By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director, Cesar di Lupe | Photography
"Le corps de l'homme est à la fois la beauté et l'élégance subtile."
Energetic, charismatic, and full of youthful energy, Cesar di Lupe is a household name (if you live near Ocean Drive or Miami Beach) in Miami. One of the most sought-after photographers of the moment within the male model and fitness realm, Cesar, in addition to being able to capture the essence of the male figure, believes that one's personality cannot be separated from personal style. "Style is very much tied to personality," di Lupe stated. "Style means a significant aspect for a person; it also means taste."
Cesar has great taste. His taste in angles, natural light, and figures are crafted to fit the diverse needs of both clients and the high-profile lifestyle magazines he works with. As a photographer, Cesar prides himself on both professionalism and a strong eye for capturing the je ne sais quoi that each model brings. "The location is vital to a good shoot, but it is even better when a model knows how to be hot."
At the age of 39, di Lupe has developed a unique style of translating the creative energy of each model unto a digital image for viewers to enjoy. "I would love to work in Europe," Cesar mentioned. "I like to travel, and a hot city with amazing people to have fun is always ideal." Based in Miami Beach, Florida, this talented photographer is passionate about showcasing fit, young men while also compiling the best of the best for a personal goal of his. "I would love to print my first coffee table book," Cesar noted. "This is my current goal."
Di Lupe is dedicated to his work. He doesn't drink alcohol, but instead prefers fresh mango juice to quench his thirst while on location. Photography is Cesar's passion, and he hopes that others will see his success as an opportunity to pursuit their own goals and aspirations.
"If you have a dream, go for it. Fight for it and never give up," he mentioned passionately. "You are the only one who can achieve them and succeed: nobody else can do it for you."
Always the fervid professional, immediately after our interview Cesar was off to another shoot for VIP Male, his ongoing project. PdM enjoys talent that is both sincere and committed to providing excellent services while bringing together great individuals. After all, les gens font tourner le monde.
Por Jorge G. Zavala | Director Artístico, Xavier LeBlanc | Filmografía
Nuestra querida modelo Latina y reportera del entretenimiento, Ruth Díaz, nos cuenta de su trabajo en la industria de la moda y los medios de comunicación, sobre todo modelando, bailando, y actuando como una reportera para Chicago 3 Media.
En el 2011, ganó el título de Miss Fotogénica en el concurso de Modelo Latina Internacional 2011 y ha aparecido en importantes revistas nacionales e internacionales, incluyendo Cosmopolitan Latinoamerica y Cosmo E.U.A.. Además, Ruth apareció en la quinta temporada de la serie de Univision, Nuestra Belleza Latina, y - en el mismo año - representó a Chicago en la serie Protagonistas Univision. También, nos cuenta de su libro que próximamente se llevará a cabo. Disfruten, amigos!
Por Jorge G. Zavala | Director Artístico ,
Xavier LeBlanc | Filmografía
Inteligente, elocuente, bella y carismática, Ruth Díaz es una sensación local cuyo su talento se extiende por los escenarios nacionales e internacionales.
Esta modelo Latina y reportera del entretenimiento ha estado trabajando en la industria de la moda y los medios de comunicación desde hace más de 6 años, sobre todo modelando, bailando, y actuando como una reportera para Chicago 3 Media. En el 2011, ganó el título de Miss Fotogénica en el concurso de Modelo Latina Internacional 2011 y ha aparecido en importantes revistas nacionales e internacionales, incluyendo Cosmopolitan Latinoamerica y Cosmo E.U.A.. Además, Ruth apareció en la quinta temporada de la serie de Univision, Nuestra Belleza Latina
, y - en el mismo año - representó a Chicago en la serie Protagonistas Univision
Gocen del primer segmento de nuestra entrevista exclusiva con Ruth mientras nos platica de su fuerte ética de trabajo, manteniéndose fiel a su herencia y cultura, y lo importante que es tener un impacto socialmente responsable en la sociedad. For the exclusive interview with Ruth in English, click here
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director, Xavier LeBlanc | FilmographyIntelligent, articulate, beautiful, and charismatic, Ruth Díaz
is a local icon whose talent spans the national and international scenes.
