The 2nd Annual Cuban Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium has come and gone and it was, by all accounts, a huge success.
I'm still a little overwhelmed by all the fabulousness and fun of celebrating baseball and Cubanity(<–it's a word, right?) with my people. And it was the hottest stinking day of the summer in LA, so, if this is a little incoherent, please forgive me ahead of time. Still recovering from the heat.
Picture this: Cuban music playing (loudly) from the stage. Once a song starts, the smile of recognition quickly spreads across the faces. When the music plays, we must dance. It's in our Cuban DNA. We seriously can't help it. We spontaneously begin dancing with, and next to, and behind, and in front of whoever happens to be there. I so loved that.
Although many wore their tried and true Dodger Blue, many of us showed off the official shirt of Cuban Heritage Day 2014. Designed by the extremely talented Roly Vega of Habana Brand Clothing.
I have it on good authority that these beautiful shirts (only $20!) are still available through the end of August. Please visit Habana Brand Clothing and place your order ASAP.
It was a crazy-hot day in LA, but there were lots of fans (works on two levels) available to beat the heat provided by Café La Llave and a special one designed for the day by Habana Brand Clothing and our good friends from Wassup En LA.
Part of the fun was wandering the stadium (in the shade, of course) and finding old friends, all of us flapping our fans to cool off in a modern version of what was probably a typical scene from Havana of the 50's.
Speaking of old friends, the first pitch was to be thrown out by Tony Plana, the very talented Cuban actor who played the dad on the hit TV show, Ugly Betty. Tony has had a distinguished and accomplished career. My favorite of his roles being "Jefe," from the comedy film, The Three Amigos, but that's not important right now.
It turns out that Tony's brother and I went to school together and I knew his family pretty well. "Tony, I'm Marta, from St. Augustine's…" I didn't get a chance to finish my sentence.
He grabbed me in a big Cuban hug of recognition. Made my day.
It was my pleasure and privilege to serve on this year's Cuban Heritage Day Committee. What a delight it was to get to know the other Cubans involved in putting on this event and sharing our love of baseball and Cubanity (<–I'm pretty sure it's a word) with each other. I loved how everyone brought different skills and talents to the table.
My friend, Lucy Vega, of Habana Brand Clothing, also brought red lipstick. I'm forever grateful. The beautiful blonde you see here is Rose Marin, head of the committee and the mastermind of this entire project.
The committee got to do a photo-op with Cuban Wonder Boy, Yasiel Puig. Or as our community refers to him, "Yasielito."
I confess that I totally gave in to temptation and went in for the selfie. Guys… I had to.
I know. Shut up.
Jonathan and Lucy (and friend, Nathan) happily partook of the Cuban Dogs. Picture a Dodger Dog, but with a Cuban sandwich twist to it: Ham, pork, swiss cheese, mustard, pickles. (For more on the awesomeness of Cuban sandwiches, see this post.)
Eric, who has been married to me for 22 years, held his own with all the Cubanity (<–I think it's a word now).
To get all the info about next year's Cuban Heritage Day, please be sure to follow them on Facebook: Cuban Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium on Facebook.
It was a long, hot, wonderful day. The Dodgers eventually lost to the Brewers, but that didn't dampen our spirits. The day was a perfect celebration of all that is good and holy about Cuban baseball.
Here's a perfect recap by the talented and lovely, Ailis Garcia of Dodgers Nation.
Pastelitos provided by Portos Bakery. Cafecitos provided by Café La Llave. First pitch and MY FAVORITE MOMENT provided by Tony Plana. Tshirts provided by Habana Brand Clothing. Fans provided by Wassup En LA? Dodger Baseball magic provided by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The rest of us? We brought the Cubanity. (<–word officially coined by me.)
photo credit: Lucy Vega