Culture

20 Latino Celebrities Who Were From New York

When you come from New York AKA The City of Dreams in many ways you grow up with a mindset that anything is possible. While many in our Latin community come from outside of the U.S. there are tons of Latinos whose roots are heavily based in the Big Apple as well.

Here’s a look at 20 famous Latino born and raised in New York.

1. Jennifer Lopez

New York
CREDIT: JLo / Twitter

There’s no doubting how proud the Bronx-born Latina is of being raised in The Bronx. Lopez sang about her love for her city in her 2002 hit single “Jenny from the Block.”

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda

CREDIT: lin__manuel__miranda / Instagram

Born and Raised in New York City, Miranda is the Puerto Rican composer, rapper, and Broadway star who came up with the hit musical In the Heights. In recent years he’s been known for creating Hamilton.

3. Kat DeLuna

CREDIT: KatDeLuna / Twitter

Kat DeLuna  moved to the Dominican Republic at a young age, but the  pop singer was born in The Bronx. DeLuna sang of her NYC love in her single “New York City Gurls.”

4. Alex Rodriguez

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Rodriguez was born in Washington Heights and grew up in New York City, the Dominican Republic, and Miami.

5. Marc Anthony

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The beloved salsa artist was raised in Spanish Harlem and started his career doing freestyle at Underground New York house music acts.

6. Christina Aguilera

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The “Genie in A Bottle” singer was born in Staten Island and lived in New Jersey, Texas, New York and Japan as a child. The Grammy-winning singer signed with RCA Records in 1998.

7. Rita Moreno

CREDIT: ritamoreno_actress / Instagram

Puerto Rico-born, Moreno moved to New York City when she was five-years-old. Moreno won the National Medal of Arts and became the first and only Hispanic performer to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.

8. Prince Royce

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Born and raised in The Bronx, Prince Royce is the son of Dominican immigrants and did his best to stay out of trouble while growing up in The Bronx’s toughest neighborhood.

9. Rosie Perez

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Perez is an NYC native from Queen. Growing up she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist got into acting when director Spike Lee spotted her at a nightclub and cast her in to the Right Thing.

10. Zoë Saldaña

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The Dominican actress was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and spent her early childhood in New York City. She is also a trained dancer.

11. Sonia Sotomayor

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Sonia Sotomayor, the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, spoke lovingly of her love for her neighborhood The Bronx in her book.

12. Rosario Dawson

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The Puerto Rican Cuban American actress was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a building that she and her family renovated.

13. John Leguizamo

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Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Leguizamo’s family immigrated to the United States when he was four. They lived in neighborhoods around Queens including Jackson Heights.

14. Lana Parrilla

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Parrilla, a star of Once Upon a Time is half Puerto Rican and credit her New York City roots for her success. “I grew up in Brooklyn and was tough — kind of loaded with attitude — and then I came here [Hollywood]. I’m sure people found me kind of intimidating,” Parilla has said.

15. Gina Torres

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Torres was raised in The Bronx by her tight Cuban American family. Torres is also a trained singer.

16. Jake T. Austin

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Austin was cast by Gary Marshall in New Year’s Eve a film that takes place in his own neighborhood. While on his show of  Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place the actor often got to flex is NYC accent.

17. Ana Ortiz

CREDIT: therealanaortiz / Twitter

Ortiz was born in Manhattan,  raised in Philadelphia. The Latina studied to become a ballerina at a young age but eventually the actress who is part Puerto Rican attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and after Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

18. Adam Rodriguez

CREDIT: adamrodriguez / Instagram

Rodriguez was born in Yonkers and set his sights on becoming a professional baseball player at a young age. Unfortunately, he had an awful injury in high school but luckily it set him on the path of becoming an actor.

19. Melonie Diaz

CREDIT: CREDIT: Peter Hurley

Diaz was in New York City’s Lower East Side and often known as the Latina indie film queen. The Puerto Rican actress was raised in New York City’s Lower East Side, and recieved a degree in Film Production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

20. Judy Reyes

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Reyes was born to Dominican immigrants in The Bronx. She graduated from Hunter College in New York and has starred in shows like “Law and Order SVU” and “Scrubs.”


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Things You Wouldn’t Expect To See In A Small NY Apartment

Entertainment

Things You Wouldn’t Expect To See In A Small NY Apartment

Television shows like Friends and Sex and the City lead you to believe that every NYC apartment is spacious and affordable, equipped with plenty of space on an affordable price tag. Unfortunately, the reality is a bit harsher. Between landlords’ strict rental qualifications, exorbitant broker fees, and sky-high rental prices, your apartment options are pretty narrow in the end. Usually, by the time you find an apartment that’s within your budget range, you’re left with a group of apartments that are affectionately called “cozy” (i.e. shoe-boxes). But not to despair! There are plenty of shoe-box apartments in New York City that are both highly livable and adorable. 

Still, if you’re one of the thousands of people that move to New York City each year from small towns, the reality of small-apartment life in the big city can nonetheless be jarring. The things you’ve taken for granted in your rural-America homes can now seem like downright luxuries. So, in order to soften the blow, we’ve compiled a list of all of the things you shouldn’t expect to see in a small New York City apartment. Take a look below for a friendly reality-check! It might make all the difference. 

1. A Dishwasher

@kitchstudios/Instagram

You’d be hard-pressed to find a small apartment anywhere in New York City in which the kitchen was equipped with a dishwasher. If you’re planning to live in the Big Apple on a budget, you better get used to cleaning those dirty dishes the old fashioned way: with a bit of elbow grease. 

