Sunday, March 01, 2015

putting the sound into flavor

If you cannot have fun in Barra de Navidad during the winter, you must be reaching room temperature -- and, lately, that has been pleasantly cool, with blessed mornings in the 60s.

Yesterday was a day to celebrate food in the town square -- while simultaneously advertising some of the better fare of our local restaurants by raising money to reconstruct public access to the beach.  All at the Festival Sabores y Sonidos de Barra de Navidad 2015.  That last phrase (the one about public access to the beach) may need a bit of amplification. 

The beach that forms the bar in Barra de Navidad has suffered severe erosion.  Erosion, as in "It ain't there no more.  Or wasn't."

You can pick your theory on why the sand disappeared.  Change in ocean currents.  Natural periodic erosion.  Climate change.  Obamacare.  Miley Cyrus's tongue.

For over a year, a number of engineering projects have attempted to re-create the beach.  And the sand would come and go.  Right now, it is sticking around.  Sometimes in places where I wish it wouldn't.

I ignored my duty as an investigative reporter by trying to verify just what the money spent on the event would do.  But I suspect "reconstruct the public beach access" would be about as much amplification as I would get.

Doing Good was simply a cover for having a good time.  And everyone who was at the event seemed to be doing that.

The organizers promised flavor and sound.  They delivered.

The flavor was two long lines of booths (one professional for the restaurateurs, and one amateur for the -- well, people who were not restauranteurs, I guess).  There was a contest with the attendees acting as voters.  Their charge was to taste the food at each booth and then vote for the best entrant in three categories: chicken mole, salsa, and seafood.

Because I was on my way to another event featuring food, I tried only one sample from the realtor booth.  That would be them at the top of this post.  Rivals united in the pursuit of flavor.

Now that I am getting settled into the house, I am looking forward to becoming part of the Barra community.  That means participating in events like this. 

And getting to know names.  The woman, who runs a Mexican restaurant two blocks from my house, was there.  I hate to admit that I did not recognize her by name.  What caught my attention was this piece of kitchen pottery.

It originally caught my eye in her restaurant.  When I asked her about it, she said she bought it in Guadalajara.  I want to buy something similar for my house.  Do any of you have an idea where I might find one?

I walked away from her booth with a vow.  I need to get to know my neighbors by name.  Especially, if I am going to be a regular customer at her restaurant.

The organizers also promised sound -- in the form of a series of bands.  I am not much for bars.  And that is where most of our local bands play.

When I do hear them, I am almost surprised at how good they are.  I have become so accustomed to our local guitar strummers, who are stymied by searching for a key in which they can sing "Guantanamera," that I forget there are some real musicians in these parts.

I need to search them out.

For me, that is the best result of these little festivals.  Barra is blessed with some fine restaurants and some very good musicians.  I need to enjoy them more.

And for the next two months, while I am waiting for my next trip, I will.


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