Lunch and Brunch; Bogie and Joy

Recap: Good Morning, From Here, May 17 – 23

Pride Week starts today – it’s going to be great! Pool parties, bar hopping, lectures, fashion shows, doggie walks, beach parties, and the best, most joyful parade ever.

Selena Luna and I met at Coco’s Kitchen for lunch last week. We put on our “Waldorf and Statler” hats and discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly over strawberry salad and avocado toast. Much laughter ensued, as it always does when we are encased in our bubble of friendship, where we can say anything freely, and usually do! If you have nothing planned for tonight, get over to Art Vallarta for “Art Convention” starring Alex Balderas, a hilarious one-man show I have seen several times. I think the tiny Moonlight Theater at the top of Olas Altas might just be the perfect venue for Alejandro. I’ll let you know in the morning!

David Duvall wrapped up his monthly concert series at Act2PV’s Casa Karma Red Room on Sunday. His guest singers – Stephanie Wright Watts, Bobbie Goddard, and David Sabella helped sing the praises of Irving Berlin for well over two hours of meticulously researched film clips, gorgeous ballads, show tunes, and a few farcical, fanciful songs.

Renovations are underway at Act2PV, with all kinds of new things happening almost immediately. Stay tuned here for updates!

The rest of the weekend was full,  watching my new kitty Bogie grow into my life. My heart he owns already and we are learning how to live with each other. He has been solitary for a long, long time and can and does spend hours under my bed in the cool darkness; that allows me to work in peace. He brings me such joy.

A far-overdue lunch at Langostinos today with dear Chiara so we can load up on the love before she heads north for the summer.

I will have a full report in the morning on the penultimate Monday of May; with much love to you From Here.

I had a wonderful brunch yesterday with Chiara at Langostinos. Of course, I didn’t take photos of our food, but trust me – the vegetarian omelet (cheese and chile poblano) was superb, with fried potatoes and an abundant fresh fruit salad. FYI, it’s available until 1 pm only. Seeing Emilio back in the restaurant was fabulous; his charm was missed!

It took Chiara and me three hours to eat—well, no, but we kept the chairs warm for that long. Monica and Rick Miller stopped by briefly and separately to say hi, then carried on with their day. Unfortunately, I miss their upcoming pop-up party.

“Art Convention” took over the theater at Art Vallarta up the hill on Pilitas last night. In this hilarious one-man show, Alejandro Balderas stars as multiple international art critics gathered at a convention to admire and critique “Yellow. Red, Blue” by Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. Alex used every inch of space in the theater, on the floor, and on the steps up to the seats. He was perfectly engaged with everyone in the audience as his politically incorrect and stereotypical renderings of various nationalities unfolded with the narrator and translator introducing the critics.

A tour-de-comedic-force with rapid-fire dialogue in at least six languages smacked off the walls in between costume changes that occurred right onstage as fast as the spoken words. Alejandro’s control of his facial features and body language were fascinating to watch, and I loved the changes he has made with respect to the intimate space of the Moonlight Theatre at Art Vallarta.

Apparently, the Puppy Parade was a smashing success, as the three of us were trapped on the pedestrian bridge behind a sea of four-legged creatures and their leashes attached to wandering owners. Enjoy Pride, Vallarta, From Here!

Yesterday was my annual visit to the offices of IMSS to pay for my Mexican health insurance. When I began the process more than 15 years ago, it took the entire day. An hour or two in one line for one thing, and the process repeated until I was paid up and shakily on my way home, hours later, to recuperate from the barrage of baffling Spanish thrown at me and all around me.

Yesterday, in and out, including travel time, walking to the bank and back, getting copies made, getting copies remade until it was right, and back home, total time: 90 minutes. Gotta love it, AND the fees only went up 800 pesos for the entire year; between 60 and 70, the increase was close to 20% per year. One of two major annual things accomplished.

The other is still in limbo or roughly translated into Spanish en trámite. My passport.

Talk about taking an entire day! Everything has to be done online, including the form-filling and appointment-making. There is a phone number for the Canadian Consulate, but by the time you enter all of the “press 2 for English,” “Press 4 if it’s an emergency,” you will receive the robot voice saying you have timed out and to please try again. So, back online to make an appointment to turn in all my completed forms, photos, and my unexpired passport.

