Category Archives: Noche de Divas

DIVAS, WIZARDS AND SUPER POWERS

The overall theme for this years Halloween was ‘Fantasy Figures’. Never before have we seen so many fairies, unicorns, and Marvel characters on the streets of Playa. We clearly picked up this years energy, because Honza was dressed as a wizard, and I was dressed as a super power girl.

Here are a few photos taken at home, so you can see the details of our costumes, which our diva Heather Boley helped to sew together.

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And here are a few photos taken at some of our favourite Playa hangouts.

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The day after, still nurturing a little hang over, my friend Peggy Sue Davis came over for breakfast, and asked for my books. The many rounds of editing are finished, and now I’m waiting for the last few corrections of the cover. The official publishing date is coming closer and closer.

day-after

Halloween is for us business owners also a sign that the high season has started. It’s good to see that our restaurant is filling up again with old and new faces. But the ‘Noche de Divas’ has remained a success throughout the low season. Here are some nice shots from our Divas and Divo taken by Rachel Perry Shrank. She’s one of our Divas as well, but that night she wasn’t singing, just taking photos.

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Miss Candace

Miss Candace Flores

Danny Boy

Danny Boy

Miss Heather

Miss Heather Boley

Miss Victoria

Miss Victoria Carpio

Mila doing her doggy act

Mila doing her doggy act.

Here’s my latest recording with one of my favourite seductive songs.

And now it’s time to practice our Christmas repertoire: Ave Maria, Panis Angelicus, Santa Baby and Feliz Navidad.

518a4610-1Until next time!

 

 

El Jardin's 1st Year Anniversary Invitation

Can you believe it?

This coming Wednesday March the 16th El Jardin is celebrating its 1st year anniversary!

Needless to say that we’re throwing a big party with a large free Mexican buffet and DJ Greco will join us for some dance tunes.

You know we like our parties early and you know where to find us.

Fiesta

We’re happy to share with you that  El Jardin is doing well.

From Tripadvisor we have been receiving (almost) nothing but 5 star reviews. Here’s a nice one titled:

“A PERFECT ANTIDOTE TO FIFTH AVENUE”

Great food, charming hosts and an oasis in the busyness of downtown Playa del Carmen. El Jardin, located behind thick stone walls and amidst towering palms, a tricking stream and small gardens is an extraordinary treat. The food is fresh, delicious, well-portioned, but the real treat is the live music on Friday evenings. Paula, one of your hosts at El Jardin has a stunning voice and repertoire–ranging from blues, to Jazz to soft rock and sentimental favourites. She also mentors local singers and regularly features local divas and the occasional divo. A night to remember and repeat.

We also receive much clientele from the site www.everythingplayadelcarmen.com.

Seth, the owner of that site, is a big fan and recently he even taped a short video.

We were also featured in a video made for PlayaPalms Condos and this clip gives a nice impression of our Noche de Divas, and some of our food styles. Yes, when the video was taped it was cold, hence the turtleneck.

Another big event in the history of El Jardin was the recording of an episode of Chef Rick Bayless’ ‘One Plate at the Time’, one time winner of Top Chef. On a Friday morning a crew of 16 people entered El Jardin and set up their stage in the kitchen of our Funky House. At the end of the day we received a signed copy of one of Rick’s cookbooks and in return he received a copy of my yoga DVD.

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Guess what? He’s an avid yoga practitioner

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He has a great sense of humour too.

Here’s a 1.30 minute ‘behind the scenes’ video clip of that specific day. They’ve edited it in such a way that it appears I’ve completely ruined Chef Rick Bayless’ recordings with singing Edith Piaf in the background.

All in all it was a great experience, but the only thing that we were rather disappointed with was the fact that the production team never told us that they would be entering our property with a professional production team to film an episode of a very famous chef. They booked our airbnb ‘Funky House downtown Playa’ without mentioning what is was intended for. Both Honza and I have had experience in the film production business, and we both know that a contract is presented before hand, and not after the filming. We also know that the price for a location is slightly more than an economic airbnb. In short; we felt cheated. And no matter how famous you are, this is simply not done. Period.

