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How a Wine Cellar Became a Beauty Culture Center – See Photos

Growing up in New York in the 80′s and 90′s, the most beautiful girls – the most bubbly girls I wanted to be – were the ones who gave new faces – caritas lindas.The people on the block who look like gods and their mothers just made them perfect.All they have is a white T-shirt, shorts, fresh kicks and smiles, and they’ll show up to a hunched over meeting like goddesses.Hair is pulled back like that; flawless baby hair; beautiful long nails; soft, radiant skin warmed on summer trips to Coney Island or Orchard Beach.The most perfect gloss on their lips.By our local beauty standards, supermodels in magazines have nothing.Because no smoky eye makeup or high-fashion hairstyles can amplify the natural beauty like these fresh-faced girls, just a few basics from the local wine cellar.
Of course, every neighborhood has girls who are good at makeup.Usually it’s the girls whose moms make extra money selling Skin So Soft and other Avon products, or the girls who go crazy in the Wet n Wild section of the local Duane Reade who’ll use their little siblings as guinea pigs.These girls have their own charm, their own style, but none stand out like the naturally beautiful beauties.And, often, they do so on a trip to the first place in New York where a child is allowed to go without parents: the wine cellar.
CASSANDRA MAYELA Mayela grew up in Venezuela and moved to New York City, where she is now a model.She is also an artist, specializing in textiles that she creates in her Brooklyn home.Living there for eight years, Mayela has seen her community transform.”Your neighborhood can change every three months,” she said.“But I don’t think [the cellar] is going anywhere.” In fact, she maintains a special bond with one particular shop owner: “[They] will say, ‘Yeah, pay me tomorrow, Or never pay. It doesn’t matter.’” – JENNET JUSU
Being sent to the “shop” as a child was an occasion.What’s more important is what you’re going to buy there: a quarter of water for you, tampons, a romance novel for your tia, baby powder for anyone who might need it.It’s not about buying, it’s moments of independence.It’s a safe way to test the boundaries for adults who send you on a business trip, because if you’re talking to the wrong boy or being a little hip, or – God forbid – get caught trying to steal a bag of chips or some Bazooka, cellar will definitely tell your mother or your wela or whoever they know you belong.
They must know.As a teenager who discovered the power of his beauty on the streets of New York, this wine cellar is again more than a purchase.It’s an opportunity to see and be seen.Ring the lovable chap who is always out with his kids; hear what parties or clubs are trending.As a young woman living alone for the first time, my wine cellar became a responsible place: if I didn’t come for coffee one day, they would notice and ask where I was.Once I stumbled across ramen after too long happy hour, my bartender kept watching me warily until he saw that I had crossed the block safely into my house.
New Yorkers love their wine cellars, even if they don’t quite agree that these magical places are different from your regular deli.But in communities of color, especially Latinos, the wine cellar is a gathering place for community activity.This is mainly because real wine cellars serve multiple purposes: home convenience stores, takeout restaurants, coffee shops, low-risk casinos, ethnic grocery stores, dive bars, religious supplies suppliers, and most importantly, community centers.If you ask 20 different New Yorkers what a wine cellar is, you’ll get 20 different answers.It must have a cat.They have to sell lotto.They have to run numbers.They must be Latino owned.They must be Caribbean.They have to cook hot food.
Donovan Green grew up in Pittsburgh, and Green said she was surrounded only by whites and blacks.When the Antiguan-born model moved to New York City, her world opened up: “It’s amazing to have a huge Puerto Rican, Dominican, Hispanic community here. It’s beautiful to see that already.” Although she believes gentrification has changed the fabric of the community, her local wine cellar on the Lower East Side is where she loves meeting people from different backgrounds.Through it all, the cellar has remained the same, she said.”My beauty supplies [store], where I usually go to buy everything, pick when they want to close,” Donovan said.”But the cellars are usually open 24 hours, so if I need something, they’re always there.” —JJ
One generality that everyone can agree on is this: You can’t be a cellar without a “regular”.And, I don’t mean the regulars who might come in every day and silently trade their money for cat food or coffee.No, I’m talking about people whose cellar stops are part of their day.This is a place to see their neighbors, talk politics, or even just pass the bochinche with the cellar behind the counter.A real wine cellar is a local social hub, at least at certain times of the day.Community is part of its DNA.
