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Archive for the ‘Where to Stay’ Category

my shorts, that were…Martini #1 overflowed (hate that) but I’m okay…the sun slowly sinks in the west, the fountain burbles and all is gooder….as gooder as it gets, considering that my bank account/ATM card was hacked…yep…tis been 3 or 4 years since Antigua has been down this path and was over due…obvisiously…$$ incoming, thanks to dear old friends, so I’ll eat next week (and the week after)…the major snag is getting the new ATM card from the bank in the States…7-10 ‘business days’ plus the mail to my FL p.o.box and thence here? yeah…3 weeks at best, more likely 4…

so, Nelson setting up for an early session at Michos//Bobby D and Grace on for 8pm at La Taverna..why is Ocelot doing the La Morena thing, when O’lot and Lava are dead? Pan e Fantasia, having removed the food stuffs on the first first floor,now offering seating…what?

major thanks to Edgar of the Sunshine Grill and Laurel Baker of the Snug for offering ‘tab’s…at least I could have eaten/swilled thru the next few weeks till the new ATM card arrived.

birthdays/weirdness: Scott Stanton (Que Pasa) Guiliano of El Cazadore, John Rexer (Ilegal Mezcal) and Pablo Arenales of Re-Max? same F$#@! day? asstrology in action but they’re all great people..  Mike D, Duane, Ponzi Bob and the ‘reporter from the New York Times’ out on the river of scum…another ‘gold’ article…right…as if this isn’t the worst time of the year..el verano…whew..include me out..maybe even ‘Crazy Frank’ will be part of this..Edwin? he’s bailed, doing the ‘imported  liquor’ thing..aka smuggled…Mike D leaves in mid-June to two months (sorry, Edwin..no $$) Obi Wan Kenobi aka Howard will be gone to collect the rent…Alabama Bob returns late May, looking for a cheap rental…

the air pollution from the volcanoes,the cane fields..let it rain, sometime soon..this is crap..my monitor is dusty, I’m crusty and it’s time for Martini #2…CU around town, unlike Marbel or Marianna…I think she got sacked from Frida’s, btw..Marianna,that is..Miss M, #1, has a new ‘boyfriend’ I’m told…good news/bad news…it comes around…Hap checked in from Costa Rica and the Del Rey..prices at an all time low(for a lot of things)

 

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maybe not…a VW running over Alice? kinda like the Yoko Ono Bono Bon riff I sometimes get into. this just in! Fresh off the wire (barb), Bobby D does his tenth show at Micho’s…4th calle, 7pm, Wednesday aka tomorrow) and get there early if food/beverages are of interest.

Yeah…Mixco Viejo…helluva a site/place. I had no idea(what’s new with that, right?) Norm the K led the way Monday…Hogan Van Doniken, mysteriously absent…something about a bet won on the ‘Tidy Bowl’…no problem. More back seat space for me and the condiments. NK says it’s the finest Highland/Mayan site he’s ever seen(and he’s seen more around these parts to write a guide book….hmm…it’s a few  miles NW of the City and not that hard to get to in a couple of hours.

Another chain/franchise restaurant calls it quitso..Tacocontento…is that spelled rite? in what was, to my way of thinking(sic)a very prime location on 5ta norte, First block, across from Pollo Bombero, who  could almost buy this town..Taco Discontento, no? why? the location should’ve been primo…had to be the grub.

Do the Mormon missionaries ever remind you of young FBI agents? One, for the first time ever, in the market, looked me in the eye and smiled…hey! a new marketing strategy! Smile…of course, they probably don’t have much to smile about, anyway. No money, raging hormones, no car, no girl…at least the Scouts here in town smile, regardless of their uniform…actually it’s not that bad, kinda of  a blend of Boy/Cub Scout uniforms…what are the girls called? not Boy nor probably Cub…

Reid the C  checked in, from  Room #213 (the Junior Suite) at the Del Rey…says he be in town (here, that is)around the 15th…of what?  ah..Mixco Viejo…gotta see it…and La Playa 13/13, the Concept Bar? gone, vanished, vamoose, adios, sayonara..tough times, in the food/bev biz here. The goose that lays the Golden Eggs up north has been bbq’d…let’s turn this thing around!….let any of the ‘cartels’ buy the airport in the City…$USD 160 mill or so will do it. Petty Cash, after a slow weekend, in other words. Laissez le bon temps roulez! This town needs a few things: a really good Elvis impersonator…kick the Silver Carpenter outa the park and let’s hear ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ instead….Bobby! no…don’t go there, even if they won’t give you a decent contract..

