• (fear)less


    On stands today - the newest issue of Good Company Magazine! I could not be more honored to have spoken with the powerful women of the Resistance Revival Chorus for this issue. If you need to be lifted and inspired, look no further than Grace Bonney's latest publication. I handed this piece in about two weeks before giving birth to my little girl and it offered to so much hope for my two children. The world is pretty dark but there are bright stars. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest when my four year old opened the magazine and said "I'm reading what Mama wrote about the great women." 
    I keep a copy in my backpack to counter my morning newsbrief subway reading (which can take me to a place of despair) - and I hope it might be able to do the same for you. Here is where you snag your copy. 

    PS Don't miss the Live Podcast Tour (coming to NYC this Thursday!)

  • we did it.

    we did it.

    Thank you to everyone in our electoral district who voted for the Strauss Gomez-Strauss team and making us members of the Democratic County Committee. We could not be more thrilled to represent our friends and neighbors. 

    How special it was to see my name on the ballot as I held my baby girl and had my little boy right next to me. We love you, Queens. 

  • no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land

    no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land

    Two reasons I’m losing sleep 1: life with a newborn 2: thinking about children being ripped from their parents after a journey none of us can imagine.

    If you are as horrified as I am (and if you have anything resembling a soul, you should be), Slate has a running list of how you can help fight family separation at the border. 
    If you're represented by a Republican senator, call and tell them to support S.3036. 

    Home, Warsan Shire

    no one leaves home unless
    home is the mouth of a shark
    you only run for the border
    when you see the whole city running as well

    your neighbors running faster than you
    breath bloody in their throats
    the boy you went to school with
    who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
    is holding a gun bigger than his body
    you only leave home
    when home won't let you stay.

    no one leaves home unless home chases you
    fire under feet
    hot blood in your belly
    it's not something you ever thought of doing
    until the blade burnt threats into
    your neck
    and even then you carried the anthem under
    your breath
    only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
    sobbing as each mouthful of paper
    made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

    you have to understand,
    that no one puts their children in a boat
    unless the water is safer than the land
    no one burns their palms
    under trains
    beneath carriages
    no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
    feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
    means something more than journey.
    no one crawls under fences
    no one wants to be beaten

    no one chooses refugee camps
    or strip searches where your
    body is left aching
    or prison,
    because prison is safer
    than a city of fire
    and one prison guard
    in the night
    is better than a truckload
    of men who look like your father
    no one could take it
    no one could stomach it
    no one skin would be tough enough

    go home blacks
    dirty immigrants
    asylum seekers
    sucking our country dry
    niggers with their hands out
    they smell strange
    messed up their country and now they want
    to mess ours up
    how do the words
    the dirty looks
    roll off your backs
    maybe because the blow is softer
    than a limb torn off

    or the words are more tender
    than fourteen men between
    your legs
    or the insults are easier
    to swallow
    than rubble
    than bone
    than your child body
    in pieces.
    i want to go home,
    but home is the mouth of a shark
    home is the barrel of the gun
    and no one would leave home
    unless home chased you to the shore
    unless home told you
    to quicken your legs
    leave your clothes behind
    crawl through the desert
    wade through the oceans
    be hunger
    forget pride
    your survival is more important

    no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
    run away from me now
    i dont know what i've become
    but i know that anywhere
    is safer than here 

    Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images

  • good company

    good company

    When I saw an email from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge fame asking if I would be interested in contributing to a new magazine venture, my answer was an instant yes. I had just discovered I was pregnant with my second child, I was knee digital-deep at work with an ambitious exhibition opening in a few weeks, not to mention general working mom life. But I couldn't say no, especially to Grace. I have long admired not only her taste and talent, but also her fearlessness and determination. 

    Staying up nights (fighting that first trimester fatigue) and furiously typing in Google docs on the subway, it somehow came together. When putting the final edits (and shout to my wonderful husband for always being my editor) I became teary eyed reading through the interviews one last time. It was nothing short of an honor to share the stories of three incredible women working to changing the face of media to be more inclusive. First I had felt humbled to be asked in the first place, then I felt humbled to be able to interact with these women. I am in awe of Grace, Riese, Amy and Andrea. This past year I have been in awe of women, everything we do, everything we fight for. 

    Design-related blogs have recently made more of an effort to be more inclusive, both in who they feature and who is behind the scenes. However, D*S hasn't had to keep up, because they have always been inclusive, and I have always appreciated that. (disclaimer, our family was lucky enough to have our old home featured a few years ago). Sometimes I wonder what decisions I would have made if something like D*S had been around when I was a teenager or if I had started reading it earlier than 2008 (four years after its launch). Would I have taken more risks? Would I have taken a different professional route? I'll never know. But I am happy where I've ended up and I'm really thrilled to be able to share my voice in the ways Grace and TheFoldMag have given me the vehicle to. 