 

Blue Avian, one of the 5 races of the Sphere Being Alliance

Blue Avian, one of the 5 races of the Sphere Being Alliance

Last but not least – and I’ve mentioned this before – I want to bring to your attention again that Honza was visited by hundreds of extra terrestrial sphere beings last year.

In one of my previous blogs I’ve posted a video that gives a good impression how these sphere beings look like. If you’ve missed it, here’s the video:

Within the Sphere Being Alliance there are 5 different races.  The actual sphere beings are one these races, and so are the Blue Avians, of which I have placed an image. The Sphere Being Alliance is playing a very important role in the current transition process of planet Earth moving from a ‘war zone’ into a free, thriving and peaceful planet.

If you’ve missed the documentary Thrive, here’s another chance.

The technology to heal every single person from any imaginary disease is at our fingertips. So is the technology to clean our water, our air and the earth crust. And so is the technology to free ourselves from the control of the petrol industry and subsequently the financial tyranny of which we have been slaves.

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So where is all this technology? As you may very well know, I’ve been studying these matters for many, many years. Countless books I’ve read, and Honza and I have been following certain scientist, journalists and bloggers  for many years. A little over a year ago we started reading about whistle-blowers who – with fear of their own lives – were reporting about Secret Space Programs; Colonies on the moon, Mars and other locations that had been operating since the ‘50s.

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The reason why these space programs were secret is because without this knowledge we could be controlled much easier.

Don’t you think you have a right to know where your taxpayer money went?

Don’t you think you have a right to know what kind of technology they have developed with your money?

Don’t you think you have a right to access to that technology, for which you paid?

Don’t you think it’s time to ask questions?

You know you’re too smart and too intelligent not to start asking questions.

Many of your questions will be answered in the following article, which gives an insightful overview of the history of this solar system, and the history of the Secret Space Programs, and which role you can play in the liberation of this planet. Here’s a link to that article. It takes about 2 hours to read.

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 Don’t you think it’s time to reclaim your freedom?

Remember… you are part of the solution.

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It’s time for full Disclosure!

 

PAULA & HONZA'S NEW YEARS WISH TO YOU

It’s been a few months since I wrote a blog. Why? There simply wasn’t alot to write about.

El Jardin survived the slowest months of the year. This period gave us the opportunity to add a few artistic details to our decor.

Before

Before

After

After

Close up

Close up

Other side of the bar

Other side of the bar

Kitchen with a selection of decorations

Kitchen with a selection of decorations

The decorations at the entrance you're familiar with.

The decorations at the entrance you’re familiar with.

Now with the addition of a sign and a menu of the entrance door.

Now with the addition of a sign and a menu of the entrance door.

Our new sign

Our big new outdoor sign

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Our new menus.

Our new breakfast menu

The rest of the menu.

And here are a few artistic mobiles created by the Dutch artist Anna Liz Spann.

Mobile created by the Dutch artist Anna Liz Spann

2 Mobiles hanging at the stage

This period also gave us the time to find the right people to strengthen our team.

Anna, Marce, Carlos and Emiliano in the background with his sister helping him out.

Anna, Marce, Carlos and Emiliano in the background with his sister helping him out.

Chef Emiliano is now assisted by Elvis, who is expecting his first daughter this coming January.

Emiliano & Oscar

Emiliano & Elvis

Our waitress Anna is now assisted by Oscar, a young yoga teacher who knows how to charm the ladies, and who blended  just perfectly in our family with his quirky sense of humor, and like Anna; an equally original sense of clothing.

Anna & Oscar

Anna & Oscar

Nevertheless, El Jardin’s ‘Noche de Divas’ has been an ongoing success throughout the low season. Divas have left our stage; new divas have appeared, and surprisingly talented I might say.

I always love to sing classical repertoire with the talented soprano Victoria Carpio

Daniel Villareal made his debut last Friday and we’re planning many more duets.

Feliz Navidad was a great song to get everybody in the Christmas mood. But so was Eartha Kitt’s famous ‘Santa Baby’. I feel sorry I don’t get to sing it until next year. Ni modo.

Then a blogger called Janicita posted a video and wrote the following about last Friday: “In Playa Del Carmen, while you can enjoy readily the sun, sea and sand, there is not much of an arts and culture scene in this beach town. But one night, what a surprise discovery of live jazz and cabaret in a magical garden! Janicita is proud to present to you the ‘Divas of El Jardin”, live every Friday evening from 7-9pm!”

