AOLAB Hecho en Mexico:Midnight in the garden of good & evil on a rooftop in QRO, a true bohemian rhapsody by Angel Brynner. March 2012

It started out simply enough:

I was actually supposed to be leaving the lovely QRO Friday, but got blessed with the option to stay one more weekend and i took it.

I also got asked to hang out with the Hey Dude Arte Indepiendentes crew before i left,and nervously took them up on it. Whythe nerves?Because this place has all the trappings and seeds of destruction i like about a place swimming around me,and though it hasnt been to the extent of holding on for dear life so as not to misbehave,regress or forget the ish i already know better than doing…it was in the wind, and in a way i didnt find too cute lol.

“We’re going out! And we’re going to DRINK! LOTS!EVERYWHERE!YES????~>:))”

“…UH…okkkk~”

The lead-in to Friday night became this odd toss -up of old lures obviously looking for doorways into the new, and it was a tad exhausting. So… by the time “time” rolled around to get home to get in order to hang, my faith in myself was hanging on by a mere thread, and i had to give it to god that i’d not be stagediving wildly into a throng of thriving Mexicans, all “viva la revolucion!!,” spending the next day wondering how i got home topless and who the f had my panties through the worst hangover so far of my utterly restrained posed to be dirty thirties.

I cant do this-” i muttered to myself, this foreign shyness that has had me in a headlock really since the last part of NOLA[that had loosened up a bit in Mexico]slamming back down as i arrived at the threshold of Kukuruku.

I enter the lobby and ,headed by the usually quiet & unassuming chef, a gang of Roosters grab me, all speaking at once”YOU’RE GOING OUT WITH US TONIGHT!” “ROCKING OUT!YESSSS???” “HOLAAAAA~!!!”

 “You’re going out either way, so get over yourself~” Holy muttered softly in my ear…so i agreed to go, on the grounds that i go to this other thing first, and can get home. parameters accepted.

Thank God, the frontal lobe portion of all that “lost clothes” ish was “gave it to God” lolol. I walked to the store through massive, frenetic squalls of folks on the make after dark in downtown QRO,with each step knocking off demons.

“Do i know El Centro well enough to find my way back to the Hotel at 5 oclock in the morning,drunkoff my ass through all these indian trails burnt into the grid?” [logical Virgoan questions that had to be considered once upon a time in certain situations]…and upon arriving was greeted with the warm, goofy, lopsided grins that had made me have to say yes in the first place as i was passed a QRO-style makeshift cup that was promptly filled with beer.

Hours later, all sprawled on the floor Of the store where we were to meet to head out, coated with conversations in Spanish, English and everything in between in regards to art, comics, drugs-i now officially know WHY QRO is so safe lol-and mostly heated arguments about music- Cafe te Cuba is NOT Mexico’s Beatles to anyone but the guy who swore up and down off in the cut to me that they were as he put some on,  love of Churros is worldwide, but churros doesnt Always mean the churros i’m hooked on, though they all are addictive- I look up, and they’d gone on a beer run and brought back..INDIO-lol-

It was possibly the coolest, simplest hang-out i’d had in a very long time…And though not trashed, i dont know if it was the mellow groove all was in ,the music, or what, but when i had to leave to meet up with the team back at the hotel, i was significantly and sufficifiently beamed lol.

Next thing i know, I’m pulled down a dark cobblestoned street i’m sure i was just on, and up onto the roof of this gardenpub-type thing that looks over Queretaro, a microphone is shoved in one hand, a bottle of Leon in the other, and-

That’s right. After 12 years of abstaining in honor of past tokyo decadence, I, Angel Brynner, was shoved into a circle of raging animals screaming for the satisfaction of yours truly making eardrums bleed lmao.

Remember that scene from “My Best Friend’s wedding” where Cameron Diaz stuns the crowd with her horrific rendition,which in turns wins said crows over? Well it was like that with lots of Alcohol, fire, baying at the moon, sirens and ish as any and all shyness left trying to have a residual hold on me spontaneously burst into flames with the first Galileo.

That’s right, yours truly belted Bohemian Rhapsody over the rooftops of Queretaro, inspired by the drunk guy in the back of the cab yall sent me on FB lol.