This Latina model and entertainment reporter has been working in the fashion and media industry for over 6 years, primarily acting, modeling, dancing, and acting as an on-scene reporter for Chicago 3 Media. In 2011, she won the title of Miss Photogenic for the Modelo Latina Internacional 2011 pageant and has been featured in prominent national and international magazines, including Cosmopolitan Latinoamerica and Cosmo USA. Additionally, Ruth appeared in the 5th season of the Univision series, Nuestra Belleza Latina
, and - in the same year - represented Chicago in Protagonistas Univision
Catch Part 1 of PdM's exclusive interview with Ruth as she discusses the importance of a strong work ethic, staying true to one's heritage, and making a socially-responsible impact on society. Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director, Richard Chiang | Resident Media Director
Chicago differentiates itself from other major US cities in several ways. First, it is located in the Midwestern region of the USA, the famously-dubbed "heartland". Its residents come from a wide-range of backgrounds, ranging from farmer's children to Asian businessmen to aristocratic foreign diplomats. It's nickname, "The Windy City", derives not from the heavy winds received due in part to Lake Michigan, but from the flowery words the city's politicians are infamously known for.
Chicagoans take pride in the vibrant mix of Midwestern hospitality and international flair. D'Agostino's Pizzeria and Pub, a Chicago tradition, combines both elements and adds a third: delicious fun. D'Agostino's Pizzeria and Pub has been serving and delivering pizzas, traditional Italian dishes, and much more to residents of Chicago's north side since Joe and Jan D'Agostino established their first spot in 1968. Within walking distance of Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs), the D'Agostino name has become associated with some of the best thin crust pizza in the city.
By popular demand, Joe and his two sons felt it made sense to expand. The second location is in the River West neighborhood of Chicago, and is managed by Joe's youngest son, Scott. His eldest son, Jeff, manages the first suburban location, D'Agostino's Pizzeria at The Glen in Glenview, Illinois.
One of the latest additions to the D'Agostino's Pizzeria name is its Park Ridge location, managed by Ryan Johnson. While it has only been around for 3 years, D'Agostino's Pizzeria in northwest Chicagoland has already integrated into the local community. Ryan attributes the success of this location to providing quality food, service, and fun. Check out PdM's exclusive interview with Ryan where he discusses the history of D'Agostino's Pizza, the importance of staying true to one's goals and vision, and the wide-range of goods and projects this Chicago gem has in store for 2013.
Photo Credit: Gregory B. Waldis
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director
Delicate spring breeze. Ellie Marleen is both the wind we feel and the energy we exhale. A native of Switzerland, Ellie's acting, modeling, and vocal talents have taken her to opposite ends of the world. From working within the tourism and hospitality industry in Laos to engaging with local and international talent in Thailand to performing in some of the most respected venues in Berlin, this young actress is currently taking Germany by storm.
In a recent interview with PdM, Ellie Marleen spoke of her goals, aspirations, and words of wisdom for those who wish to seek the most out of life. Her character, attitude, and façon d'être radiate positive energy that spreads to those who are fortunate enough to meet Ellie or watch her perform. Fusing elements from her experiences abroad and multicultural background, she believes in the philosophy that the only true constant in life is change. Cette belle est vraiment sage.
Name: Ellie Marleen
Current Job/Career: Actress
Favorite Travel Destination: All the places I haven’t been to yet.
Favorite Cuisine: My mom’s Thai food!
Favorite Cocktail: I prefer red wine.
Where in the world have you lived/worked: I grew up in a town in Switzerland, then moved to Zürich, traveled around South East Asia, lived and worked in Laos and in Bangkok, and now I’m based in Berlin.
Role Model(s): Every person I meet can bring me closer to the person I want to be.
Photo Credit: Julia Reuter
Hobbies: Movies, theater, writing, reading, cooking, spending time with friends
How did you get involved in acting: Since I was in Kindergarten, I have always been fascinated by movies and plays and already loved to act. I joined a theatre group when I was in high school and, after graduation, I went to drama school.
