Posts Tagged ‘Casbah’

ever hear of ‘cascade failure?’…tis where when one system (automotive, computer or plumbing)gets upgraded…like the new pump in the fountain that caused the older pvc joints to go out, the recent upgrades to my plumbing system on the finca brought a series of ‘breakdowns’, like the faucets in the bathroom…’having been a slum lord in a previous life, I offered to ‘do it myself’, assuming that they were tools to be had…as if…but, a few days later, Joaquin the older guy  with the shotgun at night, brought me a rusty 8 inch crescent wrench (with pride, mind you) yeah, I barked the knuckles and the faucets weren’t fixable but all is well and I’m ‘flushed with pride.’

why were there three PNC (cops) parked outside Casbah last night, about ten? somebody get refused admission? a shakedown? didn’t see any AK-47’s or such being waved around…the town, last night? Fusion/Mamma’s? empty…Micho’s kinda medium packed, B5 doing a giant party of 25 or so (smiles on the waiter’s faces), El Cazadore Italiano doing SRO, no seats/tables, Luciano fuming in the kitchen but cranking the dishes out the door..

thanks to Rich O, I got the explanation for the massive hordes flocking into Ocelot/Lava…tis the end of the spanish school/volunteer cycle, the girls are going back to school in the You Ess of A soon and they’re having one last fling or two or three..the blondes who have found(or been found)by their latin lovers, aka tutors, will have to say goodbye…the LL’s will have to face the fack…fack? ‘fact that they’re not going along, not getting a green card and…o well, love…

the short-lived Pit Stop experiment is changing/morphing into a new kinda Lava outreach station for families/kids, with a burger and hot dog menu…maybe a play area, unlike the wild after hours parties that were so wild , if only for a while…yeah, that was me last night,in the Ocelot having a pink faggot cosmopolitan…

Peter the G! aka Glover, shepherding a newly (same day)arrival of real estate clients thru the maze of Bodegona, thru the pillow sections and so forth…a full service’ kinda real estate agent, not like the rest of the lazy pack in this town….reports of the Marvelous Marbel, working at Reilly’s La Esquina…nope, I haven’t seen her but….and the September version of Our Man in Antigua posted on amazon.com this morning…lotta changes…and no, the long-promised local edition of ‘A Year of Driving Dangerously’ isn’t out…%$#@! local printer…

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in black….’got caught in my first procession of the season….buncha kids in black robes/hoods….not a good sign for one who’s not ‘doing’  Seman Satan this year…thanks to HBT, I’ve got a hideout on the river across from Gualan(Zacapa way)…a pig gets it in the neck, i get some ‘quiet time’ …..and maybe the little procession there for Semana Satan will seem ‘picturesque’..given enough rum,probably so..and we’ re losing some folks, headed back for the YouEss of A…Alabama Bob is going back, ostensibly to consider work…or not…and one by one, the ‘snow birds’ who bring their annual wackiness plus laughs/decent conversations, are….damn…I’ll miss ’em all…

Casbah’s new ‘pub’, downstairs where Djinn used to be and which has been vacant for a while?…nicely converted to a cozy bar, with a  hammered(distressed)brass top…opening night…opens at 11am for the hungover crowd, not sure when it closes but they’re open all week except mondays…might work…’hammered/distressed’ might apply to a few locals…take Hap, for instance, who took off for Roatan(with the black eye he picked up here a few nights/mornings ago, kissing the cobblestones..

cobblestones? why do we have tumulos/speed bumps for cobblestone streets? paved roads, I got it…kinda like another question about the clock over the Arch…while four clocks and who winds them? and how big is the $#@! key?

Shaun et al getting their new Pit Stop put together, in spite of the usual lackadaisical(no flowers)attitude of the Guate workers..steal/copy an idea…english muffins with black beans, an egg and ? 

some kinda tall/slinky brunette..six feet tall, doing a mini-foto shoot on north 5th…tight black jeans, boots…killer…and expensive..

Andy, our resident mime, doing his thing on 5th, without white face (paint)almost didn’t recognize him…the beggar woman who hangs out by  El Portal? crying this morning…her husband died…who knew she was married? and what kinda home life?

and the high point of my day? being awakened from my afternoon siesta by the guard at the gate with the news that Marbel and her sister(Carla)were here…whoooee baby!…it was great to see Miss M again…and she’s in need of a job and a place to stay…got idea’s? i’ve got her #…(I wish)

manana? St Patrick’s Day, as if a lot of folks needed another excuse to get hammered…o, it’s St Patrick’s Day..gimme a double Jameson’s….I’m outa here monday for a day/night of ‘field research’….looking for the ‘Perfessers’ long  lost stone in the cane fields of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa…right…hey, I found specific directions…what could possibly go wrong?


