Saturday, October 31, 2009

Zombie Bar Crawl in the Mission

Fastest post ever! Lamest title ever!

Bar crawl was a hit. We were rolling 40 deep (including Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence!) and made it to Dirty Thieves, Pop's, Doc's Clock, Beauty Bar, and Delirium. I got kicked out of Beauty Bar for throwing a can of beer (second time - fuck them!).

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Baaaccck for Bluunntss - er - Braaaaaiinnss!

Flyer by evil genius Steve Foundling.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mexico City, Mexico: Dos Güeras Que Andan Como Chilangas

Diné and I are back from Mexico City! Our vacation was totally rad! Perhaps if it weren't for six trade unionists and a fashion label, DF might completely replace BA in my heart. Mexico City is my perfect city! Its kinetic life, packed into the sprawling geography, is the donnee of this town. There is so much to do and see here but we didn't feel overwhelmed for a second. Every moment felt intimate. We communicated in the language fluidly. Public transit is cheap and easy. I felt as comfortable there as I do in New York. With so much at our finger tips, we didn't stop moving until we were strapped into the seats of our home bound flights (excluded from this post are the frequent stops for americanos - we had to keep moving! Plus, Diné is clinically narcoleptic).

I flew overnight on Friday from SF through Tijuana into Toluca on Volaris, Mexico's version of EasyJet. It's no frills (it doesn't even have SkyMall) and somewhat circuitous but it does the job. Dine's route was more complicated: she came from Chang Mai on a delayed flight to Bangkok, then to Toyko, Los Angeles, a night home in NOLA then to DF via Houston. She made it eventually and we met in our hostel in Colonia Roma on Saturday afternoon. Roma's spirit is reminiscent of Buenos Aires' unfortunately named Palermo Soho. Its beaux arts style buildings in the neighborhood house a composite of middle class families and the young and hip set that spills over from the neighboring Colonia Condesa. Roma was a great home base for us. It is close to the subway, has plenty of bars and restaurants, and is quite and safe. As soon as Diné and I united on Saturday we set off to explore the neighborhood. We ate an outdoor lunch at a Roma bar called Lucille and were extras in a student film. We walked through Roma and around Condesa, which wasn't quite our onda, but we were looking for our friend Stella's friends store. No luck.

On Saturday night we walked to Zona Rosa, the very gay neighborhood next to Roma. Still getting our barrings we followed suggestions in the guidebook and struck out twice. We first tried BETO? Bar and only stayed for a drink. Once the fog of the smoke detector cleared we realized we were surrounded by a mirrored dance floor packed with chubby, middle aged lesbians in ill-fitting party tops (note: gay girls in DF dress like their str8 counterparts). Not quite our scene. We moved on to two other suggested locations. Both closed.

On Sunday morning we woke up early to make it to the Folklorico Festival at the Palacio de Belles Artes downtown. We walked to the adjacent Bosques de Chapultepec, DF's better equivalent to Central Park. Families and lovebirds were out in full force spending Sunday in the park to participate in activities and take advantage of free admission for Mexican nationals to the many museums in the park (I was often impressed by the ubiquity of public programing for adults and kids alike). Diné and I first toured the beautifully designed Mueso National de Antropología. We then saw the Museo de Arte Moderno (my favorite, always) and the museum of Oaxacan contemporary artist Rufino Tamayo. After finishing lunch in the park we took the metro then light rail about an hour south to the borough of Xochimilco, still within the boarders of the Federal District, to take a boat ride through the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Xochimilco centers around a vast series of canals that run between "islands" of land that were formed during precolonial times. Colorfully painted lanchas run leisurely along the canals. Diné and had a boat to ourselves but as many as fifteen people can fit in one. Food and drink vendors float by in small boats. We past several parties with mariachis on board. After a long we day ate a quite dinner at the Village Cafe in Condesa and called it a night.

We began Monday with a trip to the local Ejército de Salvación and dug through the rubble. Diné cam out with several items and two costumes. We headed over to Goodbye Folk, also in Col. Roma. Goodbye Folk is an independent super-boutique selling a combination of vintage (mostly from the US) and Mexican designers (including the Ruby-loved label Miss Mars from Monterrey) curated by owner Moises Tehuitzitl. Stylist Fenix has a hair station in the back. Diné and I dropped in but ended up hanging up for four hours! We each got haircuts, a few vintage pieces, and placed orders for custom boots of our own design for pick up later in the week. The combination of the decor, merchandise, and rad employees captured just the creative environment I was hoping to find here. Late in the afternoon we went back to the Centro to try to get into Bellas Artes but arrived too late. We found ourselves back in Condesa and paired dinner with a few micheladas at Café Ocho.

We woke up early on Tuesday morning and took a bus an hour south to the city of Cuernacavaca, the capital city of the state of Morelos. Cuenavaca is a popular site for second homes of DFeños. We were not so lucky to have a connection so we took a small room in the Hotel America on Aragon y Leon not far from the central plaza. Cuernavaca is a sleepy town known for it's perennial springtime. Diné and I spent the day wandering around the local's markets. We visited the main Cathedral, the Palacio de Cortés, and the Mercado de Artesanías. We checked out the town's sole gay bar but it wasn't quite our scene. Cuernavaca was the site of my unfortunate encounter with street helote. Shoulda known better! I'm happy we took a side trip but I wouldn't recommend this city for more than one night if you are a traveler with similar tastes.

We returned to the city early on Wednesday morning. Diné took over as guía and had us running around as soon as we dropped our bags off back at the hostel. We first took the metro to the north of the city to see the Basílica de Guadalupe. The massive shrine, built in honor of the brown virgin who made an appearance to peasant Juan Diego at this site in 1531, contains several buildings spanning the history of Catholicism in Mexico. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit the Basiclica each year. We saw the stunning sight of devotees crawling into the main basilica on their knees. More impressive was the image of the Virgin imprinted on Juan Diego's cloak. An airport-style conveyor belt pulls visitors across the space beneath the main altar below the relic.

RUBY 2010