What is your daily routine: I don’t have a daily routine! That’s one of the things I love about acting. I exercise and do voice and speech training every day. Depending on the role I play or the casting I’m preparing for, I have various ways of working on the character and the scene/play. Additionally, I have different side jobs.
For an actress in Berlin, what is essential to succeed in the industry: Patience and determination.
What are some of your goals for 2013: To make the best of every opportunity and to grow as an actress and as a person.
What is the best acting gig/opportunity you've had so far: The acting jobs I did were very different, and I learned something from all of them and enjoyed them. The last (and ongoing) job I had at the State Opera of Berlin, for example, opened up this whole new world of opera to me.
Photo Credit: Gregory B. Waldis
Where would you like to travel for work: I make it depending on the project, not the country. Because we are in the middle of the Berlin winter, heading somewhere warm would be nice...
Best thing about Berlin: Berlin is changing all the time, it is full of inspiration, creativity and opportunities, it is so very much alive!
One thing you would change in Berlin/Germany: The relation of income to the living costs.
What is your impression of Chicago: I have never been there, but when I think about Chicago these are the first things that come to my mind: my friends who live there, cold winter wind, business city, and the “Cell block tango” from the musical Chicago.
Any words of wisdom for our viewers:
The only constant in life is change.
Be aware of everything that is in your power.
Photo Credit: Frank Götz
By Tint Tint Sandi | Myanmar - Thailand Correspondent
Well, sometimes I just want to run away. Where, then? I don’t have an answer for that. I wonder if there is even somewhere I can run to or can I even run? I can never be free because I am in a cage. Yes, I can never escape because that cage belongs to me and I swallowed the key already.
The heart hurts because the feelings are not digested well enough. The eyes hurt because they are torn apart by tears. The body hurts because I, myself, take the pain inside out. Seldom, I put my finger into my throat to vomit all the pain.
But I never put my finger deep enough because my unconscious part still wants to live in despair. The sadness can be addicting. Part of me feels pain when I see myself breakdown, pity myself for having such life. The other part enjoys watching me crying, burning, and sinking into the dark. It is like when you're addicted to heroin and you want to get out of it but still enjoy it at the same time.
I often wonder what it would be like to jump off from the twelve-storey building. I sometimes want to know if I can shout if my windpipe were squeezed by a strong rope hanging from the ceiling or if I find peace if I swallowed twenty sleeping pills. Am I mad? I don’t know.
I like to torture myself both physically and mentally. I scratched my lips until they bled so badly. I slap my own cheek as hard as my hands can swing. I felt much better when I hurt physically. I think about putting my fingers under the iron cutting machine. I put myself into my past, my unfortunate present, and force myself into sadness and helpless situation.
Nobody knows what I am like when I am alone. No one has ever seen this completely different part of me. Even if someone knows, will they understand me? I don’t think so. People will just think that I am crazy.
Why am I being like this? Am I somebody who is less than the normal person? I am a highly educated person with a high salary job. I am artistic, creative and funny. People think I am well organized, neat and tidy, smart and confident. Am I? Sorry for not being able to live to your expectation. So, why am I being like this? Who is at fault? I don’t want to blame anymore. There is no point blaming others when it’s too late to go back.
No more is enough because there’s no more heart to be broken. There’s nothing left on me actually. I can’t afford to lose anymore. So, spare me. If not, I have no choice left but to stay in the cage with the soaking wet pieces of heart.
What else can I do more? I swallowed the key already.
By Kao Kalia Yang | Local Voices Contributor
It is a sunny day in Minnesota. I haven’t watered my dwarf snapdragons in the last month but they continue to bloom, buds of yellow and purple, splash around the parameter of my little gray porch. I am surrounded by the blessings of small beauties. At night, the Christmas lights my husband has strung glitter and glow. This morning, the City of Minneapolis was struck by the rise of the morning sun, the glass windows on its tall buildings reflected the light, and from our bedroom window, I watched gray disappear, grow light, and shed glory.
I have many things to be thankful for. Big and small.
