Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Times, They Are A Changin'

Well, it has been a long time since Puerto Vallarta has been the sleepy little fishing village depicted in Night Of The Iquana, the filming of which put this place on the map and forever altered its landscape. Every year brings something new and, inevitably, the loss of something old. Sometimes what you lose isn't, in my opinion at least, all that bad.

Bye Bye Hooters

Some of you may remember that this wasn't one of my favorite places. To its credit though it was nicely air-conditioned and had bathrooms that were well maintained. It also had a nice view of the malecon so you could sip your beer and watch the world pass by. My complaint was the relative indifference of the bartenders and their refusal to make me a margarita even though all of the ingredients were in view. If they couldn't pour something that was already pre-mixed they just couldn't be bothered.

Someone told me that the place was closed due to some kind of a union action and it did, indeed, look as though it was being picketed. Well, no need to worry too much about it, a new shopping complex has opened not far from town and a new Hooters can be found there. I haven't been yet but I will be heading out one of these days.

Although Hooters is gone Puerto Vallarta now has that quintessential indicator of ultimate gentrification located right in the heart of town:


Of course I always find it a bit bizarre that people will travel all the way to Mexico and then find comfort in a place they could find back home. However, with the economy booming down here, you find a lot of locals indulging in Starbuck's offerings. One certainly can't begrudge them that. The biggest knock on this place seems to be that although they have seating and wireless connections for your laptop, they don't have bathrooms. Of course the neighboring establishments that do have facilities are not too happy about recycling Starbucks coffee.

A couple of other places that I did enjoy visiting have also, unhappily, bit the dust. One was Pau Pau's, right across from Daiquiri Dick's. They had decent food and were about as close to the water as you could get. Also, my neices affectionately call their grandmother Pau Pau so it was kind of like losing a member of my family seeing this place gutted.

Bye Bye Pau Pau

It is in too prime a location to be empty for long so I will be interested in seeing what goes in there. I did notice that the previously rocky strip seperating Pau Pau from the water has been cleared and it looks like a lot of sand has been hauled in to make it a nice beach now.

Another decent place that I liked, the Lazy Lizard, is also now but a distant and forlorn memory.

The Lizard Has Left

I liked the Lazy Lizard because the outside area just had a bunch of beat up old sofas and over-stuffed chairs that looked like they had been sitting outside for years. The beer was cheap too.

Now the Burro Bar hasn't gone anywhere, but the ambience has become a bit more beckoning. There used to be a large, somewhat ominous burro head ouside, but that has been gone for several years. It has been replaced by these rather toy-like looking guys instead.

Child Friendly

For some reason this warning sign

We Dare You?

and this toy

Grr, Beware

just don't seem to go together.

We had a lovely little concert out by the pool a few nights ago and tomorrow I shall post the pictures of that. Last night a bunch of us were sitting out by the pool and we did see the famous Green Flash that everyone talks about. In all of the time I have been coming down here this is only the second time I have seen it and it was the first time for a lot the people who were having their sunset cocktails. It is unmistakable, like a bright green Christmas tree light flashing on and then quickly off. Quite impressive, but you will have to take my word for it because it was much too quick to get a picture.