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Posts Tagged ‘La Pena del Sol’

alert…huge alert!….Rexer’s outa Ilegal Mezcal….a few bottles on the back shelf at Cafe No Se and the promised shipment outa Mexico?  right…manana y manana…are we living in a 3rd World Country? o, that’s right…we are..like my local printer: ‘tomorrow, tomorrow….right…

La Pena Del Sol? jammed/packed..party of 75 plus assordid others…125 diners…Lori Shea’s group(birthday)upstairs in a corner, the band jamming below…Mike the X and others…’never seen La Pena this packed…Bill at the door, big smile…dos Reilly’s quiet, El Gato Negro with the music up, half/packed…Ocelot’s happy hour packed…ah, TM of the Beige Bomb? reports that the repairs are done except for one tiny detail…a headlight is out…so…if anyone can find a headlight for  a ’90 series T-Bird or Cougar, call in and getcher reward..

Sobremesa open on a regularly closed Tuesday? yep…Cashbar closed..Sangre lo mismo except that Djinn(across the street next to Cashbar)is moving into some retail space of Sangre….hey, cashflow..for a change..

weird stuff #4…checked the stats for this silly blog…weird…people in Malaysia,  India, Indonesia and Tunisia checking in…yeah, Denmark…but the East? por que? Netherlands? yep…probably the Dutch Boy who stuck his finger in the bull dyke and saved Holland…drum roll..

per Alex of Fusion, the expansion next door(old 709 space) is ‘that close’ to being signed off…gotta meeting with Da Mayor soon…maybe next week/month…waitaminute..next week IS next month…the tenants are ready to rock/make $$…can Da Mayor do something? whata bout the Consejo? o, that’s right..he fired a bunch of them…this town…

still haven’t eaten at the new chinese place, Wokco…the menu’s on the table and it looks enticing..next week, the latest version of Our Man up on Amazon.com…lotta additions: decided that Top Five Bars oughta be Top Ten, for example…too many great dives not to include/write about…plus more light hearted froth(only in Antigua stuff)…this town…love it…earthquakes, lava flows, rains…wtf? beats the hell outa any other place on this planet…

no f%$#@! mezcal? this is an emergency of the highest…er, well…dire straits…even worse…our ‘live music’ scene….Nelson Lunding plays a gig in the City tomorrow night and then departs for two months…Ignacio, our Cuban virtuoso, having lost a leg to diabetes…gonzo…Seth Monfort, the outstanding pianist…gonzo..Ron Fortin, sax player? adios? who’s left? Adan the Cuban? Mercedes? it’s not lookin’ good for stuff other than DJ’s..Mike the X and Los Mescalitos? yep…they’re still here…Cafe No Se..alas, Caffe Bourbon..no breakfast trade and no dinners…even Tacodiscontento outdrawing them and that’s not a record to brag about..’sneezin’ and wheezin? yep…the elegant Victoria C back at El Reino del Jade…sneezin’ like me and a bunch of tuk-tuk drivers…it’s that time of the year, they say…the cold that keeps on keepin’ on…hello, paper towels…ahchoo!… 

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that sending 1700+ wiretransfers of $ a million USD per to Cuba over a 3 month period was illegal…JPMorgan…slammed by the Feds…be interesting to know the end recipients..on the other hand(four fingers and a thumb)what was up with 5th ave norte tonight? strollers, walkers, couples and two….count ’em..two different mariachi bands (and not bad)

5th’s eateries doing fine, Caffe Bourbon showcasing the freshly returned Piano Mike and Moriah at the microphone, warbling(singing)ever so sweetly…’glad they’re back..Ocelot dead(empty at 7)dos Reilly’s packed, der Henrik munching a take-out pizza at the door…down the calle to La Pena del Sol(Henrik’s never been there)it was Stan Heller and newly arrived lady friend from “Orange County”…it was either that or Dallas…the women ‘dress’ there..La Pena? a change in chefs…Chef Pierre of the recently closed bistro of the same name on outer 6th calle that didn’t last long…now the executive chef at La Pena(I made that up about being the ‘executive chef…it just sounds good)his bread was always mentioned as being special and now…expect some subtle but good changes at Crash Harriss’ place…yeah, he was working the door and breaking in a new sweet young thing to learn the ropes of cajoling passersby..Paco’s brother/cousin/relative there last night, a mucky-mucky at Channel 7….in a new Benz, parked at the door. I don’t miss any of the Benz’ I’ve owned but I do miss the Porsches’ (3 & 2)only the ’59 356 would survive the cobblestones of this burg and even then…the problem with fancy cars is parking them so folks don’t give you door dings..I’m thinking of an analogy to ‘fancy women’ but let’s let that go by.

