Lo and Behold: Lo Mejor of Boston

On your next sick day, instead of sitting through the building tension between John and Marsha on basic cable, consider consulting your Latina neighbor for some viewing tips. If Latina neighbor-less, however, look to El Planeta's 2nd Anuual "Lo Mejor List" (which dropped last week and whose release will be celebrated tonight at Game On! from 6-9 PM) as a viable resource. Going by their votes, readers and Latina neighbors alike would suggest  "Perro Amor" (Dog Love) as a worthy channel change. After all, it's a tale of acknowledged cousins and childhood lovers Antonio and Camilla Brando, who predicate their adult liaison on cruel bets that test their love. In other words, a telenovela on Telemundo.

Aside from diversifying soap opera tastes,"Lo Mejor" is a guide for the Spanish-speaking (newcomers and locals), Latinophiles, and Boston enthusiasts looking for more insider information with 62 reader choices and 20 editor's picks. Boasting categories that separate Latin cuisine into seven varieties (not including beverages), and distinctions for local TV and radio hosts--in Spanish and English--the list offers a nuanced take on Boston Latino culture, establishments and happenings.

For El Planeta Editor Marcela Garcia, it's "Best ‘Bodega' (Neighborhood store)" that she looks forward to: "It's usually a gem I didn't know about, somewhere to go for products from home." The sentiment--a new place for some, already revered by many, to tap for nostalgia-- is the foundation of "Lo Mejor." It centers on community interests (ESL classes, Best Hospital/Clinic, Adult Education classes) while highlighting unusual local opportunities ("Best Excuse to Suddenly Turn Yourself Into a Lover of the Arts...for a Friday Night," "Best Way to Reacquaint Yourself with the Animal World").

There's "Best Latin Party" hosted by Clandestino in the Cambridge area; "Best Community Festival" (Villa Victoria's Betances Festival in the South End); and even, "Best Local Psychic" (a weighty title held by Maria del Carmen in Dorchester). "Lo Mejor" also spotlights the achievements of local Latinos, marking off Junot Diaz as "Best Local Hispanic writer," and Mexican tattoo artist Dr. Lakra, whose exhibit ran in the ICA, as "Best Art Exhibition."

To take a look at the full list, head over to TuBoston.

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