banana republic/dreams

I guess it’s true that it feels kind of irrelevant when other people recount their dreams, so I will try to keep this short. Last night I dreamed that Banana Republic was opening a store in Mexico City.

There aren’t any Banana Republics in Mexico, although I think you can buy some of their clothing in the nicer department stores, Liverpool, Palacio de Hierro, Sears. Which I would never do because the prices in those places do not reflect the fact that the products are made in Malaysian sweatshops.

But yeah, there is a real demand for Banana Republic here. Which is I think partly why I dreamed that. And because I am going to the US next week and plan to make major wardrobe purchases while I’m there. In fact, that was my dream– I was coming out of a Banana Republic in the US on my trip, and the shopping bag listed the cities in which new stores will be opening. Mexico City was one of them.

Another thing, the dream reflects my anxiety about gringofication tendencies in Mexico. There’s already like 160 Starbucks in Mexico City alone, a Pinkberry, a California Pizza Kitchen, etc.

Although I would be kind of happy if a Banana Republic opened here, I still doubt I would shop there. The 16% value-added tax, limited availability, and unlikelihood of quarterly sales would probably rule out ever finding any bargains.

My dreams are often this realistic and practical. I am not sure if that indicates anything interesting about my psyche, but I will say that sometimes it leads to confusion: I can’t always distinguish memories of my dreams from memories of reality.


william s burroughs in mexico city

I read Naked Lunch in high school and got pretty fed up. I’ve never really had much patience for the Beats’ self-indulgence.

I had forgotten that William S Burroughs lived in Mexico City for a while. Then the other day I was walking up Orizaba I think or Tonalá in Colonia Roma, and I passed a bar with a plaque by the door, marking the building as the residence of William S Burroughs when he killed his wife.

From Wikipedia:

Burroughs fled to Mexico to escape possible detention in Louisiana‘s Angola state prison. Vollmer and their children followed him. Burroughs planned to stay in Mexico for at least five years, the length of his charge’s statute of limitations. Burroughs also attended classes at Mexico City College in 1950 studying Spanish as well as “Mexican picture writing” (codices) and the Mayan language with R.H. Barlow.

In 1951, Burroughs shot and killed Vollmer in a drunken game of “William Tell” at a party above the American-owned Bounty Bar in Mexico City. He spent 13 days in jail before his brother came to Mexico City and bribed Mexican lawyers and officials to release Burroughs on bail while he awaited trial for the killing, which was ruled culpable homicide.[13] Vollmer’s daughter, Julie Adams, went to live with her grandmother, and William S. Burroughs, Jr. went to St. Louis to live with his grandparents. Burroughs reported every Monday morning to the jail in Mexico City while his prominent Mexican attorney worked to resolve the case. According to James Grauerholz two witnesses had agreed to testify that the gun had gone off accidentally while he was checking to see if it was loaded, and the ballistics experts were bribed to support this story.[14] Nevertheless, the trial was continuously delayed and Burroughs began to write what would eventually become the short novel Queer while awaiting his trial. However, when his attorney fled Mexico after his own legal problems involving a car accident and altercation with the son of a government official, Burroughs decided, according toTed Morgan, to “skip” and return to the United States. He was convicted in absentia of homicide and sentenced to two years, which was suspended.[15] Although Burroughs was writing before the shooting of Joan Vollmer, this event marked him and, biographers argue, his work for the rest of his life.[16]

Kinda proves my theory that he was a loser, but I’m still interested. USA Today ran a travel article last year on the Beat sites of Mexico City. Most of them are really near my apartment in Roma. I will have to check them out with Kristen when she comes to visit.

more art basel pics

Just realized I had some more pictures on my phone. Oh, multifunctionals.

I was surprised to learn this is by Damien Hirst. Then I wasn’t surprised.

I feel lame for not writing down this artist’s name actually. I’ve been talking about his stuff– this wasn’t even my favorite piece of his. Not by Damien Hirst.

Also really liked this. In fact this series of ships was my favorite work in the whole convention center. Not a clue who it’s by. This is what can happen when budget limits your imagination. I know the dealer was based in L.A.

