Mex and the City and photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero present

Mars Ostarello Racial Profiling Mex and the City
East Village Apartment

When Mars decided to leave California for New York her traditional mama made her live in a women's residence for the first year. She wanted her to be focused on school and work. While in school, she waited tables to pay her way through college and found the restaurant industry in NYC was a vital community. She spent years at The Maritime Hotel as a server. She then dabbled in PR, event production, and interior design. She says "I always wanted to be an entrepreneur." So this year, she decided to pull her resources and skills together and develop a taco truck. This summer Montaco, a fuschia-colored truck will launch in the seaside town of Montauk as the first of its kind. Its tagline is "Hecho con amor" and will serve only the freshest ingredients. We hope she makes it back to the city come fall.

Age: 28
Place of Birth: Huntington Park, CA. Known as HP.
Parents: My father is from Rosario, Argentina and my mother is from Aguascalientes, Mexico. I'm a Mexatina.
Occupation/Aspiration: Anything fun, creative, and interesting. I hope to one day own a restaurant, write a movie, and a TV show.

When did you move to NYC and why?
To finish my education at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). I was hungry for life and I knew NYC would feed my soul, thirst for knowledge, and culture. I am satisfecha.

Which neighborhood do you live in and why?
East Village. It is vibrant and "age appropriate" for me – right now. It is also in walking distance to my friends.

Name a New York moment:
Living on the Bowery (when it was still sketchy) in a penthouse apartment where the elevator opened to the living room: we had a disco ball, turntables, and a bar and we lived with two male roommates: a white collar and male model. We were three girls living in one room and we slept in Queen-size bunk beds.

How do you keep it Mex in the City?
Cooking my mom's traditional dishes here in NYC always takes me back to my roots. I also have a crew of Mexicanas I keep near and dear to me.

Share the best piece of advice a close relative or someone dear to you gave you?
"The best way to survive in NYC is to be able to handle massive amounts of rejection". Cynical, yet true.

What's your drink of choice?
In the A.M. mate. In the P.M., Vodka soda, splash cranberry, with a lime.

Name three songs on your mind right now:
Chavela Vargas: "Volver Volver", Jane's Addiction: "Been Caught Stealing", and The Rolling Stones: "Mother's Little Helper"

Tell us your favorite Mexican expression.
"Los hombres son como calsetines, solo sirven para meter la pata."

What Mexican do you most admire and why?

Maria Felix. She held her own in a time ruled by men and machismo. She is glamorous and chic and she is talented at her craft and has cojones.

Describe a fun or interesting fact about you.
I'm a pool shark.

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