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or a medium-rare…I’m in the midst of a “Pink Slime’ article and the more I read, the more my stomach turns: Guatemala is lucky in that we can watch the butcher cut off the chunk and then stuff it into the grinder…what’s next ‘up there?’..right, the 3 governors are doing stand-up comedy routines trying to put this fire out..rotsa luck…

that subject started a round of disgusting comments at the 5 o’clock meeting of the 4 Mousketeers and it only went sideways from there…thanks, Reed, for the Costa Rica angle, which led to the following(unfit for most readers but it did make the front page of the India Times)

 http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/09-01/night-del-ray-costa-ricas-most-famous-brothelhotelcasino.html

and you wonder why I sometimes write under a ‘nom de plume?’ i guess whatever ‘cover’ i thought i may have had is now ‘blown’…so to speak..the latest version of “Our Obscene Man etc’ is now out..no, not THAT kind of out…out/about with my little black shoulder bag, schlepping copies hither, thither and yon: people! buy up/out those older versions so we can all restock($$)manana, eh?…mentioned to Reed that I have just enough frequent flier miles to get from her…here to San Jose(CR)…will i ever grow up/go back? hey, if i did, it would only be to re-test my roulette system(trust me)and no, i’m not posting any photos..ask and ye may shall receive…

‘seems that i’ve become a user/abuser of tuk-tuks, now that i live a bit further out..yeah,i’m older but the spine still takes a licking(don’t go there)…well, maybe..one of our bar owners raging-ranting at another bar tonight…in rare form…ah! Mary spotted! long timee no see…with RT2…Robto de Oro likewise…hows Barb? scheduled for serious surgery on the 6th, if i recall(and not much, thank you) Alzheimer’s friendly, that’s me…meet new people every day….they(whoever ‘they’ are)are still whipping on the old Reilly’s space on upper 5th…what’s it gonna be? dunno..typical..Sangre’s reopened and did something in the far rear..no, back…’rear’…don’t go there..there seems to be a lot  of innuendos in this post…but then, again..innuendo is the italian word for suppository, and yes…i’m going to my room now.

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nah, that’s not a baseball/football reference…tis only a lame attempt to describe the evening’s events…Lori S and Peter the H at O’lot…Peter having returned from an arduous couple of days at the ‘Beav, whacking the vegetation with a machete, a four hour chicken bus ride just to get there and some tales about a surfer they acquired in Sinquinala…you asked for a wide angle…here it is..

field research

 

and speaking of research….

http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/09-01/night-del-ray-costa-ricas-most-famous-brothelhotelcasino.html

finally…finally got past the entrance to Travel Menu,  Allan’s new bar job…i like it, perfect size, nice little snug feeling…and…eqyptian backgammon! …’missed Lucy’s birthday bash but the new look at El Caminante is a big improvement…

ready to rock

 
Max’ El Muro…where the hell does he find these tasty wenches?

 

i swear, between Max and Peter the G, they’ve got some kinda pipeline for the hottest bartenders in town..Pangea’s new promotion? an ongoing Ladies Night with a new lighted display that says “Lounge”…no takers…drink for free and they can’t get anyone to come thru the door?…great business plan…oops..let’s serve free liquor and make it up in tips…? almost makes you think about putting on a dress and getting hammered for free…almost…’got my camera back, after it bounced on the tile floor…500q worth of bouncing..but there is a great camera repair shop in town…TechniCamera, 3rd calle, block east of Santa Lucia, in case you do dumb stuff like i did…Robto de Oro, supposedly returning in January…another stab at flogging the Motagua…wish him well…his famous line to me…’jade?…we spit on the jade.’ Franklin of AsGreenasitgets.org, running his own joint on a Friday night?..kinda strange that Como Como is/was closed tonight…Cafe Flor emptier than a hooker’s heart..4th calle very very slow/quiet..5ta a bit more action but not much more..there was supposedly some busloads of cruceros(the cruise ship passengers)due in today..’never saw ’em…the vendors with the flutes, necklaces and fabrics were lined up,ready to make a deal (any deal)

night after night, Ricardo’s Tabacos y Vinos draws a crowd…por que? the size of the venue? as with Hector’s, there’s a certain feeling of intimacy…it’s not about the cigars, it’s about the contact..La Esquina sporting a Century 21 ‘for rent’ sign…another one down…per KG, that location has been the ‘kiss of death’ for ever, like the old Fusion location next to Hectors..they’re gone also..Cafe Daikari holding on by the skin of their teeth..or the hair of their chinny chin chin…pick your own metaphor…or semaphore…hey, we made it thru September….well,I did…you’re on your own..

