Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

I spent a month in Mexico.

Floating Band Xochimilco, Mexico City

Quetzalcoatl, in Teotihuacan













I explored the country, colors, culture and flavor of Mexico and printed the experience in my memory – a beautiful slide show I have the luxury of flipping through and sharing.  Cinco de Mayo brings the pictures out, literally and figuratively and since much of my Cinco de Mayo celebration is internal, I don’t have a lot of planning to take care of. One of my favorite Mexico memories is sitting in Plaza Garibaldi listening to dozens of mariachi bands play and watching limos pulled up, strike deals and whisk bands away to  gigs. The night was full of music and costume and joy and I was gifted with an amazing pick up line. A man told me, “You are very attractive because you’re a little fat.” That line was later topped by the man who told me that he wanted to be with  me because my nose isn’t too big and the next man who said he loved me because I reminded him of his horse. We can dwell on that mixed message all day. But instead –  Cinco Cinco de Mayo Celebration Ideas for procrastinators!

1. Geek out on history:  Beside the commercial pull of the holiday ( Google alerts advised me more than once that I better buy Cinco de Mayo supplies before they run out) there’s history behind the celebration.  Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day but a celebration of the Mexican victory over the French in The Battle of Puebla in 1862. The victory was short-lived as it gave Napoleon III a reason redouble his invasion efforts. But in a chaotic and uncertain time, it gave the people of Mexico something to feel good about and rally around. So along the theme of unity see #2.

2. Camp it Up: Grab your friends and family and decorate to the nines, Mexico style. When I was in San Miguel de Allende helping the family I lived with decorate for Easter, I went for perfection, biting my lip as I cut colored strips of paper to hang in the windows. My house mom looked at me with wide eyes and said “Nothing in Mexico is exact!” and then she cut the paper with crazy speed, making a multi-colored beautiful banner in minutes. So go for it. If you have kids, they’ll be all over it. If you don’t, you might enjoy decorating more if you add drinks. See #3.

3. Scarlet Margaritas:

I found this recipe on myrecipe.com and my independent panel of judges approve. The drinks are festive and a taste sensation. Win/Win. And a little home cooking (see Margarita Ice Cream and Margarita Cupcakes) can save you from dealing with #4.

4. Restaurant Roulette: Let’s face it, if you’re in a city whose populus embraces Cinco de Mayo, you must be creative and focused if you want restaurant Mexican food on the 5th.  In NYC, all my favorites are booked.  So the options – Try for a walk-in table. Go early, wear comfortable shoes and bring a snack because the bar seats might be full and there might be a wait. Try a lesser known, neighborhood joint. Or, be like me and try #5.

5. Flee:   Find a place that hasn’t gone loco for Cinco de Mayo. I’m heading to Maine and when I called the restaurant I want to try on Saturday night, they told me that they don’t take reservations, are open from 5PM – 9PM and on a Saturday night, the wait could be 40 minutes. I’m not sure if Cinco de Mayo crossed the mind of the person who took my call. And no, 9PM is not a typo – they really close that early. So I think post dinner, I’ll have my friends back to my place for #2 & #3.

Cinco de Mayo is knocking on your door!

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