ah…the very attractive mayoral candidate from the Unionista Party…Susana Ascencio! at Sobremesa this morning, talking to a group of the CanCham..Canadian Chamber of Commerce…I like her…very very non-politico in speaking and appearance…not gonna win, but…a tip of the panama for points and style.

if i could vote

 

likewise a tip of the hat to Alex the Author(another flavor of ice cream..blueberry chocolate) for his series called ‘Heresy’….violence, sex, guns and dope…my kinda stuff,especially at 3am when the stodgy English books I’ve been reading are boring..well, 3 outa 4 of the above..speaking of one of the above, new minor details emerge re last weeks ‘night of the knives’…don’t ask, don’t tell…it’s a conundrum, wrapped in an enigma and tied with wierd twine…’just watcher self if you’re out after the Pumpkin Hour…they haven’t been caught and as soon as the smoke clears…who knows? one thing I’ve noticed is a paucity (shortage) of PNC trucks on the streets in the night…the daytime?  damned few and they’re parked in the shade, snoozing, at least on my street and a couple of others…tough work, crime-fighting but they do have the swagger perfected…think Jack Palance, Shane, gunning down the sod-buster in the muddy street..what was his name? also in a Maltese Falcon role..the little guy..tippa my tongue..a mind is a terrible thing to waste…if I ever find mine..Eli ….? no, not Peter Lorre…let’s see..bogart, sidney greenstreet and ….maybe it’s the new brand of scotch…Highland Warriors..cheapo but bueno..Eli…damn..Elisha Cook, Jr…! i cheated via Google, btw..didn’t make it to El Caminante tonight for another performance by Lucy the Luscious but i assume that the feathers flew and things jiggled…

lastly…expect some downsizing in the town’s two publications(or at least one) per the economic downsizing, i.e, unpaid bills..o well..no one ever said it was going to be easy and if you haven’t paid for your advertising…what are they gonna do? free ride…

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No, not Sonny and Cher’s kid nor U2’s wife..

Maybe the question is moot, since later information* has come to light that it was the work of locals wired up with some kind of pharmaceuticals and supposed captured on camera*…let’s hope(i do) at any rate, tomorrow/wed at 9am the British Embassy has arranged a meeting with INGUAT (tourist agency) and supposedly also including the presence of the boys in black, our own PNC…and if they haven’t captured the suspects how do we/they know they were tripping on whatever it might have been?

I’m confused, moreso than usual…’spoke with two different business owners who’s first language is English and their espanol is xlnt…both were at today’s meeting regarding the above…one saying that the individuals had been recognized, the other saying that the police were trying to identify the  truck…you know, the maroon pickup with the white stripe…and no mention of the identity of the wackos…so? yeah, i’m goin’ to the meeting in the morning…and welcome back, Piano Mike, just off a 24 hour plus journey via NYC and here(and looking somewhat haggard and not Merle)

JEH and the lovely Catherine doing the evening stroll..’ran into Marcel of El Caz, cooly..coolly? coooly? stylishly sipping a margarita streetside at El Portal..Crass…no Crash Harriss working the door at La Pena del Sol…and i mean ‘working’…no one gets past him without an invitation to come inside..

re the ‘sighting of the tattooed dudes packing heat in the park(supposedly)and why they weren’t arrested…by whom? the TouristPolice who’d wack ‘them with a water bottle? The Transit Police who’d sell them a parking ticket? guess what..that leaves the dreaded PNC and there’s a turf question…really..the PNC are under the Governor’s control..I’ve been told..again by ‘usually reliable sources’

La Casa del Turista..2a calle oriente, #11 9am, between 3rd/2nd avenidas

thanks/kudos/a round of applause to the British Embassy for setting this up…it’ll be good to see this resolved and hopefully in a more constructive way than the BAC/ATM debacle..I don’t expect more than the usual stroke-job and perhaps a certificate of attendence, suitable for hanging and framing. Is ‘it’ over? probably a one-time random event, statistically speaking…the business community is freaked by the bad publicity, natch…and there’s only another week or so before the September doldrums set in(tourists vanish)…if nothing else, Lucy the Luscious is back Thursday night at El Caminante, with a larger cast of dancers..a man’s gotta keep his priorities in order, no? o…the gun range that was gonna call me after the weekend? right…nada, zip, zilch..this is getting to be a farce of the first magnitude..kinda like the missing diamond scales and a few other typical Guate stroke-jobs..one thing fer sure, dude…if you see a maroon pickup with a white stripe…vanish quickly..

