Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Patronales has arrived. Areas around the plaza are filled with merry-go-rounds, tilt-a-wheels, a small ferris wheel and food and beverage booths. The festivities begin this evening. Bar Plaza looks almost ready for business. There are new takeout windows for local fare. We are unsure of exactly what they will be serving or the hours of regular operation, but it appears that the grand opening will be tonight.
With the parades, rides, vendors, games and music Isabel Segunda is a bit of a logistical nightmare with respect to vehicular traffic. If you are staying in Bravos or Santa Maria it is not easy to get to points south and west. From those barrios the best route is to take a right at Taverna Restaurant. At the end of the street, turn left (Mar Azul will be dead ahead), bear left at the big clock and head past the second hand store, NU-2-U. You will come to the main street, which you want to cross and go one short block. Turn left. You can continue straight or take any available right turn (watch for one ways!!!) which will bring you outside of town without having to try to work your way through the areas around the plaza.
To get home, first watch the clock. You want to avoid running into any ferry arrivals and departures. Take the highway to nowhere by the Vieques Fruit and Vegetable Market. Take your second left and proceed to the end of the street. Turn right. When you get to the main street, go straight across and pass by the grocery store and Coconuts Restaurant. Turn left and continue down past the ferry. For Bravos you can go straight and go past the lighthouse, for Santa Maria take the right across from the terminal and go up the hill, at the intersection bear right. At the end of the road take the left fork which brings you to the street heading out to Santa Maria and Santa Maria Playa. The reason you want to avoid the ferry times is that the area by the terminal is jammed packed with cars, publicos and trucks, big trucks.
All the inconvenience aside, Patronales is really a fun time and everyone should go at least one night.
Sadly, a local man, Dave Dixon, passed away a few weeks ago. Dave had lived on the island for about five years. He took it upon himself to keep the basketball court in his neighborhood clean and usable for the local children. He was passionate about his animals. He was the guy that used to sit at a bar and suddenly belt out a country song or two.
Hot Sauce Jimmy has returned. We kid him that he just wants another going away party. He will be cooking some Coqui Fire Cafe nights at the Mar Azul.. When the dates are available, I'll let you know.