Michael TallonWebsite: http://www.lacuadraonline.com
Michael Tallon, Editor-in-Chief, head writer and delivery boy, of La Cuadra Magazine, expatriated from the States 5 years ago, after escaping Brooklyn 13 years into a 25 to life sentence with the New York City Board of Education. After spending a year in Antigua gasbagging about wanting to start an English Language magazine, he again hit the road and wandered about South America, India and Nepal before finding himself sipping tea in Darjeeling and realizing that maybe it was time to head home and pick up the career path, once again. That ill-fated adventure in New York lasted about 6 weeks before he decided to high-tail it back to Antigua, Guatemala, where John had actually started the magazine in his absence.
After a few months, Mike took over the magazine to allow John to focus on his other business interests, and has been going slowly broke since. And on that note, Mike would like to invite any and all advertisers and potential patrons to send him business and free money. Or just drop by Cafe No Se to buy him beer.
Stories by Michael Tallon:
There’s an old saying back in the States that I just made up and it goes something like this: “If there is a zombie in the well, you probably shouldn’t drink the water.” Apropos of which, for all the buzz in El Norte regarding a civil war brewing within the ranks of the Republican Party, I’m… full story HERE »
Just over two months ago, we all heard the same soul-gouging news from Newtown, Connecticut. In a nation that has seen more than its share of firearm-related atrocities, a crime had been committed that was so dark, so unrelentingly awful, that none of us could look away — and few of us could shake off a… full story HERE »
I love my friend Gigi. Actually, she prefers the more simple and direct GG — without spaces, periods or other punctuation. But my internal copy editor won’t allow me to refer to her as such in print, for fear that my readers may believe her name is pronounced “guhg-guhg.”
In any case, I love my friend Gigi…. full story HERE »
Captain’s Log, Stardate 050511.1. Primary Alpha One, Preparatory Exercises for the Newtral Zone War — My suspicion has grown that the other officers on this training mission may actually be insane. Don’t they understand that our prime directive is to determine the fittest, most square-jawed leader in our coming battle with the rebellious Admiral Gingrich? The… full story HERE »
John Colella, my best friend, died five years ago this December. He was 42 years old at the time, and I remember simply not being able to process the information when my father called with the news. My dad might as well have told me that he’d just cancelled the family subscription to the color blue… full story HERE »
In January of 2008, back when La Cuadra was still a stumbling puppy of a magazine, we featured the work of Alfredo Garcia Gil. It was only the second issue published by the current editor-in-chief, and we were very much up in the air as to how we should move forward. And, as it happens,… full story HERE »
In late May of this year, I sat on the back deck of my family home in Upstate New York with my brothers and some old friends. Everyone was there for a backyard barbeque, something we only get to do once or twice a year anymore. Brother Ed’s toddlers, the twins, were playing with trucks, being… full story HERE »
We came across this post today, and have lifted it with love from YouTube. Without too much additional commentary, I’ve got to ask: When are the remaining (and dwindling) percentage of rational Republicans going to realize that they’ve lost the battle and abandon the crazy-ship? Come on! We know you’re not all transvaginal ultrasound fetishists,… full story HERE »
A recent news story brought up some dark memories for me. As most of you will already know, the Washington Post reported in May that as a senior at The Cranbrook School, an exclusive private institution for the children of the Detroit-area elite, an 18-year-old Mitt Romney had a violent confrontation with a classmate, one John Lauber, an… full story HERE »
At Flannery’s Bar on 14th and 7th in Manhattan there were three sacred books. This was, mind you, before the ubiquity of handheld access to the internet, truly a primitive age. One was The Complete and Definitive Record of Major League Baseball. One was Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia: Career Profiles of More than 2000 Actors and Filmmakers, Past and… full story HERE »
It should come as no surprise that I visited the International Museum of Toilets primarily as a joke. While there was part of me that thought the visit might be instructive in a “development of civilizations” kind of way, mostly I just thought it would be hilarious.