The only thing that disturbed our peace was the arrival of our new neighbours. When we signed the lease we accepted the fact that during the winter months a retired Canadian couple would stall their motor in our patio. Canadians and a motorbike; what’s not to like? Except when that bike doesn’t have 2 wheels, but 5. And… when it comes with a Spiderman design. And…  when those 2 Canadians refuse to speak English, because they are from Quebec. We peacefully ignore and avoid each other.

Spiderman vehicle

Spiderman vehicle.

Spiderman in full glory.

Spiderman in full glory.

Pedal in the shape of spiderweb.

Pedal in the shape of spiderweb.

We're not sure of Jesus believes in Spiderman.

We’re not sure of Jesus believes in Spiderman.

Talking about Jesus, it’s the time of year where we celebrate Christmas with our loved ones. We hope you are all having a wonderful time during these festive days, filled with joy and laughter.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Making my husband beautiful

Applying the final touches.

You look so beautiful.

You look so beautiful.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Not only do we want to wish you Merry Christmas.

We also have a wish for you for the New Year:

BE HAPPY!!!

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And we have another wish for you for the New Year:

RECLAIM YOUR FREEDOM!

It’s time that you free yourselves from the shackles of this prison planet. It’s time for Disclosure. It’s time that you demand the truth from your governments. The truth about historical and ongoing visitations from highly intelligent extra terrestrial races. And the truth about extensive Secret Space Programs where every imaginable technology is available; technologies that can help us heal our planet and heal ourselves.

For many of you this all may sound strange (to put it mildly) but I have been studying this material for well over 20 years. The evidence out there on the Internet is overwhelming.

The website of David Wilcock, called www.divinecosmos.com, is an example of one that Honza and I have been following for a long time, and we’ve read all his books. He’s a brilliant researcher, lecturer and author, and the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet.

Another website of interest is www.spherebeingalliance.com, where you can find more information on the Secret Space Programs and the Sphere Beings that have visited Honza earlier this year.

For people who are relatively new to all this matter there is an excellent video that takes you through the rabbit hole from the start in a visually very clear way.

This planet and humanity is going through a very difficult time. But realise that we are part of the solution. And the 1st step towards a peaceful world is knowing the truth. The truth about who you are, where you came from and why you are here. Give yourself some time to inform yourselves. Please.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

CHANGES, CHANGES AND MORE CHANGES

The biggest change in our lives was the visit of Honza’s 2 sons; Marnix aged 19 and Floris aged 17.

Marnix (right) & Floris (left)

Marnix (right) & Floris (left)

When Honza and I rekindled our love 8 years ago we had spent a wonderful summer in Prague and in Honza’s summer house, his chalupa, where I met his 2 sons.

Marnix (right) and Floris (left) aged 9 and 11.

Floris (left) and Marnix (right) aged 9 and 11.

Immediately they fell in love with my dog Guapo.

Immediately they fell in love with my Mexican dog Guapo.

Water biking on the Moldau with Guapo in the background

Water biking on the Moldau with Guapo in the background.

Enjoying lunch along in Prague along the Moldau. (check the light spot above Honza head)

Enjoying lunch  in Prague along the Moldau. (check the light spot above Honza’s head)

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

We got along pretty good.

We got along pretty good.

The following year we spent another beautiful summer in the Czech mountains.

Marnix (left) and Floris (right) 1 year later.

Floris (left) and Marnix (right) 1 year later.

Preparing the nightly bonfire in front of our chalupa.

Preparing the nightly bonfire in front of our chalupa.

Hours and hours we talked around the pile of flames.

Hours and hours we talked staring into the flames and towards the stars.

Resting on a bench at the village of Vrachlabi.

Resting on a bench at the village of Vrchlabi. (Marnix calling  his mom and Guapo came along again the 2nd year)

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

We always had so much fun!

We always had so much fun!

Honza & Paula happy.

Honza & Paula happy.

The Boys playing around.

The Boys happy.

This summer we simply picked  things up where we had left them, nearly 7 years ago.

At the family table of El Jardin.

At the family table of El Jardin.