It went downhill from there. But in a grand glorious way-The chef- who it turned out we were celebrating due to it being his Last Friday as head chef- He’s going to start his own ship-& YEs, my friends, there IS a loud, depressing Mexican torch song CALLED Last Friday that was bellowed by him up into the atmosphere so loudly that the whole quarter seemed to shake lol- I mean, there were MANY great, insane, WWF-like attributes to the night that i can and will revel in for some time after this, but the chef…Blew me away- He Lost his eva-loving mind as soon as that mic hit his hands.

Mexican Karaoke…is a full-contact spot, with stage-diving, table leaping, sprwling on the floor on your back, kicking your legs up in the air-roughly shoving your friends, demanding all kinds of gasolina and other crazy shit of folks you- It was like Mexican Wrestling, with a microphone. In the midst of the Mosh-pit like melee that it kept teetering towards, i looked out over this strange city i’ve taken into my heart over the past two weeks,and it just sparkled like shards of glass against the screams of the mad tribe i’d found myself amongst in the middle of the night. I am in a quarter of, as the young-uns who drank us all onto the floor earlier that night put it, Artists, young and old.

…as the beer from earlier in the night began to try to bully the alcohol newly checking out the digs, and the madridean that showed up at Kukuruku out of nowhere, who’d help ante up the madness of the singalongs by getting into a shoving match-come- pissing contest with said Chef Spectacular before turning on me,toss her under the singing bus-style by forcing me into having to sing, of All things a cranberries song out of nowhere, going “come on!Lenny Kravitz!” nevermind How he “knew” of any connection between those two random groups just off the top of his head:/- I literally drew the line right then and there, lol’d and headed home.

It was 2am according to the guy who lolol- locked up FOH for a bit once everyone was “in” for the night and came over to party through a few songs with everyone else. Everyone that had to be back,some as early as 6am this morning, were still there as i headed out fully dressed lol. A FUN night,indeed- easy-breezy across the way. My ass was supposed to be on a daytrip bus at 645am. But i knew it wasnt happening. Next thing i recall is finding out it was 2am[still?], and I was in bed, scrounging myself out of it and into a shower. After that, there was silence, and a demand for coffee that turned out to come at 9am[i thought it was noon], and turned out to be so i’d have the energy to go back to sleep. And finally, I was up, having slept it all off by about an hour after noon.

Running into today all who were present last night has been a hilarious procession of sheepishness, giddiness, bold-faced shame coated with glee…   and unfortunately, a little bit of shock, sadness & melancholy, that i was Just made privy to as i was writing this.

We were laughing about last ight up in the kitchen and suddenly she goes “Did anyone tell you what happened After you left?”

“No-what?” i asked, expecting someone jumped from the rooftop terrace we were on down onto the dancefloor or something akin to that kind of ‘the worse.”

“Sous Chef and his friend got into a car accident. Few blocks from their home.”

My jaw dropped.

Turns out…their friend fell asleep at the wheel.

I’m still a bit stunned as i finish this.

Car totalled. Both with Whiplash, but no significant bruises or bleeding.

It could’ve been any of the ones i was out with.It maybe even could’ve been me if I hadn’t underscored “Ok, i’m down, but PLEASE keep it close to home lol… please?I have to do xyz  first and probably will already be a bit lit lol probably.”

But what i truly and deeply…what i really wish is that it had been nobody.It was a great night. And it sucks that…due to what made it a great night powering on…some of that greatness got so easily undone.

Nobody is dead. but we all are sobered up considerably.

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AOLABHecho en Mexico: “Speechless/The Artist Residency at KUKURUKU GBH,” a slideshow by Angel Brynner.March 2012.

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(Photographs courtesy of The Kukuruku)

If Queretaro is the best-kept secret when it comes to an elegant, economically feasible transcendent travel experience possible within Mexico, the Kukuruku Green Boutique Hostel, the first eco-friendly Boutique Hotel & Hostel in Queretaro is THE place to stay that amplifies that experience to the ultimate.

THIS could be the BEST boutique hostelling experience to be had in North America.

Decorated by local artists in a tastefully show-stopping way, you cross a threshold of gigantic carved doors and enter a gardenia-scented sanctuary whose gorgeously tiled floors and ancient walls call to mind the french quarter of New Orleans, the palaces of Granada, the tranquility of a japanese ryokan’s garden, and the laidback, elegantly conscious lines of a candle-lit whitewashed hideaway in Santa Monica, California…all at the same time.

