Friday, February 23, 2007

A Plate Of Meat Product

Guadalajara isn't realy a town for tourists, unless you are someone who thinks packing up the family and heading to Detroit sounds like a fun time. That isn't to say it isn't an interesting city though, and people come from all over Mexico to shop for things you can't get elsewhere. This means stuff like frying pans, cooking pots, restaurant supplies of all kinds, you name it. A by-product is a huge flea market that covers blocks and blocks. Parked in the streets in front of the market are all kinds of buses that must run regular trips from smaller towns so people can shop. The luggage holds are just jammed with stuff that they are bringing back.

After spending a morning wandering about the place but finding nothing I could use I stumbled upon a set of swinging doors and figured I would check out what was on the other side. Bar Man has never met a set of swinging doors he hasn't liked.

Swinging Doors

On the other side was a classic Mexican tavernaro, just a bricked-in area in the back where an old lady was frying stuff up, a couple of refrigerators, one of which held beer, and a few bottles of tequila on a wooden shelf.

This didn't look like a place I was really interested in grabbing a bite to eat, but I had worked up a bit of a thirst so I ordered a beer. It came with a plate of something I can only describe as pink, moist, and meat-like in appearance with toothpicks sticking in it. I would have avoided it completely but the waitress presented it with such enthusiasm and then watched expectantly to see if it would meet with my approval. I had no choice but to try it.

Bar Man With Beer And Meat

Think baloney, old room-temperature (and in Mexico the rooms are quite warm) baloney, sprinkled with vinegar. Yummy it wasn't. I did manage to smile my way through a couple of pieces, and encouraged her to continue to serve it to other gringos who might be foolish enough to enter their premises. Bar Man does what he can to promote tourism and good will.

Later I wandered along a desolate stretch of discount auto-part and plumbing fixture stores and who knows what else to Guadalajara's pride and joy of a park. It really wasn't too bad, large cages of parrots like you see in a lot of restaurants, a butterfly enclosure that had, by my count, about six buterflies, and a bird house with about the same number of birds.

In the middle of the park, however, I did stumble upon the archealogical ruins that the park had been built around. A "genuine" pyramid and maus0leum of some type.

The Ruins

This was an exciting find indeed. Although the two buildings were locked, I was able to peer through the windows of the mausoleum where I could see the bones of what I presumed to have been a rather large ancient warrior decked out in the garb he was interred in.

Bones Of A Fallen Warrior

All in all it was a wonderful day. I returned to my hotel room shivering with excitement, a slight fever, and a bit of diarrhea. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, here I sit on my small balcony in Puerto Vallarta at four in the morning banging away at my laptop. I haven't been able to get a DSL connection in my unit yet so I have to try to suck from someone else's wireless connection. I can only pick it up out here and it is too bright during the day for me to see my screen. Not unlike a vampire I drain drain the wireless connection and work in the dark. I shall sleep on the beach during the day, avoiding the sun and having Igor bring me my drinks.

I left New York on February 6th on a 6:00 AM flight to Guadalajara with a short lay-over in Atlanta. As I was waiting for my connection (airplane, not drug) Shawn, the mayor of International Falls was on CNN talking about how cold it has been up there. You may remember her, she was at Woody's Pub where I had a party for bar number 777.

The Mayor And Me

I got to Guadalajara with no problem and I must say that compared to the hassles you generally have to go through returning to the United States from abroad, getting into Mexico is a piece of cake. It goes without saying that the Mexicans seem to like us better than Lou Dobbs likes them.

I stayed in the Morales hotel right in what is known as the Historical District. The hotel was very nice although it didn't seem to be doing much business. Apparently it was very popular with visiting bull-fighters when bull-fighting was a much more popular and glamorous sport than it is these days.

Hotel Morales

The hotel is right across from a little park where the primary activity seems to be either shining shoes or getting your shoes shined. There is also a little horse and carriage that is always on the corner and never seems to go anyplace.

The Park

The carriages used to be the means of transportation for the wealthy who, when they weren't using them, allowed the drivers to hire them out. To signify that the carriages were available the drivers would wear a yellow arm-band. Hence, the carriages for hire were referred to as canaries and they are still called canarios (Spanish for canaries).

The hotel had a nice little roof-top area where, supposedly, you get get cocktails on Friday and Saturday evenings. Alas, that never seemed possible. I suspect this was because there were so few guests that it wasn't worth their while to open the bar. The views were nice though.

Views From The Top

I don't know how many people are familiar with the thing New York had with cows a few years ago. For some reason if you were an artist you could get a plastic cow and then decorate it as you saw fit. These were then placed in various locations around the city, some of which are still there. For some equally strange reason Guadalajara seemed to have the same kind of a thing going on, but their cows seemed to be decorated in what I can only assume is a more Mexican style.

Vaca de la Muerte (Cow Of Death)

I particularly liked this one of a cow displaying his victory over an enemy elephant. Go figure.

Vaca Victoriosa (Victorious Cow)

I will post more about my stay in Guadalajara in a day or so, but I did want to share a couple of pictures of a bar in which I had one of my more interesting experiences. I don't remember the name of the bar, you had to kind of take it on faith that there was actually going to be a bar behind the door.

The Door To The Bar

Actually, a lot of bars seemed to have fairly obscure entryways, for one reason or another. Anyway, the reason this place was a bit unusual was that above the bar was a small television that was showing the movie "A Dog Of Flanders." Not exactly the most upbeat of movies and the woman bartender had to serve me my beers through her tears as she sobbed during all of the sadder parts (and there were many). One of the few times it was the bartender and not me crying in my beer.

"Enjoying" A Beer At The Crying Bar

I would have liked to have gotten a picture of the bartender but she kept waving me off. I guess her mascara was running or something.

Well, I hear a rooster crowing which means the sun will be coming up soon, so it is time for me to head inside and put on the coffee. Until manana then.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Stay Tuned

Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who continue to visit my blog despite a bit of a dearth of new content recently. I am no longer hitting multiple bars on a daily basis but, as you can see, I haven't stopped going to bars either. Right now I am sitting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico using a pirated wireless connection that I can only get while sitting on my small balcony. As a result I can pretty much only log on after dark or I cannot see my screen. On the other hand, what would I be doing typing away on my laptop while the beach is mere steps away.

I will soon be posting about my travels here in Mexico, including a brief stay in Guadalajara before I took the bus here, about a five hour ride. I hope you find them interesting and will continue to post your comments or send me emails with you suggestions.

Once I get back to Brooklyn at the end of March I will also try to update this site on a more frequent basis, but it won't always be just about bars (sorry, the liver can only get so big).

As a teaser though I will post this picture of me at a bar in Guadalajara with a billboard for the gay strip club accross the street. After visiting Mexico for about 25 years I have finally figured out that terraza means terrace. Languages are not my strong suit.

Mi Terraza

Stay tuned, there will be more to follow and you can be sure the Mysterious Chinese Woman will be making an occasional appearance. She is relentless in her pursuit and can be found lurking almost anywhere.

The Lurker