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One of the most poppin’ Dominican radio shows broadcasts from a BK bodega

When you walk into an NYC bodega, for a moment, the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple are quieted.

As the door shuts behind you everything seems less important. Closed in, your mind tries to process what’s going on.

The sight of all the various products stocked on shelves, behind the counter, and tucked behind transparent refrigerators cause your eyes to dart in search of what you need.

A smell of steaming hot and fresh, cooked food, in metal trays whisps around your curious nose. And the sounds of rich Latin-American culture fill your ear with busy horns and rattling maracas.

After you leave your neighborhood NYC bodega, the music you heard in there still echoes through your thoughts. You catch yourself humming a tune you’ve only heard one time.

Chances are that the tune you can’t get out of your head was a song played on La Relambia FM 94.1.

Geovanny Valdez, aka DJ Jova, started the La Relambia radio station eight years ago. It started out as a passion project that now reaches thousands of radio listeners within a ten-mile broadcasting radius and has more than 40,000 web visits per day.

In an extensive interview with Vice, Valdez explained that he was working in a warehouse in order to support his passion for his homeland’s, the Dominican Republic, music. Before La Relambia hit FM radio, Valdez was producing his show on the internet.

By saving money for equipment from his warehouse job and renting out his uncle’s D&D Deli and Grocery, located near the intersection of Linwood Street and Belmont Avenue in Brooklyn, Valdez has become half president of the Solangie Deli Corporation and the director of La Relambia.

In the interview with Vice, Valdez said,

“The funds I got working in the warehouse helped me buy the equipment for the station little by little. But it’s still not finished… The space in the bodega was rented to me by my uncle, who liked the project and offered me that small and humble place to make our radio booth. Since then, I have been half president of the Solangie Deli Corporation and the director of La Relambia.”

Besides playing the dopest tipícobachata, and underground Latin songs, La Relambia, a Dominican term for attention seeking fool, is a fun listening experience. Valdez and his crew take the time on their “El Cocotazo Radio Show” to poke fun and make jokes.

But for Valdez, the music, watching the way people react to the songs he selects, and speaking to a mass audience is the best part of the running his radio station. In the Vice interview, he said,

“The best part of this is to be able to speak to a mass audience. I love to talk, interact, and take calls. The music is what is important too and to see how the audience is reacting to the songs that we play on air is what makes my day.”

Catering to a Latino culture that needs to stay present in NYC is important to Valdez too. Vice addressed the issue of gentrification in Brooklyn and how Valdez expects to combat that and continue the growth of his audience. Valdez responded,

“We cater to majorities of Latinos and that’s how we keep our base interested. Instead of listening to the most popular songs of Latin music, you’re hearing music that you wouldn’t have listened too otherwise. Like we play Mexican music, Ecuadorian music, Colombian music… These are the nationalities that don’t get represented a lot on mainstream Latin music radio stations. There will always be Latinos in Brooklyn. We aren’t worried.”

La Relambia Radio and Valdez are for the Kulture. For Christ sake, the man is operating a poppin’ Latino radio station out of bodega in Brooklyn.

It really doesn’t get any more gracefully urban than that.

F*ck gentrification: An ode to the ‘sour guy’ at your local bodega

This is for the real ones still posted on the block. They tryna take away what we love most and gentrify the place where we cop.

How could you replace family run businesses with a box full of nonperishables like Twinkies and socks?

What the fuck?

This has got to stop I want to continue to Milly Rock in front of my bodega spot.

In front of my bodega spot, there have been countless hours of smoking the loud. Henny in my cup always has me feeling proud.

“I got the sour, I got the sour.”

That’s what my man’s said before I filled my Backwood and got clapped for an hour.

On to the next move, Diddy boppin’ in the streets trying to find my next groove. Fuck it I need a loosie or two.

Can’t find that in a lock box filled with pop rocks, don’t let tech take over what we built and turn it into a crap shot.

So many businesses will be shut down because of an app. How whack is that? Worse than the crack or the asthma attacks? I doubt that.

Bodegas will bring people together forever.

Half Baked Bodega GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“I got the sour, I got the sour.”

That’s what my mans said, but I didn’t need it that time. [She] was coming over and I needed to protect myself so I was all up in my mind.

Between cleaning my crib and figuring out what to wear I only knew the one place I could cop a Jimmy.

The same spot I was at last night shooting my dice and drinking my Henny.

Who would’ve thought that all I had to do to cop one Magnum is walk down my block?

Oh shit, my man’s got caught up by the OPS.

Denzel Washington Smoking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“I got the sour, I got the sour.”

My man’s got locked up. So he left me this message for ya’ll.

This is our Culture built brick by brick and wall by wall.

Ex-Googlers please don’t destroy what we’ve built so tall. Years of culture have gone into this and all.

Don’t take away our bodega cats or fake NY Yankee hats. Just let us rock before you get popped.