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Can you pronounce ‘souse of the border’?…..earlier this week I felt the distinct urge to burn some frequent flier miles, go south to Costa Rica and ‘party on’…at the usual hell-hole known as the DR…I called for reservations, I emailed for reservations, knew/met the owners at their desks and they still…bumped me for a kingsize overpriced noisy room on the street. ..obviously not a case of who you know and who you blow…ok…I was exhausted anyway, having missed the 5am flight and taking the 2pm route thru fucking Managua and then into San Jose at 5 or so…and then whom do I run into(after doing my shift at the roulette table and hitting the #32 combo?….right…Elena…shorter red hair, still as delectable as can be..ok…fine…Tin Jo for dinner and history…we haven’t seen each other in over a year(and we’ve known each other for 4-5 years)…nope, I’m not posting any photos…forget about it…it was good and it was bad….bank issues/ overcharges/account closures per too many atttempts to access from CR….thanks to friends(from all over)I got out, in time and in one piece…tired, exhausted, thoroughly sick of San Jose and airports in general.

The health is better, for the most part….and I’m damn sure not eating unwashed vegetables. I’m getting over my depression with ‘she of the infectious smile’…it all just takes time and I ‘get that’…life goes on, one way or the other. Tis a quiet Sunday, I’m not writing a damn thing and I”ll do up the bbq later. Thanks again for all of the help getting my dumb ass out of Costa Rica…

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Tis true, I’m back again, staying at the usual Hotel Presidente but in a larger nicer room. I don’t know quite how this happened because I booked on line as usual and the only choice was the Junior Suite…either that or the Holiday Inn or the Del Rey, both of which I have seen.

The El Presidente

The El Presidente

 

 

 

 

The Del Rey

The Del Rey

The Del Rey seems seedier than usual or perhaps that was how it has always been in the light of day. The girls were lackluster, the bars less crowded and the casino action was more subdued. Maybe it was the relentless rain, just another Monday or the ‘scales have fallen from mine eyes’…John E, one of the three owners and the most ‘hands on´of all of them has been on an extended vacation since April. He decided that the ship he has been lusting for in Holland was worth going to see, if not to sail it and perhaps buy it. For some 7 million USD, or godonlyknows how many Euros now, it needs a crew of at least five. That was one of the reasons they were considering selling the Del Rey last year but that’s another story.

I arrived in the afternoon,in a driving nightmare:the rains were falling here as they do in Antigua, vast sheets of water dropping out of the dark grey skies. I flew Mexicana, which I haven’t done in years, ever since a twisting and diving departure from Havana on the fringes of a hurricane. i’ve  been told that there is a 15 degree limit to how much roll or side to side motion commercial airline pilots are allowed. For the record, I can state that Mexicana pilots when presented with an opportunity to become vaqueros gladly do so. We touched down in a blinding rainstorm, bounced a few times and then the plane began to fishtail as the brakes were applied: three or four yawing motions from left to right later, the pilotos had stabilized their landing,just in time to avoid the end of the notoriously short runway in San Jose, San Juan de Santa Maria. Feet braced, seatbelts straining,a collective sigh of relief from the rear of the plane was heard, where I was seated. With Mexicana, Cubana and TACA(TakeAnotherChance Airline)I recommend the rear of the plane, since very few air accidents are tail-first.

Later, post-checkin at the El Presidente, I had time for a nap, shower,change of clothes and a dip into the ‘shark tank’ at the Del Rey, otherwise known as the Blue Marlin and casino. I have a favorite seat at the roulette table, back against a stone pillar that gives me a view of both entrances, easy access to my favorite combination of numbers and I don’t have to worry about borracho gringos spilling their beer on my right. There is also a good view of the five card tables to the right,where one can flirt visually with some of the players. This occasionally leads to misunderstandings when they come over to seal the deal but a word to the wise should be sufficient. Don’t write checks with your mouth that your body can’t cash, so to speak. 

Tuesday in the Trenches: 

Rain, rain and more rain, punctuated by rain, with brief periods of showers followed by downpours. One thing about being downtown in San Jose, walking is easy, especially since they closed off Avenida Central to cars. Four blocks north is the Mercado del Artesanias where you can buy anything and all with the words ‘Costa Rica’ printed, I guess to remind you of where you’ve been: I have this mental picture of a couple sitting around in their house somewhere, wearing T-shirts that have ‘Costa Rica’ emblazoned, drinking coffee or doing shots of whatever out of mugs or shooters, resting on coasters that say Costa Rica, with their car keys on the CR keychain, waiting for their friends to come over and be impressed. I went to see Manolo of the molas:
Molas!

Molas!

Manolo, for many years has been going to Panama to visit and trade with the Kunas, who live on a series of small scattered islands off the coast of Panama. Their ‘mola’s were originally meant as wedding shirts for the women and hours of labor go into each one: reverse stitching, unusual patterns and vibrant colors are the norm, somewhat like the colors seen with Huichol carvings from northern Mexico, peyote-inspired as it were.

Manolo of the molas

Manolo of the molas

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