I found reference to the museum in the New Delhi… full story HERE »
In early 2000, I found myself falling in love with a rare and beautiful woman. We’d known one another for years, but one night, under the influence of Guinness Stout and Fergal the Barman, we talked and drank and laughed and for the first time ended up in a kiss. Truth be told, it was a… full story HERE »
A few nights back we were sitting around Café No Sé, sipping some rare, old-batch Ilegal Mezcal that had been recovered from a warehouse in Oaxaca. It had been misplaced during a shipment a few years back.
A two-word question was posed: “2010, right?”
The response was a slow pull onto the middle of the tongue and an… full story HERE »
In the past few decades, I’ve been inside a church maybe two dozen times, mostly for weddings and funerals, a few times to marvel at the soaring nave or the intricately carved chancel of a cathedral, and once or twice just to sit in silence and pray. I was brought up in a tradition that said… full story HERE »
For all you folks who’ve not made it down to Antigua for a visit, take a look at what you’re missing, courtesy of this lovely video, Luna León by El Gordo, shot from the roof of Café Sky (you can see our buddy Les, one of the owners, drinkin’ and smokin’ in the background.) Methinks we should get this… full story HERE »
Every year I’d begin my classes the same way. “I know two things are true,” I’d tell my students the first day of class, as I walked slowly between their desks, scaring them a bit with a well-practiced professorial glare.
“First, I know with almost absolute certainty that by the end of the year, we’re gonna be… full story HERE »
With a few exceptions, The Surly Bartender has held his tongue for the better part of the past year, but like a carbonated bottle of rage into which the world has dropped too many Mentos of crazy, it’s time to explode. Really, when one has to look to the Guatemalan political scene to find honesty, reason… full story HERE »
I used to muse with my colleagues at FDR High School in Brooklyn that one way we could make a million dollars and retire early was to figure out how to aerosolize Ritalin. At the time the diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and its meaner big brother, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were zipping through… full story HERE »
A few nights ago, while slapping shots across the hardwood at Café No Sé, a favored customer asked if the Surly Bartender would be commenting on the Occupy protests occurring, at last count, in over 200 cities through out the United States. I raised my glass, he raised his, and I said, “They’re right. End of… full story HERE »
Back in late 2001, one of us asked the old man if it was the worst year he’d ever lived through. Without hesitating he shook his head and said, “Not even close to ’68.”
He made the point that while 2001 had been hard, it couldn’t hold a candle to the sheer madness of twelve months that… full story HERE »
Recently I spent time with Lucía Morán Giracca at her studio in Santa Ana. Around the room were completed paintings and works in process for her upcoming show, Gota a Gota (Drop by Drop), which will open at Mesón Panza Verde on December 14, 2011. To my left, on an easel, was a finalized acrylic. Taped to… full story HERE »
At times we do believe that there is, in fact, a collective unconscious at work in the deep background of the universe. Sometimes the world itself has a mood, a feeling, a thought process, a mania, a madness. There may even be practitioners of the esoteric arts who have developed a sensitivity to this cosmic… full story HERE »
I ’d met Brielle DuFlon a few times before sitting down to interview her for La Cuadra. I didn’t know much about her, and some of what I’d assumed was far off base. As she is a tall, blond, English speaking Caucasian, I figured she was from the States. But when I noted that her… full story HERE »
Earlier this spring news reached out from a mountain city in Pakistan to my small apartment in Guatemala, as it did all over the world, that Osama bin Laden was dead. I was alone as the message first appeared on the Facebook page I let idle in the background when I’m working.
I put aside an… full story HERE »
My first thought for this Letter From the Editors was go gather the five contributors to La Cuadra who have written the most for us over the years and take a group picture of them all holding up their middle fingers.
The headline was going to be: “Yayyyy! We’re This Many!”