    Pick up a copy of Good Company Magazine on stands May 1 or pre-order! 
    "With its emphasis on the power of inclusivity, community, and embracing our differences, Good Company provides an energetic, safe, and supportive place to connect, learn, grow, and work through the challenges that creative people experience in pursuing their passions and dreams.

  • the forgotten island.

    the forgotten island.

    7 months after Hurricane Maria, the entire island of Puerto Rico without power. (Before the blackout, there were still many without water or electricity since the hurricane).

    There is a loss of words for how badly this has been handled, for the loss of life that has come with it, the mental anguish forced upon our fellow citizens. 

    Some ways to give below. 

    Orgs working on long-term recovery:

    Assisting local artists:

    Supporting Agritourism and Volunteerism:

    Supporting sustainable agriculture:

  • nobody's free until everybody's free.

    nobody's free until everybody's free.

    We were lucky to see two incredibly powerful shows in one week:

    Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016 at MoMA
    and Hank Willis Thomas: What We Ask is Simple at Jack Shainman Gallery

    I can't stop thinking about either exhibition, and as our Jewtino family prepares to celebrate both Passover and Easter this weekend, a quote from Fannie Lou Hamer keeps coming to mind: Nobody's free until everybody's free.

  • how the united states looks before the epa

    how the united states looks before the epa

    At Fortune.com: How the Unites States Looked Before the EPA

    Via friend and photog @lizlig:The Nixon administration commissioned 100 photographers to capture the U.S. environment before the Environmental Protection Agency. As the current administration is systematically dismantling the EPA and rolling back environmental safeguards, view this selection of photographs from the EPA's "Project Documerica" collection and consider the impact this agency and its safeguards have had on America in the last five decades. This article was published last year, and the amount of changes in just one year will have an impact for years to come.

  • why mariachi music maters in our current political climate

    why mariachi music maters in our current political climate

    The photo above is from my wedding reception. What you don't see is the scene in front of it. Family and friends of all colors and demonitations dancing, laughing, hugging, jumping (yes, jumping), and an impromptu hora to the strings of mariachi, celebrating a cross cultural union. It was one of the most memorable moments of that wonderful day.

    When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I knew right away that no matter what kind of reception we held, there had to be a mariachi. With its Mexican roots, the mariachi tradition reaches through Central and South American culture. Growing up in a Colombian family, mariachis showed up a birthdays and other life milestones. When I saw the Washington Post's article yesterday, it really struck me. Mariachi music in itself is not political. It is uncaged emotion. Joy and pain. With its traditional wear, those who play it are a proud display of Latinx heritage. In today's climate, its existence is resistence. I encourage you to take a read: 

    Why mariachi music matters in the age of Trump.

    “When you die, they bring you mariachis. When you are born, they bring you mariachis. When you fall in love, they bring you mariachis.” In between, in times of change and uncertainty, the mariachis will be there, too.

    If this national nightmare ever ends, I hope to celebrate with mariachis. 

  • black is beautiful / ser negro es hermoso

    black is beautiful / ser negro es hermoso

    Did you know the Black is Beautiful movement began in NYC? Photographer Kwame Brathwaite and his brother Elombe launched it to an eager crowd on a January night in 1962. Read more about that evening and what led up to it here. Black is Beautiful is an enduring statement from the Civil Rights movement and continues to empower, even beyond our shores.

    While visiting Colombia two summers I was struck to see posters around the city of Cartagena with the phrase "Ser Negro Es Hermoso" aka Black is Beautiful. It wouldn't have struck me here in the US, but in the country of my ancestors I was majorly, pleasantly surprised. There are so many things I adore about being Latinx, about my South American roots, and about Colombia, but I have always lamented the colorism that remains so prevalent in our culture. That said, my face lit up every time I saw another image for the campaign. More about the campaign and reactions to it here.

  • hitting reset

    hitting reset

    We said goodbye a sometimes difficult / sometimes wonderful 2017 and hello to the uknown of 2018 with a road trip up the New England coast. Frigid temperatures, warm hearts, and massive amounts of seafood was exactly what our trio (soon to be foursome!) needed. 

    Orient, LI -> Mystic, CT -> Gloucester, MA -> Portsmouth, NH -> Portland, MN -> Boston, MA