But the beauty is more than just skin-deep. It is the heart of this place that pulses in every detail.Lighting is powered by solar panels.Rainwater is collected systemically and they have an on-site water treatment plant-which makes things so much easier for those traveling through Mexico unaccustomed to its waters. Recycled paper products are used. They have there own brand of organically grown mezcal as well as offerings of branded teas, stout beers and seasonings that allow you to carry the place with you if you can tear yourself away from it when it is time to go.

They have an onsite vegetable garden to supply the in-house restaurant…which arguably has the best homegrown, clean-lined Mexican fare this here gringa has ever had. There’s a rooftop terrace bar whose view of all of El Centro could only be rivaled by being up in the bell towers of one of the many churches that surround you whilst in the historical district.

“But I thought you said this was a hostel?”

That is the best part! In addition to the seven private rooms and apartments at Kukuruku, there are also three hostel quarters, as carefully detailed as the rest of the hotel, with their own courtyard and even possibly the best communal kitchen seen in a concept such as this overlooking it.

And now for the real question, now that time and place has been duly described, how did I, Artist Angel Brynner end up here?

Well…It was a gift.

In the heart of El Centro,Queretaro, by nothing but the extremely cool kindness of the friends who came together to create this oasis and the grace of God… I was given the chance to do my first International artist’s residency in Mexico, Amherst-style.

A gift that makes me want to give that same gift to whomever is even remotely thinking of traveleing to Mexico now, in the midst of such travel speculation.Travelling to Mexico is less expensive than travelling between the coasts these days. You can fly from Miami to Monterrey for $150.00, and travel from there is simple to all points within Mexico. Or, if you are like me and love the open road yet fear the tales told of Mexican roads, you can travel on any of the country’s First-class bus fleets, all but guaranteeing not only security, but also comfort akin to what business-class air travel used to be in the 90s. With the smallest bit of planning, you can have an amazing, possibly life-changing experience in a week for less than you’re probably spending every weekend at home.

Many of you guys reading this are on the road, cutting across the states. Some  of you have plans to head into Mexico as part of your trek. Do Not miss Queretaro. Queretaro cannot be missed.

…and the Kukuruku GBH will open your heart to this country and your mind to your place on this planet and what you can do within it.

*

Since 2008, the Angel Brynner Art of Life trek across North America has taken me to some beautifully mindblowing places all in the name of art. From Surfer’s Haven in the Bahamas which i have no other words for beyond “GO THERE”; to 150 year old Latin Quarter denizen Le Jazz St.Denis in Montreal; to CityHostel in Seattle-built into a 1920s hotel in the city’s film district that used to house Bogart and company on their press junkets to the area; to the incomparable IndiaHouse in New Orleans that captures the spirit and truth of the bohemian experience in Nola like no other spot in that city;  all the way down to the DecoWalk in South Beach-which, to this day, i will say is the BEST way to taste all there is to offer in south beach from the insanity to the equilibrium the ocean offers, jet-set at a backpackers pricepoint.

All are unique, beautiful boutique Hostel/Hotel hybrids created with ingenuity and care by their owners. All have a heart for Artists that spills over as a heart for the creativity in all mankind with how they cater to ensuring that within their walls you will feel at home …as well as courageously road warrior-wired for having stepped out of your normal comfort zone into theirs in respective ways.

BUT..Hands down, the Kukuruku Green Boutique hostel is the not only the best concept of its kind i have experienced so far.

You will leave here changed for the better. but it is an elevation that happens upon entry.

Their tagline is this:

“We don’t want to be different; we just want to set an example for others to follow.”

check them out AT THEIR OWN WEBSITE for current prices:

WWW.KUKURUKU.MX

If you have difficulty accessing the .mx site as i did when i initially came across them, reach out to them on facebook and let them know(I was bounced to kukuruku.com.mx which is Not them. No .com necessary).

As for me…it just became official. I’m staying a few more days to write.  Like i said, it is a hard place to leave once you get here.

Truth, Consequences & Context:The starvation in America that all but guarantees the Hunger Games trope may come true.

Ok. So all of you who know ME know I have been watching all the hoopla about the Hunger Games for One reason and one reason only: The fact that a woman penned that badassed trilogy makes me blushgrin in some semblance of sisterhood, down here trying to wrangle the triplets representing a dark,twisted second trilogy of my own.

Ok-ok- so every cell in my body screamed out LET LOVE RULE with the rest of you twisting up your lips muttering”Lenny Kravitz!” as i just wrote that, trying to take over the mechanisms that compel me to write.