But Anne Seymour is in… full story HERE »
Some 15 years ago, my parents took a trip to the old familial sod in Ireland. They were traveling with my father’s cousin Barbara and her husband Joe. For as near as we can tell, it was the first time a Tallon from our clutch had returned across the pond since arriving in New York… full story HERE »
Just under a year ago Alex, a former student and close friend, called me with the news that Anna Parachkevova had been murdered by her husband while she slept in their apartment in Brussels. It was never a message I expected to receive about anyone I knew and loved, at least not from that part… full story HERE »
Nearly half a century ago Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The Global Village” to describe a world he perceived just beyond the horizon. He was predicting a time when electronic interdependence and constant exposure to a flood of ideas would alter the root structures of human interaction — and though we’re far too close to… full story HERE »
Joe Bageant is dead, Joe Bageant is dead. Now hang down your head,
Joe Bageant is dead.
It is with a heavy heart that we share that news. Cancer got him in the end. Regular readers will recognize his name as Joe was a steady contributor to La Cuadra over the years. Your… full story HERE »
Arguably the first aspect of Sergio Valenzuela’s work that strikes the viewer is his choice of palette. The selection of deep reds, running rich between the contrast of whites and blacks, resonates like a minor chord played deep in the psychic register. It is a color scheme that roots us in our corporal, visceral substance,… full story HERE »
I don’t have any rational way to explain Oriel Laurent’s presence in my life, but I’ve got to chalk her up to something. When my non-religious friends hear the story, they tend to rationalize it as random chance, pure dumb luck. But they have the luxury of leaving her on the far side of their… full story HERE »
Even though we find ourselves on the outer shoals of a few fallen empires, living a rather bubble existence in the midst of a chaotic nation, we do feel that recent world events, from Madison to al-Manāma, merit a brief comment.
As our regular readers know, I used to be a history teacher in Brooklyn. At… full story HERE »
I recently visited the artist and designer, Mario Lanz, at his home. As a vignette, it was pretty damn amusing. I was sick as a dog with the flu, he was laid up after having thrown out his lower back, so the two of us were slumped in our chairs, moaning in the darkness of… full story HERE »
Regular readers of this magazine likely know that I spent 13 years teaching high school in Brooklyn, NY, before moving to Antigua. They also probably know that shortly after arriving here I’d generated an enormous bar tab, and had to put myself into indentured servitude in the mezcal bar of Café No Sé to try… full story HERE »
The Surly Bartender is used to confronting complex issues, slicing away the extraneous bullshit and drilling into the moral, martial or material core in the amount of time it takes most mortals to drink a martini. Yet, I have to admit to being truly puzzled today. And to be so puzzled at a time when… full story HERE »
Earlier this morning, my mother sent me a note through the interwebs. She said that the East Coast was in a deep freeze and that New York City was bracing for a monster snowstorm that might drop up to two feet around the Metro Area. I was telling a friend about the email and the… full story HERE »
With the exception of my first few years, I grew up in a neighborhood essentially devoid of ethnic diversity. When I was really young my family lived on lower Mary Street, one of the few blocks of Binghamton, NY that could reasonably be considered a multi-racial ghetto. Yet, by the time I’d turned five we’d… full story HERE »
Accidently born in the United States, intentionally raised in Brazil and Mexico, New York-tempered and Guatemala-residing photographer, Gg, (pronounced GiGi, or G.G.) recently sat down with La Cuadra after returning from a trip to find something of the heart of Havana.
