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| Culture |

Calle Ocho: The Festival Shows Signs of Age

Marco Kornfeld
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Click here to see a slide show of the festival

Calle Ocho, the words speak for themselves, but if you need more than that, here’s a recap: It was a thousand degrees outside. Near the main stage, two crackheads passed by a small girl playing with dirt. On my way to the stage I saw the word “shot” spray painted on a worn down building, and I thought, “Hmm, this is how I want to be spending my Sunday.” Not.

Honestly, I don’t know why anyone goes, but I guess it’s a congregation of my Latin American people, so I have to represent. I think.

Still, it’s hard to find any excitement when sweaty old men are walking by, rubbing their drenching arms on my shirt.

The food was my only consolation. I escaped by eating an arepa. For those who don’t know, an arepa is a delight consisting of cheese between two corn flour paddies. In other words, it’s cellulite. Oh and speaking of cellulite, there was a lot of it. Cellulite hoards squeezed in tiny shorts. But who could blame them. Sunday was the hottest day of the year so far. Therefore, cellulite or not, shorts had to be worn.

In fact, Calle Ocho is the place where a person like me could sit and make a sport out of making fun of people, but right now I won’t. Don’t get me wrong now, there were lots of beautiful Hispanics in tiny clothes too.

When I arrived, I ran into one of the acts, Rick Tann, nice guy, gave me some CD’s. He sported gold teeth and all that other ghetto fabulosity. Some toned cheerleader types were dancing on stage. I walked away in searching for booze. By the time I walked back to the stage, those cheerleader types were replaced with random chunky chongas.

Then someone on stage kept on repeating the word, “platano.” Why that’s not insulting, I don’t know.

By two o’clock, I’d been there less than an hour, and I was ready to go. Look, it was so hot that things on my body that I didn’t know could sweat were sweating. Gross, I know.

However, I’ve recently heard a few things about this Rick Tann guy and wanted to check him out. In the meantime, Pittbull arrived in a Mercedes.

At 2:20 or so, Rick Tann finally stepped on stage. A few scattered heads bobbed, and I started getting into it too. He said something like, “If you ain’t talking money what the f--- you discussing.” I’d watch him perform again, just not at Calle Ocho. -- Lucy Orozco

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