dress

Living Quisqueya

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

This past weekend, I spent some time with my Dominican parents. To be specific, my Dominican mother and stepfather, both of whom enjoy the Dominican satellite channels offered on Time Warner Cable. They’ll watch shows rooted in guttural comedy, scantily-clad voluptuous women, and nationalism sprinkled throughout the programming. They laugh, shake, dance, and yell at the television, even when the situation doesn’t call for it. My parents respond to the …

Jose In The Dark

The Sounds of Quisqueya Call Me Right Back

Jose Vilson Jose 17 Comments

Today, Raquel Cepeda linked me to a post about Dominican-Haitian relations that she wrote on her blog, and for those of you who know me, you know I had to jump on that quickly. Most of you know my story already: Dominican mom, Haitian father, grew up conflicted about my identity and how people sought to mold it for me through their often contradictory actions, and eventually, I found my …

In The Heights

In The Heights and Why I Hated/Love Musicals

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

On Saturday night, I saw the exuberant, Dominican-New Yorker-inspired In The Heights on Broadway, a musical about a young Dominican man trying to discover his life’s purpose with the backdrop of a romanticized version of Washington Heights (around 181st St, Manhattan, NYC). First, I’d like to say that this was a really good musical: good storyline, great music, good characters, and an original screenplay. Working in Washington Heights, I don’t …

Alex Rodriguez's Pledge of Allegiance

A-Rod Can Haz Dominican Culture Now?

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

Back in July of 2005, the World Baseball Classic committees were just getting their international rosters, and most people stuck to their countries of origin, as stipulated by the rules. With 16 teams in the competition, many of us baseball fans almost salivated to the chin being able to watch these all-stars playing on the same teams. Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, and Ken Griffey Jr. all on the same squad? …

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I Walked Across an Empty Land, I Knew The Backways Like The Back Of My Hand

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

This is one of the lost blogs I wrote while I was at Dominican Republic. It was inspired by another Clay Burell post, regarding tourism and its caricatures. Thought I’d post it up tonight in light of the recent immigration post. I also updated a few things here and there, in brackets. Enjoy. Originally written: July 7th, 2008 Over the last week or so, I’ve stayed in a sweet 4-star …

Kids In Front of School In Rain

Ojala Que Llueva Cafe En El Campo (Hope That It Rains Coffee In The Field)

Jose Vilson Jose 16 Comments

Juan Luis Guerra’s quintessential song is “Ojala Que Llueva Cafe En El Campo,” a song that comes across more as a incantation that the poor and hopefully at the least have coffee somehow fall from the sky to bless them, as if to say that G_d might bless them with their basic necessities to relieve them from their hunger, strife, and sorrow. Riddled with metaphors and as passionate as any …

dominican-republic1

My Hood, Your Hood

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

By the time you read this, I’ll be more than halfway to the neighborhood from which my mother originates in Santo Domingo, DR. In said neighborhood, as in many neighborhoods, the impression us “Dominican-Americans” give off is that indeed we have more money than them, we are more well-off, and that we have greater access to said resources than do the people there. In many ways, it’s true. Most of …

My Middle Finger’s Swollen!

Jose Vilson Short Notes 3 Comments

If there is a will, there is a blog. Mi gente, bienvenidos desde La Republica Dominicana! It’s a sunny day outside, about 30% chance of rain. Some cloudy skies, winds blowing in the NW direction. I’m sitting here in shorts and a tank top (something I don’t usually do) and relaxing. it’s been OK so far. Interesting how even when family members ask us to relax, their most natural behaviors prevent …

Miguel Tejada as a Baltimore Oriole

Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Excuse the double negative, my people, but a brotha’s got a little less patience for fools than usual. Imagine me watching ESPN today, when I see a segment about 4-time All-Star (possibly more if not for the Jeter-A-Rod-Garciaparra collective from a few years back) and future Hall of Famer Miguel Tejada, now a member of the Houston Astros, but whose image has been tainted by the Mitchell Report for taking …