Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Hoopla Hooper: Rita Kurniawan

Cycling for Life

Biking has become an addiction to me. Before I came to the U.S., biking had never been a part of my life. I was also originally reluctant to bike in the city due to the convoluted traffic. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia— a beautiful country if you didn’t live in the capital—I was accustomed to the unbearable traffic where, crossing the street was a form of “seppuku”— a ritualistic suicide undertaken by Japanese samurais.

Hoopla Hooper: Cienna Wills

Writer's Delight

I’ve often asked myself why I write and and I’ve never really come up with an answer. It’s like when a girl asks her boyfriend why he loves her. She usually gets the expected answer “I just do.” You can’t really argue with that. Writing has always been a part of my life. It helped me deal with the sometimes hectic experiences of high school peer pressure. Even though all my friends thought I was a “stoner,” I had never drunk a beer or smoked a joint until I became an adult. After school activities included going straight home, listening to the radio and writing before bed, whether it’d be a journal entry, a poem, or short story. As this pattern continued, it became apparent that music was the biggest influence in my writing. Around this time I started reading rock magazines “Rolling Stone” and now defunct “Circus.”

Hoopla Hooper: Brian Pennington

This Beat is Mine

The history of New York City’s nightlife stretches back to the origins of most modern forms of music, including dance music. New York is a melting pot of cultures that has given birth to countless genres and subgenres of dance music. Its 2010 incarnation is just as varied and influential as ever. Even though America does not pride itself on all-night dance parties as the rest of the world, New York’s club culture centers squarely in the center of American nightlife.

Hoopla Hooper: Alma Verdejo

Rock Is Amor

I’ve been listening to music since the day I was born. My father used to sing songs to me, ranging from the Mexican equivalent to Mr. Rogers, El Cri Cri, to actually writing rhymes and songs for me. My favorite was, and still is, a song called “The Watermelon” or “La Sandia” that he wrote for me when I was four. I used to squeal and scream for the song, begging him to sing it whenever he had the chance and it stuck. His deep-rooted passion for Mexican songwriters like Jose Alfredo Jimenez, one of the heralders of Mexican mariachi music, was what I grew up with, along with Los Tigres del Norte. As a Mexican-American girl torn between being a Mexican and an American, it was an interesting musical scene for me from a very young age. Born and raised in Texas, I listened to various types of music. While I was listening to Michael Jackson, I was also being influenced by my mother’s love for Latin pop and Top 40, which included Rocio Durcal and Juan Gabriel (the Mexican Elton John). I was well immersed in Mexican and Latin American songwriters.