A week ago, Lady Zen took the stage at Ella bar, upstairs on Lazaro Cardenas, to sing a requiem for one of her lifelong heroes, Aretha Franklin. Fans of the undisputed Queen of Soul were in their glory—Lady Zen’s mezzo voice soared effortlessly into the high registers. Those in the audience providing happy backup were mercifully unplugged! The sound throughout Ella is unvarying and was made sublime by Santiago, an exceptional sound tech in Vallarta with years of experience. Halfway into her performance, it started to rain and hard. The retractable roof quickly covered our heads, and the volume increased a tad so we could hear over the pounding water. The only downside to the entire evening was that Lady Zen sang to tracks; unavoidable under the circumstances, but for the future, I hope we can hear her reprise this concert with live musicians. Wow. (There would likely be a call for backup vocals!) While we are on the subject of Ella, a stand-up comedian from Mexico City and dear friend of Lady Z’s will appear Friday, August 16, at 8:30 pm in English and again at 11 pm in Spanish. Martin Leon will have another two back-to-back shows on August 23rd.
One of my closest friends returned to Vallarta after many weeks of traveling in the US. Many of you have seen Sandra Cesca conducting her walking tours of Vallarta. What you may not know about her is that besides being a gifted writer of several books, she has taken her photographic skills to a new level. She has embarked on a new business venture blogging about her travels and those interesting people she meets along the way. Look for “Blogger for your Cultural Insider.” You can find Sandra in November at Marsol Friday Market by the Pier with some of her photos made into greeting cards and large giclees suitable for walls in your home. We had a delicious dinner at Co-Exist then walked to Captain Don’s on Honduras to hear Tequila Rush play. A long walk home through a packed Malecon at midnight (in August?) and non-stop chatter the entire way to catch up!
The next night was more good food and delightful camaraderie at my Swedish gal pal’s new house that I have been waiting a year to see. With still a few details to be sorted out (nothing ever moves quickly when building in Mexico!) the house was glorious with views so riveting I never wanted to leave her terrace. Living right at sea level as I do, it is incredible to get up high and be reminded of the vast expanse that is Banderas Bay.
Finally got in to see Bagel King, Peter Hardy’s new place on Ignacio Vallarta: Big Apple & Co. Deli. Peter has lots of shelf space, and he would love to fill it with “Farmers Market-type stuff.” So, if you are chomping at the bit for season to roll around so you can get back into your Market space, get to work and take your goods over to Peter. Ideally, he would like to have specialty foodstuffs from all our local markets available to the public every day, all year-round.
Update on our Artist’s Cooperative: a SNAFU has popped up with our intended locale so, we are looking in downtown Vallarta (only!) for a suitable space. Please send me an email if you have—or know of—a large commercial space for rent. We want to be open by October 1, so time is really pressing. Thanks in advance for any help.
Nineteen weeks to Christmas… I think that means, enjoy the quietness and the warmth we are experiencing now! In no time, the tourist switch will be turned on to full, and we’ll be up to here joyously welcoming back friends, family and the crowds that fill our city to near bursting. Remember these dog days and keep them close to your heart. Extend your hands to strangers and welcome them to our city. With a smile, you can show them Puerto Vallarta and the why-we-live-here. Take care of one another, don’t forget. Hugs, From Here.