The Lois Lane of La Manzanilla is back! Temporarily. I’m filling in until our regular columnist, Patti Wagner, returns. Hurry home, Patti, please.
If you wonder what you missed in La Manzanilla during the summer: Nothing. It was too hot to do anything; and there wasn’t much to do anyway. As we marked the first anniversary of Hurricane Patricia on October 24, a 5.1 earthquake shook us from our somnolence. And so the season begins!
We want Halloween! Trick or treat night has become a tradition in La Manzanilla. From just a handful — most dressed in street clothes — a dozen years ago, hordes of costumed kids of all ages now maraud main street, chanting “Queremos Halloween!” (What ever happened to “Trick or Treat?”)
Many local businesses participate in the candy feeding frenzy. From my vantage point at Palapa Joe’s, it seemed each group that came in was a bit more amped. Several kilos of candy went out the door, and this year’s variety of costumes was impressive.
Speaking of Palapa Joe’s, publican Willy Mason anticipates live music to resume possibly as early as next week. House band, The Lounge Lizards, should be ready to take the stage by mid-November. As more players arrive, we can look forward to live music several nights each week.
The Deli moved
The old Marisco’s Deli you left last spring is now Omar’s Place and has moved to Playa Blanca 49A (just down from Tito’s at the triangle). Omar Oregon’s smiling face is still behind the counter and he’s ready to serve your gastronomic needs in English and Spanish.
In addition to fish, chicken, and fine cuts of beef, Omar’s continues to offer cold cuts, hard-to-find herbs and spices, cheeses and other specialty items. He also has expanded the deli’s selection of healthy foods, including gluten-free and natural products.
Omar also constructs made-to-order sandwiches and tortilla wraps on the spot. Enjoy them hot or cold, and wash them down with one of the flavored Pellegrino waters he stocks. The deli is now air conditioned, too, for your shopping comfort.
You may not know her name, but more than likely you’ve tasted her delicious cinnamon rolls or other baked delights. Leia Bowers has opened her own bakery, Panaderia Leia, at Lazaro Cardenas 7, two doors toward the beach from Ferreteria Chely.
Panadaria Leia will serve the wholesale market. In La Manzanilla, you can sample her tasty treats at Café del Mar, Café du Calcetin (which has relocated to the Gran Caiman hotel), and Café Arroz y Leche. They also are available at various cafes in Melaque and Barra de Navidad.
Leia says she will be happy to take special orders for her rolls, breads, muffins, and cakes with at least 48-hours advance notice. (Her cinnamon rolls are so famous, a tour-bus driver transported a batch across the country to Veracruz.)
Galeria La Manzanilla
Abi Ramos has opened Galeria La Manzanilla for the season with shipments of new artisanal pieces. Colorful ocean scenes from Manzanillo artist Paloma adorn the walls. Display cases house jewelry from part-time resident Peggy Turner, along with a selection of earrings and necklaces handmade in Oaxaca. Vivid, hand-fired ceramics from Delores Hidalgo also are available.
The Galeria will continue its tradition of monthly Meet the Artist receptions. The first one, scheduled for December 2, will feature paintings by Ajijic artists Lucy and Chivo. Refreshments will be provided by Muy Rico Alimentos.
Galeria La Manzanilla is located at Calle Perula Sur 83, a block and a half behind Palapa Joe’s restaurant. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Big season ahead
The beach is clean and inviting. The water’s warm. And locals are gearing up for what may be our best tourist season in years. Ojalá.
Dozens of rentals have been added or refurbished, but they’re booking quickly. Now’s the time to firm up your plans for a break to the beach.
You’ll find new restaurants in town, too. Bahia Azul is on the beach where Jolanda’s was. La Catrina is across from the Triangle (the old Marisco’s locale). And Café Arroz y Leche is across from the Friday tianguis by the dolphin statue. Buen provecho!
Is there anyone, anywhere in the world, who won’t be glad when the U.S. election is over? I don’t know how those of you with TV, radio, newspapers, and other accoutrement of civilization have withstood this unprecedented barrage of contention and vitriol. It’s made me even gladder to be tucked away in La Manzanilla, with the Internet as my only source for news. I hope all you Americans residing in Mexico cast your absentee ballots. I did.
Fortunately, the World Series has briefly diverted my attention from the political battlefield. In a sea of Chicago Cubs fans, this old Buckeye is a staunch Cleveland Indians supporter. Unfortunately, the Series has gone to game 7 and I had to file this column before we know who takes the pennant. So may the best teams (Go Tribe!) win, tonight and on November 8.
Editor’s note: Unfortunately for Jane, the Cubs recorded a nail-biting 8-7 win on Wednesday evening in Game 7. The bad news for the Indians is that as the Cubs have finally ended their 108-year drought, the longest period without a championship now belongs to Cleveland, which has not won a title since way back in 1948! Never mind, there’s always next year!