Category Archives: Pittsburgh Happenings

4,833,329 and still counting

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, and I hope that you’ll join me, La Palapa, Mexican Cuisine & Mezcal Bar and LACU – Latin American Cultural Union and Carnegie Mellon Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences for these events. I’ll also be making my 1st public return as DJ Gringa Morena since the beginning of the pandemic for the event on the 2nd. In addition, there are still a few more events coming up with my longtime friends and associates at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Pitt! After the enormous exodus of Souls lost in the past 18 months, I think we can all agree that trying to honor everyone as they deserve is an impossible task, but nonetheless, we must try, and your participation and help with this is so appreciated. Ordinarily I have always bought all of the materials and flowers for my ofrendas, but after an expensive and difficult year, I’m asking that anyone who is able to bring live marigolds, mums, sunflowers or calla lillies (extra points for adding pink cockscombs or purple irises!) to contribute to the beauty of our ofrendas to drop them off at La Palapa on the 30th or the 31st if you attend the LACU – Latin American Cultural Union Meet and Greet. Don’t forget your small photos as well if you want them to be a part of the ofrendas. It will be so good to see everyone again after missing last year for safety reasons. xoxoxxoxoxo’s

Frida in Mexican Folk Art: a virtual exhibit in conjunction with the Frick Pittsburgh

Click here to register for Frida in Mexican Folk and Popular Art,
a virtual event I am doing in conjunction with the Frick Pittsburgh on May 11, 2021at 7:00 PM! Cost: Free for members; $5 students; $10 non-members; advance registration required. I’ll have special guest, my dear friend designer Maria Belen, and you don’t want to miss what she is going to show you!

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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Join me for Tzompantli: Dia de los Muertos Commemoration

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! 

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:

Small Biz Saturday with the North Side/North Shore Chamber of Commerce

Hola Friends, Amigos! Tomorrow you can find me celebrating #SmallBusinessSaturday with the North Side/North Shore Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Western and Galveston Avenues, where you can take part in a fun scavenger hunt and be entered to win some swell swag (see info below)! In the spirit of the occasion, I will only be bringing miniature things, and many of you who collect them know that this includes the much beloved mice engaged in shenanigans, and bobble heads, perfect stocking stuffers. Other Big Things are in the works, as well. But if I told you now what they are, that would ruin the surprise. So just take my word for it: something’s coming. 

Save the dates: Skull Painting with Artist & Craftsmen Supply

…back by popular demand, because we all had so much fun last year! Another skull painting playshop with my friends at Artist & Craftsman Supply Pittsburgh! I’ll bring some beautiful painting examples for your inspiration and answer your questions about the #DayoftheDead. Very kid friendly, of course! And free, free, free! What’s better than that? And guess what? Another event for #DiadelosMuertos is in the works as well, with my friends at La Palapa, Mexican Gourmet Kitchen, on November 2nd. Details coming ASAP, stay tuned!