and finally, a confession that I don’t like making…there was Sofia, the bartender who was one of those slashed last week..sitting at Ocelot, bandaged and with a crutch…why didn’t i think to interview her? until later, as in now? christ, the questions…when, who, how, what did they look like? what a giant dipshit i am…big surprise, eh?

 

  

 

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and the moon is in…Uranus….what weird times/vibes/events…

fairly bad

 
thanks to Shaun of Ocelot for the wretched news of five separate attacks last night, done by two wackos in a black pickup…the worst scene(above)on 2nd calle, between 5th and 6th avenidas…looked like a broken beer bottle was involved…and on a Guatemalteco…as if this week could get any more insane.
 

 

 

 

went by for La Pena del Sol’s 5th anniversary bash…balloons, streamers, cha cha..Bill on the congas…no, playing the congas…

happy aniversary

something about that place, because i’ve shot numerous photos with different cameras…’never can get a good shot…’went by Ocelot and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid showed up…sundance off to madrid(spain)in a week or so…mentioned that Hector and Frank(Nimpot)had been there together…wierd? as weird as Henrik and Scott S traveling together to Peru…

Miss Pollo Campero 2011

‘ran into Alex B of Fusion 2 sitting outside his place..we both agree that next year will sell some changes here..i.e., business’ gone…there’s a few people that I know who will survive…Alex of Sobremesa, Henrik of dos Reillys, Sean of Ocelot, Alex B, Max of El Muro(and hopefully John), Peter the G for juggling…real estate, el caminante, Angie, Cafe No Se…Hector? no question..Ricardo of Tabacos y Vinos, Bill(Crash)Harriss of La Pena..’wish that the Beaver was open…you’ve never seen determination like a one-legged man flipping burgers and showing rooms til you’ve seen Peter the Hodge…Diego and Becky of Hotel El Delfin…Mario and Yann of Johnny’s Place..Marcel and his crew of el Cazadore Italiano…Neil Craig’s in there somewhere, yet to be determined..these are some of my favorite people…’never ever give up…passed in the street by ‘her’…nope..didnt go there..finally got to meet in person Gina C…and I like her…add to the list of people who’ll be here next year..Flor Moran of Dasha..Woody Allen once said that 90% of life is just ‘showing up”…these folks do that every %^#@ day..Ixnay, Pangea, Sangre? i’m taking side bets that 2 outa 3 will fade in a year..Riki’s? even money..at least they’ve stopped advertising the greek joint that’s been closed for a year or two…this is a vicious town for retail..rents,location and then add in the unknown factors of the world wide financial melt-down…i’ve done too many business’, and appraised too many…i can’t call this one except to say that i’d be watchin’ cash flow and putting away $$ for next year..and the year after..if i had to call any business that might be survivable…hookers/liquor… 

 

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this isn’t personal…this is biz…Bistro Cinq’s absinthe promotions? why? Absinthe is a bit sophisticated for any town (aside from those Frenchies) and I can’t even find a decent martini in this town (except for El Caz Italiano, B5 and the extra large knock me on my ass version from Camilla at Ocelot) the height of culture regarding booze in this town, in my limited perception, is Ilegal Mezcal…slam, bam, have another one…that, and beer by the bucket, or the ‘all you can swill for 60-70q’ dumbass promotions.

ok, off the sap box..yeah, i meant ‘sap’..Neil of Pangea reporting unusual crowds from an unusual source in the Lounge…Chapines from the City!..swilling the all you can version of mojitos for 60q until that state of rum-dumb is entered…i never thought that crowd would go for it but if one stops and thinks/drinks, or as Tono, the sage once said, ”let me drink about it”…the Lounge might be something slicker than the usual dive bars here…Studio 35 closed tonight…El Muro off to a slow start, with the staff(2)playing with themselves..no, that’s not right..putting on make-up and waiting for whatever.

