Sep 10, 2006, 4:18 PM
Post #1 of 2
We just got back Friday from a three week trip in the state of Veracruz in which we split time between the puerto, Xalapa and my suegra's house near Palma Sola. A wonderful and very eventful vacation. We first stayed four days in Veracruz (we flew Continental from Houston after connecting from Chicago Saturday August 19). The Hawaii on the malecon was just perfect (the Costa Verde where we originally planned to stay didn't have sufficient room for both us and the cucarachas). We had a nice conversation at the Parrroquia with Ignacio and his lovely wife Alicia. It was the Afro-Carribeno fest, and we saw music each night, some great son jarocho at the zocalo, some good Cuban music with Memo Salamanca and a Cuban singer doing a Celia Cruz tribute at the Aritizanas (sp?) and a horrible "multi-cultural" band the next night. Oh well.
I was excited to go to Xalapa where I'd never been but which seems from afar to be the place most suitable for me to move to, being a musician and all. I must thank whoever recommended the Posada Virrey because it was terrific, convenient, clean, inexpensive with a very attentive and accomodating staff. Plus a good restaurant open until midnight every night. I was instantly captivated. Xalapa has narrow streets, markets everywhere, and a teeming street life. We explored on foot everywhere every day. The hotel was about half a mile up a steep hill (of which there are many in Xalapa) from the cathedral and palacio municipal and zocalo. We found a tiny taqueria a block or so away with great al pastor which quickly became our place of choice. Everything was much cheaper than in el puerto, from beer to tacos to taxis. We did hook up with Roy who lives well within walking distance of where we were staying. El gringo xalapeno showed us his studio, just across the street from his house, and then he led us to a lecture/concert just down the block that featured Huaxtecan music and dance, an unforgettable setting and experience.
We also checked out the anthropological museum which I found much more extensive and interesting than the one in DF, a beautiful building with an unparalleled collection artfully displayed. The state of Veracruz is, after all, home to the most ancient Olmec culture, with developments through the pre-classical to the modern era.
Our search for music evenetually led us to the University and their music school. The directora could not have been nicer, Maestra Guadalupe Lopez Perez, who gave us more than 90 minutes of her time. It appears there could be opportunities for me there, and I am pursuing them vigorously. I would love-LOVE-to work there in something that is genuinely right up my alley.
There was much, much more, too much for this post, but I am totally psyched and I am quite confident that we will be in Mexico within the year. Ahua!
Michael McLaughlin "el bolillo ranchero"