The real masterpiece, no? View of downtown from the Mondrian Hotel.

Also, I found the flyer for the exhibit I was trying to remember. We met these old graffiti dudes. Old-skool I should say. I guess it was kind of like meeting the Beastie Boys. Anyway, someone had put together an exhibit about their work, Hyperbolic Aerosolic. Here is a view of their exhibition, which was at the Eric Firestone Gallery. One of them, Steve, ended up coming with us to the Hello Kitty party. He was carrying a sharpie.


At Gate E-8 of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson the other day I was sitting around waiting to board with what looked to be a full flight, and I was basically the only non-Mexican (by blood, I mean). Mostly people were speaking Spanish. A few little kids speaking English I guess. I was happy to be reminded of where I was returning to.

The Delta employee staffing our gate was clearly American, not of Mexican ancestry– a young and really jolly black chick. She gave off the preliminary announcements in a perfect Atlanta vernacular. And then, rather than handing off the mic to the Aeromexico (codeshare) employee next to her, she said the entire thing again in Spanish. Like, almost perfectly. Much better accent than mine anyway, I think.

The Mexicans loved it. Funny, too, because it was definitely the textbook Spanish that you get in high school. “Tarjeta” instead of “formato,” “hacer fila” instead of “formar,” “immigración” instead of “migración,” etc. She actually switched over to puro español after a few minutes, except here and there she would slip up and just say something in English either by habit or for ease.

“Su atención please, ‘hacer una sola fila’ significa una persona detrás de la otra.”
“Por favor, si tienes la tarjeta [numero blah blah blah] de immigración la dejen en el counter cuando pasan.”

It was super cute. I heard a dude next to me mimic her in admiration after one of the times she broke her Spanish up with “please.” Then as I was passing her to enter the “gusano” (yes, the “worm”– what Mexicans call the skyway or whatever the hell the tube that leads into the plane is) I heard her answering a passenger, “Pues, sí, soy Americana por nacimiento pero en el corazón soy Latina.” AHUEVO

home for the holidays 3

I’ve been enjoying the mild culture shock of returning to the US. At the moment I don’t see myself living here again, but it is really good to be back.

“Vincent Roberson is greeted by wife, Latonya, after he got off the Harry S. Truman after his 7-month deployment on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010.” David B. Hollingsworth, The Virginian-Pilot. Used without permission from, part of the Virgininian-Pilot newspaper (Norfolk area, the major naval port).

i broke my neck partying

I guess I have kind of built this up… really, talking to a lot of people about it, I realize I probably got off light. The head injury story.

I went to Puerto Vallarta for the Revoultion puente weekend back in November. Actually to la Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which is just past Bucerias on the way to Sayulita. So I was technically vacationing in Nayarit.

Jorge Aldo’s sister was having a get-together at her and her boyfriend’s home there. They are still finishing up the house they are building in a waterfront apartment complex. The parties of the weekend were centered around the amazing amorphous pool they have at the complex. It’s huge, covering an area maybe the size of three basketball courts, with several bridge walkways stretching over different parts. We (about 15 people) had it mostly to ourselves. You can walk back and forth between the pool and the beach, too, but we mostly hung at the pool because the beach there isn’t that great.

So I don’t want to downplay the role that drinking played in the situation. Basically each of us threw in 200 pesos (15 x 200 = 3000) which bought a LOT of beer and a LOT of tequila. And a little scotch, even. And not really very many snacks.

To address my mother’s concerns here, and I guess the questions I owe myself: I normally avoid alcohol if I am bummed out or in a potential bummer of a situation. However, I did not see this bummer potential coming, and when it did come I kind of ignored it because there wasn’t much I could do about it. It’s private, related to language barriers and love emotions, and I’m dealing with it.

In that moment, though, I wasn’t. Instead I was amusing myself flitting around the pool and trying different flips and warming up in the sun and then jumping back in the kind of cold water. And I guess due to the unhappiness brewing below the surface, I was getting kind of restless and bored, and hungry, and of course it was a pool party and we were drinking. So by around 4pm of the Sunday I was also getting kind of trashed.
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