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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


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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Guatemala, where the strange is just another dose of the daily news and the weird is cannon fodder…no mudder, fodder…I published this last night and this morning in one local paper, the headline read that he’d already been deported, back to Belize…no other confirmation, anywhere…


so…? so what? who the hell knows?  or cares, you ask…in a conversation this morning with a local business man, i made a heavy side-bet that…if he (McAfee)were back in Belize (or not) that his phone is ringing with offers from Hollyweird to ‘do’ the story…c’mon…think about it…lawyers, guns,drugs, money, hookers and bizarre behavior? is this not a description of half of Congress, Oprah, Phil Spector and so on? my bet was that within six months we’re looking at a made for TV movie, shot on location…oops..wrong word/connotation…’filmed on location’…and the Belizean sleazoids will sign on as ‘consultants’…oh…who to play the staring role? that whacked out person, likewise ‘eccentric and unstable’…Tom Cruise…life, as usual, defeats the efforts of comedy, art and insanity..pick your actress..Demi Moore, Pam Anderson, Seka…obscure reference #2

yep..missed it again…the ol burning of the Devil…(set for 5pm)..every f$#@! year i think, you know…you really ought to go see it/shoot photos..but as I said earlier to Nicole…i’ve seen the Devil already, in so many times/places/hallucinations, that once more really isn’t going to make a helluva difference..Nixon, for example…LBJ…Tom DeLay…peyote, DMT, mescaline..cha cha cha…Jimmy Swaggert..no, I never really liked acid..

the streets were somewhat empty, somewhat full..5th ave, first block north of the park, doing fine…Casbah/Studio 35 looking good, early..Red’s dead, that new place, La Velada on 1st Calle, with the Spor Bar sign? closed…oops..not good..4th calle,the golden gulch? Sobremesa slammed, Neils’ Michos the same, Tartines? Francois, at the door, looking lonely…Fusion/Mammas? slow…DaVinci? two..yes, 2 tables!…the road/highway screw up at the entrance to town is likewise screwing up a lot of city folks who don’t want to deal with even more of a traffic problem..perfect for Christmas, eh? 

speaking of Christmas, i’ve decided what i want…a real stocking stuffer…Santa, you bastard…come thru for me  this year, goddammit..I’ve been good…and i can produce signed statements, if you want…

is she hot or what?

James aka Santiago/Bull Durham? looking 110% better! color, gaining weight and walking(gingerly aka slowly)…great news…and the ‘pork chop/rib connection? back on, again..briefly…place your orders pronto…jamesdurham2@gmail.com for next week (I’m in for chops)

is she hot?…yeah…if I can find a really really big stocking..’got the fireplace…and if Santa(you stingy bastard) comes thru…

the impending road trip to Take a Lick Abaj? not quite set in stone…more like set in Silly Putty but we’re talking about a time/place for leaving next Wednesday…progress, Antigua style.. 



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another ‘only in Antigua’ moment or two…a funeral procession leaving La Merced about 5ish, with a mariachi band leading the way…and later, when they turned on the lights in the park, 5th ave, 5th and 6th calles went dark…

and the parking polizei? pissed about back wages/no wages…c’mon…get in the Christmas spirit and give a gift of time (as if)…I don’t know about you but watching the armed pairs of Army soldiers patrolling the streets with their machine guns at the ready….what happens if? is there a rule on pulling the trigger and is so, what is it? is it like they’ve gotta shout ‘halt three times’ before they let their fingers do the walking/talking?

Ocelot has a new manager…David H…and yes, it’s John A, not Don A…my hearing sucks, you know…

there is supposedly a new night club going in where the old theatre of La Sin Ventura was…Segafredo Zanetti…next week, possibly..the weekend…and it appears that Casbah is only open on the weekends..or it appears to me to be that way….

Jim aka Santiago Durham…outa the hell of San Felipe/Roosevelt Hospitals in the City and back home, recuperating from a broken hip…surgery, new ball and so on…and do whatever you need to do to avoid either of these places…grimness abounds, the price is right but…

John Heaton, our gad-fly of Antigua…always trying to bring back the good ol days and get Antigua moving again…just had a collection of his photos accepted by the Library of Congress (US)…that’s good PR…

the proposed road trip up the coast next week might be in jeopardy unless Plan B or C is put into play…the driver, Tom aka Richard Petty Martin, isn’t feeling well…nah, actually he’s sick (again)…get well, please..and Bob Wheat had his trusty Guatemala map/camera stolen…jeez, what’ s with people that they want a map of Guatemala? fortunately, I have one..and yes, that was an earthquake at 6:36 this morning.

and further more, one of the two largest emporiums for arts/crafts is reporting 25/35% decline in sales…perfect, eh? a fiscal cliff approaches, right here in Antigua and yes, the Pizza Mia place on 4th ave is gone…the Ixchel Spanish School at the north end of 4th is gone..

