kind of hard to discern though in the beginning... only give it a shot if you think .

Also, just saying, I'm watching Univisión here and they are showing Aníbal and his smirk. So yeah, if you didn't know, this is being covered all in the U.S. in Spanish and of course all over Puerto Rican television. And apparently he used about 7000 pesos (dollars) illegally to send his kids to China and Costa Rica, on top of various other personal expenses. Geez.

More Politics in Puerto Rico... Oy vey!

Not that "oy vey" is a Puerto Rican expression (for most anyhow), but that is how I felt and so it had to be written.

It's getting a bit difficult to catch up with all these political posts in various locations, even though I feel like they are all important. So let's get these out of the way.

First off, in relation to the upcoming U.S. election, here are two blog posts, one saying Hillary doesn't have a chance at winning and the other saying the exact opposite. I would have liked to see a bit more depth in both, although the second does have an interesting debate in the comments. I'm expecting better though!

Also, it seems as though there have been various meetings to discuss Puerto Rican independence, mostly by... people who aren't Puerto Rican. Okay... anyways, here is a short bit about some meeting apparently held in Mexico, although it seems to be initiated by Cubans (guessing by the blog anyways), and here is some information in Spanish about all of those same people as well as other representatives of Latin America confronting the UN.

Spanish: Partidos políticos de diferentes ideologías de toda Latinoamérica se unieron para impulsar ante los gobiernos de sus países un apoyo unánime ante la Organización de Naciones Unidas en favor de la independencia de Puerto Rico.

Con la participación del Frente Amplio Progresista (FAP), por parte de México, representado por Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, acordaron iniciar una serie de acciones encaminadas a terminar con la última colonia que existe en territorio latinoamericano y que es controlada por Estados Unidos.

El objetivo es que se llegue a la celebración del bicentenario de la independencia de Latinoamérica sin la existencia de una sola colonia.

English: Political parties of different ideologies from all of Latin America united to ask the governments of their respective countries to show their unanimous support at the United Nations in favor of Puerto Rican independence.

With the participation of the Broad Progressive Front (FAP in Spanish), on the part of Mexico, represented by Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, they agreed to initiate a series of actions on the path to terminate the last colony that exists in Latin American territory and which is controlled by the United States.

The objective is that they arrive at the bicentennial celebration of Latin American independence without the existence of a single colony.

Personally, I doubt it'll do anything, especially since this hasn't actually shown up in English-language news at all, but I'd be interested in seeing something accomplished there.

And now for a couple of wild cards: the first, slightly more predictable from me, is about music. Apparently there was some show called the "The Capeman" on Broadway (I'm really too young to know these things), and now they are redoing some of the music, most notably with the leader of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Oscar Hernández, and Obie Bermúdez, a popular latin singer. It sounds like the arrangements are stellar. If you're in Manhattan might want to stop by next week.

The second thing, which is... less predictable I suppose, is a few rules for getting married in Puerto Rico and specifically Vieques. They require a few STD/blood tests so you should definitely be prepared if that's your goal.