Poker Face

Hello Nuala groupies! Please do excuse my small hiatus, but as most fellow city rats such as myself know, once the thermometer hits a temperature of 65ºF and above, all bets are off! The discussions revolve around dichotomies such as “walking or not” for getting around, “inside or out” for dining, and the wardrobe is reduced to t-shirts and flip-flops, or as Islanders would say: andar como una rastrera.  I also will happily inform you that my sister got married this past week. I flew to California to be her Maid of Honor (hold your snickering), and I must say that I looked mighty good in my Kelly-green D&G dress, which I snagged on sale.

Speaking of being fashionably fabulous, while walking down fifth avenue marveling in amazement at the latest trends, a realization that I was running low on my moisturizer reminded me to enter Bloomies. As I became intoxicated with the smell of made in Italy, it dawned on me that I would forever be the impressed New Yorker who mesmerizes at what this city has to offer. This prompted the question: Why do Islanders always seem so unimpressed when visiting the greatest city in the world?  When relatives or friends say voy pa’ llá, I always seize the opportunity to play tour guide by putting together itineraries that include the latest museum exhibits and culinary trends. I am pumped up with enthusiasm that quickly deflates with the typical ‘oh sí….’ or ‘ah bueno…’ that dryly emerges from an Islander’s straight face.

Islanders are cautioned not to display asoramiento when in the presence of Yorks, for they don’t want to come across as the hicks que nunca han visto nada. So don’t be surprised to have someone who has never seen the interior of an airplane act blasé with anything (and I mean anything) you show him or her. Meaning that while you’re bellowing your best cheerleader cheer about something that might knock your socks off, (say the view from top of the Empire State Building) expect a flat ‘ay sí, muy lindo’ and nothing more. Some Islanders will even go the extra mile to say, adió pero si allá hay de eso y hasta mejor.  Therefore, to better help you plan your tour with Islanders, I offer you the top ten places you should avoid showing due to the fact that they have indeed been there and done that.

Rockefeller Center: Grab that ugly Christmas sweater you’ve been storing! La Sirena has generously put together a skating rink and Christmas tree to Islanders’ delight.

Rooftop Bars: My sources say that the Holiday Inn in the Capital has a rooftop bar igualito que 230 and  5th.

Asian Restaurants: Forget about Nobu and Megu. On the Island hay muchísimos restaurantes chinos que le dan cien mil patá a to’ eso.

Bloomingdales, Saks, Bergdorf’s and Bendel’s: A little over a year old, Blue Mall satisfies the needs of the faux riche.

Peter Luger: Nevermind that PL has been acclaimed the best steakhouse in America for twenty consecutive years by the New York Times, I had an Islander say yo no le vi la gran vaina a esa carne tan cara.

Radio City Christmas Show: I once read in Ritmo Social that Las Rockettes (ranging from ages 14-18) danced in the Teatro Nacional.

Central Park: El Mirador in the Capital satisfies the Islanders’ eco-curiosity.

Broadway Shows: With Nurín Sanlley producing Grease and the former Miss Universe Denise Quiñones starring in Chicago, who needs Ticket Master?

The Manhattan Skyline: The Chrylser building le queda chiquito a los Narcscrapers that adorn the Island’s urban landscape.

Page Six: Even I have made my way into En Sociedad magazine.

I have traveled to over a dozen destinations. My heart skipped a beat when I first saw the Eiffel Tower, I nearly fainted when I climbed the Great Wall of China, The Acropolis took my breath away, my taste buds melted when I first imbibed Opus One in Napa and as far as I am concerned, Cayo Levantado is the Mecca of all beaches. Perhaps I am a New Yorker that lives in a constant state of asoramiento, or maybe it doesn’t take much to impress me.  I am just drunk on life and a good Manhattan.

31 responses to “Poker Face

  1. yourshouldabeensil

    Hahahahaha…thought of you recently when I was seeing Santo Domingo Invita on Sunday. They had these 2 moms that started the BGClub?? Well something BG as in Boys, Girls. Its some children’s party place where probably for a good bunch of pesos, your kids can play with arts and crafts and have a grand old time. Of course all the signs showing the kiddies from one area to the next were in ENGLISH and it looked like a rip off of many kids places I’ve been invited to in Westchester Cty, NY. It made me pose the question, Why?? Why do Dominicans in la isla have to be so un-original and then copy things they see here in the good old USA and then make everything so American? I’m sure I could come up with a million reasons why but what’s so bad with having things in Spanish and doing things in our own Dominican way??? Its just so sad. Soon my little pompous island will be reduced to another Puerto Rico with little signs of culture and a McDonalds on every corner. SMH!
    Oh and BTW did I mention that there wasn’t a single indiecita or chiquito con pelo malo in the whole joint? What they ran out of those already in DR? Jajajajajaja.

