May 9, 2012
The Day Court Square Won the MTA

If you know me, chances are you’ve heard me repeatedly complain about at least one of the following things: being awake pre-10 AM, the G train, subterranean transit in general, and slow walkers. Since my work commute consistently involves all of the above, that means I spend most mornings a) mean mugging anyone who crosses my path, and b) cursing my wretched life.

But recently, that all changed. During my usual trudge of despair through the Court Square subway station, I turned the corner toward the 7 train only to come face to face with not one, but six giant posters of MY GURL:

For those of you who didn’t grow up watching all Univision everything with your abuela, the significance of this image may not be immediately apparent. Let me explain: the platinum-haired flyness pictured above is Cristina Saralegui, talk show queen of Latin-America. Her eponymous show was one of the highest-rated programs on Spanish language TV, and growing up, it was my one-stop shop for exclusive interviews with the biggest stars of la farandula, frank discussion on social issues that are often taboo in the Latino community (HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, teen sexuality, women’s rights), and examples of how to consistently pull off resplendent power suits.

Like all good members of my generation, I have a soft spot for mid-90s cultural touchstones, and for me Cristina will always hold a special place among them. Although her show aired on Univision for over 20 years (and now airs in a new iteration on Telemundo), to me its heyday - like Nickelodeon’s - was between 1992-1998. That’s mainly because those were the years I spent watching it with my grandmother, but it’s also because it was without question her best hair phase. There is nothing better than Cristina’s 90s I Dream of Genie ponytail extension. NOTHING.

Alas, once I got older and the lure of friends and boys with driver’s permits took hold, my summers of daytime TV came to an end and I completely lost track of the show. So when I encountered Cristina’s trademark thumbs-up and borderline glow-in-the-dark bob illuminating the Court Square station, it was like running into that friend you haven’t seen in years and discovering you still have a great rapport. And, as I do after most chance encounters with long lost friends and acquaintances, I immediately Googled the shit out of her.

After the jump, some of the best facts I learned about Cristina on the interwebs:

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