Saturday, July 16, 2011

Painting in the Tropics

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News is My Business

I have written about the San Juan Star and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun before, but if you want to read about current, objective, and relevant Caribbean business with a well connected outlook, you need to read, News is My Business. News is My Business can not be bought in stores yet but you can get it at your house, phone, or business 24/7 as it is an internet venue, taking business reporting into the cutting edge of the technological era. You don't have to sit and wait for the morning newspaper to arrive since the news is already available almost as quickly as it occurs from a reliable source.

News is My Business covers areas such as Auto, Banking/Insurance, Economy, Education, Government, Manufacturing, Retail, and Tourism all of which are areas that will help a potential investor in making a wise decision in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico in particular. Not only will readers not have to hunt through various news papers to get an indepth report on business in the Caribbean, but its experienced editor, Michelle Kantrow, an Over Seas Press Club winner,  has already cut down on the clutter and selected articles because of their impact on the local Caribbean/Puerto Rico economy. When it comes to investments, knowledge is power and the sooner the better. Hear are some recent articles that I believe demonstrate this well rounded and indepth view of business in Puerto Rico without slanted or biased reporting.

CNE: Treasury’s revenue collections estimates no sign of economic improvement

Supermarkets must focus on technology, trends, to draw consumers

Why am I sharing this information about News is My Business? First is it a local endeavor, second it is well written and unbiased, and thirdly I want others to know the quality of serious journalism and to keep it around.

So share the word...and if you like what you see, invest.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

El Colmado El Veterano, Maunabo Puerto Rico

¡Que lindo mi pueblo, que bonita mi gente! Esta mañana sali a buscar desayuno, donde mis hijas me dijeron que habia un colmado donde la gente era muy buena. Iba a comprar mas bien pan y leche. Queria tener para hacerme un sandwich y bueno quedarme aqui pintando y meditando, pero en vez de eso, hice un gran descubrimiento. Conoci el Colmado El Veterano, y sus dueños, Amarilys y su esposo, en Maunabo. (Perdoname esta omision; tan pronto aprenda su nombre lo voy a poner.) El colmado queda un poquito mas alla del camino al Faro y al lado de la iglesia. La iglesia es una pequeña capilla con una immensa cruz pintada de azul. El Colmado ni siquiera tiene nombre. Es sencillo pero la gente que lo administra son amables, cariñosos, respetuosos, y llenos de buen humor! Me trataron como si yo fuera familia. De verdad! Hasta me invitaron a comer un sandwich de pana.

Lo primero que les digo, es que no tienen los precios puestos. Quieren conversar con los clientes y conocer la gente. Son muy gentiles. Alli vi gente de la comunidad pedir sandwiches, entre ellos un anciano que lo recibieron por nombre, un obrero, otro joven apuesto entro que tiene su propio negocio en el pueblo, y todos fueron tratado con amabilidad y cariño. El joven con negocio en el pueblo tambien cocina, ¿pero donde viene a desayunar? Pues, al Colmado El Veterano. Me encanto!

Tampoco me dejaron ir a comer sola en casa, si no que insistieron que me comiera la primera mitad de mi sandwich alli con ellos. No lo voy a olvidar. Por cierto, esa mitad fue todo mi desayuno, ya que el sandwich era enorme.

Yo fui a comprar un sandwich, lo que me encontre fue unos amigos! Dios los bendiga.
El sandwich estaba delicioso, pero la amabilidad no se puede pagar!

Se Vende: El Faro Punta Tuna en Maunabo

¿Sabian que estan vendiendo el Faro Punta Tuna en Maunabo? La primera opcion va a organizaciones sin fines de lucro y si eso no funciona, van a tener opcion ciudadanos privados. Es un lugar precioso, pero lo primero que tienen que hacer es eliminar el plomo que esta en la pintura que han usado por años en el lugar. Pero lo mas importante es que el lugar sea administrado justamente, donde este accesible a mucha gente y que se le desarrolle con un museo y actividades para todos. Imaginate que pudiera celebrarse una boda en ese precioso lugar, que dieran noche de astronomia alli, clases de arte, historia, campamentos de verano, clases sobre la naturaleza o la ecologia, preparacion para huracanes, historia del faro, o el uso de los cristales en el Faro. Sencillamente que se convirtiera en un centro para la comunidad. Se expanderia su uso con una vision amplia. Ojala, caiga en buenas manos. Dios lo permita.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Language of the Fan

