Thursday, June 4, 2009

On a lighter note...sort of

Late addition from Visit the Coqui to add to your social calendar:

June 11-15, SoFo Food Festival, Old San Juan

If you love food and music then you will LOVE the SoFo Food Festival. SoFo is short for South Foraleza Street in Old San Juan and during the festival the south end of Fortaleza Street is closed to traffic and transformed in to an out door street party with great food and great music. Many of the restaurants in the SoFo area take part in the festival.

What: SoFo Food Festival
Where: South Foraleza Street
When: June 11 - 15, 2009
More Info: 787-723-7080

along with one of my favorite holidays of the year, whether I actually am awake to participate or not...seems to be an every other year or so thing, and some years I've just done it off the end of my yard. This falls the day after my birthday and that might have some influence on some of us being up for another night of frivolity...if you think it being a 'religious event' stops the party, you haven't been to Puerto Rico!

June 23, Saint John the Baptist Eve

Local Patron Saint Festival here in Puerto Rico. It is said that if you walk backwards into the sea at midnight, you will have good luck for the rest of the year. In San Juan you will find people celebrate at Condado Beach, Isla Verde Beach and Ocean Park Beach. For the rest of the island, just hit the nearest body of water.

What: Saint John the Baptist Eve
Midnight June 23 (celebrations start early evening on the 23rd)
Where: Condado Beach, Isla Verde Beach and Ocean Park Beach in San Juan and all around the island

Today there will be a big protest and a general strike by those affected (pretty much every sector of government workers will be getting hit, including teachers - women will be the largest percentage) on the big island of Puerto Rico about the 30 or 40 or more thousands of jobs layoffs that the Governor has planned to right the economy ship of PR out of its floundering ways. Seems like that's ticking people off, amazingly enough. One of the groups striking is the one that makes the ferries ply the waters between Culebra, Vieques and the big island. What did we ever do to those guys?? Apparently though, they are going to let the earliest and the latest ferries run for each island. We'll see what happens. If they do, off will go a contingent from here to wave the banners high while listening to the Puerto Rico Symphony, also striking, in concert as it were, with the others.

An earlier labor strike in PR

I will stay on this side, as the idea of thousands of people, angry people, joined together against something reminds me of the time I was in Montreal, many years ago. Minding my own business, I was walking down a street when suddenly it became a rioting mob...something to do with French and English, as I recall, and instantly terrifying. I'd never been in that sort of mob scene before. The energy - think the worst fight you ever had with someone, the screaming, crazy kind if you've ever gone there, magnified about 1000 times - how you felt when it was going on and then when it was over. That shaky, sick feeling, knowing how close to out of control you were. That's how it felt. Except, it did get out of control. Thankfully, by then I was back at my aunt & uncle's home, watching it on television.

Hopefully the protest will be calm and strong and bright and good, and everyone will come home with a positive story. I'll be all ears.

As I listen to the stories, I'll be listening for stories of students, because we've certainly got activist students here in Puerto Rico. And I'll think about this video I'm posting here. Check your news tomorrow night and see if the big little island got any coverage. And stay tuned for what happens next. Walk carefully, Senor Fortuno, fear is a powerful motivator.

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