Post tagged with


Mano a Mano, La Sirena Preparing For Day of the Dead

Day Of The Dead StatuesNicole Guzzardi Day of the Dead figurines at La Sirena.
Day Of The Dead StatuesNicole Guzzardi

La Sirena, the Mexican memorabilia shop that got news of a whopping rent hike in July, will live to see another Day of the Dead.

Despite earlier indications that she planned to close her store at 27 East Third Street, Dina Leor now says she won’t give up (or pack up) until she receives written documentation from Tower Brokerage that her rent will increase by 42 percent.

Asked about her future plans, she told The Local, “I don’t know yet because it’s not clear yet what we’re negotiating. They told me 42 percent but I said I want it in writing.” She said she made the request about a month ago.

While she continues to pay rent on a month-by-month basis, Ms. Leor is having merchandise shipped in from Mexican artisans, in hopes that Day of the Dead will mean killer business. “I really need stuff to get sold because I don’t want to move all this when I move, but also I need the money,” she said. Read more…

Portraits | Dia De Los Muertos

John GalaydaJohn GalaydaCarlos Martinez.

Beatriz Gil, a writer, and Carlos Martinez, a photographer, teamed up this year to offer the Calaveritas Poetry Workshop at the eighth annual Mano a Mano Day of the Dead Festival Sunday at St. Mark’s Church In-The-Bowery, at 10th Street and Second Avenue.

Participants lined up at kiosks to write poems about deceased family members (an old-fashioned typewriter was available to those who sought an authentic experience), before entering Mr. Martinez’s “Photo Booth Without Borders” to read their poems and pose for a portrait. The photo booth is an ongoing project that Mr. Martinez started as a resident artist with the Laundromat Project.

Through this initiative community members receive a free instant photograph in exchange for their personal story, according to Ms. Gil.

Celebrated on Nov. 2, Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is one of Mexico’s most important holidays, where families invite the souls of their dead ancestors to their home for a visit. This year, in order to commemorate the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence and centennial of its Revolution, festival attendees dressed as figures from Mexican history.—Deanna Yurchuk
Read more…

Celebrating The Day Of The Dead

Sugar SkullsSally LaucknerSugar skulls by Mano a Mano.

Over the weekend, Mano a Mano, a non-profit organization that promotes Mexican culture in the United States, held its eighth annual Dia de los Muertos celebrations at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that dates back to pre-Hispanic times and celebrates the annual return of the departed.

Although the actual holiday is on Nov. 2, East Villagers got a head start by enjoying Mexican food, shopping for knickknacks and attending bread-making workshops.
Read more…

A Day to Honor the Departed

Dia de Los Muertos from The Local East Village on Vimeo.

For Dina Leor, this is the busiest week of the year.

Customers visit Ms. Leor’s Mexican folk art shop, La Sirena, to prepare for Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, on Nov. 2.

Ms. Leor has owned La Sirena for 11 years, and travels throughout Mexico to collect art. Although Ms. Leor is of Argentine descent, she says that she has a “Mexican heart,” which is clear to anyone entering her Third Street shop.

NYU Journalism’s Meredith Hoffman talks with Ms. Leor about the holiday and its spiritual and cultural significance.