Another three-day burst of focus, discipline, and clean livin’ thankfully gave way to the most enjoyable aspects of my job: those contained in each engaging edition of “Catch Me if You Can.” Writing this each week always reminds me of the elementary school teacher who offered naught but dissuasion when I answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with “myself”…to this insufficiently imaginative educator, I have but two words on this day: Watch this.
After spending the previous evening leading locals on a leisurely stroll through the city’s art scene–ArtWalk is every Wednesday night, go if you haven’t yet–I sprang out of bed with particular vigor on this final Thursday of October.
You see, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays…one of the few that got better as an adult, when cocktails got added to the killer combo of costumes and candy that has long made the 31st a day to circle on my calendar.
This year, my trusted assistant Nicky and I elected to combine our shared enthusiasm for the occasion into a joint costume, a concept dubbed “Ancient Aliens”…basically an excuse for me to dress up like an ancient king and carry around a massive glow stick.
Of course, I have a very limited production budget for such fantastic frivolities–you can contribute directly to my shenanigans here you feel so inclined–meaning if I wanted my costume done right, I would have to do it myself.
Trips to Waldo’s (Calle Juarez 754, Centro), the 3 peso store (Calle Juarez 600ish, Centro), and the ever-convoluted Parisina fabric store/escape room (the 2nd circle of Hell, Centro) yielded the supplies I needed, and about 300 pesos and 6 hours later I was thoroughly bedecked in gold Lamé and ready to walk amongst the people of my Earthly kingdom.
In case you didn’t know, Halloween is kind of a big deal along these sandy shores. Children of all ages get into the spirit of the celebration, lending credence to my theory that a lot of people want to wear crazy clothes all the time but fold under peer pressure…you can’t tell me that anyone actually desires to wear khakis.
In any event, the procession down the Malecón was made vibrant by attire of all descriptions…angels and demons, a pirate, a priest, and a Power Ranger. I counted at least 8 Joker costumes, several ninjas, too many sexy cats as always, and we also happened upon Samara of Gold Leaf and her family enjoying a stroll on the seaside.
The Sun reclaimed its’ domain before our night was over, and somehow I squeezed in a short nap to be back up in time to fulfill my most important weekly duty as chief social coordinator of Vallarta CoWork (101 Morelos, Centro).
This time around, I brought the Flying Cafeteria in for a rooftop landing at consistent office favorite No Sé Nada (Corona 179, Centro), home to some of the stiffest and most delicious margaritas in town along with the best homemade cheesy tots that have ever passed my lips. After a plate of taters, I at least made an attempt to balance things out with a salmon salad…in this line of work, you gotta get those decent dietary choices in where you can.
Friday afternoon and evening were spent recovering a few winks of the sleep that had been denied me the previous evening, and would likely not be forthcoming after nightfall on this Saturday, Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos.
The festivities kicked off with a colorful parade through the heart of town, which I was able to enjoy from a privileged perch in 5 de Deciembre with a to-go burrito from Real Deal (Calle Honduras 257 A, 5 de Diciembre) in hand. The streets were thoroughly lavished with color as the marchers made their promenade toward the pier, dancers backed by lively music and the appreciative cheers of streetside pedestrians.
Later, the annual street party over on Calle Lázaro Cárdenas (if you’ve ever wondered exactly who that is, stay tuned this week) took its full shape, and so naturally I found myself in the vicinity. A huge stage for live music and a dance floor had been set up on the corner of Calle Constitución, and multiple restaurants in the immediate area had submitted to the rhythm, opening their doors to the street to create a uniquely celebratory atmosphere.
When the revelry outside the pizzeria died down a bit, I charted a course for the waterfront for a smoke break, but not before coming across a traditional exhibition at Los Arcos Ampitheatre. An uptempo brass band was the platform on which dancers in sharply pressed slacks with gleaming golden embellishments and long, swirling dresses pranced and pirouetted, a performance which was showered with flowers at its’ end.
Saturday night proved to be as long and eventful as All Hallows’ Eve had been, and when the late morning light pried my eyes open the next day I knew if I wanted to be up and useful on Monday morning, I had better take it easy today. I did manage to get some shopping done at the local supermarket, although I did turn a few heads by wearing most of my costume to do it.
What, am I only supposed to use this stuff once?