My aunt Sarita, Titi Sarita, was the first person who introduced me to the Spanish tradition of fans. She seemed to have several, each served for a particular purpose or occasion. Her most ornate fans were used for special social events such as going to the Caparra Country Club or to La Casa de España, to which I was personally invited several times. Both of these venues were highly sought after, since they were the setting for elegant dinners, debutante balls, quinceañeros, and dances. They also were an opportunity to see how wealthy families partied, dressed, and conversed. Now looking back, I guess Titi thought it was a good idea for me to go to these parties with her and tall tio Angel Luis.

She was a talented seamtress among other things and she could make the simplest dress stand out like gold. No glitter really just first class. She had such good taste, such as a simple deep navy dress contrasted with an elegant white lace collar made of mundillo or bombin lace. So naturally she had a beautiful fan grace her hands, which she fluttered back and forth sometimes signaling a message. I felt a little clumsy because I didn't understand everything she was trying to tell as I had only been back to Puerto Rico for only a couple of years, but I do recall some of her gestures. Then I wasn't quite sure but now I know I was right. Pointing someone out by touching her cheek, turning her eyes behind the fan as she whispered something to the point. Touching her nose or her forehead, laying her fan in discreet direction. It was fun. With a lot of the chatter, I often didn't catch everything, but I caught enough of her hidden messages full of spice that it added mystery to that evening out.

The language of the fan.

Today, I found some of the things she was trying to teach me. At Doña Felisa Rincon de Gautier, they have a pdf file with the language of the fan. If you had wanted to know how to use a fan to communicate discretely with others, click on the link and begin fanning away!

Farmacia Luma, Old San Juan

I wrote this entry in April but for some reason the pictures were not coming out, so here I go again. Hope it works this time.

Just two doors down from La Bombonera you can find La Farmacia Luma for all your drug store needs. If you need to fill a prescription that is the place. Yes, there is a Walgreens near the Town Hall or Alcaldia, but this one is just as efficient and will let you buy some
souvenirs at the same time.

I bought a beautiful fan in my favorite color and for a very fair price. Actually I bought several fans and gave one away. They are lovely. What do I like the most about La Farmacia Luma? It isn't just one thing, first it is an institution in Old San Juan. It has been there for decades, and knows the needs of its residents and visitors. Second, it has lovely souveniers at reasonable prices, and thirdly it imports quality items from Spain which reflect our culture.

The fans are a prime example. Doña Felisa Rincon de Gautier, San Juan's first female mayor, loved Spanish fans and was a very feminine leader, una dama! In fact, Doña Fela, who passed away many years ago, has her own museum and a collection of her most treasured fans. My aunt, Sarita, who I so admired and have written about many times, as well as my mother and grandmothers, all used Spanish fans. I keep one in my purse whether I am here or in the States since it keeps me connected to my roots. Where do I go to replace a broken fan beyond repair?

La Farmacia Luma. Located at 256 San Francisco Street.
If you have any questions for the owner you can email him at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Path to Sierra Palm Pond

A narrow path, some slippery wet rocks, broken slabs, a boulder, are just some of the difficulties you will find on your way up to those quiet waters, but the path is beautiful in and of itself. Then you get to the small pool which is the reward. Almost and analogy about life, isn't it?

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Still waters

Still waters, but flowing....calm would have been a better description. This gentle pond can be found off the Sierra Palm trail. If you enjoy a secluded pool that is not crowded like the Mina Falls or other natural pools in El Yunque, then this is the one for you. It may mean taking a slightly broken path, but if you bring a towel and bathing suit, you are all set. I didn't have a towel and didn't get to dry off my feet or shoes and almost slipped off the path. Fortunately, I was able to regain my balance and not fall. If you have the health to maneuver this path, it is worth the trek, believe me. The beauty, cool water, natural sounds, including coquis, birds, and babbling brook make this pool spectacular in its own refreshing quiet way.

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Paradise, Puerto Rico

Discovered two new things yesterday in El Yunque...first that the road that leads to the Mt. Britton trail has been opened and you can drive all the way in until you reach the trail head.

Second there is a secluded pool off of the Sierra Palm trail... I know because I got in it!

Here are some of the pictures I took. Enjoy!

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