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Posts Tagged ‘semana santa’

first of all, this is an unfounded rumor. The little Mercadito, next to the Expreso Condesa, where the back was full of the same-o same-o handicrafts: word is it’s gonna be either or KFC or an Applebee’s…with the recent invasion of a Wendy’s, a couple of doors away, WTF? is there some kind of design/license review in this town or does the mayor (outgoing) have any kind of say about this? if this is even half-way true, given the recent invasion of Dunkin’ Donuts and a Little Caesars down 4th Calle, this is fairly outrageous for the preservation of what remains of Antiguas’ cultural integrity…in Carmel, for example, where I once lived for ten years, you can’t even eat ice cream on the streets. I’m not suggesting that kind of Nazi thinking here but…

and yes, we’ve got the PNC, those lovable copies of SS storm troopers, standing on the corners in the mornings…as if they’re really ‘combating crime’ in this haven of tranquility,this tourist mecca..and why the Army troops ride with them is another mystery. ..the crime here occurs after dark, folks..and is focused on tourists/gringos..that’s where the money is, but why not do their patrols after dark and in the fringe areas of town? oops..Mr Logic just reared his ugly head again.

Speaking of logic, Caniz, that long-time private mail service that we pay extra for, for the extra service? they’ve decided to add a little to the pile: now there’s only outgoing mail on Tuesdays but on Thursdays they’re bringing in mail from the City…hmm,you ask? yeah, me too..why not go back to the outgoing mail service on that day also? the truck is here…throw in some mail, what the hell? why not? don’t ask, don’t tell/smell…

Biden’s in-country, bringing promises  of joy, strength and money, no doubt..will Guatemala ever see any of the $$? only if Portillo comes out of Zacapa and rearranges the constitution (done often here)…I like the guy: great hair, good clothes and a past that works well with the electorate here..so what if he wasted two Mexicans? that’s gotta count for something..so what if he stole a few million bucks here and there? he’s obviously a ‘go-to’ kinda guy..

OK, I’m whining…allowing a Wendy’s on the Plaza was a rape of the cultural integrity of Antigua: I’m not against ‘fast foods’ as long as they’re down the block and out of sight…if and a big IF, a KFC or an Applebees goes in next door, its the beginning of the end of Antigua as something special, a cultural treasure or a UNESCO World Heritage place where we live…it’s bad enough with all the ice cream stores, bars, restaurants..not to mention travel agencies…I’m not…they gotta make a living..I don’t but I can see their place in the scheme of things.

Blender-Rama? daiquiries…just enough to make this possible nightmare fade for a while.+

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or what passes for ‘normal’ in Antigua…Holy Week is over! Jaysoos is reportedly hiding out at some Club Med, the barges are put away and the black/purple outfits likewise. I confess that I haven’t been out at night in a week, given the crowds, the incense and the pickpockets.

is it true that Marbel is now running things at Lava? and no, I haven’t seen the great looking murals at La Morena and yes, that was the ubiquitous James Mullen doing a guest bartender gig at Jungle Party’s new upper level…even Alex of Sobremesa filled in as a cucurrocho/bearer on one of the floats…in his spare time? 

Tanya threw a  rooftop bash at her place in Manchen…great views! Carla B there, Spiros did the honors at the BBQ..old faces, new faces, laughs…and I didn’t get caught in any crowds, coming or going..and Lito/Ale had their final final, leaving for Albuquerque (he said) and I think (sic) that Bobby D and Gracie did their last gigs…she’s leaving..missing these things wasn’t personal…I got caught in one early procession, Friday and that was enough to get me the hell outa Dodge and home…so? yeah, this is  short,  ok? I’ll try to get around tonight, for some ‘filler’….go  out and enjoy the peace and quiet today…I will…wrong again, tequila-breath…THIS is the last week for Bobby and Gracie…tuesday night, 8 pm, Kafkas.Wed, 9pm at  Ocelot..after than, who knows?

and…La Morena’s grand opening? Thursday night at 10 pm…free drinks, which should be enough for every  booze hound in town to appear..me? probably not..my bedtime,you know..

and yes, no need to calle the Toe Truck’…my slip/fall over the old Rottweiler last week jammed Big Toe #1…but, I’m better…

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it’s one of my two favorite times of day….5 +….the clouds roll over the mountains to the west, reminding me of San Francisco/Sausalito fog banks, the various flocks of birds in the finca fly in to the fountain and fight over landing rights(the smaller mourning doves lose to the larger clarineros)and to the east, where the last group of tennis players wind up, all you  can hear is ‘fault! or ‘out!’….reminds me of being married, in a way.

