From Here

BINGO! If you’re playing Scrabble online it means you’ve scored an extra 50 points. If you’re at Incanto Saturday afternoon it means you’ve won a great prize! For the first time in my life, I won a bingo game last weekend and won free nachos at Mi Querencia on the Malecon, a free drink at the River Café and – the best one of all – breakfast at IncantoAunt Pearl from Tuna, Texas, calls the balls every Saturday and entertains a full house of expats mostly and the odd unsuspecting tourist who really just wanted a cocktail. The staff is always involved at Incanto with Max dressed up and looking damn fine as Frida Kahlo and Renzo helping as Mario Mariachi or some silliness like that. The two helped distribute bingo cards and shot glasses full of beans for markers. There are no blue-haired old ladies with daubers in hand and the game is everything except serious bingo. The prizes are excellent, the atmosphere fun, ‘spirited’ (as in vodka martini) and ALL the money is donated. Owner Tracy Parks is determined to get 35 of his favorite Mexican Folkloric dancers to Shanghai, China, in September to compete again. They won last year! Also part of the entertainment is Ambar, one of the top male belly dancers in the world. He is sensational and I’ve never seen him do the same dance twice. So if it’s pouring rain or boiling hot, come round to Incanto at the Piano Bar next Saturday for bingo starting at 4 pm. The ‘pot’ is up to $1,900 pesos! I feel another win coming on…

Joining us for Bingo were Margareta and her lovely dog LilyMargareta is responsible for so many people (and me) becoming “Friends of Rodolfo” and helping this talented blind tenor find work that keeps him off the streets and entertaining in fine establishments. Starting Wednesday, every week for the summer, you can find Rodolfo singing upstairs at Katana Sushi & Bar on Lazaro Cardenas between Insurgentes and Constitucion. Rodolfo will sing from 6 until 9 pm. The menu at Katana is extensive and there’s a lot to eat besides sushi. Please help us help Rodolfo and join us every Wednesday at Katana from 6 pm on.

Stopped by to see the progress at Qulture – the old locale of Three Hens Market. It is coming along! Saw Mari and Claudette, two of the resident artists. The painting is nearing completion and the new owners are in Guadalajara as we speak buying glassware and furniture for their new space. It’s going to be an incredible place!

Lots of my friends go to San Miguel de Allende with many of them spending every summer there and thus escaping the heat here in Vallarta. A couple of summers back, pre-Incanto days, Tracy Parks spent a few weeks there torturing me daily with photographs that made me drool, raves about gentle rain, temperate climate, a city oozing with artists and fab architecture, great stores, lovely theatres and cafes. Ugh. I so want to go and everyone who knows me says I will love it so much I won’t come back to Vallarta. (That can’t happen because I have to be near the ocean and that seems to be the only thing that SMA is missing!) A dear friend of mine who is half and half Vallarta/SMA owns a very cool historic property she has restored as a B & B and a five-star one at that. It is certainly named appropriately: House of the Spoiled Ones or Casa de los Chiqueados. I have only seen photographs and heard her go on and on about the art walks and festivals, how she takes care of her house guests. Makes me envious and she’s invited me to visit!! Even my editor is going to stay there this summer. Maybe I will find a way…check the back inside cover of the Tribune – Christina is giving folks from Vallarta a 20% discount! I wonder if this’ll work…”would anyone going to San Miguel de Allende this summer like to take me?” Let’s see how that goes.

In the meanwhile, be kind in this heat and enjoy all Vallarta has to offer, From Here.

Marcia Blondin