A small blessing: the neighbor’s dog who pees and poops in our yard and has left spots of yellow, drying grass amidst the once relatively green lawn, has become my friend. His owner is a middle age woman who doesn’t seem to like my husband and me much. When the dog is on his leash, in her arms, outside—they barely look at us—never mind that they use the patch of lawn connected to our house as a doggy bathroom. This summer, after the loss of my pregnancy at nineteen weeks, in the many long days of staring out the window, letting the free wind filter into our little house, letting the breath in and out of my constricted chest, I noticed the dog looking down at me from his second-story perch on the window ledge. His head bent to where I sat, his gaze unwavering, he looked at me. When I moved away from the window, his gaze shifted, he turned his neck to stretch, to take a breather from his post, and then when I returned, he’d be right there, looking on in. When I’m away from the house, I started thinking about him sitting up there in the hot sunshine, wondering where the neighbor was and when she’d be home to release him from his watch. When I’m home, I search for him in his window, and seeing him there, takes the loneliness away.
A big blessing: In late September, Radiolab, a popular WNYC Program, aired a podcast on Yellow Rain in which my Uncle Eng was interviewed and I’d agreed to serve as interpreter so that the Hmong perspective and reality of Yellow Rain could be shared with its some four million listeners. Two hours of an interview had been cut down to five minutes; the comprehensive and controversial research on Yellow Rain had been reduced to the conclusions of one Harvard doctor’s theory of bee dung. The Radiolab team made editorial decisions to take out my uncle’s long explanation on the Hmong knowledge of bees, on the particulars of his position within the Hmong experience after the Americans left Laos in 1975—when the Vietnam War ended and Laos fell to Communism and instituted a program of genocide to “exterminate down to the root the Hmong minority.”
They chose to make the Hmong sound like an ignorant people whose unfounded assessments of chemical warfare proved a deadly possibility for Ronald Reagan and America. They aired my cry for the interview to stop, my voice breaking, my words falling, my breathless struggle for the world to hear as an effort to monopolize and interview—an interview in which they had full control. It was humiliating. In the days after Radiolab’s podcast of Yellow Rain, listeners started writing to the show, saying, “You can’t badger a survivor of genocide”—few knew the truth of what had transpired, that it wasn’t just badgering a survivor of genocide, that it was indeed using prejudicial research and editorial technology to consciously discredit the experiences of an entire people. It was media injustice and racial privilege at work.
My heart hurt but I did not know how to respond, where to begin, or how to proceed, and then a handful of dedicated people, strangers reached out to me, and showed me heart that gave me hope that led me to write a response to the program that was shared and read, and the waves of consciousness began to form, and the little waves began to ripple, and now we look desperately for the big waves to come.
My family came to America as Hmong refugees from America’s Secret War in Laos in 1987. We were one of the lucky ones to survive a war in which many loved ones had died. I had been born in the refugee camps of Thailand. The 400 acres of Ban Vinai Refugee Camp was all I knew for the first six years of my life. I had heard stories about the majesty and the power of the tiger but there were none to be seen in the closed parameters of our lives. In 1987, my world opened phenomenally. I found myself standing in a warm summer’s day, admiring the open expanse of the green hills of the McDonough Housing Project in St. Paul, Minnesota, finding mini suns in the spread of yellow dandelions.
When I went to school in the autumn, I learned about Thanksgiving. I learned about the Native Americans and the European settlers. I learned about the guns that had been fired, the bodies, like those of my people, who had fallen to the ground to be buried by the seasons, the rise of concrete buildings, the countless pages of history and research that would erase and misrepresent for generations to come the complicated realities of the past, silence the death and despair that had been thrusted by the blades of imperialism and conquest into the heart of the Native American population.
Thanksgiving and the holiday season for me have always been a time of reckoning, a time to call the spirits we love and the spirits we have yet to meet together, to one table, to reckon with life, and celebrate the possibilities that hope delivers. This holiday season, I bow before strangers and friends. I ask you for a few minutes of your time to sign a petition
to call the big waves of change forward, so we can sit at the same table, share the same meal, call upon what is the heart of humanity to broaden its hold and open up a bigger welcome to the weary travelers who have come looking for a home. Please sign the petition
, put forth by the Asian American community, to call NPR and WNYC and the people at Radiolab to a conversation on ways in which media can be more representative of diverse populations and more accountable for the information they publish.