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holy freezin’ jesus…three weeks til the end of the world and a month til 2013? yep..check your calendars, people.

the ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ meeting in the patio at Ocelot…and where the f…..k is J.R?…no, not THAT J.R, he died early this week…the other guy, even more secretive than Howard Hughes/Frank Vesco/Sammy the Bull…


that pizza place on 4th avenida, across from Ocelot? a for rent sign in the window…next to the shuttered/closed dead as a doornail Riki’s…who’s gonna take over that space? with the impending closure of Ixcot, that block is gonna be lights out after the first of the year…DA Mayor’s big Jimmy SUV parked in front of City Hall..that poor…well, relatively poor bastard…cooped up in jail with Portillo, his assets seized…am I the only one who waves at his daughter? (and she’s well worth waving at, believe me)…

that newish restaurant, La Velanda or whatever..in the old Fusion location, corner of 1st calle and 6th avenida? that’s the place that missed the ‘T’ in Sport Bar…well, they’ve added a nice brass ‘T’ now…so? so what? spor bar, sport bar, sperm bar…take a look at Red’s and decide if you want to open up another sports bar in town…idiots..

Santa, aka Frank May of Nim P’ot, passing out gift baskets which included some of his fresh organic produce from the Farm…that’s a neat personal touch over the cellophane wrapped canastas from Bodegona…

Jim aka Santiago Durham returns home from the hospital/surgery/ball/hip thing tomorrow..yep, I’ve been drafted…and that vinos y licores place on 5th calle P, towards La Pena del Sol? someone just upped the ante/stakes and has added a lot of new brands of liquor(jack daniels etc)plus a walk-in humidor well stocked with Cuba’s finest…the stogies are a bit dry but that’ll change…a very good assortment, better than…well, maybe..no, on 2nd thought, I think the nod goes to them…if they had Montecristo #1’s…or San Cristobals…hmm…and thanks, Mike D, for the salacious gossip/scandalous babble about a mutual friend…whew…this town is incestuous, ‘n’est ce pas?…frenchy talk for ‘no shit’…


it appears that there might be a ‘road trip’ coming up…the principals are nodding their heads..film at eleven..last but not least: is Alex Ferrar of Sobremesa the most talented chef in town? or creative? ..had some of his latest, mezcal ice cream…Don A, George S in there early, noshing away..(eating) and yes, I missed the performance of Nutcracker Suite, Handel’s Messiah and i gave away the ticket to the ballet for tomorrow night..after i get Bull Durham up the steps tomorrow to his f….king apartment and squared away, I’m taking the week off..yeah, you say…I’v been ‘off’ for a long time…no shit.


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Blooie! the mortar bombs at La Merced were great….the earlier aerial fireworks show at what might’ve been Capuchina…I try not to get to close to wedding ceremonies, as I break out in a cold sweat thinking about one.

‘the Perfesser, Mike Donley, is back in town…with a tale of two boats…ask him…it was a narrow escape and a….per he, Reid the Choate is due back, once his son graduates from the Police Academy..no, not the movie…

Alabama Bob, likewise back from El Salvador (and Evelyn)….rumors starting to build about another ‘road trip’, this time up the Pacific Coast towards Take a Lick Abaj…look out Reyo!

our loss…the delightful Miss M aka Marbel…left us for India…actually Nepal..yeah, she had her ‘issues’ but I liked her: we laughed well together. What the hell did she do with her drum set? in the living room of her apartment on 6th avenida, was a full on pro drum set…kinda makes sense, in that her ex-boyfriend of ten years was a drummer for Lenny Kravitz…god speed and vaya con dios. I suspect she’s in for a bit of culture shock.

der Henrik, back from an inspection tour of the new Reillys in Granada, Nicaragua…yeah…2 thumbs up…Granada, unlike this burg, likes to party and is officially encouraged to do so, fueled by Flor de Cana rum and Tono beer…it’s like Antigua, visually except they paved their cobblestone streets and its hot and humid…perfect for ordering another round of adult sports beverages.

4th Calle, the ‘golden gulch’ of A-Town…quiet…Micho’s doin’ a bit of biz, and El Cazadore Italiano packed with the glitzy city crowd..Caffe Bourbon doin’ well…Da Vinci a dead zone but the annual Christmas tree and decorations are xlnt, as usual…worth a look…Flor(escent)of Dasha open late, doing biz..Travel Menu doing two tables of 4, the bartenderess complaining….and where’s my book holder? 

dos Reilly’s filling up early…Ocelot/Lava quiet but it was early…Ixcot other known as the Cemetery, dead..stick a fork in ’em…Sangre? with a 25q cover charge and some kinda ‘all you can drink’ special? folks..wrong concept: pay people 25q to get in and then hit ’em with the ‘all you can swill’ idea…La Casbah lit up, music on and a full staff…welcome back!

the funeral? Figueroas on 6th avenida norte…a full crowd..business is dead concept in full play…and another ‘only in Guatemala’ adventure…


Ricardos’ Tabacos y Vinos, by the Arches? packed to capacity..!

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