From Here!!

OPC Delights

I caught up with a friend and colleague John Warren for mango smoothies at the Vallarta Cigar Factory last week; be sure to read his interesting article about jaguars…they are tantalizingly close by!


He and his wife, Barbara, managed to get out of Lethbridge, Alberta, but not before being caught in the first snowfall of the season; nearly a meter fell in nearby Calgary. That means the Canadian snowbirds have a jumpstart on their winter vacations and are arriving ahead of schedule.


I had the pleasure of being at the inauguration of a new performing arts collective called “Thumb Tack Theater.” Their play, “toothpaste and cigars” – an unusual title, to be sure, was as intriguing as it sounds.


Written by a pair of Canadians and directed by Canadian Kami Desilets, who had to explain the Canadianisms to her two American stars.

AJ Jordan and Melissa Tropp did an extraordinary job of carrying this duet of words from start to finish.


I would love to see the two of them in something more dramatic. “toothpaste and cigars” required an underlying tension throughout the comedy that allowed aj in particular to shine. I kept hoping his character would seize the moment – and his co-star – and take care of matters.


That’s it for plot synopsis, you should go and witness good acting, a superb soundtrack, stage design, lighting; Thumb Tack is on the right path. Bravo. The last show is November 2nd over Nacho Daddy on Basilio Badillo.


Erica Maree, whose two stores have brought handmade clothing and accessories to Vallarta for a few years now, has added artisan food.

Next to her shop on Basilio Badillo, “Ono” at 314 C, opened last Saturday. While I adore my smoothies in a tall glass, these are smoothie bowls – 100% vegan; they look lovely and are super healthy.


Listen to this: half a papaya filled with peanut butter, topped with bananas, blueberries, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and granola! Everything is locally sourced and organic. There is coffee, tea, and Kambucha. Sure to be a winner, look for “Ono” when you are shopping on Basilio Badillo and stop for a blast of quick and tasty energy that’s balanced and good for you!


The OPC, Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, held their season opener on the weekend. I became a member at their 5th-anniversary party when they found they could no longer sustain giving away their internationally acclaimed artistic exhibitions.


Rather than charge admission, the OPC reached out to the public and asked for help. The response was generous, but the need continues. One feature of being a member is to be invited to a private introduction to the featured artist(s) an hour before the gallery doors open to the public.


My politico friend from Nayarit, Francisco Partida, was so excited to meet Michael Nyman, an English composer with his fingers in so many artistic pies. Unfortunately, Michael was felled by flu in Mexico City and could not fly, but he will be here within the next couple of weeks.


Nyman is perhaps best known for scoring the music for “The Piano” that starred Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter; that album went platinum. Stay tuned for a full report on Meeting Michael Nyman soon!


Artist Yair Lopez was charming and engaging, speaking of his work mixing seismology with music. He was in Mexico City during the last earthquake, and his images and music can be seen and heard at OPC until spring.


Francisco Partida and I spent hours chatting with Yair, Josef Kandoll, Dean and Leslie Regehr, and Daniel Oliveros, the Director of the Vallarta Symphony, who is expecting his first baby, a boy, as he says, “any day now.”


By next weekend, all the Farmers Markets in Banderas Bay will be up and running. Find the list in this issue with places and times.


Drop in to say hello at the Marsol Friday Market by the Pier; hugs are free if you promise to pass them on, From Here.

Marcia Blondin