September 1, 2008

It's half of Ex'pression's SA class 65! And they're at my new home in Lake Merritt. And they're drinking beer. I was there too, but I was the one taking the picture.

From top left to bottom right: Bruno Perez, John Saleda, Tim Williams, Eric McGuinesss, Andrew Buresh, Joe Levinson, Angela Don, and Angela's other (god help me I can't remember that nice guy's name).

August 28, 2008


August 12, 2008

My Week in Costa Rica


I think the trip began last week while I was eating dinner at an Indian Restaurant on College Avenue with my old buddy Josh, Josh's sister, and Dillon. Josh talked about his digestion problems, his sister talked about her interdisciplinary major at Cal. Dillon and I drank beer.

Dillon dropped me off at the airport after dinner. It was around 11pm when I got to the gate. My flight was at 6am.

Early in the morning, the terminal began to fill up. I ran into Eman, my beautiful egyptian friend who's also studying audio. She's flying to Detroit for a DJ gig, and then she's flying to New York to hang out with friends. We complained about things until my flight boarded.

I didn't get any sleep.

I met up with my dad around 3pm at George Bush International Airport. We departed Houston around 6pm and arrived in the capital city of San Jose at 9pm local time.


Within minutes of our arrival we checked out of customs, got my dad's suitcase, secured a 4 wheel drive Jimmy, and made reservations for a hotel in Jaco, the closest beach town due west from San Jose. The road was very windy.

We arrived in Jaco around midnight and checked into the Hotel, Mar de Luz, and then ate pizza at one of the few places that was still open on the main strip. The next day we got to explore the town.

Jaco is a beach town not unlike Ensanada, Mexico. I felt like I was under constant threat of getting ripped off while there. Within minutes of entering the main beach area, we were offered drugs and women by two young entrepreneurs. Despite its seediness, Jaco still manages to be boring. I didn't feel like trusting the food, people, or the culture. It all felt like a facade.

Over the next week, my dad and I toured the South west coast of the country. And things improved vastly from our experience in Jaco. In fact, I can honestly say that I have never seen a country as beautiful as Costa Rica. As we made our way through Quepos and Manuel Antonio park, the Jungles got more lush and the people seemed more relaxed. We were penetrating an innocent part of the country with our rattling jeep, pocket planners, laptop, and cameras. In this part of the country, it was my dad and I who were the seedy entrepenuers.

Almost no one is fat in Costa Rica. The national dinner entree is called a casado. A casado is comprised of mixed rice and beans, salad, a fried plantain, and a piece of meat. The beans are spiced with cilantro and black pepper, kind of like indian lentils. Flour tortillas and refried beans are usually excluded from the menu.

There are two beers that are universally available in CR: Pilsen and Imperial. Both are extremely light lagers. They taste ok when very cold, and they're usually served in a glass with ice -probably because beverages warm up super fast. It's not just warmer in Costa Rica, it's also extremely humid, which increases the conductivity of the air. These are the things I enjoyed thinking about while drinking the beer.

The southern coastal towns of Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal are only accessible by a dirt road from Manuel Antonio park. This was the perfect opportunity for me to learn to drive stick.

While in Dominical we stayed a night at the Pacific Edge Hotel. The owners, George and Susie, are self touting hippies. They entertain guests with stories of sailing with the King of Spain and riding a magic bus through asia. They built the pacific edge from scratch. They are squarely responsible for inspiring my parents to want to retire in Costa Rica, and I really love them for that. The view from the Pacific Edge can't be described with words. Fortunately I had a camera.