Monthly Archive for April, 2008

The New Twenty

Today is my thirtieth birthday.

A couple of observations:

1. New Year’s Resolutions are bullshit. I’ve already forgotten mine, and chances are, you have too. That’s because they come every year, for chrissakes. I mean, who can keep up with something like that? On the other hand, 30 comes only once in your life. Trust me, you are going to remember that shit. So I’ve decided to have a 30th Birthday resolution: I’m gonna get ripped like my buddy Weston. To that end, I hired a trainer, twice a week, until my trip to Greece in July. Let’s see how that goes.

2. The urge to celebrate has definitely been taken down a notch. Usually I have a big shitshow party for my birthday. Not this year. This year “I’ll be somewhere calmly/Listening to R&B.” Gon git dat fiya up in Jaaaaaamaica!

3. Going to Babbo for dinner, my favorite restaurant in NYC. I can’t wait for the tasting menu!

Here is some Jay-Z for yah in honor of my Dirtieth:

Look Into The Air

Finally, I am done with my Guatemala blogging! Interesting post script – I was watching Nova last night and they had a special on Mayan hieroglyphs, which was fascinating. You can watch the entire special here. When we were in Tikal, the guides there said that the language had been lost, but the show explained that they had deciphered many of Mayan hieroglyphics, if not completely broken the code. It reminded me of this picture I took (at left). Recent scholars have deciphered much of the code, and generally stelae like the one pictured at left was a historical account of kings and their family. Anyway, if you get a chance to go to Guatemala, take as many pictures of the glyphs as you can! I didn’t take as many as I would have liked and now I regret it.

Now, on to other things. I’ve been going to a lot of concerts lately. First, I saw Jose Gonzales at the Highline Ballroom. The line went from one end of 11th avenue to the other (11th is a long block)! We managed to get in and score a table with a great view. Here are some pictures I took from the event.

The concert was great. He played a lot of his new stuff, including one of my favorites off his new album, Cycling Trivialities. Have a listen.

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This man has unbelievable control over the guitar – it is practically an extension of him when he plays.

More recently, we went to the Explosions in the Sky concert. It was raw and awesome. They proved that they are not a post rock band, they are a rock band. A friend of a friend took some terrific pictures of the concert here. They played a lot of great songs, but not my favorite (and my friend’s) song, Your Hand In Mine. Check it out.

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It was a straight set with no encore. Being entirely instrumental, many worry that the band will be boring, but I can tell you that fear is unjustified. The music was hypnotic, and EITS are experts at building their music and the crowd into a frenzied crescendo. It was blisteringly loud – at points I could have used earplugs. My friends joke that setting the radio to a moderate volume is a sign of old age.

On that point, I am turning thirty in 9 days. Christ.

Finally, I put together a little mixtape of some songs I’ve been enjoying lately. If you want to, you can check it out here. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Guatemala, Days 8-9 – Monterrico, Guatemala City

Recently I went on a trip to Guatemala. These are days 8-9 of my 9 day account.

We catch a morning bus to Monterrico with a true hippie. He’s got dreads and everything, a vegan (of course) and he is out there to save the world. Driving out to the coast highlights the marked difference between the steep highlands and the incredibly flat lowlands. It’s the first time I’ve seen flat land in a while, and I am loving it.

At one point we reach a river that we have to cross. Nearby is a brand new bridge, but we end up taking this bizarre ferry so that the driver can save a few dollars. Definitely an experience, though I don’t know if I would want to do it again.

After we arrive in Monterrico, we immediately drop all our stuff at the Hotel Dos Mundos and head out to the pool. The pool is almost an infinity pool (no infinity edge but overlooking the ocean. We have a few fantastic pina coladas, which are served in hollowed out pineapples. Then we make our way to the beach, which is hot since the sand is completely black! The ocean current is far too strong to swim in, and the sand is too sharp and black to be hospitable, but it is still relaxing and beautiful, which is what we need after our harried journey.

We walk along the beach waiting for the sun to set and I take some nice pics. Later, we see baby leatherback turtles being released to the ocean. It is really cute.

Unfortunately I am feeling sick from an awful meal we had by the market in Chichichastenango, and I develop a fever and what I’ll mercifully call “digestive problems.” Unfortunately that means I can’t check out the nightlife.

The next day, we spend the better part of the day at the beach, enjoying ceviche and taking in some sun. Around mid afternoon, the bus is back to take us back to Guatemala City. On the way back we see a volcano fully erupting, a good omen I think!

Our beach stay was not long, but it was definitely refreshing! We return to Guatemala City and stay at the Intercontinental (link2), skipping the Otelito, since it is the same price and in my view, the Intercontinental is much nicer. We go out for a bit and take in more nightlife, but crash early as we have early morning flights back to NYC.

And there you have it!