Movie star, recording artist, and
fashion icon J. Lo gives us the lowdown on her happening
Growing up in the Bronx, Jennifer Lopez learned how to dream big. And while she is an undeniable star today, she hasn't forgotten where she came from. Her first album, On the 6, was inspired by the #6 train that took her from her family's Castle Hill neighborhood to Manhattan for dance lessons. The daughter of a kindergarten teacher and a computer specialist, Lopez literally rode the #6 train to stardom, as her lessons began paying off. She first landed a spot as one of the Fly Girls, who shimmied into commercial breaks on the TV series In Living Color. Lopez then danced her way into Hollywood. First, she landed a role in the short-lived series South Central, before moving on to movies with Mi Familia. But it was the much-coveted lead in 1997's Selena, the story of the slain Hispanic singer, that made Lopez a star. She was named one of People's Most Beautiful People of 1997, then went on to appear with Jack Nicholson in Blood & Wine, with Sean Penn in U Turn, and with George Clooney in Out of Sight. With her most recent film, The Wedding Planner, Lopez became the first person to have both the nation's number-one movie and number-one album (her second, J.Lo) simultaneously. This month, she's back on-screen in the romantic drama Angel Eyes. But a piece of her soul is still riding the #6 train into Manhattan. Here's where you'll find Jennifer Lopez in her hip hometown.
THE SOUND OF NEW YORK
"One of the reasons I love going back to New York is the Spanish radio stations. They play the best salsa music! As soon as I get there, I'll turn on the radio in the car, tuning back and forth between 97.9 and 105.9 and dancing to the music. It always makes me feel at home."
"I've always loved The St. Regis and the Four Seasons. The Four Seasons is more modern. It's a scene downstairs, but it's nice: beautiful, clean, modern, with a great spa. The St. Regis is different. It's more conservative and low-key, quiet. The rooms are beautiful. You have your own butler on every floor, who's available 24 hours a day. The Hudson is the newest, hippest spot. I haven't stayed there, but we had the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards party there. The Hudson is like a party every night."
"Patria has Spanish cuisine and a great atmosphere. It's dimly lit, romantic. And the food, well, just reading it off the menu is sexy. Then, when they bring it to you, it's so pretty and hot you don't even want to eat it. You just want to look at it. But you've got to eat it, because it's so good. Victor's Cafe 52 is a good Cuban spot. It's been around forever. Great Cuban food, but not fancy like Patria. This is just home cooking, like you'd get at Grandma's house. I always get the steak or the chicken breasts with white rice, black beans, and sweet plantains. For dessert, don't miss the tres leches, which is yellow cake soaked with three milks (whole, condensed, and evaporated). When you cut into it, the milks ooze out. There's a white cream sauce on top and a cherry."
"I love to dance at Jimmy's Bronx Cafe. It has Nuevo Latino food and salsa music. Going there is like rolling up to a Puerto Rican party. You go in and everyone is just smiling, dancing, partying. It's like family. Everybody wants to dance and have a good time. The lighting is low and dim, but the dance floor is lit up. You can eat some really good Nuevo Latino food in the restaurant. You can work it off on the dance floor."