By any measure, Lori Shea’s Antigua Music Organization show was a success/boffo/superb!….the 300 chairs were filled and another 50+ people milled around…the 2nd act, ‘Annika’ seems to have taken the prize for musical perfection/act/class etc..’according to a few people I spoke with…familiar faces in the crowd…the ever elegant Maite Morjan, Yves Goudard/wfe (they’re thinking of moving to 
Morocco) and Lito/Ale, two of Antigua’s more popular waitstaff..Lito says he’s leaving in a month and moving to Albuquerque (NM)….we shared experiences…the fabulous Mexican food, mainly..I could almost live in New Mexico…almost..the climate, the culture, the food..Santa Fake,  not..Taos? I never really ‘got’ Taos…

Some go, some return…’Nazi’ John, so dubbed by DVM aka Hogan…James Mullen, our 50 yr old heavy metal Goth….heart of gold…Ponzi Bob leaves Wednesday..always dreamin’ of gold..some day?

so..it’s the main month, down to the countdown of Easter Sunday…yeah, the crowds, the pickpockets…the alfombras are xlnt…works of art, in some cases….I’m not a ‘stand in line’ kinda guy, unless I’m at the head of the line..ask me about the scar on the back of my head, for an example.

and yes, the ATM thieves…two of the restaurants that Mike D mentioned as possibilities for his regretful event are old time Antigua establishments but all it takes is one bent waiter….my recent experiences with ATMs? I’d probably avoid the one in Bodegona…when it’s gone, its gone and it takes a while to get it back…the replacement ATM card might get here in 3 or 4 weeks…cash? o, that’s right…how do you get cash, in the meantime? think about it..and I’m waiting to see how Alex Long’s new cantina shapes up, La Calle…it feels like it has what I’ve called ‘critical mass’…a term for describing the perfect size for a bar or restaurant…like Hector’s  or the Snug…it’s ‘people thing’, a comfort zone.

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why do the tuk-tuks travel in groups? seems to me that if they spaced their routes, they’d get more business…o, that’s right! business? it’s a Guatemala thing, where reason/logic and such don’t apply.

Tomorrow night, 6pm…Lori Shea has mounted a production…oops, wrong semaphore/metaphor…at the Spanish Cultural Center, from 6 to 8 or so…most of Antigua’s traveling troubadours will be there, for the launch of her Antigua Musical Organization, which will try to bring some order into the musical scene here..6th avenida between 3rd and 4th calles..video stuff, interviews, a lot of chairs and maybe it won’t rain, like it did earlier tonight.. Yep..thunder and rain but just right…15 minutes or so, just enough to settle the dust. A bit early? usually, the last week of Semen Santa gets some rain..Jackson says he’s not going but will be at the Red Zebra, down by 8th calle/3rd avenida..

yes, got ‘bit’ by the ATM bandits but it’s working out (slowly)…Mike D says he got hit a month ago by one of three restaurants in town…nope, no names…ask him..

Antigua? this is a tough town, like Vegas but smaller and without the ‘escorts’ and gambling…if anyone has a problem with OTC meds, alcohol or any other kind of addictions, this isn’t the place to stay clean/sober..

Alex Long’s (Fusion)new cantina in the back of Nido Antigua is shaping up but I wouldnt’ expect the soft opening tomorrow night…I popped in, they were working (sic)..maybe Saturday (pick one)

And, I’m surprised that someone hasn’t come along and rented the old Tacocontento space on 5th avenida…prime location, with Semana Santa coming soon..and I was dismayed to hear of the motorcycle/old man in the street/event last week…re Loris thing tomorrow night: after party at  Kafka’s…9 or so..

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or rum-i-nations, como Guatemala…if the Queen of Spain is in town, where does she view the processions? will she ride on one of the floats? if so, how dressed?

it seemed like a ‘martini day’ after last nights o-so-close approximations at La Taverna…’not complaining, mind you, as Dave the Slave Hoffman is a great mixologist…the glasses were for margaritas and the only added things might have been pearl onions..no thanks..I’m a lemon twist/olive kinda guy…so? the mind set (sic) made me go to Bodegona for ingredients: gin(the only real martini ingredient, stuffed olives and a giant bottle of dry vermouth…so, drain the olives, rinse a few times and fill the bottle with vermouth…trade secret…freeze two martini glasses in the ice compartment, add gin and some ice cubes to the shaker (just enough to float a medium size battleship and stir…not shake…bad boy! stir and drain…ah! in front of my patio, by the fountain, is a tree that i long assumed was a lime tree..wrong, gin-breath…it has yellow fruit that when skimmed/peeled, taste like lemon! o happy day…a lemon twist! no,not her…she’s busy..

Cindy the C is back, for a day or so more, before the trip to the Galapagos, where she’ll be teaching something…Mike D is squiring her around…Sam the Canadian left today returning to the frozen wastes (why does this phrase always remind me of frozen dog…#@!)he says he’ll be back in May…if you go up to the Candelaria Caves and stay at the Lodge, don’t mention Joe Miller’s name..it seems that he had a close encounter with a bathroom  window early in the morning…oops..

