What’s a little hurricane to Yucatecos? Why its nothing more than a little bump in the road when this is the week that chamber music and the choruses return to the stage. Our new season begins this week, as does our storm recovery. These cultural events will help to remind us of the reasons we love Yucatan so much and why we chose this beautiful place as our home.
Monday (Lunes) August 20, 2007
Mondays are the slow nights in Merida social life. Usually, there are only two events: Conversaciones con Amigos, at the Merida English Library and Vaqueria, the Folkloric Ballet. We have not heard that either has been canceled. If weather permits, this might be a good opportunity for those of you who live at the beach to sample these events. Call MEL and check before venturing out. Their number is: (999) 924 – 8401 and someone should be there between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM to answer your questions.
Conversaciones con Amigos (Conversations with Friends)
Come one, come all! You do not have to be a member to attend. Come to practice Spanish or English. There are always a few English and Spanish native speakers, helping each other with pronunciation, vocabulary and learning each other’s customs.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 #524 x 66 y 68.
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: small donation
VAQUERÍA Folkloric Ballet
Since the 18th century, when cattle ranching was at its peak and the main source of wealth in Yucatan, at roundup time, the cattle rancher would invite all of his friends and neighbors to a fiesta, so he could show off his wealth. At these events, the wives of the vaqueros (the men who worked the cattle) would dance. Thus, the name Vaquería. Merida continues to support the Vaquería, a spectacular ballet, featuring the Jaranera Orchestra and the City Folkloric Ballet & Trova Yucateca.
Location: First floor of the Ayuntamiento in the Plaza Grande (the building with the clock)
Time: All Mondays 9:00 PM
Tuesday (Martes) August 21, 2007
With Hurricane Dean in our state, we suspect that Tuesday is a night you might want to consider staying at home. Somehow we doubt there will be any performances anywhere. Try to stay safe.
Wednesday (Miercoles) August 22, 2007
It looks as if we are getting two days and nights for this hurricane. Considering the size of it, we are probably far better off at home. However… if you’ve had enough of the storm by tonight… there is something going on in town that might be fun…
TGI Fridays’ Bartender Competition
As if watching limbs and leaves fly through the air with the greatest of ease hasn’t been enough for the past couple of days, come on out and watch these extreme-action bartenders compete for the winner of this round of the 2008 TGI Fridays’ Bartender of the Year. If you think you might want to go, call and make a reservation. It is going to be one of the few shows in town tonight so it is likely to be a packed house. Not to worry though. We’ll have our reporter there – camera in hand, so you won’t miss a thing!
Time: Approximately 5:00 PM.
Location: TGI Friday’s on Prolongación Montejo just south of the Mercedes Benz dealer (before Gran Plaza)
Thursday (Jueves) August 23, 2007
Life and Culture return, literally, to Merida! La Temporada is over. The storm is over (ojala!) and the cultural events we love so dearly are back. If you are a visitor to the city because of the storm, we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best entertainment the world has to offer – right here in Merida!
“To Remember is to Live”
Live music under the trees in one of Merida’s oldest parks. What we really love about this dance, next to the fact that it starts early and ends at a reasonable hour, is that members of the Jaranara Orchestra play for this one too! These musicians have a range that is unbelievable! Come on down and enjoy the Big Band sound, something you’re not likely to hear anywhere else but in Merida these days. And unwind beneath the big trees.
Location: Parque Zoológico del Centenario (The Zoo), Calle 59 at Avenida Itzaes
When: 4:00 PM
Camerata Académica de Mérida and Coro de la Cuidad
They’re Back!!! It is a new season and the best of Merida begins again. The Camerata is, once again, under the direction of Maestro José Luis Chan Sabido, while the Chorus of the City is directed by Mtra. Nidia Góngora Cervera. This is the night for Mozart and Schubert but, if that is not enough for you, we have guests! Also performing will be the Coro de Camara del ICY, the Coro de Polofonico del ICY, and perhaps a bigger surprise. We are told they will have musicos de instrumentos del aliento. Now, if these are modern “breath instruments,” then we are probably talking about flutes and woodwinds. However, that term is also used in association with traditional instruments, some used as far back as prehistoric times. Whatever that surprise is, we are just glad to see them all back for a new season.
Location: Parroquia San Francisco Assis, Calle 60 Sur x 101, Colonia Delio Moreno
Time: 8:30 PM
This is a real serenade that has been a fixture in Merida, every Thursday night, for over 40 years. If you haven’t seen it, you have really missed something wonderful. This is the center of Merida’s romantic heart. If you are a visitor, make sure to get to this particular serenade. It is well worth being part of your first memory of Merida.
Location: Parque Santa Lucía, Calle 60 and 55, Downtown.
Time: 9:00 PM
Admission is Free.
Friday (Viernes) August 24, 2007
Baila Merida (Merida Dances)
This dance is designed for us older folks, but should give younger visitors quite a show. At the very least, we can teach the young folks to dance and, at best, visitors can regale the folks back home with tales of dancing in the park with old people to the music of a world renowned orchestra. Now where else can you get that combination of experiences for free?
Location: Parque Santa Ana, Calle 60 x 47 y 45, Centro
Time: 8:00 PM
Noches Románticas en La Ermita (Romantic Nights in the Hermitage)
Are there any other kind? And remember – this is free musical expression with a romantic theme. This particular park, with it’s central gazebo, it’s cobbled streets, the colonial facades surrounding the park and the lovely little church at one side is romantic, even without the music!
