Mexico Welcomes Jazz Fans
India, songstress of
salsa, at outdoor concert in Tulum
Riviera Maya Festival
6,000 local music lovers packed the municipal square of the
seaside town of
on a beautiful Mexican Saturday night in September for a
This was a wonderful
prelude to the 8th annual Riviera Maya Jazz
Festival that will take place Nov. 25-28 on the beach of
Plaza del Carmen, located between Cancun and Tulum.
Last year this
massive outdoor musical program drew more than 50,000
visitors. For all information see
The free outdoor
Latin salsa and jazz concert in Tulum featured the Araya-Orta
Latin Jazz Quartet, comprised of two pairs of
brothers; the great Puerto Rican pianist and nine-time
Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri; and India, the
princess of salsa, born in Puerto Rico and raised in South
Bronx where she absorbed urban street music.
At a press conference
at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, the mayor of Tulum,
Marciano Dzul Caama, said his town deserves an
outdoor performance for the people. "We hope this is the
first of many."
Toussaint, the director of the Riviera Maya Jazz
Festival, assured the mayor, "This is the first annual
festival in Tulum."
Members of the
Aray-Orta said they’re making something new at tonight’s
concert in Tulum: "We’re combining jazz with Salsa."
Eddie Palmieri at the piano
A member of Araya-Orta Quartet on guitar
Fernando Toussaint, Tulum Mayor Marciano Dzul Caama and
publicist BrieAnn Fast at a press conference
The people of Tulum throng the central plaza for a
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Fort Worth skyline
A Visit to Fort Worth
the absolutely most interesting places in America is
Once it was a famous cow town
built around the stockyards where auctioneers sold off
millions of tons of beef while oil barons sat on the shaded
porches of their post-modern ante bellum style mansions and
counted their black gold oozing from the earth.
Those folks are still there
but the rest of the town has undergone one of the most
startling and impressive revitalization programs in the
history of America. It can now lay justifiable claim to
providing the finest selection of culture for the smallest
population of any city in the country.
On the edges of downtown,
multimillion dollar museums built by world famous
architects—Louis Kahn and Tadao Ando—have mushroomed like
Bass Hall at dusk
Kimbell Art Museum
where art from Italian Renaissance masters to French
Impressionists decorate the walls of galleries that are
people friendly, beautifully lit and graciously staffed—not
true of many world class museums. And the delightful lunch
restaurant in the Kimball is not to be missed.
Across the street is
the Modern for this century’s finest art and sculpture. Then
there’s the Amon Carter
Museum of Western Art, the
and an absolutely spectacular
with a children’s section that is the finest we’ve ever
All of the
museums are spitting distance from each other; park once and
you can take them all in.
How can a community
of less than three quarters of a million, have this kind of
cultural largesse, you ask. Simple: one oil rich family—Fort
Worth’s Bass family—has supplied most of the financial
underpinnings and have inspired friends and relatives to
So you’ve walked your feet off around the galleries. Time to
head downtown and take in a meal and a show.
Van Cliburn competition
One of the most
beautiful performance spaces in the country is right in the
center of the renovated downtown:
All white and gold in tiers, it matches the very best you
might find in any of Europe’s legendary capitals. Their
yearlong program appeals to all tastes: From Garth Brooks
to Pink Martini, to Gilbert and Sullivan plus a season of
Grand Opera with the resident Fort Worth Symphony.
It plays host every
four years to the Van Cliburn International Piano
Competition; next one in 2013. Named for a local hero, it’s
one of the most important international music events in the
Now for some food.
Pre-theater don’t miss world class steaks, particularly the
filet mignon at Del
Frisco’s, the finest
we’ve ever tasted. Their martinis are memorable too.
Ristorante, steps from Bass Hall,
offers fine Italian. There’s haute cuisine Mexico City style
at Cantina Laredo. Reata
a gentleman’s club style restaurant with a terrific roof
deck called after Rock Hudson’s ranch in the movie Giant has
fine steaks. Downtown is also home to the august
Here’s the place to find a Texas billionaire if you’re of a
And despite all the culture there’s still daily cattle
drives and a rodeo.
Kimbell Art Museum
If you don’t have a
friend with a Texas sized spread, downtown has a range of
hotels from the big commercial establishments like the new
and the boutique Ashton
Hotel, to assorted comfortable
It’s small enough to
walk everywhere. There’s a lively nightlife, particularly in
and around the downtown Sundance Square.
Beyond downtown the
food is equally eclectic and terrific. What’s a town without
a great hamburger—especially a Texas town?
on Camp Bowie Blvd. where the street is bricked—yes,
really—has the best, and le tout Texas can be found hanging
out there at lunch.
The finest margarita
in all of Texas (it has quite a kick) is served at
The Yucatan Taco Stand,
a very popular trendy eatery on Magnolia, a formerly old
street of turn of the century office and warehouse buildings
recently gentrified and beloved by the hip young
Ellerbe Fine Food
just down the street used to be a ‘50s gas station. Now you
could swear you were dining in a five star Napa Valley
restaurant with wines to match.
The newest dining action is on 7th
Street where new eateries seem to open weekly—and high rise
apartments and townhouses are being built so fast it makes
your head spin. On 7th try the fabulous ice cream sandwich
at Sweet Sammies
on Currie St. Two fresh cookies with your pick of locally
made Bluebell ice cream filling, $1.75.
on Hulen Street. It has a wonderful food hall, the Texas
equivalent of Harrods or Whole Foods, for take out—or to
Inside Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth is also
home to a very fine
and arboretum with outdoor concerts in the summer.
is one of the neatest we’ve seen with a just off the presses
addition: the amazing new $20 million
Museum of Living Art
(MOLA). The zoo houses huge crocodiles and practically every
other thing that crawls you’ve ever heard of and lots you
haven’t. And yes it was funded by one of the Basses—Ramona.
Now there’s a catch:
Don’t even think of being there between the end of May and
the beginning of October. It’s hotter than Hades and twice
as humid. On the other hand there’re more swimming pools
than Beverly Hills and the air conditioning works wonders.
So grab your Stetson!
Go and enjoy but please don’t tell too many people. We want
it to be our little secret. For more details visit the Fort
Worth Visitors Bureau at
www.fortworth.com, phone 800.433.5747.
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THE CAMERA AND EYE
David Boxer Focuses On
Yellowstone, Grand Teton
To see more stunning images by
David Boxer, log on to
(and add your comment).
National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map for Yellowstone
National Park is a must for every visitor. The
map covers not only the park but also Wyoming, Montana and
Idaho, plus the Continental Divide Trail. It’s waterproof
and tear resistant, and fits in your pocket nicely. Be sure
to carry this with you. (Amazon.com Price: $11.95)
Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
opens with a gallery of colorful pictures of the area. The
rest of the book is packed with maps to guide you every inch
of the way around the area. Geyser country is given lots of
space, as is such activities as hiking, biking and driving.
Excellent guidebook. (Lonely Planet, softcover, 313
Amazon.com Price: $13.59)
Moon: Yellowstone &
Grand Teton National Parks
is replete with helpful maps of the two parks. Additionally,
it has lots of outstanding pictures to excite you for what
to expect. A section on trip planning
suggests places not
miss for a one-day
trip, or two days, three days, one week, or two weeks. More
than that you might as well settle into a tent at the
Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. This
guidebook is extensive and impressive. (Moon/Avalon
Travel, softcover, 393 pages,
Amazon.com Price: $12.21)