Published On: Fri, Apr 3rd, 2009

Latino Hooky Jam In El Barrio on June 5th, 2009

Capicubarrio  I have decided that despues de viejo…I am going to organize a Hooky Jam in El Barrio.

Now let's talk about how I came up with such a silly idea…that everyone loves. This actually falls under a category I put in my creative diary under random acts of cultura.

 I spent the day in El Barrio yesterday meeting with Taino Historian Bobby Gonzalez (@ The East Harlem Cafe) to discuss an upcoming project we are working on. I had the opportunity to meet the Cafe's owner Michelle Cruz and talk to her a bit about her beautiful cafe and some of the artwork on exhibition. Then Manny Vega…walked in…and we talked a bit about the Benny More Mosaic he has on display at the Cafe…then we talked about the late Manny Oquendo and the upcoming tribute to his life in music. We ended our exchange discussing an interesting article in the NY Times about the Puerto Rican gangs of the 60's


After the meeting, I decided to head over to my favorite bookstore Cemi Underground, to pick up some books and artwork and met a guy who I have talked to online but had never met, Maximvs Prophet,author of the Spiritual Warrior Manifesto. I picked up a Cemi Underground T-shirt, a beautiful Grito DeLares piece (by Hecho a Mano artist Olga Ayala) and a book called "Next Stop, Growing Up Wildstyle In The Bronx". I then started feeling like…I am in El Barrio, I cannot leave without eating a good Puerto Rican meal, so I decided to go to my favorite spot La FondaBoricua…and thanks to "the social web" was able to meet up with Michelle Cruz and Victor Cruz (a talented comedian who just picked up a morning show with and we talked about the dynamics of creativity over rice bean, pollo al horno, tostones y aguacates.

I needed my day taking a moment to take a look at one of my personal favorite places in El Barrio, The Graffitti Hall Of Fameand all through out the day I shared what I was doing with my facebook and twitter friends and then it happened…I put out a message that read…

"Lets all play hooky from work one day this summer and just walk around el barrio with nowhere specific to go…just look around…talk to people and support our Latino entrepreneurs… who is with me?"

Within minutes I had received over 100 tweets, private facebook messages, emails and status comments from people that were really digging the idea…and I thought about how many people tell me all the time that the two things that keep them from reconnecting to their culture is 1. Finding the time and 2. sharing it with the right people. Thinking back at when I attended Franklin K. Lane, the solution to finding time for fun was a good old fashion basement hooky jam with the coolest kids in school (I know this contradicts my current views on education). 

So there it is…one of my friends Angelique told me she would help organize and create a cultural agenda and now a whole bunch of the Tri State Latino Professionals will ditch work / school for a day and absorb La Cultura del Barrio…


If you want more info please check our event page on Facebook or email us at (especially if you cannot RSVP on facebook because your jefe is watching)

As I am,
George Torres
The U
rban Jibaro

Latino Hooky Jam In El Barrio on June 5th, 2009