Style Influences

My style influences: a little Romani, a little Bollywood, lots of Flamenco and a dash of chola!

Chunari Chunari

The Queen of the Gypsies: Rada

La Familia Montoya de Sevilla

Tangos from the movie, Flamenco

Hello Stranger

Lean Like A Chola

The Berlin Wall

The Ex – State of Shock (90s song by Anarcho-Dutch group)

Two days ago marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I just happened to have a few pen pals in Berlin when the Wall came down. They sent me bits of the broken wall as mementos. Pieces with graffiti were more desirable so some entrepreneurs decided to start spray painting parts of clean walls and then breaking off chunks so that they could be sold internationally for a higher price. Strange. I bet Eduardo Galeano could re-write this paragraph and make it profound.

I have photos somewhere of the Wall being torn down sent to me by a pen pal.  I should find and post them.

East Berlin is now gentrified. The modern architecture lovers were turned on by all that boxy Soviet construction. Funny world we live in.

In Los Angeles, we don’t need walls. We have freeways, bridges and a big concrete river to keep us apart.


Found the photos! Please click to see a much larger image.






My Berliner pen pal who I met once when he visited Los Angeles. I don’t remember his name.

70 Years Separate Our Footsteps


It wasn’t difficult to find this house in Guadalajara, the former home of my great-grandmother Sara Ybarra Ramos. She never knew I existed and I knew nothing of her until my father shared some family letters with me earlier this year. But now, I have this connection to her – we have both traversed the same pavement, 70 years separate our footsteps.

(Light posting due to a long needed vacation in Mexico)

November 9, 2009

You might’ve noticed the picture now is of a different house. I went back to the house to find more information and to ask around if anyone had information on my family and realized I had the wrong house. It was on the same street and the correct number but the street name had changed. Luckily, the correct house was only blocks away and interestingly, near the city courthouse.

My great-grandmother’s old house is now rented by a friendly social justice lawyer who recently took over the space and plans to rehabilitate the building as it is in extreme disrepair. Neither he nor the abarrotes across the street knew of any Ybarra families in the area. The lawyer did mention something about chocolate…


Front hallway of the building