Highlights for National Hispanic Heritage Month: Week 1

Today is the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), and New York City is honoring the history, culture and Hispanic heritage.

Hispanic Heritage Month was started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage week, which was approved by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, the week’s celebration was expanded into a month and enacted into law. The law states that September 15 was chosen as the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month because it coincided with the anniversary of independence day of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which all declared independence in 1821.

Keep checking back with us as we will be bringing you the highlights of National Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the city. Here is some of our picks for this week:

New York Authentic Mexican Restaurant Week
Ongoing, Sept 16–29
There are way too many Mexican restaurants in New York to sample in one lifetime, so set aside this week to taste prix-fixe menus at 24 of the City’s best, including Mercadito, Toloache and Hecho en Dumbo. See the complete list of participating restaurants on the Celebrate Mexico Now site. For more info on menus (and tequila pairings), contact your restaurant of choice directly.

Hispanic Heritage Month Festival
Saturday, September 18, 2010
People Magazine en Español takes its fifth annual Hispanic Heritage Month festival indoors in Times Square. The all-day event features performances by Mexican pop singer Dulce Maria , New York Dominicana Kat DeLuna, the Mariachi Academy of New York and merengue star Sergio Vargas.
1 p.m.– 9 p.m. New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway. Free.

Natalia Lafourcade
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Part of the next generation of Mexican female singer-songwriters, singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade started out as the lead singer of Natalia y la Fourquetina and went on to win a Latin Grammy in 2006 for their album, Casa. Come listen to her own brand of alternative rock fused with the rich and enchanting sounds of bossa nova and folk.
8 p.m., Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. $25.

Moona Luna
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Families can jam to a concert by the Spanish-speaking children’s band Moona Luna, a new bilingual musical project for children by Sandra Lilia Velázquez, front woman for local ranchera-rock band Pistolera. The bilingual group plays family-friendly songs and provides educational and catchy songs that both parents and kids will enjoy.
Noon, El Museo del Barrio, Fifth Ave. at 104th St. Free.

Emtomo-Cuisine: An Insect Pairing Dinner
Saturday, September 18, 2010
You read this right: a four-course dinner based on worms grown by artist Monica Martinez, and prepared by visual artist and chef Philip Ross. The meal is paired with Mezcal San Honesto and accompanied by salsas by La Fundidora. As part of the dinner, Martinez will discuss her Worms project, on view at Eyelevel BQE Gallery, and the producers of Mezcal San Honesto will explain their artisanal process.
RSVP: eyelevelbqe@gmail.com
6 p.m., Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost St., Brooklyn. $85.

Check back next week, and follow us on Twitter, for more happenings.

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