Location: Parque de la Ermita de Santa Isabel (Calle 66 and 77)
Time: 9:00 PM
Saturday (Sabado) August 25, 2007
1a Ciclo de Guitars 2007
Tonight, Francisco Cáceres and Víctor Celis Padrón will perform for us. If you will remember, we are blessed to have one of the rare Guitar Orchestras in the world, and many of its members are Yucatecos. Víctor Celis Padrón is from Progreso and Francisco Cáceres was born right here in Merida.
These artists are a true treasure of Yucatan and we must all support them whenever we have the opportunity. All in all, there will be 14 guitarists who will spend this season sharing the sentimental music of our state with those who live here and visitors alike. Don’t miss a chance to see any of these performances. The last show will be September 8.
Location: Cineteca National in Teatro Mérida (Calle 62 between 59 and 61)
Time: 8:00 PM
Noche Mexicana (Mexican Night)
Each Saturday night, there is a performance on an outdoor stage here, often from a musical or dance group from another part of Mexico. Chairs are set up for the audience, but it’s often standing room only. Booths selling food and handcrafts are set up in the park. The purpose of this performance is to bring all of Mexico to our own backyard here in Merida.
Location: Beginning of Paseo Montejo, Calle 56 A between 47 and 49
Time: 8:00 PM (Cancelled by rain)
En El Corazón de Mérida (In the Heart of Merida)
Live music, including jazz, salsa and even the trova, held on various stages around the Plaza Grande. Many of the streets leading to the Plaza are closed to all but foot traffic, and the restaurants and bars put their chairs and tables outside in the streets. This is a night designed for that Saturday night date, but they’ve got all of the shops open for business too.
Location: Plaza Grande, Centro
Time: Saturday nights, from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Sunday (Domingo) August 26, 2007
Documentary: Lost World: The Diet of Dinosaurs: Horns and Herds
Every Sunday, at noon, the Museum of Natural History presents a documentary, mostly centered around themes associated with animals and the environment. This Sunday, we learn about the the diet of dinosaurs. Until recently the diet of these prehistoric creatures was a mystery. Looks like they hunted and they killed. If this is the case, maybe this is not a documentary for the little ones, but big kids are sure to find it fascinating.
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 near Avenida Itzaes
Time: 12:00 Noon
Sunday mornings is for Dogs
Attention all dog owners! I f you are a dog owner (or owned by a dog…), come join the rest of us for an hour of running and playing in a safe place. An informal group has started meeting on Sunday mornings from 7:30-8:30 AM in the grass-covered parking lot behind the Hyatt Hotel. Get there by going north on Calle 60 and turning right on Calle 35, just after the Siqueff restaurant. The parking lot entrance will be on your left. Bring water for you AND your dog. If there aren’t a lot of dogs, it isn’t as much fun… so come and bring your pups for a little bit of old-fashioned running around.
The Bici-Ruta is part of a national plan to get people out for physical exercise, as well as for community building activities and it’s alive and well, even in the middle of summertime. It begins early, at 8:00 AM, and ends at noon. There is a set route that begins in Ermita and San Juan Parks, passes through Centro and then travels down Paseo Montejo, to include Fiesta Americana, and Paseo de Montejo at the corners of Calles 45, 43, 31, and 29. If you want to play chess, go to the sidewalk outside the Museum of Anthropology on Paseo Montejo at 9 am and pick up a game!
Location: Begins at Parque de la Ermita, through the Plaza Grande, out Paseo Montejo, and Ends at the Glorieta on Prolongation Paseo Montejo (by Burger King).
Time: 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 PM
Mérida en Domingo
Sunday downtown is a spectacular tradition in Mérida. Start at the center of town, where booths are set up all around the Plaza Grande. Inside the plaza, you can find huipiles, guayaberas, honey, dolls, bags, tee-shirts… and everything is made for sale by the local people of the Yucatan. The outer ring of booths are selling food: marquesitas, tacos, cochinita, ice cream (try the coconut), fruit, drinks, etc. There’s also usually a musical concert in the garden at the MACAY Museum, just off the Paseo de la Revolución next to the main cathedral. If the crowd starts to get to you, go to the museum (entrance is free). Sit around the fountain or walk through the galleries and listen to the live music. Or wander up Calle 60 to Santa Lucia Park, where you can also find antiques, old books and other curiosities. At that lovely park, there is also food, live music and lots of dancing. The dancing and music is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Location: In the Centro Historico: Plaza Grande, Parque Santa Lucia (Calle 60 x 55) and MACAY Museum (Calle 60 between 61 and 63)
Time: 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM
Sunday at the MACAY
There is a musical concert in the garden at the MACAY Museum, just off the Paseo de la Revolución next to the main cathedral. If the Merida en Domingo crowd starts to get to you, go to the museum (entrance is free). Sit around the fountain or walk through the galleries and listen to the live music.
Location: In the Garden at the MACAY (next to the Cathedral)
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Camerata Académica de Mérida and Coro de la Cuidad
A repeat of Thursday’s performance (see Thursday for details) but in a different place.
Location: Inglesia El Jesus Calle 60 x 59, Centro
Time: 8:30 PM