But actually, since i am sequestered in a country that has no access to the movies at this moment in time, the whole writing aspect of it really does have about a hair’s width of control of the car.

And it is from That place…that the “bruhaha~” and “Backlash” kicked up over Cinna, Rue and Thresh “turning out to be…black” has been poking me like Bart Simpson trying to pick a fight when all i wanna do is play my saxophone lol.

Oh…i could go on and on about how

…due to this uproar going on as Trayvon Martin lay cold in the ground, and the indifference to his life and death, the “standing” of the young black Male OR Female in America is at its lowest point ever;

-or-

I could take a more light-hearted stance with a sharper edge by pointing out how “This now officially proves in front of the American public eye…that even when they are reading, young Americans-and Yes…so-called “better educated” White American youth…are not comprehending a Damn thing, even when it is spelled out for them in Black and White on a page, castigating the American education system once again, all forebodingly “Treee, look at thine fruit~”;

I could even go the route of “Don’t talk about my baby!& mofos, she wrote gold eyeliner!! How many folks sans a pop of natural hue,rockstar, hipster or a lil drag queen up in there can pull off gold eyeliner?! & Leave my baby alone!!” lol.

…but no.

Because the REAL PROBLEM with this…

the ISSUE that is the most dangerous aspect of this entire blitz…

IS THE FRICKING BLITZ ITSELF.

The MEDIA…had so much time on its hands, had such desperation to find a way to “connect” with the heat the Hunger Games has been creating as it, a machine not totally unlike the energies shorthanded in that there “Capitol” has all but been left behind… starving if you will…due to “social media”…went the only route it knew to go:

“Fuck the kids…flay’em and position them the way we want to in order to get enough attention to cover our advertising budgets.”

The ENTIRE UPROAR IS COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT with an intent to do only one thing:

Propagate its own disgusting species of influenza-like hatred-with a second intent of destroying the spirits of black little girls who may have not even read the book yet, who maybe will now, knowing that Rue was black in the first place, actually living in the mind of a White, female writer, and is a protagonist of a sort,or at least a postive affirmation of what they see in the mirror. Attack them Now! Before they start to think too much of themselves at such an early stage- it is so hard to counter that as time goes on.

In ALL the articles i have read on this “so-called” uproar over Race…they have mentioned the same set of tweets over and over again..and only ONE mentioned the name of the person who made the Tumblr page.

Most “articles,” if they mention that this person set up the page to burn out fake hunger games fans…do so as an afterthought, as literally the Last sentence in the quip.

Not one of these “journalists’ reporting on this so vehemently is caring at all that a very real black girl played that role, and instead of letting her bask in the kudos that come from doing it well, they are trying to encourage a slew of racists in our country who probably had NO interest in the books into stoning this little kid with old boulders of dead weight and outdated hate.

To me,THEY are more dangerous than any hilbilly off in the cut. They want to be the sacrificers of a next generation. It is them…wounded by these kids across color lines making their industries the equivalent of a rickety old amusement park no one goes to anymore via where they get their “NEWS” from… that wanted to see RUE as a little white blond girl. They are the skimmers. And ANY vestiges of their OLD racist WAY of looking at and defining the world WILL be championed BY them until they are burned out of their cushy offices by disdain and the indifference of a generation born knowing that true journalism had been all but extinct since long before their parents were kids.

It is They who want Amandla stoned. It is they who quietly want to beat Lenny Kravitz’s ass because he Nailed it in the eyes of the true lovers of the book, white, black, yellow, or purple though they may be.  Stupid kids* too dumb to read and comprehend (so lets not bring in math) shouting out racist mess on a tumblr page set up to out them as morons aside…It is their elder statesmen that wish they could make Thresh go away like the other Trayvons he’s inadvertently standing up there for…in America…300 years down the road, because according to their calculations his kind was supposed to be eradicated by then. They are the offspring of the ones who dont want the history books corrected …but their angle is so they always can have a story of hate, hurt and betrayal to mine, race against race, in case of a slow news day. The ones who lied about history in the first place because their myopia couldnt deal with the truth.

And that they are playing the shocked reporter, like they can’t possibly Understand “Where” these stupid kids got ideas like this from, and are broadcasting that outright lie into living rooms and dorms, Knowing full well they’ve been poisoning the water well for eons..that sickens me.