From our conversations, we gather that Gg’s worldview dances with her politics somewhere near the hopeful… full story HERE »
Sorry for the delay in getting around to posting new stories on the website. Your Editor-in-Chief recently had to spend some time in Gotham City in order to wrap his head around the nerve-rackingly premature arrival of two nephews and the crazy-making departure of a dear friend from this mortal coil. We apologize for having… full story HERE »
The Uncharacteristically Civil Bartender loves a good old-fashioned donnybrook, but there’s one going in Gotham City specifically, and around the United States generally, that actually has him worried. Further, the word from friends in Europe is that the same madness is brewing over there. Anti-Islamic sentiment is on the rise, even… full story HERE »
On my first night in Guatemala, I sat at the circular bar in El Portal, a little café on Antigua’s parque central, watching women in long skirts with complicated patterns make their way from bench to bench selling necklaces. Lights illuminated the pillars of the white cathedral, and water arched from a fountain in the… full story HERE »
I once commented to an economist friend that “the easiest job in the world has got to be: Fellow at a Free Market Think Tank.” Really. All it takes is ONE thought, applied asshattedly to any and all situations. And that thought is this: if left on its own, the free market will solve all… full story HERE »
It is standard-issue humor amongst education professionals that the three reasons teaching is a great job are “June, July and August,” and throughout a 13 year career, I wouldn’t have disagreed. I’ll never understand the “two weeks vacation for your first five years” insanity of most professions in the States. Madness. Complete and utter madness…. full story HERE »
Throughout the 1980s, as Guatemala was experiencing the worst years of its long and ghastly civil war, few foreign photographers, writers or journalists chose to make this country their home. And with good reason. The nation was terrorized by an ongoing conflict and a brutal, repressive regime that unleashed upon its citizenry some of the… full story HERE »
When I first started working in the New York City Public Education system, my father gave me a bit of advice. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t end up on the cover of the New York Post.” Sound advice for anyone, really. Particularly if you are going to be working with minors. And the vast… full story HERE »
Back when I was a teenager one of my favorite words was “cosmic.” It’s kind of embarrassing now, but I’m sure you had your own silly colloquialisms, so no harm done. I remember many “cosmic” moments in the adolescent years: like when Craig and I wandered up to Grand Boulevard and were hammered to the… full story HERE »
A few decades back, Isaiah Berlin, one of the great pragmatic philosophers of the 20th Century, wrote an essay entitled “The Hedgehog and The Fox.” The title comes from a poem by Archilochus, written in the 7th Century, B.C.E. in which the ancient fabler noted, “The Fox knows many things, but the Hedgehog knows one… full story HERE »
There is something haunting in the intonation of light and color in the work of César Barrios, something of an unearthed memory that the viewer recognizes both as their own and yet fully apart from their experiences. We recognize the faces, and the way the colors fall within them, as if they are our ancestors,… full story HERE »
My grandmother died in late January of 2005, at 93 years of age. The day before she ended this dance, she and I were planning her 94th birthday party and joking about the hospital food. Sometime in the evening a nurse came in and said the doctors wanted to start her on a morphine patch,… full story HERE »
Regular readers know that the Surly Bartender does not suffer fools gladly, from patchouli stinkin’ hippies spreading bubblegum Buddhism and sexually transmitted diseases across the gringo trail to yacht-masted, Right Wing rogues who feel entitled (by their inheritance and their investment portfolios) to bitch about poorer people collecting “entitlements.” But… full story HERE »
The Surly Bartender has a question: If one group of people spent 20 years of their lives sticking bits of soap up their noses and giggling as they harvested lint from their navels for a midday snack, while another group of people spent the same 20 years studying, say, global climate change, might you understand… full story HERE »
While speaking recently with Daniel Chauche I was reminded of the short poem, Antigonish, written by William Hughes Mearns in the early 20th Century:
Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away…
Only with Daniel, of course, I wish,… full story HERE »
This story is only very loosely connected to the holiday season. It takes place in the middle of the summer, and there’s only one phrase in the piece that tangentially connects subject to theme. There’s neither eggnog nor mulled wine, and the only pines in sight were standing dead by the millions in the beetle-killed… full story HERE »
Julio Zadik’s story is equally as intriguing and complex as are his photographs. Zadik (1916 – 2002), a recently rediscovered genius of Guatemalan art was – in the first half of the last century – considered to be one of the most promising talents in Central America. In 1949 he was invited to exhibit at… full story HERE »
I graduated from Syracuse University in 1988. The following year a bunch of us made our way back to visit, and get very drunk with, friends who were still tangled in those ivied halls. I don’t recall much of the weekend which was sort of the plan. But I recall Sunday afternoon clearly.
