jdblanco

Comments by jdblanco

Costa Brava

I know, I know, my ratings are schizophrenic. But it's largely because the owner of the restaurant was acting like such a racist when we went. It was our friend's birthday (he's Af-Am, I'm Filipino, and my brother's family was visiting from NYC). Since we were such a big group, we asked for a bigger table (or group of tables), but the owner didn't want to move us. We were perplexed, so our other friend (who was Spanish) tried to mediate. That's when the owner went off on him (and us), saying things like we were causing a ruckus for everyone, and we should know what kind of patrons the restaurant attracted, gesturing at two white girls with blonde hair sitting next to us. Then he starting cussing indirectly at my friend, calling him an hijo de p*** and other crap. Man, I'm never going there again. But if you're white and blonde and attractive, I think it would be a very hospitable place. The waiters were nice to us and the food was actually good, it's just that, you know, the owner just happened to be acting like a racist. On a larger level, I think it's funny when Spaniards act racist. You'd think that people whose culture owes itself in large part to the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, would be at least a little more aware that they're as colored as the rest of us. And the funniest thing about it was that my friend is a well-known professor! Well, I guess that's how people are sometimes. I actually felt bad for my Spanish friend, who felt that the owner gave Spain a bad name. He did, but that's how people are sometimes.
— July 21, 2009 6:23 p.m.

Page to Quit Recording

A San Diego Manifesto protesting the self-exile of Gregory Page from music Don't do it Gregory. I know you're disappointed at the cultural backwater that is San Diego. All the emotions that can possibly be captured about having to sift through the deep resentments and melancholy of the people who saw their potential futures rise and fall with the housing boom and crash in the past ten years; having to suffer through the celebration of mediocrity that goes under the name "emo"; having to watch the disappearance of all the used book stores in our neighborhood (one of which turned out to be a heroin den); having to wake up at night choked and oppressed by the figures of beauty; or seeing the best people go, the artists and the advocates, the uncompromising truth-seekers and rainbow chasers; and having to stay behind to listen to our ghosts, unsettled debts, and obliterated landscapes -- it's all there in your music, all the restless shades and confused dispositions that we are, all the sullied fragments of what this place could have been and probably never will be. And that's why people love you. The first three years I lived here, when I couldn't name more than three reasons to think positively about this wasted town, you were one of those reasons. You aren't just an artist; you are our intellectual, who helps us think about things in a place that discourages memory and frowns on reflection. That's saying a lot. You can ask any old timer in the local bar, or dispirited journalist seeking out the local beat, or history teacher in a failed school, or barista with the great American novel on her brain. They are ships adrift on starless waters. And who will call us home when you shut your lighthouse down? The cafes need you; the ghosts need you; the kids need you; and the ones who have stayed, like me, need you. I know you have to do what you have to do. You're disheartened at the height of your ambitions, you feel like you're falling far short of your promise. I think a lot of us feel that way about our ambitions, too. But keep at least one guitar in the case, one microphone in the mixer. Because it would break us, really break us, to know that the last great troubador of this forsaken place is gone. We couldn't bear it. And we could never forgive ourselves.
— October 18, 2008 11:46 a.m.