February 1, 2005
  • Santo Domingo Chinatown soon?
  • Zoe Saldana to present Casandra Awards
  • Bay of Pigs to film in Samana
  • Pedro Martinez and NY
Santo Domingo Chinatown soon?
Nationals from Taiwan and Popular China are working together to create Chinatown in the Duarte Avenue and Benito Gonzalez Street area of Santo Domingo. The expanded area would include nearby streets the Mexico and Mella avenues and Jacinto de la Concha and Jose Marti that are also already popular for Chinese food and articles. The program calls for enhancements such as a large arch and signs in Chinese. There are plans for a pedestrian area, too. Rosa Ng, a daughter of Chinese immigrants, is the leading promoter of the project that has the support of Santo Domingo Major Roberto Salcedo and the Ministry of Tourism. She estimates the project could get started with a US$3.5 million investment. The investment in real estate would be less than one would expect, because already most of the buildings in the area are owned by persons of Chinese descent that would join in the effort.
She explained the goal is for the Santo Domingo Chinatown to become a large shopping area but at the same time a tourism attraction for Dominicans and tourists alike. It would be a central point for the Chinese community in the DR. She estimates that the Chinese colony in the DR is about 15,000 strong.
Zoe Saldana to present Casandra Awards
Zoe Saldana, daughter of Dominican immigrants to the US, will be the MC for the Casandra Awards scheduled for 21 February at the National Theater. She is best known for starring in Center Stage, Constellation, Get Over It, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Terminal, among other films. Zoe Saldana spent many of her teenager years in Santo Domingo and is fluent in Spanish.
Bay of Pigs to film in Samana
Dominican leading actor Ivan Garcia confirmed that some scenes for the upcoming Steven Spielberg’s “Bay of Pigs” movie will be filmed in Samana on the northeastern coast of the country. He told Hoy newspaper that the production team is expected during the first week of February. These have already located property in Samana that could be used as locations for the scenes. Ivan Garcia confirmed that the film crews are expected in March.
As reported in Hoy, the film will tell the story of happenings leading up to Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961 during the John F. Kennedy presidency (1961). A CIA-backed group invaded Cuba and later felt betrayed by their sponsor. The cast for the film reportedly will include Jack Nicholson, Angelina Jolie and Al Pacino.
El Caribe in December reported that Spielberg had spent five days in Samana inspecting the coast.
The source said that they also met with the Ministry of Environment in order to solicit the appropriate permits. They will be filming in Los Haitises, which was introduced to the world as part of a popular Italian reality show.
DR is a popular destination for films related to Cuba. Previous films have included Havana (1990-Robert Redford), Godfather II (1974-Al Pacino), Lost City (2005 Andy Garcia), among others.
This would be the second Spielberg film that has used locations in the DR. The first was Jurassic Park.
Pedro Martinez and NY
Pedro Martinez, who was key man for Boston Red Sox winning the 2004 Major League Championship, says that after having won almost every challenge in US baseball, what motivates him now is to promote the name of the land of his birth. He told Diario Libre that he is encouraged when he receives calls telling him that Dominicans in New York are buying tickets to the Met Games, and equipping themselves with flags and drums to bring the Dominican spirit to Shea Stadium.

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