Hurricane Irene has come and gone, but it left @ElBloombito in its wake.
Miguel Bloombito is a parody Twitter handle — created by an Inwood stay-at-home mom — that went viral this weekend with more than 12,000 people tuning in to the mockery of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s broken Spanish.
“I was stuck in my apartment watching Hurricane Irene updates and Bloomberg started speaking Spanish,” explains creator Rachel Figueroa-Levin, 25. “It was really funny.”
Figueroa-Levin, a self-proclaimed “Jewyorican,” started tweeting on Aug. 27 with an instant classic: “Hola Newo Yorko! El stormo grande is mucho dangeroso!”
“Spanglish is hard to pull off if you’re not Latin,” she said, adding: “I think it’s good that he tries.”
Bloomberg even referred to his online alter ego yesterday at a press conference.
“My Spanish skills, I can tell you, get better little by little, but it’s difficult — I’m 69,” he said, en Espanol, in his trademark monotone accent, responding to a reporter’s question about the Twitter character. “It’s difficult to learn a new language.”
But not everyone’s laughing. At least one immigration advocate says Bloomberg’s Spanish skills are not a joke — and that his attempts with the language do more harm than help.
“Him speaking in Spanish is not for the Spanish population to better understand him,” criticized Adriana Escandon, an advocate for the New Immigrant Community Empowerment organization. She claims it’s more of a political maneuver for the benefit of the mayor’s image and ambitions.
In emergency situations, Escandon said, “it would not be safe” to listen to Bloomberg alone.
As for El Bloombito, Figueroa-Levin said it’s not a political statement, but just a lighthearted jab at “El Mayorador.”
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.