Monday, July 04, 2011

Holy Mole It's The Fourth

July 4, 2011
Pretty sweet weekend. On Saturday, at one, I drove down into the Beast and met T. Charles and Pattarapan at the Phoenix Art Museum to see the "Modern Mexican Painting" show. We had our individual favorites (Pattarapan loved the Deer Dancers and a histrionic suicide painting by unibrow master Frida Shallow, I mean Kalo) and Tomas dug a nifty little barefoot, guitar playing black man sitting on a bed jammin'. And me, I'm a sucker for the techniques of the unsung commercial art masters who painted great cows and muy grand sombreros (of course!).

All three of us, upon our review (name your fave and least fave paintings in the show) over tacos magnifico at La Condesa Mexican Food Cafe on 16th St. just south of Oak Street, concluded that the looped films that ran as the title wall at the beginning of the show was a favorite. Fantastic old footage from the 1910-20 era, showing In-dins and Inca faces, blushing senoritas and loping vaqeros flanking Model Ts full of El Jefes. I must have watched the multi-screen mashup at least ten times, marveling each time at the incredible scenes of the real Old Mexico.

It was the Thai one among us, Pattarapan, who discovered the restaurant where we had lunch. Amy and Tommy both recommended the black mole chicken tacos and they were magnificent. Washed them down with a Mexican beer I had never had before, and with a lime wedge on a very hot day, it was a treat, indeed. Okay, I had two.

From there we went back into downtown Phoenix to the Filmbar, a new hipster place where you can drink great wine, or beer, and watch an art movie. The film, which played at five, was "Circo" about a Mexican circus, meandering around Mexico trying to make a living in a brave new world where increasingly, due to the economy, the internet and cartel distractions-destructions, there is a shrinking market for the old time circus-big-top shows. Although it is a documentary, someone, I think it was Kathy, who said it matched the story arc of La Strada, the Fellini-Italian masterpiece starring Anthony Quinn, and I would have to agree. Very similar in that these carnival people don't know any other life and they can't quit the road. it's in their blood. It didn't hurt that the soundtrack was by Calexico, one of T-Bell's favorite bands.

Really enjoyed it. As I told P and T over the mole tacos at La Condesa, if you can't seek out good art, break bread with the people you love and solve life what is the point? We are here to learn something, watch for patterns, all the while trying to figure out the great mysteries of our existence. This was one of those days and I'm a happy dad.

Yesterday, being the smart ass he is, Tomas emailed me this headline:

Stop Making Delicious Food I Can't Stop Eating And Go Back to Mexico
—The Onion

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