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zo, 5th and 6th calles are ripped up..but..they finally figured out which side of the street for the new (2nd)trenches and now they’re laying pipe (PVC) and hooking up the water lines into the buildings along that street..using pressure gauges, even, to see if there’s any leaks..did the workers get paid for last month? must’ve been or else someone threatened someone else..zo? the processions start this month, and then thru March until the big Blow Off for Holy Holy Week the first week of April…let’s just say that this project is a bit behind schedule.
what’s with to 2 giant spotlights to the west part of town tonight? looked like a Bat Signal but didn’t hear any theme music or hear the rumble of the Bat Car…and yes, Fuego is still going off, unleashing more ash in the skies. My eyes gave up today, so I’m back to the hot compress routine and if you see me puffy…it’s not booze, its the dust.
supposedly, Copia Fiel will crank another 25 copies of Our Man in Antigua Friday…half are presold (yay)and if you’re interested, PM me and we’ll do a little deal..wholesale deal…got it?

yeah, Las Vibras is closed/gonzo..Glen Wilson bought out Brian Wilson of Century 21 and reports that business/sales/rentals is doing great…why does Antigua(Bodegona)import avocados from Mexico? isn’t Antigua famed as being Green Bellies, where avocados are king? why is Bodo’s sugar section and toilet paper section so huge? is there a connection? just asking, ok?
the most excellent Marbel and Flor of Dasha hanging at Dasha..Claudia of Da Vinci not in, as usual on a Tuesday (I checked)

Green Belly, the segway biz? they’re fading, rapidly…’never thought the idea would catch on….Chapins wouldn’t do it (scared)leaving tourists…not a chance in hell..sorry, but that’s how it went..not even Freddy’s/Simoon has a chance..tourists won’t/don’t, which leaves the backpackers/Christians…same..

and it’s a perfect night in A-town..stars out, temperature perfect..we are so lucking fucky to live here/never take it for granted…the Eastern US in frosted in..too bad, I say

Frank’s Place, on the hill? daily groups! who knew? not me..no fire for me tonight..saves some $$ but I like a fire at night…and yes, after a few screw-ups, I’ve got the video thing down..maybe Maite or Marbel will step up to be ‘models’ at the beach…stay tuned..this ain’t over.

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yep, finally over. I’d almost gotten around to thinking about watching it but…it got away or I just faded…probably ‘B’

Origami should be reopened by now…maybe this week? and maybe the rains are back, after a few weeks of absence..and a few more folks are making the move to come here permanently: having been thru those decisions/choices myself, unless you’re furnishing an entire house and bringing cars it all comes down to just getting rid of everything and traveling light. Part of the excitement is ‘starting over’..yeah, there’s stuff I sometimes wish I’d kept but there’s a joy in collecting art again, starting a new mineral collection (my bag) and just saying ‘screw it’ to all the stuff that’s taking up space in the life.

so, last weeks’ little excursion to Baja Verapaz and Salama? not quite a cluster f…k or a goat f…but close…you know, it IS Guatemala, where nothing ever goes as planned. The information is spotty/weird and sometimes just plain wrong. The front wheel fell off the little ‘flete’ pick up we rented but close enough to walk to the hotel, leaving him in the street with a few quetzals and ‘good luck’…..he’d run us ragged up mountain trails up/down, ‘just five more minutes’….I don’t think (often)that he had another phrase in English..I kept up, mostly, until the last trail down to the river…thank god I took water with me. and rum in the room…the $#@%! hotel, where we stayed last year (HBT, the ‘Perfesser’ Alabama Bob and I) didn’t have ice and there wasn’t any hot water…the price, 100q, was right and I got used to sitting up on the still-unfinished/unfurnished terrace with a BIG glass of rum and damn little water…hey, it was a  ‘field trip’, ok? question: the last/first legs of the final link to Salama’ were via a better class of bus than a  ‘chicken bus’….reclining seats and definitely not a converted school bus…any idea what the class or name would be? not a pullman, either…in between and for a three hour ride, acceptable to these old bones….you know, after hiking up/down on Friday, I didn’t have any sore muscles(except in my  head, from the rum…but it was good rum, Botran)

Yeah, I’m already making plans to return in August…got a good guide, a good mineral book, topo maps and so on…as usual, asking for information and showing them a map gets 12 different answers from four people…ok, fine, just back from a rum/cigarette break….anyone noticing a bunch of ‘for rent’ signs around town? I’m seeing a few back-packers but not in the usual hordes, altho there was one guy with a half-ass mohawk haircut and walking 5th calle in bare feet…WTF? why? and the usual ‘come save the pagan babies’ christian groups are flocking in/around…think about this: add up  the air fare, the hotel and food costs per group and what they could do with that $$….work with a decent NGO, donate the $$…there’s probably something about getting the matching T-shirts, the group photos and the feeling of righteous ness that warms the cockles of their hearts…cockles? don’t tell/don’t smell…

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the last of the bigger/thicker/longer….’don’t go there….croquet shafts came out perfect!…now, when i can afford to throw a wing-ding…nope, wrong word…some kind of a semi-genteel event, eh?  fresh out of wing-dings after yesterday and the much anticipated

‘Author’s Night’ at Sophos in the City….the day was a classic screw-up/chinese fire and boat drill…GG Foto was to be my interpreter and she thought I was driving…and I thought she was driving…wrong, vodka breath…last minute shuttle to the City…200q…taxi home, 200q…two hours early…ok, gave me time to set up/write on the white boards, check out the o so spiffy city women in zone ten…7pm…7:15…7:30…no one in the 20 chairs…zip, zero, nada, bagels and zilch….fine…i can take bad news, humiliation, and scorn…hey, I’ve been married 4X, ok..the good side is that i got to know/talk with GG for several hours…a very interesting lady..

the latest edition of the monthly series of ‘Our Man in Antigua-stan’  is out…on time…whew..bigger, better, thicker, longer….wait..this is sick..

food/bar news….Micho’s Gastropubs new menu is xlnt…Spiro might..repeat..might be doing a regular Greek food thing…moussaka/giros…god, i wish…i miss good greek food…Pappy’s BBQ is now doing sandwiches etc at Ocelot and I had a taste of the brisket….fabulous…if I wasn’t still stuffed from lunch and the two vodkas, I woulda etc…check out their menu…this is a good thing for those of us who miss the weekends only BBQ at the usual Pappy’s on 6th calle..

and the newly vacant ex-Wokco space, previously La Esquina? yep…new tenants, old time bar owners in town, looking to move outa their place on 6th avenida..they used to be just past the Arch, if that’s a clue…dunno…Wokco spent a ton of money on remod…some say 50k, some say 100k…but they did it well..the question is…that space is cut up into little rooms…how well will they do going head to head or mano-a-mano with La Sala?…remember the mantra about ‘critical mass’ and i’m not talking about La Merced..Sobremesa  is kicking out their walls/jams and that might work… and this town has some very tasty women, even if it’s not Zone Ten…

Mayra of Mama’s….Flor of Dasha, Claudia #1 of Da Vinci…Marbel, where ever in the hell she’s working this week..and the ex-Mayor’s daughter, Carmen? whew…tight pants, tight blouse this morning, fabulous smile…good thing that I’m  old, decrepit and only my  imagination still works….this is Friday, right?

go out and whip it up…yeah, Ocelot has changed a bit..its still ok…change is good…repeat that..change is.. 

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Bodogona has Flor de Cana 7 yr old rum!…that, plus the 1.75 liter jug brought in from Nicaragua today has me in a minor state of bliss…look, I’m a simple guy, ok?

check out La Cuadra’s latest issue: page 16 for Frank of Nim P’ot’s Top Ten Reasons to visit Guatemala…I’m kinda fond of ‘most laws not enforced’…send in your suggestions for next month’s Top Ten…this is fun..speaking of fun..

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-story-of-ruth?cid=db_articles

Jason of Lava’s birthday bash tonight…a roast pig and a lamb…fabulous…the usual scoundrels plus a few new additions….the Gang of Four goes fishing in the morning…telephone calls at 4am…’Wake up!”

this may well be my favorite time of year…the purple blossoms of the jacaranda trees, the purple of bouganvillea vines, the purple bunting hanging from the windows around town…warm days, perfect nights..

guess who’s back? Pat F…..g Farrell!…been gone almost a year and shows up? yep…welcome back…he mentioned visiting Don Marco in  the pen…remember that FBI bust in the park? Don M gets out in September but he’s restricted from traveling for two years, but as I said..’hey, he’s got his brother’s passport, eh?’…and yes, the PNC in action last night! caught a 16 yr old perp(the other 6 got away)trying to crack into Gaia..upper 5th, ok? if they were and the cops think so, this is/was the gang responsible for the 11 or so break-ins around town recently…bypassing alarms, eh?  hmm..who used to work for an alarm installation company?

the ex-restaurant Panchoy on 6th ave sur, by dos Reilly’s? major renovations…its a big  place and going up against Las Cebollinas? no  worries from the better place, Da Vinci (my favorite per decor) who is going the ‘pizza-pizza route’…why? a class joint? I guess pizza is better than nothing..same could be said about Christophe but I’m not going there..and another shop opening next to dos Reilly’s..what? who knows? probably a travel agency/spanish school/pizza/mayan crafts…getcher t-shirts here, altho I see that more than one clothing store is going the ‘50% off’ route…

the very elegant Catherine D, dining alone at El Sabor Tiempo…when she mentioned rabbit stew I had to mention ‘Thumper’…I left before she threw her wine at me..and yes, the March issue of Our Man is up on Amazon.com….getcher Christmas shopping done early (I need the $$)a few more outlets in town and thanks to the recent influx of tourists it’s moving…thank god..where’s the Flor of Dasha? haven’t seen her on the streets nor seen any sign that she’s opened a new store…damn..she is  a ‘visual treat’…my Flor? on the counter, waiting for a refill…have a great Thursday, the end of February and so on..

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as usual, you say….the towns’ composition of bars/restaurants is continuing to morph….more closures, more moves, more tectonic shifts.

The venerable Panchoy Restaurant on 6th Ave, across from dos Reilly’s, calling it quits after 15-20 years, the ex-Pizza Mia space on 4th Ave, across from the ex-Ixcot/Pangea spaces will have a new tenant soon…who is bailing from a space on 4th Calle per the competition…a long time bar in town reputedly getting the boot per repeated infractions of this and that..

on the other hand(five fingers)…La Sala pumping Salsa Night with a Cuban foursome…La Casbah doing electronic music on the weekends only…hey, he owns the building and doesn’t need the $$$, ok?

and yes….the first installment of last weekends’ jaunt…and a partially new crew

http://www.examiner.com/article/hi-yo-silver-1

Riki’s..the old Riki’s space? lost another possible tenant per the costs of rehab…Ritual, on 5th Ave, across from the Posada Don Rodrigo…closing…on 5th Ave? the golden zone of town? yep…at least Ocelot/Lava are doing fine…slammed by folks at 5 and 6pm…and the new owners/tenants of what was Pangea still dithering….no clues as to menu/direction other than ‘wine and beer’….

and it looks like another ‘road trip’ is shaping up for next month…Rabinal/copper/malachite stuff…the silver ore that Mike D found is okay, but it’s in a mine that’s already being worked, so fuggedaboutdat..it was a practice run anyway..now that we know where to find the topo maps and directions, we can find our butts a lot easier…the crew may change a bit, depending on the terrain/roads..it was different this time, being in a new car with brakes/good tires and so on…one forgets those simple pleasures and/or lack of concerns..one does…and I like Henrik’s new black Land Rover…way cool…or is it a Range Rover? who cares..Luciano is back at El Cazadore Italiano and they’ve got their groove back, after Marcel cashed out…and a good thing.

and the ex-Mayor’s daughter, working the La  Leyenda Hotel on 4th Ave? she’s aged….really aged, recently…we smile at each other, etc..however, on the good side, the ever elegant Victoria C is back in town and judging from her clothes at 5pm, working somewhere on 4th Calle..we had a conversation across the street from each other, ok? is she still hanging out in Norway sometimes? Reid C says he finally saw Miss 8:30 yesterday….how did he recognize her? outstanding assets, he said…yeah, that’s her…if you’re in the park at 8:30, et cetera..can you say ‘pulchitrude?’..can I spel it rite?

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in a way, kind of a metaphor for stuff going on around town…the signs are off at what was Riki’s and Ixcot….Braulio’s is four months behind in their rent and even worse…wurst? that old time place at the end of 1st Avenida with the great terrace views? nailed/stickered with a big SAT tax poster(so I was told)….alas…if so, another low blow to an already bad year of tax/paperwork/screwups…

a movie being shot in A-Town? interiors this morning along 3rd calle and this evening…the City Hall closed off, with chicken buses, extras and so on…wtf? judging from the equipment, a low budget kinda flick..yeah, I’ve been around movie making/makers for awhile…the clue is the number of cameras, the dollies(not the ones in spandex) and the director and his staff…

and yes, the ‘beat’ goes on…tomorrow the big City for topo maps…searching for the long lost Spanish Fly Silver Mines by Hue Hue next weekend..oops…spanish fly? did they fly or did they use buttons? who cares?

David Hoffman was questioning my count of 8 times that Pinata Boy was thrown out of Lava…he was too busy kicking the stuffing outa PB, who is supposedly at the Lake today…and yes, the so-called ‘security guard’ got canned that night for non-performance of his duties..

Piano Mike outa here Friday for a month…back to the YouEssof A for another stab at romance..applause, please…just like Woody Allen once said, 90% of life is just showing up and as one who’s been down that rocky path of hopes, mopes and dopes…let there be luck!

and thanks, one and all, for comments on my health ‘issues’…the cold, that beast, has apparently been banished from my bod…no meds today…well, almost none…’maintenance’, you know…ask Hogan about that stuff..

supposedly the old Pangea space had a looky loo…a potential renter, ok? a lady with a white little dog on a leash, a t-shirt that read “I Love Las Vegas’, a sugar daddy and no…no sign of gold lame slippers..lame’, not lame…altho one is as good as the other..Allen at the ‘Menu’ dishing out the dinners, Scott S/Pablo A at El Cazadore for an early dinner, Luciano workin’ the bar…Marcel probably laughing a lot, somewhere, at getting out while the getting was good..dos Reilly’s with as many staff as drinkers..and when will the old Reilly’s on 5th ave norte ever reopen? they keep dragging in trucks of sand, gravel and what-not…has it been two years since?..1st calle by Merced…lights out at the bars/restaurants…a quiet night in town..and yes, a few more familiar faces from the frozen north in town…welcome back!

Fusion dead, El Nido Antigua, the shopping mall in back equally so…altho the Choco Museo across the street? maybe its the hats or the staff but they continue to drag in people..and on…the proposed expedition to Puerto Quetzal this week? off…had to leave at 5am Wednesday…wrong, scotch-breath..the only thing i do at 5am is make another visit to the….WC..and yes, for those who are into pork…jameswdurham2@ gmail.com is still in business…the very best in pork chops,sausage and so on..pork me? no, pork you..have a great week…yeah, the weather is weird but.. 

 

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in that, the OTC cold meds are doing something(finally )and I’m semi-coming around to feeling abnormal again…everyone, well…not ‘everyone’ but a sizeable percentage of same seems to be disclosing similar symptoms. So? so what, right? those little green depth charges are working, even if I’m not.

 

Tomorrow? 12-ish, Micho’s Cafe/Pub on 4th calle..Spiro’s birthday…you know, the guy who whips up that incredible looking/tasting ceviche?  and i think(sic)that Nelson is playing Caffe Bourbon tonight…hey, music is almost back in Antigua and the good news is that the musicians are actually getting paid…well, most of ’em…Seth Montfort blew/left town last month…bad vibes with Panza Verde but then that’s not exactly news for a few people.

more bad vibes from the recently opened Pan E Fantasia deli on 3rd calle…’internal strife’…someone walked off/left in a snit…no, that’s not a moto…look, I like their stuff, it’s just the sticker shock that goes with it.

looks like i missed the grand opening of the Mango Smoothie Place on 5th calle last night…hey, i was zonked, ok? if that’s the same space that i was told was renting for $3000 a month, then do the math…figure a 1000q a day, rent, utilities, etc…if you’re selling smoothies at 50q each(don’t quote me)then that’s 20 a day, to break even..does it pencil out?

is this really the first weekend of the new year? yep…calendar-wise, etc…incoming snowbirds this week…Roberto Bookstein and Reid the C…Barb the K and Joe Collins, each recovering from dat old debil radiation, later this spring. Yeah, and Tuesday, my first trip to the City in six months plus…going to look for topo maps at the Guate Geo-what’s it office by the airport…maybe, just maybe, if  my ex-landlord and his mysterious brother get their act together, a road trip to Hue-Hue and the ‘lost spanish silver mines’…Friday? I gotta feeling this isn’t going according to Plan.

and one of our Antigua/Rio Dulce characters, back from RD yesterday…took the bus, which stopped halfway…the food/piss stop…got off and witnessed a shooting…bang bang…dude emptied his pistol into a bystander, then goes off to his car, gets another handgun and does it again…can you say ‘Hallmark?’

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