The next Drum Circle is May 25, 2013, Sun Bay, Bring your percussion instrument.
Usual time is 6 PM.
You think island living is paradise???? Right at the moment, that is not the adjective I would use. Last month the paper reported that a new contract with the private boats had been signed and all was well with the world. Now, with the old contract terminating today, all of a sudden there is no new contract and only one private boat is still in view. Although, from my intel, the next view of it will be the stern as it leaves the Caribbean Sea heading home to Texas. What does that mean for us? For one thing, since the 4:30 boat arrived in Vieques at 7:30 yesterday, it means the airport will be much busier. (good for me on Wednesdays, and good for Lyman every day).
We have put a man on the moon, have telephones that can give us stock quotes and directions simultaneously and have cars that run on ears of corn, so why is it that we can’t seem to have a few boats that go back and forth between Vieques and the main island efficiently. Geez, Columbus did it with a wooden boat and a few yards of canvas. Think he’s available to head up the system? Heard this all before, we have. I would suggest not to boat.
Just to prove that ridiculousness is not confined to Washington, DC, someone in Puerto Rico launched a bill that would put a $1 surcharge on each plastic bag that is used to pack groceries at the store. Laudable in that the premise for this charge is to keep bags out of the landfill and out of the ocean so sea turtles don’t ingest them. (frighteningly, the idea that our trash ends up in the ocean is very real) People start screaming the minute there is a threat to up the $4 ferry ticket, so what makes anyone think people will pay $20 for the grocery bags. How about we make some sense? Set up a reasonable and real price for the ferry that brings in more revenue to keep the boats running which in turn will make people happy. Happy people might bring reusable bags to the grocery store. Happy people might learn how to use the trash can. Or even better, happy people might make an effort to recycle. But wait, I forgot…if it’s starts to make sense here it’s time to move.
Once you get here, however, things are pretty nice. The southside is nice and breezy. We’ve gotten some much needed rain, so things are greening up. Trade Winds now has mint for mojitos just about every night. (and yes, it is imported!!!!) Restaurants have moved onto the summer schedules so you might want to make a phone call before heading out to dinner to double check. Everything is still open, but some days have changed.
Brunch at the Tin Box is excellent. The steak and eggs and lobster benedict are the clear winners thus far. The soft shell crab BLT is also pretty good. Watermelon margaritas and mimosas…not bad either. Bili recently was named the best in broth. That would be an award for the most excellent soup. Evita and her staff have the most excellent food, period.
I have gone back and forth about mentioning the recent string of murders that have occurred on island. In this information age, all you have to do is google Vieques and the news stories will come up, so not talking about it somewhat foolish. The violence stems from the drug trade. The victims are targets. Unless you are involved with the drugs, you are not a target. Unfortunately, several of the victims have been teenagers, which is heartbreaking in any scenario. If this were New York, Boston or Philadelphia, the deaths would be a small blip on the radar, but because we are a small community where everyone knows just about everyone it looms large. Vieques is still a beautiful and fun place to visit. Vieques is still a place where you can enjoy sun and sand along with a really cold beer. Vieques is still a place where I want to be.
I am the first one to poke fun at the type A tourist who runs up brandishing their cellphone, screaming, “I have no service!!!!” We all look at each other and in the same breath respond, “Got Verizon, huh?” Type A then goes on and on about how cell service and internet service is vital to their vacation. We all reply that the villa they have chosen does indeed have wi fi and they should get on just fine. They leave in a blaze of overstuffed suitcases still waving their cellphones in the air as if they can capture a signal. Then, someone from further down the bar pipes up and says, “the internet has been down at that house for three weeks”. Everyone laughs.
I confess that now I might not be so quick to laugh. (Well, I’m sure I still will.) I had what we call being in ‘technology hell’. Not too long ago I gave up satellite TV. This was no easy feat, given that a). I still vividly recall how difficult it was to get it in the first place, and b). I am a TV addict. However, the thought of spending $75 a month on 3 million channels that I didn’t watch was getting to me. I went with internet TV. The upside is that anytime you want, you can find the exact episode of some Law and Order or other that you might have missed. The downside is that when your wi fi goes down, the house is really, really silent. And, you are unable to access all that useless information you get from Yahoo News.
So, the internet service was fixed and then my computer decided that it was tired and would not open any programs. Got that straightened out and then the printer decided it was not going to work over the wi fi. Being bested by a some metal parts in a plastic box is not my idea of a good time, so I had to get that sorted out and by the time everything was up and running, I hadn’t written a word in a couple of weeks.
Remember the pizza place that was in the back of Cupa de Oro just down from the Green Store? The pizza was really, really good. That pizza is now available at the Inn on the Blue Horizon on Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm-11pm.
I finally got to Zafra (restaurant in the former Coconuts location) and the food was good. My favorites are the ceviche and calamari. The price is really reasonable. The reasonableness is also directly proportional to amount of alcohol that you normally consume at dinner. Currently, it’s BYOB. A quick stop at Kuhn’s for a bottle (or more) of wine and you are all set.
Blue Beach is going to be closed for a bit. If you remember back about 2 years ago, a piece of ordnance was found on the island. The bomb boys will be doing some work in the area during the midweek and this process will take about six weeks. Starting Monday the 15th, the beach will be closed. It will be open on the weekends as normal, and on May 1, 2,and 3 as well. The building at the entrance to the refuge is now ready. There will be an open house tomorrow (I think it’s tomorrow) to show off the new digs.
Tonight begins the Cultural Festival Weekend up at the fort. This is always a great time, with lots of history, art, music and food.
Artisans and Vieques books fair; typical food and drink kiosks each night from 6pm
5am Sunrise concert by Municipal Band… Plaza, town and dock
7pm Exhibit opening; Ada Rosa Rivera, Puerto Rican artist on women’s health issues
Exhibit opening: Photos of Vieques 1960’s, Collection G. Carr
9pm Vieques Film on big screen under the stars
Tito and the Manta Ray (120min) Tribute to Andrés Nieves, Vieques filmmaker
1pm Workshop: handbags made from recycled materials
5-9pm Troubadours competition Puerto Rican folkloric music
9:30pm Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance Troupe, Guamanique
10.30pm Atabal: Afro Caribbean Dance Ensemble
1pm Book presentation: Impact of breast cancer on Puerto Rican women, by Annie Fabián
3pm Puppet theatre and workshop: Puppet World
6pm Youth Steel Band of Vieques
Bomba (Afro Caribbean dance) by OASIS educational center of Vieques
8pm Young peoples string orchestra of Humacao and Vieques
9pm Zambumbia Afro Caribbean “bomba” dance and music
10pm Ricardo Villanueva & Rumba Caribe
Caribbean music and dance; Puerto Rican folkloric dance/music
11pm Orchestra Workshop of Vieques Municipal Band
More Info: 787 741-4688; 787 375-0525