Giving Tuesday

Cinco de Mayo has always been important to me for two reasons: The Battle of Puebla that it commemorates was significant for the ways in which it lit a flame of realization in the hearts of indigenous people at the mercy (or lack thereof) of foreign oppressors occupying their sacred lands. Fighting against all odds, in that pivotal moment, they realized that they had the power within themselves to begin to forge their way toward a revolution that would eventually lead to Mexican Independence. Cinco de Mayo was also the anniversary of the opening of the store that I had on Murray Avenue from 2004-2017.
Oppression and aggression still abound and those in our local Latino communities need our support more than ever. I’m grateful for Casa San José for all that they do, but especially now with their Covid 19 initiatives. On this #GivingTuesday, I’d like to give #Pittsburgh an opportunity to step up to the plate while also creating beauty and staying safe. I’ll be making some videos with ideas for you to use as you #helpthehelpers ? They too, are fighting against all odds.

Let's Paint a New Reality
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I'd like to thank Luz Amanda Hank and the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Pitt and all of the participants who attended our virtual workshop with Armando Jiménez Aragón and Antonia Carrillo Hernández. You all had great questions and did beautiful work! Thank you also to our sponsors who make it possible for us to continue patronage of the Jimenez family in difficult times. In addition, this allowed these participants to participate in a workshop valued at $25 for free.
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It was a wonderful workshop! I learned a lot and thank you Armando, Antonia, Liza and Luz Amanda for the explanations. Can't wait for this pandemic to be over to go to Oaxaca again and visit them!!! I will 🎨 mine one day :)

This was such a wonderful experience! Thanks to all who made this possible. Such beautiful art we made!

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Join me for Tzompantli: Dia de los Muertos Commemoration

A Father’s Day Surprise

I’m featuring this wonderful monkey parent by Armando Jiménez Aragón and Antonia Carrillo Hernández to send love to all of the fathers whom we will honor tomorrow: those of our past, present and future. I’ve activated the shopping cart on the new improved website at last, in celebration of the completion of 61 individual pages of woodcarvings. Still so much work to do here, and many, many categories to go, but it’s a beginning. It would not have been possible without the devoted help of my sister Diana DiGioia, my bestest best friend forever.

Send One Your Love





Join me at La Palapa, 2224 East Carson Street, Saturday February 9th, between 4-8 PM for a relaxing and enjoyable pre-Valentine’s Day shopping experience. Valentine’s Day needn’t be just for lovers, but rather for anyone that wants to express their love for another! 

La Alegria de la Joyeria ~ The Joy of Jewelry

Holiday season is upon us in earnest, and so I’ve scheduled two days of jewelry shopping opps for you! I’ll bring a little bit of everything to the upper room at La Palapa this coming Sunday December 2nd and Saturday December 8th, from 3:00  to 8:00 PM both days. You’re sure to find something wonderful! Before, during or afterwards, you can enjoy some lunch, dinner, snacks and/or drinks. If you have special requests, feel free to call or message me.

Juntos Otra Vez ~Together Again: a Dia de los Muertos Commemoration

The return of Armando Jimenez!

You can also buy tickets on the Eventbrite Page here

#Mezcal #Mole #Mariachis & #Mexican Folk Art

Well, here’s that something big that was promised to you awhile backIf you’ve been following on FB, Instagram here, or Twitter, then you have already seen this and read past posts about it. Yay, you! Thank you for the gift of your attention, I love you! It’s a work in progress, but I think you will enjoy what has begun. Here’s another magical place for you, replete with some of our favorite things beginning with the letter M: #Mezcal, #Mole, #Mariachis and #Mexican Folk Art!  Now we have lots of new ways that we can relax and eat and walk and talk together, while  conducting a little business! And lastly, a special announcement of a favorite visting artist’s return is coming up right on the heels of this event, so stay tuned! Jesus and Jose Luis and their excellent staff are waiting to shower you with delicious things with grand hospitality, and I, well… I’ll be there when you need me, where #foodisart and #artisfood! 


a Valentine para todos, por todos

The collaboration that we’ll all soon be celebrating actually began four years ago at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies  annual Latin American & Caribbean Festival, where Jean Pierre and I first met Jesus and Jose Luis of La Palapa when they made their debut. Coincidentally, it was where we also had made ours. He gave them and their work a very rarely given seal of approval, and just a few months later, he was gone, but the legacy that he and my late mother and father in law left to us has enabled the foundation for all that has ensued since. For four years we have encouraged and supported one another, through sorrows, hopes and joys, trading our skills and talents in many ways. I have never for even a moment doubted their dedication and abilities.  I’ve observed their devotion to their families and to their employees and their calm in the midst of clamor, so when the opportunity came at last to co~create a larger space where people could gather to relax and enjoy all that we offer as emissaries of Mexican food, folk art and culture, the leap of faith was made to re-envision the space that used to be occupied by Ibiza. With the owners of Mallorca as landlords and neighbors, the guys already knew they were in excellent company. But this Valentine of a sort that we are preparing belongs equally to the artists I represent, to the customers that we share, and to the dedicated crews behind the scenes every step of the way, some of whom worked for decades alongside Jean Pierre making magic happen in film and theatre. Walls that are 30 feet high do present unique challenges! But the very 1st item is up, and most fittingly it’s a tree of life weaving from Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca. In the branches of the community tree of life where we all have often perched together, so often many of us spoke of a place such as this, where more magic can happen, where #foodisart and #artisfood.

The first special event there has already been booked (a wedding!), the new drinks menu is being lovingly curated, and offerings of Mexican mezcal, tequila, wine and beer will also feature some cherished favorites from beloved local breweries. A diverse selection of workshops and classes will be held  and by god, there will be mariachis and there will be boss cross cultural beats. Thanks to so many, so much that is a celebration of Life will be.  Please stay tuned for further details coming soon! I’ve just finished the new revised menu cover, and here it is: