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Posts Tagged ‘Casbah’

music! Nelson is playing multiple gigs..Panza Verde, Frank’s Place, Angie Angie’s…whew…Dr J and Piano Mike, an unlikely duo, at the Exit Inn tomorrow at 8pm…Alex’ latest creation/restaurant about to open in the rear of Nido Antigua.
and the mess they call 5th calle poniente(west)..workers working at 7pm, trying to finish the screw-up…Christophe says it’s been five weeks of hell and with the first of the big-time processions/with crowds beginning tonight…ah, Antigua..you really know how to screw things up. And no usual Friday night municipal band concert at the Palacio? why?…street under repair, that’s why..the Marimbas under City Hall had a crowd, some dancing.

changes? o where to start? the lower level bar at Casbah is gone…reverted to Djinn, one of the last shops..which means that Marvelous Marbel is out of a job, at least for now…heard that four bars have recently been raided/shut down for various infractions, with Las Vibras being one…the other three? dunno…unconfirmed info, as usual with A-Town..

and the traffic cops were actually directing traffic! as in working! the trail of cars leaving town was bummer to bummer..oops..bumper..
und zo..it’s a starry night, meaning a cold one..wrap up with someone, is my advice.
and tomorrow? the outflow of the latest public printing of Our Man in Antigua, hither, thither and yon..and it’s being included in the 2015 edition of the Moon/Guatemala Travel Guide (the best)..whoopee, I say..go to the Amazon site (they just sent me $$)at http://www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer for the latest specials, some free.
so, it’s a choice between starting the fire or sending out for two fat women…eskimo stuff, you know…it’s the ‘fire’…cheaper/easier/less hassle and I figured out why there’s the occasional crease in my right knee…propped against the tuk-tuk frame to avoid the bumps…hah, he said…I came back in tuk-tuk #3, who is starting a hamburger business across the street from an existing hamburger place, Hamburguesa Gigante…neither will survive..the new Dunkin’ Donuts, across from Burger King on 3rd calle pon/west?…lines of people and they MIGHT make it..go out and make it a great weekend, somewhere, somehow..la vida es corte/life is short, we know.

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once more, from the top….the new Tropicana Hostal/Bar is serious competition for any…repeat, any other hostal in town…yes, Monica has done wonders with the Jungle Party and the Black Cat imploded and La Terrazza was coming along, with their Pub Crawls…but…and a BIG but…Tropicana is the new 800 lb gorilla in town. thanks to Rory and Laurel, with some help from some friends, the place is the best…ok? the best, hands down. Of course, for an grand opening all you have to do is say ‘free beer’ and  you’ve got a party on your hands…James Mullen/Laurel behind the bar, Christophe dishing up snacks..don’t take my word for this…go by…a swimming pool? yep..right in the middle, with wood planking…great rooms, ambience..

La Calle is changing hands…Spiros and Alabama Bob take over Oct 1…and a name change: the Exit Inn…with Spiros back to doing what he does best: cooking…yep, ceviche returns(and his is the best)plus burgers and….lamb kebab…greek style…I’m in….and maybe, just maybe, they continue the Thursday night vodka special…any brand, 15q…so, I sucked down two Stoli’s…30q…

Sobremesa is doing a special take on Guatemalan ‘tipico’ food tomorrow…7pm…and adding spice/flavors to  what is…mild/unimaginative…and per the rain or lack of it, it was a quiet aka dead night for restaurants…even Piano Mike and the tasty Andy Z. Luna were looking at a empty room at Travel Menu…everyone..repeat, everyone was at the Tropicana opening…even the ever tasty Marvelous Marbel was alone at Casbah’s little pub..I would’ve stayed/kept her company but the rain was starting..

so…if you’re into whiskey and in Bodegona, check out the Crowley’s…’tipo whisky’ the label reads..but if you read the list of ingredients on the back? 98 % alcohol, 25 whiskey…is this legal? who cares?..La Taverna? slowly dying, as is Ocelot…why? 6th calle is the new center of town, with more bars per block than anywhere else…they’re not the best but they have sucked up the business..the Snug, Travel Menu and so on…north 5th is over/dead..4th calle is restaurant land, with Micho’s and Sobremesa fighting over the biz..Tartines, with ‘the best terrace in town’…a joke..and dead..Fusion getting some action, along with Mamma’s…but not much, not on these rainy September nights..it’s generally a slow month, so take a vacation and shut the doors..and Mayra of Mamma’s…the only person in town who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America?

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some are faster than others, especially if you’re trying to swat ’em…and no, I haven’t been by La Calle to see how Spiros and Alabama Bob are making it work. It’s kind of an unlikely duo, almost an ‘Odd Couple’ thing but who knows? 

and yes, the annual migration of incoming/outgoing folks continues…the ‘Perfesser’ and Nazi John will be in town shortly…James Mullen  probably here for another week and I guess that Tanya H is or is about to pull the plug on Antigua for good. There’s a great newish FB page for Antigua Classified and Antigua Ex-Pats that’s getting a lot of traffic…I like ’em both, btw.

Piano Mike, sometimes aka Guitar Mike, is doing four gigs a week now…two with Bobby Darling, and two solo, either Travel Menu or Hops and Tails (the old El Muro)out on 3rd calle oriente.

And another long time Antigua bar goes City! aka Reilly’s, Luna Miel and Mono Loco, La Sala is opening a City bar…no, not titty bar…City bar!

And a definite…well, maybe definite ‘good bye’ to Carla Berryhill…from the snake/tarantula infested swamps of Rio Dulce to an Irish bar in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia! that girl does get around…here’s wishing her luck..

and yes…finally…out of town last week…4 days in/around Zacapa..and I only saw one drug lord and that was in a supermarket. The ‘Plan’ was to go look for amethyst and tourmaline deposits…the first got turned down and the second was subject to a breakdown of the Jeep, way up high in the Sierra de las Minas. Yeah, thanks to a lot of luck and a bottle of rum, we got out.  And returned the next day, bouncing our way up/down what might have been a road here and there…my kidneys took a shot, I’m sure. A big tip of the Panama to J.R and his magnificent Jeep…tricked out, raised, wide tires and so on…couldn’t have made it without him and or the ‘captain’….and I heard a LOT of Antigua/Gaute history on people and places here…I hadn’t known that he moved to Guatemala in 1950, por ejemplo…and, of course that info was subject to a ‘news blackout’ since I promised not to write or talk about most of it. Visualize ‘los tres monos’ and there you have it..and the Marvelous Marbel? last seen working weekends at Casbah’s little downstairs bar and as always, looking great.

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even by Antigua ‘standards’ there weren’t any of the ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ at La Taverna for the usual Friday night gathering…hmm? Dr J was there, James Mullen stopped by to add some content but I left, to go across the street and talk with the lovely Mayra of Mamma’s…and in the doorway of Fusion, along with Alex? you know, his  cantina in back? La Calle? drum roll…it’s being taken over by Spiros and….Alabama Bob!  I’ve always liked the look of La Calle and this might well be a ‘game changer’ for Nido Antigua…the short-lived ‘Backyard Bar and Grill’ departed a while ago (who knew or bothered to check?) and per Spiros, he’ll be doing some occasional cooking back there…AB is kinda dazed, considering being of the other side of a bar, for a change.

and so, it’s the beginning of the end…today, tomorrow and monday for the annual craziness of  Independence Day in Antigua…the parades, the drums, the parades and the costumes. I figure that by Monday everyone who can walk will have marched in at least one parade. Yeah, it’s a spectacle and a free one, so every villager from miles around comes to town. If you haven’t seen a baton-twirling majorette in go-go boots, this is your chance. I’m waiting for the older ones to do t heir stuff(struts,you know)….the parades tend to screw up the traffic patterns, so if you’re driving/walking, etc..

on the way home last night, I passed Casbah’s lower bar, which had a bevy (4) of babes working the bar…yeah, one was the always delectible Marbel…she is such a ‘package’….I would’ve stopped for a ‘final final’ but I’d already been to the well more than usual. 

nd yes, it appears that the Captain and I are finally getting to Zacapa and beyond next Tuesday…and being driven by one of the more lesser seen ‘unindicted co-conspirators’…the phrase ‘strange brew’ coames to mind but will be interesting, one way or the other. I’m a little concerned about our lodgings in Z-town…the captain had previously said that he had a friend with a finca nearby, etc..but when pressed to describe its proximity/location on a map…uh…and yes, he’s been there before…this will sort itself out by Tuesday, I’m assuming.

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so….TLG was there to play later…I carried in his neat little suitcase of harmonicas…most of the unusual suspects were there, extra tables (with table clothes!)set up and food dispersed..I missed Tanya and I just missed the South African lady(tomorrow, fer sure, in the park)…Piano Mike stopped in, on his way to the 7pm show at Travel Menu, where I was going to go but…turned right on 5th avenida and walking by La Terazza, Casbahs little bar? inside? the marvelous Marbel, in a stretchy little  outfit, complete with cat’s ears(I think).

Also with peculiar timing, a  ‘grand opening’ of a place maybe called La Casa Blanca, on 5th ave sur…per a usually source(not typical for Antigua-Stan)their new name is The Tavern…hmm…some name, same start date?

now, the ‘burning question)…not preparation H, btw…there’s been some mention of Guatemala doing a time change, beginning tomorrow night? and moving the clocks ahead by an hour? what happened to ‘Fall back and Spring forward? is this true? who will actually do it? (not me)too bizarre, eh?

tonight, at Hops and Tales, Piano Mike and Andy z Luna…no, I don’t know the ‘start time’ ok? find your way to the old El Muro, on 3rd calle oriente, by Nifu Nifa or whatever its called, the only restaurant with a shotgun at the door (with a guard, of course)…someone once said that the reason for the shotgun is a freezer full of good steaks inside…right, as if..Ocelot’s getting a new wall mural, something about rugby…dunno…and yes,  it appears as if the ‘rainy season’ has returned…not soon enough for a lot of farmers…seems like there’s a lot of protests about the Monsanto ‘cram-down’….can’t blame ’em as that bunch of international criminals deserves to be run outa town/country..Agent Orange, Round-up, etc…they suck..

and maybe…a trip to Zacapa next Friday…right…a good thing that I’m a mellow kinda fellow… 

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now that I’ve discovered that what I thought was a lime tree, is actually a lemon tree and I’m doing my personal version of March Madness with martinis, I’ve gathered/taken all the low hanging fruit (not a gay joke)but with the aid of a bent coat hanger….if you see me in town in the evenings, with a bulge in my pocket (back pocket, please)that’s a lemon and I’m off to my favorite tavern with personal lemon twist makings…

speaking of that, last night should have been or might be the 2nd to  last night for Miss Cindy and her fondness for adult sports beverages…she leaves, they say, tomorrow for her ‘teaching post’ in the Galapagos…..this town doesn’t need any more…..uh…hammered/inebriated folks…Ed Clark, diagnosed as terminal in Houston, is a prime example..

news of a PGA Pro-Am event at La ReUnion yesterday…surprising that some locals didn’t make the cut…Nicky Z! WTF? you were the course pro, dammit..and yes, the long time hostal, El Gato Negro, is definitely history: the old annex, now the San Carlos Hostal, is doing great but the original on 6th Ave, is muerto…got to smile twice at Carmen Maria or Maria Carmen, Adolfo’s daughter..why are so many women in this country named Maria C or C Maria? some kinda catholic joke that I’m missing? and by my calendar, there’s another f%$#@! month of ‘processions’  can’t we just cut to the chase? ‘seen the movie,read the book…same old same old…if nothing else, and this is a ‘good else’…there’s a lot of cleaning, painting and general sprucing up of buildings in town….and that new/old jade store on the corner of 5th  Ave/3rd calle?…Wa Lo or ? it’s an extension of Casa de Jade, Mr Leech’s fine emporium…they’ve got some excellent stuff and not just jade…jewelry, should one need such…and the Snug? a resounding success! not sure about the new ‘Red Zebra’…haven’t been there but Nelson has played there…

So…now I have an official Doctor of Divinity degree…whoopee, you say…well, since I’m running with the big Dogs with P.hD’s…I figured…Hogan, who was dubbed ‘Von Daniken’ for a  while? always bragging about his degree in Animal Husbandry? I dub thee D.V.M, hence forth..Hap’s in Costa Rica, hanging at the Del Rey (with my personal instructions),,,he should be very Happy by now…..and yes, I’m processing the photos from Flor’s Fabulous Floor/Fashion Show Saturday night….whew!I’ll crank an article soon, once my monitor cools off…or I do…and yes, wrong again but I double-checked this one…Alex/Fusion, opening a new bar called La Calle, back where the Avisa/Aversa spa/new age blah blah was..soft opening next Friday, not this Friday….silly me..the usual screw up..on my calendar, that’s the 4th of April…

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what was the old ‘Riki’s’ space on 4th Avenida  has been totally buffed out, from a new roof on down, per the owners putting up the $$….rumor has it that the new tenant will be: A, Taco Bell, B, jade store, C, spanish school, D, travel agency, new bar/restaurant or E, all of the above…’B’…go figure…

Lava packed, Ocelot empty…the Butt Patrol came around earlier this week (Health Dept)and slammed Whiskey Den for people smoking on the patio…ergo, if you’re puffing it’s either upstairs or in the street..where you can suck some diesel smoke.

Casbah’s little bar? packed! Ricardo’s Tabacos y Vinos? Lex Cargo  working there, two nights a week…..stopped in at Hector’s…sign on the chalkboard reads ‘#1 on TripAdvisor’ …if that’s the case,it’s old info from when Hector owned/ran it…six people and and an expensive cocktail (I needed change for the tuk-tuk)…44q for a shot of Stoli? i didn’t bother looking at the menu, after that..44q? at least, at Dishwater, I get music..and change.

YES! local copies of ‘A Year of Driving Dangerously’ finally out of the printer!…5 tonight, 20 tomorrow and a new print run for September, along the with the September edition of ‘Our Man in Antigua’…with all the latest updates unlike Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor…they’re good but behind the curve/times…

and La Rumba, the short-lived ceviche place? didn’t have a business licence(or a clue)…and the new back garden of Sobremesa? smashing and that’s where customers are gravitating (going) to…who knew? it works…how much longer will Papas y Beer and 13 continue to pay their rents/suppliers? or Mango Verde? the venerable La Antigua Vineria, on south 5th ave, next to San Jose el Viejo? great new paint job, changes, upgrades.,..Bepe just doesn’t quit..looks great!

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