    • Cleared the storm drains on my steret this morning of all the leaves that blew off the trees last night. Wasn’t an intentional PIF but more of what there was to do in the neighborhood on the way to yoga. We are so blessed to live every day in such a breathtaking place even when the weather speaks loudly to us!

  2. Or they are quick to complain about getting on line to wait your turn, the age requirement to buy liquor/cigarettes, not being able to walk out of a bar/restaurant with your alcoholic beverage….. They are unable to comprehend the concept of organization. Lo que dicen es, “pero aqui si joden con tantas reglas.” Oh well, leave me out of the “dominican desorden!” LOL

  3. Spot on as usual!! I recently met an attractive girl from the Capital and invited her to the Hayden Planetarium, which to me is one of the most incredible things to do in NYC. Her reaction afterwards, “Oh, esas supuestamente son las estrellas?” I never called her again.

  4. OMG! This is so true! They totally act as if it’s no big deal. My mom took my aunt to Macy’s when they had their flower show… my aunt was completely flat-faced and I think she even said something like… ay pero es que aquí hay demasiado gente.

  5. OUCH! That oughtta hurt…

  6. all of the nonplussed facial expressions and statements are pure unadulterated fascination. Aint but one or two lame ass museums in Santiago. The outdoor dining options are preposterous and really, I m sorry to some of you Dominican cats but your people are NOT open to new ideas. They will ride this dead horse to oblivion. You cannot tell them there is a better cuisine, better music, better fashion that what they have been exposed to.
    But you gotta understand where they are coming from. That little piece of what you know is all you know. There is a big ass world out there and you start throwing great experiences at them and you are just setting them up for a psychological break down. Its like looking at a guy with a old beat up 1977 Schwinn 10 speed. He knows his bike is old. It doesnt have any fancy $2000 mountain bike shit on it from some bike shop on West 12th Street. But it is all he knows. So he acts disinterested. His envy consumes him because he knows if all things were equal he would LOVE to sink his teeth into any American style steak(much less Peter Lugars) if only they WOULD cut meat like that in the DR. To be true, we all know they cut the beef thin like they are making a Philly Cheese Steak or something.
    And finally, will someone explain to me why everything only comes with french fries or tostones. What the fuck is up with that man? If you can fry the potato you can roast it also. Or mash it. And why is the Dominican hot sauce so bullshitty? Fuck Bal*Dom and his fat cousin.

  7. I have been known to be the official tour guide to some of my friends from DR when they visit NY. Not to sound modest but I have not heard of one complaint yet. I show them the NY that they dream about or never imagined existed but never get to do because everytime they are here visitando a la Tia (because everyone in DR has a Tia here in NY), they get ushered into the same bullshit activities. Every heard that song…Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you….the Islanders can sing that song all they want but truth is that the only thing they have up on us are the beaches. Guess what Islanders, there is nothing you can do better than us that and even if you try guess what…been there done that!

    • What are you talking about? They dont have beaches in Florida? California? They got beaches everywhere. The water is blue in Florida also.

      • Good luck with the reading, shloud be a great night. Be the way ,you met Robin Williams and you DIDN’T say ‘Nanu nanu’ to him didn’t.Aw man that was a rare opportunity missed-Shazbat!Ps I know people are always saying this but I can’t believe the word vero… Kersess !

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  8. I was once in la capital en casa de un comemierdita…Of course the conversation turns into los nuevayores, and the jevito says a mi no me gusta para nada NY, ahora una ciudad que si me bufea de verdad es Miami… nuff said.

  9. This blog used to be an interesting read, with insightful observation on how dominicanyols are badly treated back in the island and thoughtful discussion as to why that may be. But from the last few posts, it seems to be more of an Islander bashing fest. You are reflecting the same behavior you are complaining about. I’m not saying the Islanders’ behavior is correct, but I don’t see how insulting, belittling and mocking is any better.

    • I am sorry but I’m gonna have to disagree with you Elizabeth. What Nuala points out very accurately in all her posts is annoying Islader behavior that somehow us dominican yorks are suppose to deal with and keep quiet. I only wish I had her around when I was mocked and discriminated for being a “york”

    • I asked a friend of mine, why do you guys hate Dominican Yorks so much? And in this context it is not Dominicans who live in NY, because she was talking about her cousin who lives in Canada but it is the same thing. And she said it is because they act like they are from a different world when they come back. They dont remember the hardships or the shortages that they used to have when they lived here.. But I am like how can you expect someone to live their life in reserve of old experiences. Once they get to Canada or Espana they see alot of new things. And these new things give them a broader outlook on life. To expect them to disregard that to come back and talk about the things as they last left them is juvenile.