Where else are we going to cop our butter rolls, BEC’s or bagels with Cream cheese? NY needs this so please stay away from our things.

New York Princess Nokia GIF by Remezcla - Find & Share on GIPHY

“I got the sour, I got the sour.”

That’s what I said.

Two ingenious tech bros want to replace bodegas with new app, but FOH

A pair of former Googlers want to end the local bodega by replacing it with a box full of random shit and a corresponding app to access it… they’re calling their creation ‘Bodega.’

This offensively terrible idea seems like parody, but Bodega’s founders are oh so serious about their box of random shit.

Paul McDonald and cofounder Ashwath Rajan have come up with this Orwellian joke of an idea, described here by Fast Company,

“Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the ‘store.'”

That is a technologically advanced vending machine. That’s pretty much it. There is actually nothing at all interesting about this invention besides the appropriation of the bodega name and culture being specifically used in order to make local bodegas obsolete.

McDonald and Rajan have even appropriated the bodega cat as the logo of Bodega. I’m currently slamming my head against my computer as I type this.

This may be one of the most tone deaf and useless ideas to come out of Silicon Valley, but it’s also actively malicious.

Bodegas in New York City and Los Angeles are mostly run by immigrant families, this active appropriation of the Spanish word ‘Bodega,’ by these tech bros as they actively try to get rid of bodegas themselves is just the worst thing.

When Fast Company asked McDonald about the blatant cultural insensitivity of his stupid invention he said some dumb shit about surveys blah blah,

“’I’m not particularly concerned about it… We did surveys in the Latin American community to understand if they felt the name was a misappropriation of that term or had negative connotations, and 97% said ‘no’. It’s a simple name and I think it works.'”

Nah, it doesn’t work because you’ve made a glorified vending machine and are naming it Bodega.

I have a headache.

Thankfully Twitter flamed the shit out of these losers and their little box of perishable goods, because even if we are living in an Orwellian dystopia, at least we can laugh about it.

You shall be launched into the sun

I don’t think the dudes at Bodega are familiar with what people actually buy at bodegas…


NYT publishes ode to the butter roll, bridge and tunnel crew get butthurt

Nothing better than copping that piece of dried up bread slathered with butter that’s been sitting on your local deli’s counter for three days absorbing CFCs and bacon grease. Thank God it’s always wrapped in foil, wax paper, or plastic.

Yeah, it might be a little sus but a kaiser roll with butter is so NY.  You’ve either had it for breakfast when you didn’t have enough time to make breakfast or when you have the crazy whack hangover.

From NYC’s starving artists to the rich dicks on Wall St., everyone has encountered the extremely affordable ($1) morning sandwich.

It’s the one sandwich you know can’t be fucked up and you know how hard a good, quickly made breakfast sandwich is to come by during NY’s morning rush.

After years in the sandwich underground, the “Butter Roll,” has made it to the NYT in an ode written by Sadie Stein to its simple and humble existence.

Stein went in with her buttered roll research. The piece includes chats with a guy who has been running a cart for 27 years, a couple of chefs, a bunch of other food writers, and a Pakistani street vendor. Everyone reminisces about their first encounters with a butter roll.

Stein also spoke with 5 food historians to find out the origins of NY’s Butter Roll:

“The origins of the buttered roll are cloaked in mystery, or perhaps mere lack of curiosity. I approached five historians of New York food, all of whom admitted they had never considered the roll’s place in the city’s foodscape. It belongs instead to a certain kind of anecdotal lore. That said, there are certain facts. The first such rolls would have arrived in New York in the 1870s, along with Louis Fleischmann’s Vienna Model Bakery, which brought commercial yeasted bread to the city. The buttered roll apparently became popular with German Jews (and later, Eastern European Jews) as a filling, inexpensive dairy meal, in accordance with kosher law.”

Who knew? Stein went on about the history of the roll,

“When the 20th century brought us the commuter breakfast, the buttered roll was ready to take its place on office coffee carts and at takeout windows… Order a buttered roll and you’ll invariably be handed a Kaiser. But ask old-time New Yorkers, and they will swear up and down that today’s model is a pale version of the remembered ‘Vienna’ or ‘hard rolls,’ a smaller, cornmeal-bottomed pastry with an open crumb and a shatteringly crisp crust.”

Besides being a smashing piece in the NYT, Sadie’s ode to the Butter Roll is causing quite the stir on Twitter. For some critics, the respect to the sandwich was due and for others it was seen as satire, causing confusion, agitation, and some hate.

Out of towners claimed they also put butter on rolls, but IT AIN’T THE SAME.

The Butter Roll misses you too

The Butter Roll is the key to longevity, ju hurd??

I’m fucking dead at “Wheat Disc with Cow Cream”

Fuck up.

To NYers the Butter Roll is like a god, you out of staters must worship the heavenly spread Kaiser baked good

Gimme, gimme, gimme

It’s a past time aiight

Read the NYT tribute to the NY Butter roll yourself.