The sun is shining today. The sparrows scatter to and from the feeders. They sing their little songs of faraway seasons, of spring and summer no more, of the autumn cool and the oncoming cold. The neighbor’s dog watches from his second story window, eyes solemn and sincere as I write this. He is my friend in the landscape of love and belonging, of gratitude for life and all that it can be, still—even in the tragedy of loss.Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer working from Minnesota. Her first book
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir is the only book to have won two MN Book Awards. She is finishing up her second book
Still, Fluttering Heart: The Second Album.
By Jorge G. Zavala
Resident Media Director
"If you want something, don't be embarrassed about your goals."
Beautiful, intelligent, and a believer in social responsibility, Miss Illinois U.S. 2012 Nancy To has a passion for giving back. A native of the Chicagoland area, she discussed growing up as a first-generation American of Vietnamese background and how this motivated her to become the woman she is today. An avid believer in developing one's dreams into realities, she discusses how her current roles have developed over time.
A physics and health science teacher at Josephinum Academy, empowering young minds is a personal goal of hers. "We didn't have much growing up...so I feel I can reach out to my students," Nancy mentioned. "My platform is education and empowering women." Nancy believes that everything happens for a reason, and the opportunities she's had through Miss Illinois U.S. have allowed her to foster some of the changes she wants to make. "We need to empower (women)...teach them to become balanced."
Catch Le Prestige du Monde's exclusive interview with Nancy To as she elaborates on her experiences as an educator, Miss Illinois U.S., and her exciting upcoming events!
By Tint Tint Sandi
To give myself freedom, to feel the awesomeness, I didn’t care what others might think of me. I believed what I believed. I did things according to my feelings.
I am not the type of girl who is sleeping around with random guys. I never let myself become that kind of girl. I drink, smoke, and make other girls’ boyfriends mine. Once they fell for me, I broke up with them without a hint for I didn’t really love them. I used them to make myself feel better. I flirted with so many men then I ditched them. “Who cares about what others think”, I thought.
When my mother got a 20 year old boyfriend and when he started to live with us, I ran away from home. It was when I was 15 and I lived alone. I danced in the night clubs and sang in the bars as my part time jobs.
My friends’ parents thought I was a bad influence to their children. I was lost. I didn’t eat much. I didn’t light the room. Every day, I sat in the darkness and smiled at my life. People from different neighborhoods gossiped about me, that I was a slut when they didn’t even know me.
I got tattoos on my neck, wrists, arms and belly. I wore extra small-sized, skimpy outfits to show off my body. I dyed my hair blonde. Several guys approached me, some seriously fell in love with me, and most of them were university students. I didn’t need a boyfriend nor love. I didn’t sleep with them, of course. Then, once again, I became a big man-eater who ruined young students’ future.
I laughed at my life. I laughed at the gossip and everything. I started to feel insecure and sick of all those things people made up about me. I was sick of being judged on my appearance and the clothing I wore.
My apartment was near the university campus. When I sat by my window, I could see every single student walking to school. I used to watch the students every morning sitting by my window. Then, on one beautiful morning, I saw him. That was love at first sight and I obsessively watched him every morning. My life became meaningful. I wanted to change myself for the first time in my life.
I sneaked into the school campus just to watch him closely. I quit my jobs and started to work at fast food restaurants. I bought new clothes. I took cooking class and art classes outside - close to nature. My life was all about him.
It was my happiest moment when he first noticed me. We started to go out and we talked. His sugar coated words made my heart melt. His arms, his kisses, and his eyes brought me to life. He was everything.
“I love you"., those were the words I was hoping to hear from him all the time. The words he never said.
It’s been a year since we've been dating. He said he had something to tell me. The words he never thought he would tell me. My heart was flying.
The time has come, I thought I was dreaming. He gave me a golden brown envelope. My hands were shaking. While I opened the envelope, he said, “Somehow, I figured I shouldn’t end up with a girl like you. I am so sorry, but I had a good time.”
People found my body in front of my apartment the next day. A mess of a site, my body lay lifeless as officials, students, and building staff members surveyed my apartment on the 6th floor.