2. A Closet

@friederikchen/Instagram

Some newbies are shocked when they start apartment-hunting in the City That Never Sleeps and they discover that a chunk of smaller apartments don’t even have closets. On the bright side, if you do opt for a closet-less apartment, you can use it as an opportunity to use your clothes as decor. Just make sure your clothes are worthy of being displayed…

3. Counter Space

@tinyinteriorz/Instagram

If you’re a cooking enthusiast and you’re looking to rent a small apartment in New York City, be warned: it is a rarity to find a kitchen with plenty of counter space. A lot of small NYC kitchens have two tiny slabs of counter space on either side of the sink. It’s a pain in the butt, and many people avoid cooking and relying on feeding themselves through takeout and TV dinners. Welcome to the New York way of life!

4. Elevators

@la_kathi/Instagram

There are a ton of smaller apartment buildings in New York City that don’t have elevators. At all. This is especially unfortunate for handicapped apartment-hunters who are forced to constrain their search to buildings with the proper accommodations. It’s unfair, to say the least.

5. Outdoor Space

@ni2_estudio_de_interiores/Instagram

Yes, we’ve all dreamed of having our very own apartment with an adorable veranda where we can entertain friends and look at the stars, but the reality is a bit bleaker than that. If your budget is restricting you to a tiny NYC apartment, you’re likely not going to have a cute little balcony. You’ll be lucky if you can swing a window or two!

6. Bathtubs

@inside.number2/Instagram

If you’re used to winding down at the end of the day by soaking in the tub, the apartment prospects in the Empire City might be a bit jarring for you. Many (if not most) small bathrooms in New York City offer shower-only options. 

7. Plenty of Outlets

@quirky_pivot_power/Instagram

If you’re renting a super-small apartment in NYC, chances are, the building is old. And old buildings are notoriously short on outlets. You’ll likely be forced to buy extension chords and power strips.

9. A Bedroom 

@moda.misfit/Instagram

Yep, you read that correctly. There may be space to put a bed, but there probably won’t be a dedicated room for a bed. Studio apartments are much cheaper and cost-effective housing solution for bargain-hunters.

10. A Dining Area

@meuape_0km/Instagram

If you’re planning on renting a small apartment in New York City, say goodbye to the dream of hosting grown-up dinner parties for your cosmopolitan friends. Small apartments in the city have little-to-no room for dining. In fact, most tiny-apartment-dwellers probably eat on their couch (or, more realistically, their futon). 

11. A Washer and Dryer

@inordertosucceed/Instagram

If you currently live in New York City, you know that having a washer and dryer in unit is pretty much a pipe dream. Heck, having a washer and dryer in the apartment building is even a luxury! Many people are forced to slog to the lavanderia to do their laundry with everyone else. What can we say? It’s a jungle out there.

A New Documentary Is Showing An Untold And Heartbreaking Side Of The Undocumented Life In The US

Entertainment

A New Documentary Is Showing An Untold And Heartbreaking Side Of The Undocumented Life In The US

imleavingnowdoc / Instagram

The recent immigration debate in the U.S. has largely centered around the forced separation of families at the southern border and indefinite detentions. However, “Ya Me Voy,” a documentary by Mu Media, is shining light on the internal immigration debate. The story centers on a man living undocumented in the U.S. and his decision to stay in the U.S. or leave and rejoin his family. However, unexpected love and troubles at home in Mexico play a major role in his decision.

“I’m Leaving Now (Ya Me Voy)” is a touching look at the personal immigration debate many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

Felipe, an undocumented immigrant living in New York, has spent years living away from his family in Mexico. His mission was to find work and send money home regularly to help his family with the ultimate goal to move back to be with his wife and kids.

The documentary starts with Felipe calling his family telling them that he was ready to move back to Mexico and reunite with them.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

After several attempts and changes of mind, Felipe is finally ready to go back home. He had been sending his family money and expects to come home in a better position. It has been 16 years and he has been diligent in sending money back to his family.

However, during a phone call home, he learns that everything he had worked for has fallen apart.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

His family had managed to squander the money he had sent back for them. Not only that, they had gotten themselves into debt. Felipe, who was planning to go home, realizes that it might not be able to go home since the family is now indebted after his 16 years of hard, manual labor in the U.S.

During the documentary, the audience learns that Felipe has fallen in love with a woman in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

The romantic relationship complicates his decision to do home. On one hand, he wants to reunite with his sons and wife more than anything. He misses them terribly and knows that his heart ultimately lies with them. However, his family has spent the money he managed to send them and returning would put him back where he was when he came to the U.S. all those years ago. The new romance offers him solace and comfort in the U.S.

We witness Felipe having tough conversations with his new life in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

Felipe is trying to determine if he is still able to move back to a family he does not know. It has been so long since he left Mexico that he is essentially a stranger to his children. His wife has been without him for 16 years and he has set unexpected roots in a place that was supposed to be temporary. At one point, you see him telling a vendor that he was preparing to leave and she jokes that she’ll believe it when he is no longer here.

Ultimately, he is forced to make a decision as to whether he is going to stay in the U.S. or be with a family he left years ago.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

His tale is one that so many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. experience. They leave friends and family behind in an attempt to better the lives of those they are leaving behind. Many will never see their family again and have to miss major moments, like funerals, to sacrifice it all to help their family.

Watch the full trailer below.

READ: Say Their Names: The People Who Have Died In US Immigration Custody In 2019