There were seven… full story HERE »
If you were in Guatemala on June 28th of this year, you likely heard a rather loud bump in the night coming from our South Eastern border. That evening the Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, was rousted from his bedchambers, still in his jammies, and hustled off to Costa Rica on a one-way flight, courtesy of… full story HERE »
Fucking And Wank – Sister Cities!
I’ll admit it. I still giggle when someone farts. If someone farts at a funeral, I lose my mind completely in paroxysms of laughter that are completely inappropriate and tend to piss of the surviving relatives. I don’t know what it is. In many ways, I’m a mature, thoughtful guy… full story HERE »
A few years ago the cemetery lost my grandfather.
He’d been buried almost a quarter century before and I’d be surprised if anyone had visited his grave in twenty of those years. We all loved Grandpa Ray, it wasn’t that we were glad to be rid of him or cursed his memory. Rather, it just isn’t… full story HERE »
There a difference between a town with great music and a town with a great music scene. This might be overstating it a bit, and I’m no musicologist, but it seems that the difference is that a “music scene” is more than just half a dozen great bands with options on where to dance and… full story HERE »
What a Summer! Nuclear threats from the infamous North Korean dictator with the world’s funniest head of hair, Kim Don King. Revolutionary hot chicks on the streets of Tehran twittering themselves into the pages of history! Political murder and public demonstrations in Guatemala City! A semi-dressed, cowboy hat wearing President in Honduras being whisked off… full story HERE »
What’s in a Name?
Recently residents of Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, petitioned to have the name of Butt Hole Road changed to Archer’s Way. A denizen of Butt Hole Road, Peter Sutton, who moved into the neighborhood several years ago, at first thought that living on such an unfortunately named lane would be fun, but after half… full story HERE »
In September of 1995 one of my heroes, the Civil Rights attorney, William Kunstler, died. Over the course of 50 year career Kunstler had defended, amongst others, Lenny Bruce, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, the American Indian Movement, Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the rest of the Chicago 7, as well as “The Blind Sheik,”… full story HERE »
Regular readers will know that the Surly Bartender has a long list of triggers. He can be set off by just about anything said in his bar that smacks of stupid or smells of bullshit. Generally, this column grows from some particularly festering nugget of dumb that got pushed into his brain by customer or… full story HERE »
We met Joe Bageant the way we meet many of our best friends, through a mutual acquaintance that may have stepped on the wrong side of the law a few times. The brother in question, Earl Fish, did a couple of stints in the pen for safe cracking, and a couple more for trying to… full story HERE »
Ricardo Castillo’s “Allegories of a Bad Conscience,” currently on display at La Antigua Galería del Arte, is a minimalist exploration of the power of line in classic works of Western Art. Through its grace and power, Castillo’s work resurrects the intensity of images that have become iconic – and as such, denuded of their initial… full story HERE »
The Misfits’ Club
Back in the late 1990s, when I was teaching in Brooklyn, NY, I had a student named Uran Dragon Kolenovic. And, it seemed that the dragon lived inside Uran’s head.
