TRANSLUCENT MOON BEDTIME STORIES. The happening in San Nicholas, at the abandoned school attracted a good crowd, treated to a mélange of artistic expressions by two dozen young artists. We got there without getting lost! Imaging wandering in the dark a bit disoriented, treading on wild weeds and glass shards among flaking walls and crumbling doorways, to be confronted with the fluid poetry of Rosabelle Illis, the raw pain of Darwin Winklaar’s Crying Babies installation, the dramatic staging of Trio Di Piscado sin Boto, and Ken Wolff’s enigmatic movies over chilled beer and what I call Cave Soup, a Paleolithic delicacy made from oxtail and Chinese vegetables, cooked on wood-fire. It smelled of smoke and coals. While our Stone Age ancestors left no cookbook behind to verify what I am saying, to me, that soup tasted pre-historic, what I would have eating in my stylish cave, back then. Jess Wolff looked like the queen of the night, welcoming friends and art-lovers; she was so excited with the success of the second annual presentation, a Much’I Mondi production. Translucent Moon was supported by UNOCA, though the cultural organizations just suffered the loss of its president Armin Solognier, as a result of a deadly brouhaha between old and new within the foundation board.
GELATO IN AN ATTRACTIVE PACKAGE. The Market at Alhambra Casino & Shops just expanded to include a cute Gelato boutique offering the artisanal Italian dessert by Ciocolato, already available at Paseo Herencia and the De Palm Pier. The store was tastefully decorated by Claudia Ruiz-Vasquez, and husband Mark Nooren who owns the store, helped make it happen! Gelato is softer than ice cream and creamier, lower in fat, and typically delivers half the calories, which explains its ever-growing popularity!
NEW ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX. On my way to Open House at Art Rules Aruba, in the Rietveld Academy on Wilhelminastraat, I was confronted by a guy operating a pressure water gun, on a tall ladder, cleaning the yellow abandoned B.J. Arends, storefront. Aha, something is brewing. So I asked around. Two restaurants and two shops are reportedly opening in the complex adjacent to El Gaucho restaurant, bought by Chef Dennis van Daatselaar, of Carte Blanche fame. He is already recruiting staff, preferably experienced women over 45, who do not require Vrouwelijk Bediende Verguning. It’s a joke. But seriously, Dennis is recruiting, and the menu and style of food is still top secret, stay tuned, as the chef undertakes a big challenge.
EL MEXICANO TRANSITIONS INTO CHIHUAHUA’S FIESTA GRILL. El Mexicano, the food truck in Noord, is going main stream with the opening of a full time restaurant at the South Beach Centre. Chef Ruben Luna, who gained popularity dishing our Mexican specialties from his food truck, parked at night in the empty lot adjacent to Botica Santa Ana, will also be undertaking a big challenge, in the form of a restaurant, in a location unlucky-so-far, across Rembrandt Café. The truck was a big hit at the Love Festival on Fisherman’s Huts, this Saturday and Sunday.
ARUBA CONDO MANIA. In conversation with two condo mavens, Franz Sydow and Patrick Boset, I recently learned a lot more about upcoming projects, big and small. Blue Residence on Eagle Beach, is being joined, right as we speak, by Azure, a neighboring 8-story tower with 92 oceanfront apartments. The third building is in planning and it will be a stunner! Reportedly Las Olas, a vavoom glittering glass tower with wraparound terraces and a hanging pool, like the ones South Miami is famous for, is on the drawing board. The Pering Group who developed Oceania Resort Residence, is busy putting Blue/Azure & La Olas together, and apparently sales are doing well, with hotelier Jan Van Nes in charge of the hospitality portion. LeVent, just behind Chalet Swiss Restaurant is coming along fast, with 45 apartments, and five two-story townhouses, developed by a branch of the Croes family under a prestigious name, the Faberge Group N.V. The 5-story building also offers roof top terraces, high above Eagle Beach. Remember that oceanfront buildings are limited to four floors, to maintain their low rise status, while those in back rows, can go to five, which is advantageous for developers, yielding more real estate for sale. A project quagmire for now, and not doing anything is Natura. Designed as a private residential complex of only 20 exclusive townhouses, across Divi Phoenix, construction was abandoned a while ago, and I did not check with developer Maurice Neme what his future plans are, though I am sure he has some. Reportedly a project by the name Anillas Condominiums is growing next door to Natura, designed as an upscale boutique property. O Condominium, further down the beach, is also gearing up for construction of a boutique resort-style residence consisting of 20 apartments, loaded with amenities comparable to 5-star resort hotel Boutique” Resort-Style Residence Compound s Boutique” Resort-Style Residence Compound. The PalmAruba Group, coming off construction of 78 units, on the Palm Beach road in Noord, is now free to develop the portion of Eagle Beach previously called the Sands Aruba. A billboard popped up there recently, promising us a most beautiful resort! Two modest projects inland, Mosaic and Bonsai, about 1.5 Km away from the hotel zone are being constructed by Grupo Isla, developers of Isla Bonita in Bubali. And while we’re talking about construction, Divi Mega Resort is building 60 additional rooms on its property, parallel to Casa del Mar, which will bring the number of rooms of both Divi & Tamarijn All Inclusive to an attractive, round, five-hundred.
MASSAGE AT ESSENTIAL SPA BY PATRICIA. I recently visited the spa at the Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino. Patricia, the therapist, worked for 20 years at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, then a few months ago she relocated to the Trop where management built her a modern octagon facility on the pool deck, you may park next to the casino and walk over. Patricia offered deep tissue and proceeded to work on my knots. It felt right, albeit painful at times, especially when she started digging into my shoulders in an attempt to separate them from my neck and ears. Patricia is a very tuned-in therapist, and it is evident she knows exactly what goes on under our skins, and in our heads. During the session she offered good advice regarding water consumption, and made helpful tension-relieving suggestion! I left the spa tired, but walking on air, then I snoozed the rest of the afternoon away, finding it difficult to keep my eyes open. I was also tired the following day, and slept through most of the day, following the following day. I started to suspect that the African Tsetse fly bit me, and that I was suffering from Sleeping Sickness, when on the third day, my sleepiness just slipped away and I felt rejuvenated. On line research into Post-Massage symptoms reveals that a good deep-tissue massage stirs things up, releasing and expelling toxins, or metabolic debris, resulting in temporary fatigue and malaise. Sure, they have a name for it: PMFM, post-massage fatigue and malaise. So I got a wonderful deep tissue massage from Patricia, and I can’t wait for you to have one too! [email protected]