F2, A Bell’s new mouse-trap on 4t calle, doing a crowd..the old location, aka “Roadkill”..? the new red/white vertical paint job didn’t do a thing…music? who knows? the schedule/players rotate like a floating crap-game in this town..dos Reilly’s doing a decent crowd and what’s up with El Gato Negro on 6th ave? two nights running, and empty…’never seen them empty and if this is some kinda sign…jeez, lose the backpacker crowd and there goes a lotta $$.

John Heaton’s article in the latest issue of Am-Ex’ Departure magazine? fabo..if i had an Am-Ex card and you’ve gotta have a platinum card for the mag…hell, i couldn’t quality for a Wal-Mart gift card…and my shit isn’t burning…the Nag Champa Sai Baba brand of incense i buy from Djinn?..made from dried/rolled cowflop and scented..’must’ve gotten a bad batch cuz they’re not staying lit (unlike some of us)…do i call 1-800-Bangalore?

‘ever read a business plan? there’s the overview, the nuts/bolts, mission statement and the exit plan..one of the better ‘mission statements’ i’ve heard is that of Jason’s of Lava..”I just wanna own a bar so I can get laid.” If you’ve ever worked a bar, then you know that at closing time there’s usually a few possibilities…new bartender in town! Cadena? french babe, starts tomorrow night at El Muro, already scored a 2nd job at Mono Loco and found an apartment for $195!…seeing long time commercial establishments letting people go and the owners now working the counters..wtf? no tourist bucks? no local lucre? kinda looking that way which is notta good thing for A-town, especially in mid-summer…’startin’ to look like there’s gonna be some casualties in the retail segments fairly soon…vacancies remaining vacant, places closing for no particular reason: i’m a thinkin’ that the owners of now-closed Deliciosa saw the handwriting, read the tea leaves and picked a good time to say ‘adios’…yeah, i know of places for sale but can’t talk about it…what’s up with the new BBQ restaurant on Santa Lucia? s’posed to have been underway by now…close to Polio Compero..El Pena del Sol, ‘Crash’ Harriss’ joint on 5th calle reporting steady trade…from groups, where he and Las Palmas have a niche: when one is packed, the other calls the other..and sends ’em over…’Crash’ reported a party of 60(!) sent over lately..damn..

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the full moon, hidden behind clouds, the Cathedral lit up…streets clean after a short rain earlier…this town is so perfect. Ocelot? Karla back after some adventures, Whiskey Den with Allen, Neil and a few others , discussing the virtues(or lack of) with Guatemaltecas…I concur…women in general, add the latina side and throw in guatemalan culture…it’s a wonder that the race perpetuates itself…the Foreign Exchange night? didn’t see it take off…for the 2nd week in a row..

realize, of course, that i’ve gone the complete residente/gringo route…i rent everything…yep…’everything’…take that however you wish but it makes my life a lot simpler..no emotional misunderstandings..’gee, i thought that when you said ‘that’ you meant ‘that’…o, that’s right…it’s a guate thing’…as in ‘money talks and bullshit walks’..my motto for the millenium.

‘got around to hear the superb musicians at El Pena del Sol…’Sol Latino’…these guys rock, night after night…hand-made instruments..the food’s good and the place was fairly full..’thought i’d seen some 7yr flor de cana..wrong, rum-breath…5 year but close enough for antigua.

Dos Reilly’s quiet at 8pm..who knows later? everyone else having a slow night..4th calle/5th avenida..marcel of el caz italiano rode in on his bad bike..guess he figured it wasn’t gonna rain tonight..Travel Menu, the small res/bar on 6th calle? doing biz!…don’t know how they get the word out, but the place works…ran into Ana who used to work at Hectors..she’s been working at Cashbar for a year! where the f…k have i been? dont’ ask, don’t tell..Como Como doing a table, the joint next door…nada, zip…the dude who rides his horse down the streets…clip clop..Fred of Ravenscroft despises him per his treatment of the horse..and I trust fred’s take on things…a bit wierd but he’s traveled and he reads..Paula, of course, is another matter but then we’ve all made weird choices in women…and thanks, Tom C, for the ‘background’ on the Palacio de India…i’d heard of different stories from others..totally whacked…’this town..’chisme central’ and not always correct..actually, seldom correct..’heard via C that the Salty Beaver was closed for a while..transportation a problem per LM’s truck being stolen and Peter’s truck going down…screw..what next? these folks need a break from the karma train..

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