Old San Juan

Picked a heckuva day to visit Old San Juan. The city was hosting a weekend of celebrations for 500 years of existence along with an opening ceremony for an international Regatta. Traffic was at a standstill, so after sitting in a rideshare for an hour we tipped the driver and got out and made a long walk to the first fort, Castillo San Cristóbal.

After that we threaded through the narrow streets in search of a Piña colada. Several places claim to be the inventor of this rum cocktail with pineapple and coconut. We chose the patio of Barrachina. The drink was fine, the food was aight.

There’s a vibe throughout the old city that feels polished for cruise ship folks with a few hours to spare at port.

Closed out the the afternoon exploring Fort San Felipe del Morro and then making the trek back out of the crowds forming in the city, beyond the lines of stuck traffic to hail a cab for the rest of the journey back.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Traveling is a muscle that benefits from exercise.

I’m often lucky to rely on my friend Chris Pratt (not that one) for joyful travel. The expeditions he’s planned over the many years I’ve known him—Europe, Southeast Asia, Ukraine, South Africa, a hike across Japan—were all incredible adventures with many moving parts, dense and memorable.

This trip to Puerto Rico is much smaller in scale than those experiences—a litmus test to navigate a world with COVID, check out an unknown place and honestly? Just chill the eff out.

My travel muscles weren’t so atrophied to know that a rainy day is a good for museums—so that’s what we did on day 3 in San Juan.

The Puerto Rico Contemporary Art Museum is small (3-4 galleries at any given point in time), but it scratches the itch and involved experiencing different parts of the city.

Felt good to exercise new perspectives.


Cüirtopia

The photos above are details from the Cüirtopia exhibition by Regner Ramos that filled one of the galleries. It was a mixed media experience that told the story of aliens and queer spaces in the Caribbean. Films combined with music, graphic design and these architectural pieces. All together? A really impressive and expansive thing. (That also has a companion website.)


The Museum of the Old Colony

Images below are part of Pablo Delano’s The Museum of the Old Colony, a collection of photographs with original captions that illustrate the colonial oppression imposed by the U.S. on Puerto Rican life. A powerful slice of a much larger collection that is spread out among many venues around the world.


(Re)conocer El Futuro

(Re)Know the Future – A Selection of Works of the Permanent Collection. This last gallery includes artists from Ukraine, Puerto Rico and South America.


Around the neighborhood

Future root canal

Went to the dentist after an embarrassingly long gap. I knew something was up but I had to switch insurance to match a practice with availability.

As soon as I saw the digital x-ray light up the screen even I could see it plain as day, I’m going to need a root canal (and a new crown).

The plan coordinator came in with options and I was like, yup, let’s get this on the calendar pronto. The health of teeth effects so many other vital systems, yet here I was putting it off.

Things are back on track!

In other news, finished The Bear (FX/Hulu) tonight and I was all misty-eyed thinking, why can’t more television be like this? The tears were not of sadness but something complex.

Bonus? The great soundtrack, including a dream surf number from Kim Deal that should be in more rotations:

Suitcase staging area

I think a big part of what keeps me curious is to chase the light—to experience and see new things. Yet traveling in the age of COVID terrifies me. Needs and wants at odds, I move slowly, then by leaps—every precaution made except for not going at all.

I can wear a mask, trim my beard, and try and find some space outside and solace inside.

Dope Asian Street Fare

Kept walking by DOPE! meaning to try it out and finally made it happen this sweltering Saturday. We shared Okonomiyaki to start and each got bowls (Lemongrass and Karaage). Servings were large, service was attentive, everything was tasty. Adding to rotation of favorites.

Thank you for coming to my Yelp review.

The bear that holds the Old Spice deodorant

We’re in for bout of extremely boring day—I’m all heads down at work and jamming on a few fronts. So here’s a quick shot from the day that makes me think fondly of Chad and Kevin. Before they wrap up a visit, they stick googly eyes on things and place toy bugs in strange places.

And yes, the bear contains Old Spice deodorant.

I keep losing things

I have photographic evidence that I had my eyeglasses 4 days ago, but I’ve looked up and down, inside and out for them to no avail.

This also happened with a SD card reader dongle thing—it was JUST THERE on the table by the couch. Vanished.

Alas, I went to the drawer where I store old specs and found a pair with the closest prescription and let it go, for now.