      Which brings me to the greatest observation I have about Dominicans on the island. The regular folk who cant get visas. And it is that these people live a life of arrested development. This I blame on the wealthy folk. Everything about them is stuck because they cant get exposure to anything better than what they know. They have the World Wide Web but its useless without 24 hours of constant electricity and delivery of consistent 120V. How many people do you know back home who break electronics because power aint consistent(not mentioning the club footed handling and gorilla like care they give to everything)? Arrested Development makes you eat what you can afford and swear aint nothing else like it NOR better in the world. Arrested Development has you trying to attract a mate at age 38 the same way you did when you were 15. But 20 years old of fried foods and stretch marks dont put you in the same category of desirability. Arrested development is the worst aspect of the island. Because all it does is make people dream and do whatever they can to leave however unethical it may be. And it perverts the illusion of paradise on Fantasy Island more into a prison from Papillon.

  10. @yourshouldabeensil:
    I saw the same episode of “Santo Domingo Invita” and thought the same thing about the BG Club. All of the play areas had their names in English and as well as you did, I did not see a “colored” child with the famous “tres moñitos”. It is very sad how the native Dominicans are assimilating the Anglo culture and making it their own. I was there in April and I noticed that the people either in TV, radio or just everyday John/Jane use at least several English words during a short conversation. And it’s not because of a lack of Spanish word to say what they mean. It’s a cool thing. And this is done by people of all Social levels. Yet, God forbid for a Dominicanyol doing it!
    As the years go by and me visiting the country less and less, the more I see the country is losing its identity, its culture, its people… It’s very sad… I keep hearing in my head an old song by Luisito Rey that said: “Mi pueblo ya no es mi pueblo, es una ciudad cualquiera, con los edificios altos y con grandes carreteras… Aunque todo este todo bello, yo lo quiero como era…” I guess I’m not the only one that feels this way in regards to DR. See this video done by a Dominican with the above song:

    Am I against progress and modernization? Absolutely not! I’m an Architect and I say it all with that; but I do believe in culture, architectural traditions, language… Perhaps I’m a purist… But I do know that during my travels throughout Latin America, I have seen the same problems. The local architecture is getting lost within modernization, with concrete buildings that looks like one plain shoe box on top of another one.

    I miss the old wooden houses, with bright colors,balconies and mosaic tiles… I miss the sweet and humble people that would great you with a “Buenos Dias” as you walked by. I miss the restaurants with native food that were so easy to find. Now when I go, people want to take me to Wendy’s, Burger King or Sushi… Something they say with great pride… I’m horrified… What I would like to eat is some “mangú, queso frito, longaniza y cebollitas” which is becoming very difficult to find unless you go to someone’s home.
    They disdain the Dominicanyols for what we have, but they strive to be or have what we have here… I don’t get it…

    • Tim:This is a LP from my neighbor aroscs the street from me. He asked me to convert it to a CD for him. Seatrain was also one of his. I am going through several LP’s for him. The records come from 4 sources. First my own collection. Next are the LP’s I inherited when my brother-in-law died. The next group come from my Boss at work who wants me to convert all of his LP’s to CD. Last but not least is my neighbor’s collection. There’s no telling where it goes from here. I usually mention which group of records the LP comes from but I forgot last time. Thanks for the reminder. I agree that it is important where the LP came from and how I found out about it or came to own it.

  11. Your best yet Nuala!!!! I could relate. A friend came to visit for the first time from DR..He was so overwhelmed, I guess, that at the end of his two week trip he could say what he was impressed with a “mop” his saw somewhere. Yes believe people a mop!! And this a “Licenciado” . Friend #2 was taken to Angelos of Mulberry ,Little Italy , a trademark in that area and delicious food i must say and what she mentioned she liked was their take out container, LOL! And another islander came to visit during Xmas time. Took her to Madison Ave…and she said ” o si que lindo” I have lived here all my life and still get a tickle in my heart went I see the holiday decorations.!!!. but no they rather go to the local drug store and stock up on deodorant to take back to the island. Why bother? Im not anymore.. They are lucky if i take them to Subway to have a 12inch LOL!!

