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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

and the night is queer…no, ‘clear’…as perfect a night as one could wish for: short sleeve weather, no rain…town packed, even with the 6pm departures for the City…why? Whirled Cup? Army Day? who knows or cares? (not I, for either event)…

Norma Massis’ birthday event at El Pelicano Sport- great…she’s recovering from a horse falling on her(bruises? yeah…a lot, but no broken bones)Beverly B, workin’ the bar…the exquisite Jessica up stairs at Lava: yeah, she’s married…she says..but, still, with a face/body like hers….damn..

thank you, Reid and Nazi John for the drinks at La Taverna…and the level of conversation…something all too rare and very appreciated…multi-syllable words/ideas and apologize for the lame jokes…Harpo, Chico, Groucho, Zippo and Cheapo Marx…it was one of those kind of days for me…leading off with the Embassy warning about rapes/stuff here…I mentioned that one of the rapes occurred at the gas station…’no, really?’…yeah, they pumped ethyl’…you’d have be a certain age to get this…

great sandwich to go from Metiz(packed!)…Whiskey Den? empty? why..o’lot empty sort of..Lava doing the leftovers from the futbol crowd..so? where is that revenue enhancing project, El Cepo…the Denver Boot? tons of doubled parked cars all around the city…$$$$ being lost…and now, we have the ‘Sound Police’ back…checking bars for excessive noise…Las Vibras, and a few others…so? so what? go find the criminals who held up Alabama Bob, at gun point a few nights ago..yeah, it was late(or early) but still…by Red’s/La Merced)…

i’m hearing nothing but good things about the japanese restaurant, Origami, on 6th calle, between  3rd/4th ave…and Travel Menu/Snug?  great music, food and so on…eating up the competition, right and left. Los Tres Tiempos the scene of a wedding after party, with Ignacio, our long time Cuban musician…Peter the G and the lovely Rogelia(whew!) there..Cashbar even doing a little bit of biz…Gaia, with loud music, sucking…Sangre, locked/shut down…big surprise?

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has the great Antigua City Bus Tour folded? I, for one, thought that it was a great idea: take a tour of the best that Antigua had to offer, from the comfort and convenience of a new bus, with a bilingual driver and see sides of town from a different perspective…maybe it was too expensive…I’m waiting to see what impact the SegWay people have…if it’s anything like the non-impact of Soomoon Scooter’s,they’re be shortlived..

Antigua has morphed into a down-market group of bus riders who come for the safety and the cheap ice cream. That, and the proliferation of ‘quiz night’s, now at three different locations…one will die a slow death, the other’s remain to be seen)or not). It’s that time of the season for the religious groups to come spread their gospel…matching t*shirts, earnest expressions of good will and at least one disparate nationality amongst them….that and the 14 Mormons who arrived this week…O Save Guatemala! 

Culture has taken a back seat here: Frank’s Galeria de Arte leads the parade, Panza Verde makes their lame attempts but for all attempts and purposes, it’s jade, jade and jade…led by the various tour leaders to these emporiums of same-o same carvings..

It used to be, not so far long ago, that City folk could come here and find something different..clothing, bags, jewelry….those days are gone, the stores are moribund and the salespeople bored…want ice cream? got that? want an indifferent meal? got that? pizza seems to be the highest level of creativy on the menu and god knows every place on the steet offers some…’gourmet?…right…the bars are fighting for market share and there’s too many so support half of them…just like the restaurants, half empty….I have no suggestions, just observations, as I take another flyer this morning from yet another restaurant and note another ‘For Rent’ sign hee and fhere, Antigua has become boring there’s no sizzle left..Did the demise of upper 5th Avenida cause this? Has 6th Calle brought any of this back? boring….not even the backers has brought any sunshine($$) it’s all albout cheap ice cream and babies..-

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thanks to Dr.J for that name….he moved out, as did Nazi John and the ‘perfesser’ aka Michael D, leaves in the morning. The scene of all this tomfoolery? #40, aka Ponzi Bob’s place south of Panza Verde, who has left Ed the Slippery in charge of the place. The ‘Vortex People?’ refugees from the Lake, down here doing ‘Om’ this and that’ messing with pots*/pans/laundry and cutlery…

yeah, Dave ‘the slave’ Hoffman’ is back…the ‘Perfesser’ leaves in the morning, Nazi Johh, July the Furst…so, the ‘Whirled Cuo?’….lotta places empty or just emptied as the game ended..remember the Black Cat? once the busiest hostal in town? gonzo, faded and maybe this is an overall  ‘call’ n the state of the backpacker business…I see a few,  here and there, loading/unloading on the shuttles but it wasn’t what it was…hmmm? you ask?  if THAT segment of business is off, what next?