Flor and the Fashion Show? frankly, it was all about Flor…the models were young and cute but…Flor’s a woman and they’re girls, if you know what I mean…Bobby D and Grace did the early show at Micho’s last night…5pm start time? dunno..I walked by about 5:30/6:30 and they were playing/singing/doing the gig..

ok…science marches on! time to open the freezer compartment and remove ‘chilled glass #2’ and begin the beguine all over again…remember, stirred, not shaken…the lines are drawn..actually painted, on the street outside my walls/finca…indicating the ‘start’ of the San Felipe processions…Stations of the Cross, #1 and 2, are on the outside walls of this place…o boy…maybe if I went up to the little tower at the other end and ran a hose…a little water, not wine and ‘hello’ Jesus! ‘take that’, Mary….

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where we drink til 12 and p…s til 1….and how did Holy Week slip on me? talking with a long time Antigueno this morning, and yes, there was a ‘procession’ last night…%$#@! I was thinking (sic)about  Mardi Gras…yep, the parades with the babes in feathers and was told that Momostenango has ’em..but that’s next $#@! week, aka Tuesday, the day before Ass Wednesday….ASH, I meant…my mind, what’s left, wanders sometimes.

Tonight, the 3rd attempt at a Venetian Masked Ball…American International School doin’ this one…the last one, attempted by the the indefatigable and beautiful Gabi A? a bit of a fiasco…wait, that’s a Ford mini car, no? a lotta work for one gal, but…the first one, 3 years ago, i don’t think broke even…’need to see 150 tickets but it was a helluva production..

Hogan and crew of  zanies off  fishing today with Capt Jerry…Jim O and uncertain crew, numbers and otherwise, attempting to get off the ground Monday for the  north and west of here, up into the Quiche country..me?  nope…I’m sticking a round to do/shoot the Earth Lodge thing tomorrow, with the memorable headline already in mind…’The Ninth Annual Corn Hole Tourney’  I suspect that it’ll get a lot of press in San Francisco.

There was  a lot of music last night…bobby D and Grace at La Taverna(who’s been racking up the old gringo crowd) and Piano aka Guitar Mike and a banjo person at Cafe No Se…Nelson has some gigs at the Lake..I seem to recall that he and Urbane Duane are playing tomorrow, 3-5 at michos…

Hogan out next week….incoming is Yo Yo and the delightful Debbie…Miss Cindy doing a 5 day stopover, on her way to the Galloping Pagos, to teach ’em something (don’t ask)..19th, I heard. Shaun of O’lots new place, La Morena? to be in what was that ill-fated ‘Concept Bar’, back in the O’lot patio corner…and yes, La Playa 13 did take the sand with them…dipshits…Hap’s off to Costa Rica shortly, for a few weeks…’never been…yep, I’ve got some ideas to share (been there 35 times) and yes..finally, it’s almost 5pm, which mean I can start drinking (again)..now that I’ve pushed the ‘panic button’ re getting outa town for Holy Moly Month…o please, Lord…a boat, a barge, anything in Rio Dulce, for a week..and it’s already started here…

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yep, another ‘incoming procession’ tonight…with the grand finale, the overnighter on Thursday…I went to town, smiled at Flor(no news on her new location replacing Dasha on 5th calle, waved at the ultra delicious Claudia #1 of Da Vinci and…ogled the teen tarts in the park…pop tarts? you tell me…

seen any of the new/shiny 1 quetzal coins yet? uncirculated but they all have 2011 as the date of issue…maybe it’s just a Guatemalan thing, where it takes two years to get stuff done…

Pappy’s Texas BBQ? announcing that they’re open tomorrow…11-4…maybe they’re getting ‘up to speed’ and figuring out just how much traffic they can bear…I like it…a ‘sound business plan’ unlike most others in this town..John Korte’s back in town, prepping for their final final move to Panama and bemoaning the lack of a parking space..

do you read? consider this…and do the math: if you buy a used book at 30q once a week, that’s 120q a month…you could, on the other hand, join the American Legion library, where for a measly 100q a year, read as much as you can bite off..next to the Bavarian Garden, on 7th ave norte…open 11-3, seven days a week and nope, you don’t have be a member of the Legion…

and thanks again, Reid, for the bottle of  Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castile Soap…as i said, over the usual meeting of the Knights of the Clown Table at Ocelot, i haven’t used it since the early 70’s, when I lived on a commune in  northern Cal…now..where to find the patchouli  oil?..ah, Gualan/Guanajar? no idea when…might be a truck load of relatives, per the Christmas run of 20 some in the back…

and where in hell did all these PNC(cops)come from? like the army patrols, they’re packin’ serious firepower…stubby little machine guns, black berets and…nope…didn’t see any of the rarely seen pink berets…they’re the anti-gay troops..

and one by one, the annual visitors are leaving…some not soon enough, the others will be missed…there might be one more road trip next month, a kind of closing out the season thing…Mike D, Alabama Bob, Reid, all leaving in May…it could be a run to Iximche, Xela and  for those with fortitude and a desire to see what ranks is on my top three list of worst nightclubs in the world(El Exceso)..no film at 11, btw…all I remember is some fat girl trying to climb the brass pole..and failing.

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