*And another thing. On this whole stupid kid bent: How many of those twitter accounts suddenly shut down or disappeared? Granted…the infamy of making yourself look like an idiot could do such a thing…but here’s another distinct possibility i’d LOVE to see a “Journalist” pick up:

“How many of these “accounts” could be traced back to guerilla marketing crews in the Twilight camp, trying to make some negative noise about a movie that asks more of the kids than they do? lol. Or heck, even set up at the expense of the studio who financed the whole she-bang, “no such thing as bad press” style. Maybe they shut down because they had done their job. Neither would be THAT far of a toss in this day and age.

And the Hollywood honchos lining up to  toe the tried-and-true “one-color-line-only” mess all this racist buzz is frothing up are doing so…because their industry is sliding down into the gutter along parallel paths as “the news industry” for exactly the same reasons.

They’ve made their money for 100 years whiting out all else. They stand to lose as much if people keep following their hearts to stories written by writers, unmarred by their provincial casting habits.  They say Donald Glover would make 80 million as Spider Man vs the projected $100 million, $80 million they emotionally cant afford to even imagine making because then the paradigm shift would be complete, and they’dbe out of work. Yet Wil Smith’s Hancock reamed that there theory for all to see at the box office. They complain about the black absence in blockbuster movies contrary to the in-your-face reality that the best sci-fi blockbustershave CONTINUOUSLY have a Much appreciated on this end multicultural presence. The film industry has still yet to recover from the Matrix, which had folks of every skin tone and nationality in its dystopic version of “reality.”

But let’s not even get started on that patch.

What this whole thing comes down to is this. I am proud of America…for the other numbers in this that all this hate- hatching, feeding, and mongering can’t even stand up against:

Opening wkd:”Last weekend the first film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling book series about dystopian teenage blood-sport massacred the competition at the box office, raking in an astronomical $152.5 million and taking its place as the third biggest opening weekend of all time .” That movie with those black people “mingling” with everyone else in a brave new world.

BOOKS SOLD SINCE “people” FOUND OUT ABOUT THE LIL BLACK GIRL: “Publisher Scholastic announced today that there were 36.5 million copies of the bestselling trilogy in print, a 55 percent jump from the 23.5 million copies in print at the start of 2012.”

WRITER PROPS:  “Amazon recently announced that writer Suzanne Collins was the bestselling author of all-time on its Kindle ereader.”

I am not ashamed of America. I am disgusted by those who are calling themselves American journalists continually trying to cannibalize the hearts and minds of the ones who are going to replace them and their antiquated ways either way. The least they can do…is go out with some dignity.

(photo property of Lionsgate films)

AOLAB/Hecho en Mexico: “Origin.Epitaph.” by Angel Brynner.March 28, 2012

“The “Earth” without “Art” is “eh.”

It just became keyed into the heavy strokes this place has covered me with. Mexico. Black Madonna.Propaganda. Lady of Guadaloupe. Built on a site of a Goddess worshipped as Coatlaxopeuh (pronounced quatlashupe), meaning “the one who crushes the serpent.” Eco. Byzantine.Baroque. Recreations.Recalculations that lead unwittingly back. To Eden. Eve. Olmec.Originals.

This place is a Trip, indeed. Let’s see how it goes 🙂

Hecho en Mexico: Named. a slideshow by Angel Brynner.March 2012.

U2’s song runs through my head as i sort through these images.

(For the record, these streets DO have names lol.)

~@~

I wanna run, I want to hide I wanna tear down the walls That hold me inside I wanna reach out And touch the flame Where the streets have no name.

I want to feel, sunlight on my face I see the dust cloud disappear Without a trace I want to take shelter From the poison rain Where the streets have no name.

Where the streets have no name Where the streets have no name We’re still building, then burning down love Burning down love, and when I go there I go there with you, it’s all I can do.

The city’s a flood and our love turns to rust. We’re beaten and blown by the wind Trampled in dust I’ll show you a place High on a desert plain Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name Where the streets have no name We’re still building, then burning down love Burning down love, and when I go there I go there with you, it’s all I can do Our love turns to rust We’re beaten and blown by the wind Blown by the wind, oh, and I see our love See our love turn to rust Oh, we’re beaten and blown by the wind Blown by the wind Oh, when I go there, I go there with you It’s all I can do

© POLYGRAM INT. MUSIC PUBL. B.V.;

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