and no, no new monitor…I HAVE it and it looks great but the computer tech, the good one who seems to know what he’d doing? no show, yet again…so, it sits there, behind the tiny one of my laptop, looking good….and unused.

and what’s up/or not with the  new Sunset Terrace? supposedly on the corner of 6th Ave/1st Calle but I” be damned if I can find it..has La Merced gone commercial? Tarritos? hell, I don’t know (the usual) a few words with Marbel the Magnificent, in a lovely gray sweater dress, some  with Claudia #1 of Da Vinci(birthday coming soon)and the sad Flor Mendoza, who lost her younger sister this weekend..and a little bit of progress on the Salama venture…just like everything else in this country, nothing is as it seems, or as Jim O observed ‘We all here because we’re not all there.’

in the mean timewww.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer for all of your shopping needs (and mine)some of the latest version are out on the ‘streets’ of town and more to follow…look I’m old ok? just turned 70 and I don’t move as fast as I used to…get over it(I have).

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wanta lose a quick five pounds? La Casaca, off the plaza, has been serving up same fruit dishes that probably should’ve been washed a bit more thoroughly, I’m told and what’s up/or not up, with Sangre (finally) doors locked on a Friday night? maybe with the departure of Djinn, that was the last straw(and $$). As with a few places in this never-never land we call home, the profit motive doesn’t seem to be Job One…did Sega Freddy’s give up? ah, segue way! notice the folks riding around on a Seg Way? there’s at least two and per Brad, the owner, they’re trying to start a business here…he said the cobble stone streets aren’t a problem…hell, they are for me, just walking.

Nelson filling up Micho’s Friday night…good crowd…Bistrot 5 doing some…Mamma’s dead/Fusion lo mismo but…folks are finding the new bar in back, La Calle…’funny how interior space attracts certain crowds/people…like the Snug, the new La Morena…Blakes new incarnation of Pappys’ BBQ opened with a bang on Saturday…he’s going to a full week of serving, up from the 3 or 4 day a week previous model…must be doing something right, not like me trying to get a new/larger monitor per my eyes…maybe tomorrow, the new guy said..

one thing about living in Antigua is that you learn to keep your expectations low…very low.

And maybe another ‘sign of the times’….Hector’s or what was Hectors, now with a permanent street sign…’inspired by French cuisine’….dunno but the ‘old’ Hector’s never needed a sign…and yes, a couple more part-timers leaving soon: Nazi John and the ‘Perfesser’ is the rain driving them away? yes/no…maybe we’ll get a break today and it was good to see Evelyn reunited with Alabama Bob…ain’t love grand? don’t ask me, btw…damn, this all boring stuff….I’m sorry…I wasn’t out last night, you see, and missed all the latest gossip. I’ll try to do better(or worse, actually) and yes, the $ trickles in via amazon et al

www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer     this years long awaited series of road trips might…o please, be starting up soon/again/maybe…Salama’ and the long lost City of Dummies is looking gooder by the day, rain permitting, with a few changes in the personnel.

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so…after the 2nd latest/highly derogatory article on the lawless state of things in Antigua, some of the street corners were manned by PNC…Policia Nacional Civil today….it’s not the daytime problems….it’s the night times and the fringe areas. Yeah, there’s drugs, hookers and loud music and yes, the ‘scene’ has shifted from upper 5th Avenida southward…yes, there are ‘after hours’ places to get laid/if paid) and drink til dawn…are the cops aware of this? Hell, Yes…you wanta get robbed/beaten? walk home after 3am and you’re on the plate as the ‘soup du jour’….tell me if the troop/squadron of soldiers that walk around semi-daily, armed/dressed in camouflage, have any impact other than scaring the shit out of tourists? “Forget it, Jake…it’s Chinatown” as I’m so fond of saying….until some socially significant person gets maimed/killed/whatever, it ain’t gonna change…the underpaid cops need the money, honey…get over it.

on the other hand….four fingers and a thumb…Blake’s aka Pappy’s BBQ new expansion around the corner, literally now at 6th/6th, opens this Saturday and the place looks great…Shawn of Ocelot having his 10th anniversary of being a Guatemalteco gringo also Saturday…Chocolate, Cheese and Port…Travel Menu still astounds me with the changes, the Snug keeps on packin’ ’em in…6 or 7 at a time but WTF?