    • first of all relax are you going alone?how long are you going fo ?there are a lot of things to do shotrs for the day unless you like to swim a lot of girls wear a1 piece or if you look good in a 2 piece take it but if I were you I would take both.They have a great bus service $ 2.00 but you can travel the whole island for that.Lots of great shopping can buy all the tanktops you’ll ever need you also can pick up small papers (free) that will give you a lot of idea what to see and do.I’ve been there many times ALOHA

    • Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wnated to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  12. @Ani LMAO! Same here. I had these cousins from Santiago that all they wanted to do was to go to the Olive Garden, Chilli’s, Applebee’s, and Red Lobster. I guess that’s what they are exposed to via cable. FIVE DOLLAR… FIVE DOLLAR FOOT LOOOOOOONG! Any Any Any

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      • I dip in and out of your blog, Nuala, and have done for some time, but since I have now decided, after a long break, to dovete some serious time and attention to my own writing once again, I have made the decision to create a wee Galway writers’ library to inspire and nurture me along the path ahead. Donations welcome ; )) Betsy

  13. shouldofbeenyoursil

    @ Nalah : I guess I’m a bit of a purist too. I just think the island is so pretty and has things that make it unique. They just need to realize that WE are good enough and don’t have to value the same things that the gringos do. Let me go off on a tangent for a while, What about more sophisticated Dominicans that are embarrassed to claim that they are that, DOMINICAN? They live here and there. It’s the same ones that will tell you about their great great grandmother from Spain or the cousin twice removed from Lebanon that somehow makes them something other than Dominican. Let’s celebrate being Dominican and market that! Let’s show the world that we are good people. Oh and what’s with the Dominicans that marry other groups of people and somehow lose all sense of identity. I have a friend who married a Colombian and 1 month later had a full Colombian accent. What’s with that? We are TOO inter-changable. But back to the topic, Let’s keep DR looking and feeling like DR. I often ask people to bring me to the not so pretty parts of the capital to walk around and just talk to REAL people. Nothing is more fun than walking around and hearing our Spanish and smelling our wonderful food. Some of my cousins think I’m a little weird for it. It brings me back to remembering my cousins who made fun of me for not wanting to go to Neon Night club in the 90s to hold up the wall and pretend to have fun . Instead I wanted to go to la Venezuela and party up in Eclipse and actually work up a sweat from dancing. Not be in a continuation of an American club where people just look good and have no fun. Its soooo sad.

  14. I am so sorry, but I saw this on your FB page and I took a chance to repost it here. I hope that’s okay…
    I can smell a letter of “Cease and Desist” coming soon…

  15. Very funny!!! I had a family friend come visit from the Island… She really wanted to go shopping and considering she wears only name brands and loves to name drop I figured Saks, Nordstroms and Bloomies would be her cup of tea… Upon entering each store and scanning isles… And price tags she cimplained that she didn’t find anything she “liked”. So I took her to Century 21… Lo and behold this girl was in heaven. I wonder why?… P.S – she made it a point to tell me how 5th Ave has nothing on some places in D.R

    • Thank you for including The Value of Rain in this very puewrfol list. I am truly humbled by the comp0any in which you placed it. Thank you so much. Les Miserables is also one of my own all time favorites. :)Best of luck in 2012.

  16. OMG, I lived this in Carne Propia when my dear sister came to visit me. Not only she was unimpressed with New York and DC, but could not stop criticizing everything. Those two days were the most painful days of my entire life. You totally hit the spot with this post.

  17. Well-done Nuala. I have witnessed the unimpressed faces of many visiting NYC and claim that NY has nothing on DR. The island has it all and they don’t need to live here to experience it, what a crock. I must say that I have a few converted cousins that now save their money to come and shop at Woodbury Commons.

    I have given up on trying to show closed-minded individuals from the Island that NY and other major USA cities have a lot of good to offer. Islanders have a hard time accepting the fact that here they are just regular folks and back home they are the trendsetters the envy of the neighbors. I don’t blame them for wanting to hold to that status. I enjoy seeing them live in their ignorance.

    I must admit that the islanders do a nice job at trying to be trendy by copying many of the services and business models available in USA, however, they fail miserably because they can not be sustained by the upper class since there are only a few and many have little disposable income and the ultra rich go outside of the country to spend theirs. The islander should come to the realization that the number of Dominican in NY and Europe Is growing very quickly and have disposable income to spend and should welcome us with open arms.

    Nuala I say lets have Dominican York invasion and show them the Domyorknomics (Dominican York Economics) and see how they respond to our purchasing power and social status.

  18. Mrs. Gonzalez

    I love love love this post. I am completely puzzled about this I’m not impressed behavior. On one hand they piss in their pants for things so trivial like an Ipad… again and again que chulo ta’ tu compu, but then when you take them places it’s oh it’s no big deal, I’ve seen better. I don’t get it!

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