Posted in Technology

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Tablet – The Best Inexpensive Tablet Available Today

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet.

Back in 2012, I purchased the first generation version of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It worked for me for years, until it was destroyed in a car accident this past summer.  I generally use a tablet to read books, briefly catch up on current events, and check social media. After not having a tablet for a few months, I realized I missed having one so I once again went shopping for a new tablet.

Again, I chose the inexpensive and reliable Fire tablet from Amazon. It is lightweight, sturdy, and functional for my needs. The battery life is incredible and it has a microSD slot for additional storage. It’s a great cheap tablet that performs well and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a tablet and does not want to pay several hundred dollars for an iPad.

However, there is a bit of bad news. The camera is terrible. The quality is so bad that I wonder why it was added to begin with. Another big problem is that Amazon does not make it clear that the Fire tablet comes with ads. The lock screen continuously flashes annoying Amazon advertisements. To remove the ads you have to pay Amazon an additional $15. Amazon should just add this fee to the initial price of the tablet.

Aside from the camera and unwanted ads, I am very happy thus far with my new tablet. I think you will be as well.

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Posted in Film/Movie, Latino, New York

New York Latino Film Festival Begins in NYC on Oct. 11, 2017

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF),  the premier urban Latino film event in the country since 1999, kicks off in NYC on Wednesday, October 11 and runs through Saturday, October 14, 2017. The NYLFF produces culturally relevant and entertaining experiences that build audiences for Latino cinema, support the film community with professional development, and foster relationships for Latino talent.

The 14th NYLFF is presented by HBO and will feature such films as Saturday Church, a “La-La Land” meets “Moonlight” coming out story, and A Change of Heart, starring Jim Belushi and a Puerto Rican drag queen.

“Our event is about galvanizing and empowering community. We are very excited to bring back the festival with such an exciting lineup showcasing some of the best multicultural, bilingual, and diverse films,” said Calixto Chinchilla, festival founder.

The NYLFF makes its much-anticipated return to the Big Apple and will once again highlight a diverse slate, spanning all genres and formats. Notable stars and filmmakers include Emilio and Gloria Estefan, William Levy, Residente, and Luis Guzmán.

Other films being showcased at the NYLFF include: HOLD ON, the story of a talented mixed race singer who must fight to keep her personal dreams and family life alive while working at a small Los Angeles church; El Pantera, a documentary film chronicling the rise of Mexican UFC fighter Yair Rodriguez; and Vito C: La Vida Del Filósofo, the rise to stardom story of Reggaeton’s founding father, Vico C.

Posted in Communication, Consulting

LaGuardia Community College – Dare To Do More

LAGCC1In January 2017, I accepted a temporary contract position as a marketing communications manager at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY. LaGuardia is part of the City University of New York and is based in one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the world, the borough of Queens.

As a marketing communications manager within the academic affairs division, I assist with promoting programs and events to the student population via email, online student portal, and social media platforms. There is a great deal happening at LaGuardia. The community college offers over 60 degrees and is abundant with resources which help students reach their academic goals.

LaGuardia is a unique institution of higher learning where – through a varied offering of academic and vocational programs – students from all over the world are guided toward building a better life for themselves and their families.

LaGuardia is well known for several academic degrees, notably Nursing, Paramedic, Commercial Photography, and New Media Technology. The college had over 45,000 students enrolled in both degree and non-degree programs in the fall of 2015.

My experience at LaGuardia has been incredible. The teamwork between administrative staff and faculty meshes extremely well and a majority of  students are dedicated, talented individuals working to achieve greatness. I definitely recommend the school to anyone who dares to do more with their lives.

Posted in bar/restaurant, New York

Kiss My French Tapas Bar Opens in Midtown Manhattan

kiss_my_french_nyc_logoA chic new tapas bar has opened up in the East Midtown section of Manhattan. Kiss My French debuted in August on East 53rd Street near Second Avenue and its ambience, service, and delightful tasty tapas are well worth a trip.

A fraternity brother of mine, who invested in the joint venture, invited me to the soft opening of Kiss My French. I had heard about my brother’s dream of opening up a bar/restaurant for quite some time, but I did not know what to expect. To be honest, I was pretty impressed with the place. The decor was on point, the hospitality was superb, the drinks were refreshing, and the food was excellent.

When you walk into Kiss My French, you immediately know you’re in someplace special. The lighting is welcoming and the music is soothing.  TVs entertain patrons near a bar top that was created from the floor of an old bowling alley. A spacious and comfortable lounge near the back of the bar compliments the new establishment. Overall,  you can tell there was a great deal of thought put into every aspect of this tapas bar experience.