While the wine cellar is now as much a part of New York as the Yankees or MetroCard, few realize that its roots are the distinct Nuyorican, a unique variation of Puerto Rican culture that was part of a mass migration from the island to New York City.Puerto Ricans have been moving to New York since becoming U.S. citizens during World War I.But in the 1940s and 1950s, with fewer agricultural jobs on the island and more jobs in urban factories, the Puerto Rican population expanded considerably.As is the proliferation of wine cellars stocking familiar tropical foods that are not easily found in American supermarkets.
For newcomers, this bistro is a soul supermarket.Deli counters offer cuts, but dishes are sometimes prepared “from home”.The aisles are stocked with groceries, along with votive candles, Agua de Florida, medicine cabinet staples, cleaning supplies, and sometimes even a record section of Latin music.In short, the wine cellar doesn’t carry everything, but it does carry everything you need to keep a good Puerto Rican family in this new location.It provides community.According to Caribbean historian Carlos Sanabria in his book Bodega: A Cornerstone of Puerto Rican Barrios, Bodega became a newcomer to find information about rental apartments or available jobs here. message place.And, since they are primarily owner-operated family businesses, many wine cellars allow customers to buy on credit.But what made this cellar so special and unique, and still is today, was that it was more than just a commercial venue.It’s a place to get to know your neighbors and your neighbor’s kids.It’s a place full of life, just like the island of Puerto Rico itself.
As a child in Brazil, Rai, a model with a single nickname, recalls visiting small markets that catered to her family’s needs, even though they weren’t called cellars.”When my mom was cooking, if she needed something, I could go downstairs and get [it],” she said.Her new neighborhood offers the same convenience: “There’s this energy in New York, where you can be anything, you can get whatever you want.” Rai values ​​her connection with the local wine cellar owner— And their cute cat, Lucky, seen here – and thought the store was a safe place.”I have relationships with people who work [here],” she said.”I know almost everyone by name.” -JJ
Even when the cellars started serving customers who didn’t have any Brickengan, they still maintained that welcome.In the ’80s and ’90s — the time I grew up — 61 percent of Latino New Yorkers were Puerto Ricans.That’s about 12 percent of all New Yorkers.Cellars are everywhere because we are everywhere.Our culture – our music, our dance, our groceries – is integrated into city life.Whether it’s New York salsa, ballroom culture, or aspects of dance, music, and graffiti that have become a global phenomenon in hip-hop, the Nuyorican experience and aesthetic is part of it, even if we’re no longer part of New York.Just as gentrification has forced many true wine cellars to close, it has also forced many New Yorkers to leave.Go to Long Island, go to Florida, go to Pennsylvania.Cheaper place, more affordable place.Second Diaspora, if you will.The cellar is enduring, but its roots are long forgotten by most.
This reminds me of caritas lindas and their simple view of beauty.Like all Caribbean beauties, Puerto Rican beauties are more about looking “put together” than overt glamour.Yes, we love our basketballs, we love our jewelry, we love our lipsticks, but at the base of it, our beauty ethos isn’t overshadowing anything.Just enhance what you were born with.Do what you can, even if you don’t have a lot.So it’s no surprise that many beauty habits passed from mother to daughter—and then, living side by side with Dominicans and Cubans in New York neighborhoods—are often ingrained from woman to woman.Simple products that one can find in local wine cellars.
The internet went crazy when Cardi B revealed that her hair routine relies partly on avocado, mayo, black castor oil, and a rice water rinse.But not the women I know whose mothers had them “pickled” in front of the TV, wearing some variation of this mask to make their manes thick, strong, and shiny.Coconut oil is the first eye cream I’ve ever used.It was one of my Dominican home girls who taught me to put garlic in a clear polish to help my nails grow.From facial moisturizer to brow tamer to lip gloss to cheekbone highlighter—don’t even get me started on petrolatum to amplify your beauty.In this bistro, you can grab one toothbrush for your teeth, one for your baby hairs, another to keep your kicks clean, plus detergent (with bleach) to scrub them.
As I recall the fresh-faced girls, and what I want to be when I grow up, I can’t help but marvel at the (probably) thousands of dollars worth of products in my makeup bag and medicine cabinet.Filled in my recovering ’90s brows with a pencil, contoured my face with powder for zoom, and brightened spots with cream.That’s not to say I don’t appreciate these products, or even swear by some of them.But it did get me thinking: yes, the cellars I know are becoming memories, but the simple beauty I love as a girl doesn’t have to be.
Conference Editor: Tchesmeni Leonard.Hair and Makeup: Roy Liu.Where: Salt & Pepper Deli & Grill, NY Grill & Deli, L Stop Gourmet Deli.
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Post time: May-30-2022

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