Uran Kolenovic was a 14-year-old immigrant from Kosovo whose mother and father had sent him to America to live with his grandmother when he… full story HERE »
Patrick McGrath Muñiz, with the talent of an old master and the raw, intellectual wit of his millennial generation, challenges his viewers to consider the interrelationships between our mass-media driven culture and the longer traditions of the Western… full story HERE »
The Surly Bartender has long had a very clear sense of the hereafter. In his mind, Heaven is a bar in which, during his off hours, he can always find a seat, the cigarettes don’t give you cancer, the music is the all roots rock and angry, while the booze flows freely from the hands… full story HERE »
The past month brought singer songwriter, Adam Stokes, back to Antigua for a few days – and he brought with him a long awaited present: his new album, October Sky. Adam hails from Texas, but lived here a few years back with his wife, Jess, an incredibly hot archeologist who spent most of her time… full story HERE »
We keep hearing, verbatim, the same line, over and over again, from our advertising staff. They say the most common reason new clients give for declining to take an ad is because they believe, “…only locals read La Cuadra.” This has been happening with a regularity that makes us wonder if one of our competitors… full story HERE »
A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international industry standards are too large for the majority of Indian… full story HERE »
The Surly Bartender voted for Barack Hussein Obama and wishes him well, but he’s not much accustomed to running his engines on hope. Rage. Bitterness. Righteous indignation. Beer. Any of these elixirs give his 12 cylinder spleen the fuel it craves and he turns over like a raging Lamborghini, but hope tends to gum up… full story HERE »
James Rodriguez, a Mexican – U.S. independent photo-documentarian has lived and worked in Mexico, the United States, Japan, Brazil and Guatemala. Based in Guatemala since 2004 he has been documenting several post-war processes in addition to current human rights and social justice struggles in the region. The photos selected here provide only a small window… full story HERE »
Your way of life is threatened. When most people say this they are talking both out of their own asses and in their own interests, but we mean it this time. We remember hearing this line shouted from every television for months after September 2001. We lived in New York City then and took the… full story HERE »
In Doniel Espinoza’s series, Escaleras al Sueño the artist combines great technical skill with a perfect measure of surrealist absurdity to visually tell his audience small, but beautiful, magical realist stories.
The objects in Espinoza’s paintings are, in a sense, overly familiar. We live with them daily, we interact with them casually, but those things -… full story HERE »
When I was a kid my family didn’t take many vacations. We never did the Disney thing. We never made it to the Grand Canyon. Unlike Carol and Mike Brady (or Fred and Wilma Flintstone for that matter) my folks didn’t see much value in schlepping off to Hawaii in the middle of the winter…. full story HERE »
A few months ago we ran a joke about a talking dog. People loved it. It was cute, had a funny lead-in, a bunch of cursing in the body paragraphs, booze references were sprinkled liberally throughout the page and it finished with an unexpected, roundhouse-to-the-balls, punch-line. Since then we’ve been getting requests to again run… full story HERE »
Unhappy Meal: In December of 2008, McDonalds Corporation unintentionally stepped into the middle of an international border conflict when its Moroccan franchises included, as a Happy Meal prize, a map of North Western Africa which indicated a national border separating Morocco and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The Moroccan government claims sovereignty over Western… full story HERE »
Being self-fashioned iconoclasts, it is rare that we find ourselves engrossed by . . . well, icons, but the image of Muntadar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi reporter who launched a couple of size 10′s at President Bush’s yawping maw has done it for us. Apparently the little fella pictured above has been smitten by Mr. al-Zeidi,… full story HERE »
Richard Anthony Smith, 25 years old and completely bonkers, was discovered dangling by a rope inside the main air conditioning duct of the Knoxville Museum of Art by local police, said department spokesman, Darrell DeBusk. Police received a phone call from Mr. Smith once he became trapped in the… full story HERE »
Over the past few years, as the planet has fallen further into the shitpile, La Cuadra has featured the good works of many not for profit, non-governmental organizations which struggle to humanize our host country, make life better for the poorest and most at risk Guatemalans, and foster development in Central America. While we remain… full story HERE »
Dear Santa, I only want one thing for Christmas this year, but it’s really important. I need a new Savior. I’m not complaining about the old savior. He’s cool, but his story has been totally co-opted over the past few thousand years by the starched and polished set, and…well… that’s just not my bag. I… full story HERE »
In a recent interview, Lucía Morán Giracca opened up about some of her latest work. She said that recently she has been strongly drawn towards examining couples by exploring the nature of partnership. The paintings are, she said, “visual metaphors on the relation between two people and their environment.” Through these images, she investigates the… full story HERE »
Medical staff in a Brazilian hospital brought the effects of a bite from the Wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) to the attention of researchers in the United States. If a male mammal is bitten by the spider he will experience an increase in blood pressure, overall body aches and a painful erection lasting several hours.