We truly had a  wonderful time getting to know each other again.

At Isla Mujeres enjoying a beer in crystal clear Caribean waters.

At Isla Mujeres enjoying a beer in crystal clear Caribean waters.

Eating pizza at WahWah's after a long day at sea swimming with whalesharks.

At WahWah’s after a long day at sea swimming with whale sharks.

Seeing dad at work during a Noche de Divas at El Jardin.

At El Jardin seeing dad at work during a Noche de Divas.

And the kids got a little drunk (including Paula), but dad got us home safely.

At Rick’s birthday party at beach club Zenzi where the kids got a little drunk (including Paula) , but dad got us home safely.

In other words… we had a incredible time, and they’ll be back next year!

Good Times!

Good Times!

Better Times!

Better Times!

Another change was the decision of our Cuban soprano to choose a future that did not involve the family of El Jardin. A week after this photoshoot she decided not to return.

Getting in the mood to sing like Carmen.

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When this door closed, many new doors opened. Every week we offer more variety and more singers at the stage of El Jardin, and my dear old friend Ted Rhodes and newly discovered soprano Victoria Carpio perform with me every single week. We even offer an open mic after the 1st set and so far we’ve been surprised by a very lovely Argentinian soprano.

Ted Rhodes and in the background Victoria Carpio singing a duet.

Ted Rhodes and in the background Victoria Carpio singing a duet.

Magic.

Magic.

Proud of the singers on our stage.

Proud of the singers on our stage.

Singing.

Singing.

Performing.

Performing.

Another change involved our chef.

Chef, paula en Honza

We had appeared in another great food blog from Buy Playa.

Nevertheless, his uncontrolled alcohol consumption was affecting our business, so we had to let him go.

Within a week we had found another Mayan chef; young, talented and creative. His steady boyfriend of 3 years doesn’t drink, so chances are little we’ll encounter the same issues.

We also found the waitress we had been looking for all this time; a young woman with no experience, but a natural in this line of work. Together with our faithful Marce our team is complete to receive the high season.

Our new waitress Ana, with Marce in the background.

Our new waitress Ana, with Marce in the background. 

The last and maybe most important change is that we’ve found a new home. After 18 months moving from one noisy condo to another we’ve found a house in a quiet neighbourhood at the outskirts of Playa del Carmen.

Bamboo trees rustling in front of pur bedroom window.

I’m sure that, with a large private rooftop, we’ll do some star gazing and maybe… we’ll receive another visit from the Sphere Beings that Honza recently experienced. Hundreds of them. Here’s more information on this subject. 

Honza said they look a little bit like this:

Oh, and 1 more change: Honza will be celebrating his 65th birthday this coming Wednesday, August the 26th, at El Jardin.

Honza 65

No way! 65 Already?

Lots of yoga and lots of sex with Paula will do the trick…

Anyway, you know we like our parties early, so we’re starting at 4pm at El Jardin with our well known DJ Greco for some sweet dance tunes. Chef Emiliano will prepare a generous Mexican buffet, and the bar will serve all beers for $20,- Pesos, and all wine and tequila for $40.- Pesos.

Can’t miss it!

El Jardin flyer vuelta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW A CUBAN SOPRANO BECAME THE STAR OF EL JARDIN

Faithful followers of my blogs may have noticed that the month of April went without a written report on our adventures. The reason is simple: starting a restaurant is a challenging and time-consuming business.

So, what are the latest developments at El Jardin?

We’ve been receiving raving reviews in EverythingPlayaDelCarmen (http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/el-jardin-restaurant)

And in The Playa Times (http://theplayatimes.com/2015/05/15/el-jardin-community-center-and-restaurant-paradise-found/

Playa Times

And in The Foodies Guide to Playa del Carmen (http://theplayatimes.com/2015/05/15/el-jardin-community-center-and-restaurant-paradise-found/

In other words, we’re doing well and our guests are happy and keep coming back.

People are also coming back for the Noche de Divas. The 1st night was great fun and the place was packed.

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Blog 1

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We even have a little recording singing Hit The Road Jack.

Instead of a monthly event we decided to turn it into a weekly concert with a more classical theme, allowing our Cuban soprano Mayret Rosa Alvarez to shine and sing her classical repertoire like Puccini’s ‘O mio Babinno Caro’. If you are not familiar with this world famous aria, here’s a taste.

