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A Moment In Time, Rincon, Puerto Rico

Last week the New York Times ran a wonderful interactive photographic project called "A Moment in Time." On Sunday at 15:00 GMT or 11A here in PR around the world photographers were invited to submit images of their place and circumstances. The photographs were placed on a fabulous rotating globe and sorted by topic, location and recommendation votes.

Here is the photograph I submitted:

It was taken with a telephoto-lens just down the beach from the Lemontree... as seen from our main courtyard. Sunday is a slow day here and the morning unfolded quietly. Down the beach are beach houses which have been in families for a couple of generations. A morning of family, calm and tranquility.

You can check out the image in the NYTimes here as well as read about the entire project.

At this time this image has been the most recommended in the Puerto Rico pile.


A Sunrise and Sunset in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Yesterday, I was up just after the sun rose, and as I customary do, I stepped out onto the terrace for a look around. This time of year the sunrise has moved from due East, over the mountains towards the Northeast and is partly blocked by the mountains. The scene was not particularly unusual, actually rather ordinary for a tropical sunrise. The day would be calm, at least until 2:00 pm when the rains would come... clearing off an hour or so later. I think it was just the ordinariness that attracted me. I had my 35mm lens mounted and just shot off a couple of frames.

Here is what I saw:

The day moved on and errands were run. We had a wonderful visit from our oldest son, freshly returned from the mainland, and brimming with stories and anecdotes. Just before dinner, I stepped out onto the terrace and saw the beginnings of sunset. The boaters heading for home and the pelicans looking for a last meal before they snugged down in a tree.

Here is the scene:

The sun sets now to the West/Northwest and so the light that you see looking due East is reflected light, with the light brighter higher up in the sky and shadows appearing towards the water.

It struck me that the two images, early morning and late afternoon were parallel scenes... with just the direction of the light separating them. In another blog I wrote that we tend to keep track of the passing of the day by the sun... certainly much more profoundly and meaningfully that we ever did in New York City.


That low door in the wall in Rincon, PR

Today was a paperwork day, some revision of the advertising for the Lemontree and then tax matters. In thinking about copy for the Lemontree I wanted to speak to the essence or soul of the experience that guests have when they stay with us. So much of advertising is written in "real-estate speak"... grandiose with promise of extraordinary amenities and luxury. Well... for us this place is an enveloping experience not just a swank bedroom for a couple of nights... its also a place for love... of all kinds and of privacy away from the rush of media and hard edged demands of a social scene. We welcome people of all persuasions looking for... something not to be had in their cities at home. It was then I recalled a quote from Brideshead Revisited... here it is:

"But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that gray city."

I realized then that for many guests, the Lemontree could be that low door in the wall ...for grownups looking to reawaken their spirits here in our enchanted garden by the sea.


Conjunto del Sol takes Rincon, PR

Suerte!... our band, Conjunto del Sol, has been active this month with three public performances. The most recent was last night at a fund raising and social gathering of the International Friendship Club. The setting was the restaurant Fagon de la Curva on Carr 115 in Rincon. We played on the roof top bar as the sun set. Our play list consists of about 12 numbers. What makes our group distinctive is that we play traditional Puerto Rican songs on traditional instruments. Here on the island the ancient hill's tradition is for small groups of family and friends who gather to play and listen to the old tunes... and so we participate by sharing with others our love of the Isla and of its traditions.

Last night friends from the North were down visiting... we had not seen them for many many years and so it was a double pleasure... to play and to visit. Denny took some video of the group... Bella playing the Tiple, Charlie on the Bordonua, Chela on the Guiro and Chucho on the Bongo. In the first clip, we are playing Fiesta en Naranjito, a lively song with an engaging lilt. In the second clip, we are playing an island favorite, Verde Luz. Many people started to sing as we played this song. The words are below.
Here are two clips (only a small segment of each song)... enjoy.

These are the words to Verde Luz...first in Spanish and then in English.

Verde luz de monte y mar, Green light of mountain and sea,
isla virgen del coral, virgin island coral
si me ausento de tus playas primorosas, if I miss your exquisite beaches,
si me alejo de tus palmas silenciosas, if I move away from your palms silent
quiero volver, quiero volver. I want to return, I want to return.

A sentir la tibia arena To feel the warm sand
a dormir en tus riberas, to sleep on your shores,
isla mía, flor cautiva, Island mine, flower captive
para ti quiero tener. I have for you.

Libre tu cielo, Free your sky,
sola tu estrella only your star
isla doncella, quiero tener, island girl, I have,
verde luz de monte y mar. letra traduzca light green mountains and sea.


Valentines Day, Rincon, PR

Here in Puerto Rico, we are very sentimental. Valentines Day always brings a flurry of activity as folks scramble for their special valentine's flowers and candy. One doesn't have to look far though, as the roadsides are crowded with stands selling flowers, candy and large baskets for your sweetheart. Some of the vendors take to the street, as the fellow in the photograph above, so there is absolutely no excuse for forgetting your valentine's gift!

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