Hospital… full story HERE »
Byrant Hand, 33, professional educator and entrepreneur, came to Guatemala four years ago and founded the Oxford Language Schools which currently train Spanish speakers in 28 languages ranging from Korean and Mandarin to Portuguese and English. The schools are a successful business, catering largely to adults and corporate clients, but Bryant, who had seen… full story HERE »
Though this may surprise regular readers, Red Dawn, the cheese factory hit of 1984 that traces the effects of a full scale Soviet land invasion of the United States on school spirit, is one of the Surly Bartender’s favorite movies. Piece of shit though it is, it has some hilarious scenes – and, as a… full story HERE »
Juan Pablo Canale Banus, founding member and leading force of Itinerantes, believes the artist, particularly the Guatemala artist, has a healing role to play in the nation and the world.
While maintaining a provocative stance, Juan Pablo and his artistic partners feel that in a world of violence, war, degradation, tragedy and want – the thoughtful… full story HERE »
Recently a New Mexico man was denied his petition to legally change his name to “Fuck Censorship.” The three judge panel ruled that they were not interfering with his freedom of speech, noting that he could call himself whatever he liked, but that the state had a compelling reason to deny the change because… full story HERE »
As Midsummer’s Night is near in the rearview mirror it might be appropriate to quote the Bard’s best farce. “If we offend it is with our good will. That you should think, we come not to offend, but with good will, to show our simple skill. That is the true beginning of our… full story HERE »
Do you know the old joke, “What’s the definition of Irish foreplay?” It’s when the stern husband looks at his guilt ridden wife and says, “Brace yer self, Bridget, this might get a bit rough.” Now the Surly Bartender can attest – and, if necessary, provide medical records to prove – that this provincial, view… full story HERE »
Ricky Lopez Bruni is a fortunate artist in that his great talents are amplified by the beauty of his closest muse and model, Guatemala.
Mr. Lopez is best known for his photographic books documenting the visual power of his homeland. His work is famous throughout Latin America, and beyond, for the skill with which he captures… full story HERE »
Sure, we hoped La Cuadra would be a success… but we must admit we were a bit taken aback when high powered Hollywood producers started expressing an interest in our story. But, some men are born to greatness while others have it thrust upon them. We will do our best to live up to our… full story HERE »
My High School Friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.
“Why did you leave Sierra Leone?”
“Because there is a war.”
“Did you witness some of the fighting?”
“Everyone in the country did.”
“You mean you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?”
“Yes, all the time.”
I smile a little.
“You… full story HERE »
Holy Leg Humpin’ Jesus, there’s just no pleasing some people! The staff of La Cuadra work our livers out for our readers’ edification, hoping also to bring some laughter to our ever darkening world. It’s a difficult balance to strike – whether we should enlighten or entertain – and sometimes we have to… full story HERE »
A few months back the progressive political organization, MoveOn, got fed a raft of well deserved shit for calling General David Petreaus, “General Betrayus” in a New York Times advertisement on the eve of his first round of Congressional Testimony – the one in which he called for “The Surge.” Which, by the way,… full story HERE »
A short time ago Barack Obama, aspiring Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, ran into some problems with the nuts on the “Fair and Balanced” right wing of American cable news. It seems that the preacher at Obama’s house of worship, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, has… full story HERE »
There’s a bit of Proust in the young man, that much is certain. Christian Kummerfeldt, the 21 year old Guatemalan photographer whose work is featured in these pages, is quite purposefully in search of beauty – and consciously fighting to hold on to its memory.