And now I could explore the classical repertoire I had been studying for many years myself. One of those arias was turned into a duet, and now Mayret Rosa and I sing together. Here’s an impression of that song.

Many people have asked me how I’ve found this lovely and talented Cuban soprano. The truth is; she found me.

But let’s first go back in history, the time when Mayret Rosa was born on the 9th of November 1987 in a small town called Media Luna in the South West coastal region of Cuba.

Media Luna

Media Luna

Media Luna Bay

Media Luna Bay

Mayret began her musical career at the age of 7 when she started with guitar classes and eventually added piano classes as well.

Mayret at 3 years already showing her talent to entertain.

Mayret at 3 years already showing her talent to entertain.

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Singing Mayret

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Mayret's Cumple 15 with her parents.

Mayret with her parents.

piano graduacion

At the age of 18 she graduated from the Conservatorio de Musica Jose White with a degree in guitar.

It wasn’t until she had finished 3 years obligatory social services, where she worked as a teacher in musical history, that she started to study voice. After 5 years attending the ‘Instituto Superior de Artes’ in Holguin she graduated at the age of 26.

During those 5 years she first worked with ‘Ojare’, a group of musicians who presented traditional music of Cuba, then with the ‘Teatro Lyrico de Rodrigro Prats’ and eventually with a band called ‘Grupo Velas al Viento’, with whom she traveled to Playa del Carmen.

Then one night Mayret Rosa found herself at Le Lotus Rouge with her band, ready to play the keyboard after the performance of a lady she had never heard of before.

Natasha, the lovely and eccentric owner of the international restaurant and art school Le Lotus Rouge, had asked me to perform for the 3rd anniversary of her place, which fell on Valentine’s Day. I had prepared a beautiful romantic repertoire for her audience, and right after my show this little Cuban girl walks up to me and almost desperately asks, “Donde se puede cantar lyrico?” (Where can I sing classical). I smiled and answered, “Well, with me at El Jardin! But how do you know that I study classical voice?” She quickly replied, “I can hear from your singing technique.” The following week we met at El Jardin and talked about how we could study and work together. That’s when she told me about her personal living situation. The band with whom she had traveled to Playa had changed name and leader and from then on Mayret’s career went downhill. She got paid the equivalent of $60.- USD a month, no matter how many nights she played. She slept in a room with 2 men, not allowing her any privacy. But worst of all, they had taken her passport. You can all imagine my reaction when she told me all this, resulting in that Mayret opened her mouth demanding her passport back. The Cuban mafia, as Mayret called them, didn’t like a smart girl who starts talking and asking question, so she was basically kicked out.

Before we realised it she had found herself a small room and friends had already donated a table, 2 chairs and a few kitchen utensils. When I shared Mayret’s account with our audience they felt so touched by her story that more donations from our fans started pouring in: a bicycle, a refrigerator and even financial help. A week later she got married to a Mexican friend and her biggest fans were her witnesses. In other words; we kind of adopted her.

Since this wedding picture Mayret calls Honza a giant ET.

Since this wedding picture Mayret calls Honza a giant ET.

Admiring Mayret's wedding pictures.

Admiring Mayret’s wedding pictures.

Having & feeling home.

Having fun & feeling home.

For 2 months now we’ve offered the Noche de Divas to our Playa community and every week we receive a nice group of people who enjoy listening to opera, boleros, chanson and jazz. Some faithful fans never miss a concert.

Noche Clasica 3

We even bought a long gown for Mayret, the standard dress size when singing classical, because all her long dresses are still in Cuba. Since I’m studying Habanera from Bizet’s opera Carmen, I thought that this red one was a good match with Mayret’s coral.

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We even sang Schubert’s Ave Maria as a duet on a special Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at El Jardin. That was a dream come true. Glowing after our performance…

moms day

Mayret and I have also been pretty busy with our various voice students. Young girls, women my age, men in their sixties, we have students from all ages and all walks of life. We try to inspire and prepare them to join us on our stage.

Noche Paula

 

Noche Mayret

And soon a few of our voice students will join us on our stage, so stay tuned.