That particular kind of consular service requires a half-hour appointment. I had another week to wait before one of those was available. I received my appointment time verification with an admonishment to be there 15 minutes prior AND if I was late, it could mean redoing the process.

I chugged up the stairs as fast as I could and arrived at the Consulate door at 11:17, two minutes late. The handsome guard cracked the door, checked my confirmation number (which I had to print out either mechanically or from a printer – a screenshot would not be valid as cell phones are often not allowed in Consular offices), and said I would be called at the right time. He locked the door and returned to his chair. I looked around – no place to sit, so I stood right outside the Consular door and watched the traffic on the highway until 11:20, when the guard opened the door, motioned me inside while snapping on a brand new pair of surgical gloves. He smiled and told me to place my purse and papers into the bin on his desk. After this, he gleefully motioned me through the metal detector, gloves on nice and snug.

He said, “Now I will search your….purse. Is that okay?” I could not have been more relieved. My bottle of water was detained, as was my cell phone – it went into its own little safe, and the key was buried in my hand. There were chairs to sit on – a blessing and at 11:30, precisely, I was ushered into a tiny room with a single chair, a ledge with one of those pass-throughs common in prisons for meals and a window into an equally small office on the other side of the presumably bullet-proof glass.

A young woman entered, greeted me in French, asked for my papers to be sent through all at once, checked them, gave me instructions on what would happen when my passport was ready to be picked up (appointment instruction details would be sent via email) in approximately three weeks and to have a nice day—total time spent in the teeny box-like office – 5 minutes.

No extra words were expended, not even Muzak, to break the bullet-proof quiet efficiency. The warm, fuzzy, welcoming Canada of my youth is gone, From Here.

She wanted to do something different, so curtains were hung over the windows making La Catrina Cantina pretty much pitch black in the early evening. The sold-out crowd whooped, hollered, whistled, clapped and shouted as Gloria Fiona’s Burlesque brought the house down in a thunderous standing ovation.

Gloria is gutsy and fearless, and she credits Irene, her fiancee, who showers her with love daily and tells her she is beautiful so often that she has come to believe it.

And she is kind, donating 20% of ticket sales to Vallarta’s favorite orphanage – RISE. 

On Sunday at 4 pm, La CC will host Beers, Burgers, and Boys on behalf of Hotel Mercurio’s staff. Go and have fun and contribute what you can to help Paul Crist’s staff. All that will be missing is the swimming pool, From Here.

Congratulations to OPC (Oficina de Proyectos Culturales) on their 10th Anniversary. The Gallery was beautifully appointed – as it always is on an Opening Night. The raicilla flowed, commemorative artisanal bottles were on sale, and the rooftop garden was humming with dozens and dozens of artists and art lovers. A beautiful evening – brava, and many thanks to Pilar Perez, the Director of OPC, and her dedicated staff for another stellar exhibit.

I left OPC and walked over to Pulpito for the official launch of Tryst Resorts. The hotel will be open for guests in September, but owner Tristan Schukraft wanted to get the party started even though there is still work to be done. The show suites are absolutely stunning, with crisp linens, natural fabrics, and colors. The decorations are minimal. The vibe is so restful, calm and serene, and far away from the rooftop pool deck where danceable music was deejayed. 

After a short speech announcing further acquisitions and warmly welcoming us all, Tristan introduced (Claude) Cecille (Andre), on loan from The Palm Cabaret, to sing a couple of songs. My god, she is so beautiful, and what a talent.

The sky above us exploded in color with a fantastic fireworks display that went on and on. The champagne flowed—Veuve Cliquot if I am not mistaken.

Welcome to the ‘hood, Tristan, whom I have nicknamed “SuperGayMan.” That made him laugh—Opening Nights are critical, and Tryst Resorts has set a new standard From Here.


  • Marcia Blondin

    I am a Canadian expat who has lived in Vallarta for over 30 years. Becoming the editor of Vallarta Mirror is a dream come true, spending my days extolling the virtues of the city I love. An environmentalist in my lifestyle, artistic endeavors, the clothes I wear and the love I share.

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