In his words, “…by photographing you can fight forgetting… Looking… full story HERE »
While visiting with the photographer, Daniel Chauche, recently I was struck by a comment. We were viewing some of his most recent work. Many of the photographs were of hairdressers and their clients at the Centro Capitol in Guatemala City. Others were of cantinas and their customers. Chauche said, “People don’t… full story HERE »
Back in the early 1980s Robert Klein had this bit. He’d recently been to Germany and was amazed that he couldn’t find anyone who actually admitted to having supported the Nazis during World War II. Klein noted that everyone he talked to claimed to be as innocent as lambs. His line to… full story HERE »
To regular readers of our magazine it will come as no surprise that the editorial board of La Cuadra thinks that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is as irresponsible as a junkie, as reflective as woolly mammoth filled tar pit and as dangerous as a drunken baby with a flamethrower.
We hate him. … full story HERE »
I have certain friends who, when they say, “Hey, man I’ve got a really great idea,” my mind turns to memories of wayyyy too much booze, blurry images of table dancers, the police, a killer hangover, three rounds of increasingly stronger antibiotics and finally a lawyer.
Now, I’m not saying (on the strict counsel of that… full story HERE »
We were once nice Catholics boys. But somewhere early on (we think their names were Laura and Stacy) our Catholicism began to lapse. Our descent continued until completion with our transition from New York City to Guatemala. Here we’ve accepted our fate as F.C.C.’s: Fully Collapsed… full story HERE »
The cute little bugger above is Diego Efrain Garcia Aguilar. He’s the two month old miracle of our bartender, Robin. Somehow Robin convinced his honey, Wendy – a woman whose radiant beauty is only magnified by her seeming lack of concern for the appearance of her partner – that he was the man for her. … full story HERE »
My guess is you are already familiar with the metaphorical frog dropped into the metaphorically boiling water. But in case you are not, here it is: If you toss a frog into boiling water, he will jump right back out, but if you put him in a pot of comfortably temperate water and slowly turn… full story HERE »
The Christmas Season is upon us, and even the Surly Bartender is getting in the Spirit. The lights are up in the Parque Central, an adorable new collection of Dutch Girls are visiting Antigua on their winter holidays, and I’m not living in a New York City where, global warming or not, the weather is… full story HERE »
Twenty some years ago, when a young, self taught artist named Alfredo Garcia Gil started shopping his paintings of some of the less reputable citizens of Antigua, including whores, johns and drunks around the town’s conservative gallery culture he couldn’t even get in the door. The galleries wanted unprovocative, easily digestible paintings that could be… full story HERE »
It has been a while since the last issue of La Cuadra hit the streets. Some may have presumed that we folded, or went dormant, or – those who know us better – may have assumed we’d just passed out after a very long night and not yet banished the hangover to wherever it is… full story HERE »
Much has been made of the radical right’s “hijacking of the Republican Party” since the election of George W. Bush in 2000, but according to Professor Greg Grandin of New York University, the hijackers have been plotting the take over the plane for 25 years.
Like many of us in the age of “Everything Changed on… full story HERE »
A few nights ago I met a sparkling, lovely couple from some septic backwater of the Great Neighbor to the North. They were overflowing with hope. They had the confidence of youth. They knew that through their activism and energy that their generation would make the difference. Theirs was the cohort that would properly monkey… full story HERE »
Ever since my days teaching history in Brooklyn I’ve had certain passions. Three are relevant today. First, I passionately love bars. Real bars. Dive bars. Old man bars. Gin joints. Roadhouses. Bars. Second, I passionately love railing against idiot hippies who wander into my bar; and third, I passionately love slinging a bit of historical… full story HERE »
Renato Osoy told me that his subjects are always an accident and a marvelous coincidence. I can’t say that I really believe him. It strikes me more that these are the words of a very talented and humble man.
Certainly a photographer needs to be the beneficiary of grace more so than artists in other media,… full story HERE »