Customers are already raving about Kiss My French. One Yelp reviewer noted, “It’s a classy socializing environment where you can sit at the bar and watch a game after work or sit at one of the two lounge areas and conversate. Definitely recommend it.” [sic]

I agree. The next time you are thinking of a place to relax and unwind in the East Midtown section of Manhattan, or just have a good time with friends or by your awesome self, check out Kiss My French. My fraternity brother and his partners, which include French Chef Johan Giraud, would thank you for visiting. I thank you in advance.

Posted in bar/restaurant, Consulting, New York

Miti Miti NYC – An Awesome Bar/Restaurant in Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of MIti Miti's Facebook Page.
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/mitimitiNYC.

Colorful, vibrant, and sleek are just a few words to describe the modern and multifaceted Miti Miti, an incredibly awesome bar/restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. I have seen and experienced firsthand the wondrous transformation of this second business venture brought to us by Farid and George of Bogota Latin Bistro.

In full disclosure, I have been a communication consultant for the co-owners of these two fabulous establishments since 2009. I just attended a LGBT mixer at Miti Miti last Tuesday night sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. I had not been to the location in a few months and was impressed with various additions the charming decor. The hors d’oeuvers and drinks were on point and the crowd was energetically friendly.

Miti Miti is building up a good following, based on its Yelp! reviews, in just over a year in business.  The hot spot in Park Slope is just blocks from the Barclays Center. My favorite plate is their bacon wrapped dates and my favorite drink is the red sangria.

Miti Miti is a great place where you can enjoy an undoubtably delicious cuisine in a visually appealing space with magnificently mixed drinks. But don’t just take it from me, check it out yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in New York, Technology

DataVelocity: Your Partner in Managed IT Services in New York City

DataVelocity's logoI have been working for a small information technology company for a little over a year now and have gained immense appreciation for professionals in the field of providing computer network support to small and mid-size businesses. In order to get work done, you need a highly functional computer network, access to a high speed Internet connection, and a computer with a speedy processor and great memory. Sometimes businesses take these basic technological necessities for granted or do not understand what’s required to keep a business computer system running well.

DataVelocity, an IT company formed in 2002 by Melissa Minchala and Adam Warshaw, makes sure your technology provides the best return on investment possible. Serving companies in New York City, DataVelocity’s reliable IT management services and computer network maintenance solutions help small to mid-size companies streamline business functions and increase productivity through the technology used every day.

The co-founders of DataVelocity and their talented staff form a team of technologists whose goal is to create long term relationships and raving fans by delivering dynamic IT services and stellar support to help protect and grow their clients’ companies.

DataVelocity assists NYC-based businesses by being a managed services provider (MSP) that understands an organization’s need to balance an IT budget and simultaneously possess an optimal computer network.

computer_network

Businesses today need to make a decision as to whether or not to staff internal IT professionals or outsource the expertise to knowledgeable IT firms. Some companies may have the budget to do both, however there a few benefits to hiring a managed services provider like DataVelocity.

The single most important tactical reason for outsourcing IT management is to reduce and control operating costs. Hiring an external IT partner can help a company’s bottom line by alleviating human resources expenses.

MSPs are also experts in security, business continuity and disaster recovery so business owners can have peace of mind knowing they have access to up-to-date technological experience.

DataVelocity is an IT partner that works with business owners to establish strategic tech goals.  With scalable and flexible services that are based on flat monthly fees, small to mid-sized business owners in New York City will always know what their monthly bill will be, and never have to worry about another tech-related issue again.

Posted in bar/restaurant, Communication, Consulting, New York

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side of Manhattan

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar - The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC
Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC

I enjoy a good glass of wine. The red house wine at Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, was awesome. I dined there with a friend on Thursday and also really enjoyed the restaurant’s Salmon Risotto special. My pal Richard had the Rigatoni special and he liked it very much. The establishment blew us away with their White Chocolate Cake dessert which was described by Gaven, the general manager, as “one of the best desserts in the house.”

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar has been in business for seven years and was started by brothers Jon and Marc Bash (fratelli means brother in Italian.) The decor is warm and wood-based with incredible chandeliers creating cozy lighting. The hospitality is friendly and the staff takes the extra step to make sure every thing is fine.

The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.
The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

I have always loved Italian food and was torn by the vast choices on Fratelli’s menu. I will have to return some day to try their raving pizza and partake of their delicious red house wine again. I think I have found my “go to” place on the Upper East Side and possibly one of my favorites in Manhattan. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area and feel like an authentic Italian restaurant experience, definitely consider visiting Fratelli on the Upper East Side (on 1st Avenue near 71st Street.)

Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.
Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.