July 29, 2010

I've Moved ...

to a new country - one with no ice arenas. But on my first day in Panama, I saw an advertisement for Diseny On Ice!

That's right, Disney Sobre Hielo opened yesterday in Panama, my first day here. Maybe that's a good omen. So now I only have until Sunday to see it. Er, uh, I mean to take my daughter to the show. Yeah, that's it. My daughter really wants to see it.

She still would like to meet a princess, but that's probably not going to happen here.

Unlike my time in Mexico City, I've got nothing to offer to the skaters while in Panama. Our apartment is a giant mess of boxes half-way unpacked and TVs that don't work yet. We have a nice pool, but every place in Panama has a pool. I don't even know which are the good coffee shops yet.

The one thing we have is a car, in case any of the skaters want to take a ride around the city, but I bet they don't have the time. I've seen tour dates in Venezuela and Columbia as well, so I think they have a travel day on Monday, Tuesday is "Get In" day (or "Pack In" or "Move In" - whichever they call it now)and then they have shows Wed - Sunday. Then rinse and repeat.

So if anyone is reading this from Disney Sobre Hielo - Viaje Fantastico, just know that the one gringa clapping really loud out in the audience this weekend is an old pro.

... at clapping really loud for skaters.

July 19, 2010


I've been on vacation since the first of July, but I'm about to enter the hotel zone of my trip, where there's not much free Wi-Fi to count on.

Hope to be back on-line next week.

Have a great summer - if you haven't seen any of the Tour de France yet, tomorrow will be a great day.

July 12, 2010

Disney Sobre Hielo

That's Spanish for Disney On Ice and it's now playing south of the border.

I'm so sad I won't be there when they for the Mexico City shows, because I may never live out my quest to have my daughter meet a "princess" backstage. I am a little relieved that I won't repeat my role as a Disney groupie, a.k.a. stalker, since that wasn't too cool. You can read about last year's effort in the Archive, from August 2009, in the post entitled, Miss Ice Charades Is Not Proud.

Nuff said.

So what I'll do instead is to offer a little guide to the cast and crew when they get to Mexico City of what to do if they have any free time. Anyone else reading this post can stop now, if you like.

First of all, if you're staying at the Inter-Continental, most of these suggestions will be easier. You're walking distance or a quick skip to the metro to get you around town. And don't worry about the metro - we skaters took is everywhere in Paris - this is no worse (or better).

If you're staying at the Camino Real again, you might be taking cab rides, which are dirt cheap. Last year, I took a cab from my apartment to the Camino Real hotel, about ten minutes or two miles away and it cost $1. Make sure you have small change.

#1 - if you're looking for a really different cup of coffee, very milky, very reasonable price, head to Lynis in Polanco. It's so close to the hotel Inter-Continental that a bunch of Lufthansa flight attendents that stay at the hotel go to Lynis all the time and get a discount. For the first few months that I went there they always asked if I was with Lufthansa. They do that with blonds.

Anyway, the coffee is Vera Cruz style, called cafe lechero, and it's like an old-fashioned latte.

#2 - a great place to have a drink with a view, perhaps on Sunday when the matinee is over, is the rooftop of the Holiday Inn hotel in the centro. You get an amazing view of the Zocalo and the National Palace. The food isn't great so maybe you can split some appetizers.

#3 - if you're looking for a great museum that gives you a lot of Mexico, but doesn't take a long time, head to the Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of Popular Art). Ask the front desk how to get there.

#4 - You really should go see the Ballet Folklorico! You will love it. Problem is it only plays Wednesday nights and two times on Sunday. Morning and Evening. That means the only performance you could catch would be the 9AM Sunday morning show at the Anthropology Museum. Go, really, just go. Tell the wardrobe people that travel with you to go. The costumes are amazing.

And for the first time in your life you can sympathize with someone who is busting their a$$ off way too early in the morning.

Any other questions - email me and bienvenidos a la ciudad de Mexico!

July 7, 2010

Interview with Toller

I didn't have a formal interview with him, because I'm a lousy interviewer, and Toller asks as many questions as he answers.

His curious mind has served him well.

But here are a few nuggets I asked, he answered, and I was later able to remember ...

How much time do you spend painting each day? Depends, sometimes it is the entire day.

Who lived in your house before you bought it? At one time it was a school for bad little rich kids.

He smiled when he said that.

Do you have skating dreams? Yes, his are of the competition variety where he's having trouble landing his jumps, or even getting to the ice.

Do you still choreograph in your head after hearing a song you really like? Yes, all the time.

What advice would you give to Johnny Weir?

The subject of Johnny came up a lot, partially because we watched his reality show, but also because he had just been asked this by someone in Johnny's camp. From the bits and pieces he mentioned, here you go Johnny: don't go back to competitive skating, but keep skating, and don't put money into your own show ... you always lose money on your own show. Stay true to yourself.

I sense that Toller is glad he had his life in painting along side his skating career. Skating can't last unless you want to teach or choreograph. The painting, on the other hand, will keep him very busy (and rich) for some time now.