Alabama Bob’s back! esconsconced..is that a word? at La Taverna…thanks for the mineral book…god, I’m need a larger monitor…maybe this Saturday….eyes goin’, squinting….yeah, I’m back, feeling better…toe job healing, parasites dealt with, birthday behind me.

and yes, Tropical Storm 2E aka Boris moved on…Antigua got off lightly and I’m not complaining, cuz I live uphill. The half moon is out, clouds drifting along…and there’s just enough scotch/soda to ease me into dreamland.

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My landlord, a long-time Antigueño, tells me that he used to walk the dogs on the street by the finca, but ever since they enacted a law requiring insurance for dogs….you know, bites/attacks and such, that he’s quit…how much? 1000q a month…$120 or so….’so’, I asked, ‘who’s writing these policies?’ answer: “no one”……its just crazy enough, I figure, to be true.

I’ve been hearing good things abut Travel Menu’s Thursday Steak Nights….but nothing about the Sunday Roast Beef platter…anyone? looks like they’re going head-to-head/mano-a-mano with the ‘other mini-empire in town, with the pig roasts/bbq’s on Sunday….not a lot of love lost between these folks, btw..’mention one and you’ll get a scowl…congrats and so on to the “perfesser’! on the winning team at Ocelot’s Sunday Night Pub Quiz(at last)…he’s headed northweird next month for a couple of months on some mega-boat…Nazi John’s gonna hang for a while, leave and then return more quickly than usual….Californicate has lost its charm for him and maybe he’s got a love life goin’ here…good for him, I say….god knows, all the bad ones are taken..

and, according to  plan, Alabama Bob is still scheduled to arrive June 4..he needs a place to rent, btw, something  ‘cheap’….and yes, Dr J got jumped again…4 or 5am, about a week ago….dude, you’re bait at that hour, dont’cha know?

meanwhile, back at the ranch…a new pump for the fountain and my refer got defrosted..whew, the excitement of it all.there’s a tour of the Popenoe House this Thursday, 5pm…gotta go(I Do) and a Lalique glass exhibit at the Santo Domingo Museum that looks most xlnt. In the rush to get the June version of Our Man, I forgot to add the printing museum…across from the park, by  City Hall..9-4, 30q..history….and an old (1700’s) copy of Don Quixote…behind glass, of course (the sneeze shield)…so, the clouds roll in and the burning question..are there ice cubes yet?

so, if you’re still with me, go to www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer and buy up a gross or so…’baby needs a new pair of shoes’ as they say…

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or was it ‘Dr. Livingston?’…Nazi John, Sam the K and whoever else signed up for the Rio Dulce/Livingston trip should be back by now…I confess that Rio Dulce doesn’t grab me anymore, nor Livingston…although now I know why there’s a statue of Jose Marti’, the Cuban martyr, in the park there. If you can find the book, ‘The Divine Husband’ its about Guatemala in the late 1800’s…

and no need to call the ‘Toe Truck’ thanks to Carmen of Salon Creativo on 6th calle, #19….an xlnt foot massage and I can walk a helluva lot better, meaning 2X a day into town…yeah, I footed the bill….and across the street, the new/improved Travel Menu? fabulous job on the remod and I love the travel posters…I want one or two…think that Korey D is responsible..

yes…why? new bars/restaurants opening….Samsara, an indian place in what was the Cargo Room, corner of 6th calle, 7th avenida/in what was the brief place known as the Beer Company, in the Ocelot compound? Las Margaritas, mexican food/margaritas..and some mention of reopening the old Pit Stop, up the hill? why?

and some fairly brazen daylight thefts of motos in town…Luis the Guide, who hangs out by the City Hall, saw the thieves, using a screwdriver to jimmy the ignition switch…and what was the Tacocontento location on 5th Ave? adding a second electric meter, for the upper level…WTF? a spanish school/travel agency? this town already has way too many bars and restaurants, although if  you like a bit of class, go into Alex Long’s new bar, back in the Nido Antigua mall…La Calle…so, it’s gonna rain? I’ve got my umbrella from 2 years ago(a personal record)and a fresh stack of firewood, a bottle of scotch and a boring book..

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