Saturday, June 25, 2011

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

Signs and banners are popping up all over Loreto Bay, bringing a welcome touch of color along with a sense of optimism for the future of our little community. Maybe there’s hope after all! Heck, we’ve got a paved main road, two new restaurants with a third on the way (Beinvenidos, Bajaja Deli Bar & Grill!) and signs of progress in the newest phase of Agua Viva with construction of four new homes by Homex.

The improvements have been slow in coming but they are coming. There are welcoming billboard-type signs at the south entrance to the development and just north of us where Homex workers are busy putting up the new model homes in the second phase of Agua Viva.

The Paseo through Loreto Bay now has festive banners pointing the way to Loreto Baja Golf Course (formerly known as the Loreto Bay Golf Course, which sounds lots better than the new name as far as I’m concerned) and the Loreto Baja model homes, while the south road has banners guiding visitors to the Inn at Loreto Bay.

And speaking of the Inn, the bell tower is now adorned with very attractive lettering on both the front and back sides. The pool at the Inn is also looking much better after a much-needed cleaning this past week. It had gotten so murky in the past few weeks we'd quit swimming there, opting for the hotter but cleaner community pool across the Paseo.

Homex has also been touching up the paving on the Paseo that was gouged and crumbling from cars driving on the fresh pavement last winter. The little things really do mean a lot, so thanks (again) Homex!

All of these improvements are a hopeful sign for the future of Loreto Bay and Loreto Baja. And unlike the song referenced in the title, these signs aren't "blockin' the scenery, breakin' my mind." They're improving the scenery, for sure.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Backstage pass Loreto style

One of the perks of living with a musician is getting that prized backstage pass. And now that George is part of the almost famous, soon-to-be legendary trio that’s wowing audiences from Puerto Escondido to Nopolo that backstage pass has even more cache.

What started as three guys with guitars and a desire to play music has evolved into a tight trio with a dedicated fan base that has reached beyond the borders of Loreto Bay. (This is where George told me my prose might be a bit on the biased side – OK, his actual words were “over the top,” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.)

Steve, Rich and George (pictured below left to right) are Los Beach Dogs and they have become more than just a trio of musicians here in Loreto Bay. At the risk of sounding over the top (again), they have helped our beleaguered community come together through music.

When they first started playing together the fate of our part of the development, Agua Viva, was still in doubt and the whole development was at a virtual standstill. Would we survive Citigroup’s abandonment? Could we build something from the rubble that surrounded us? Home owners were cautiously optimistic, but the outlook was grim.

There was no better time for a little music and that’s what the guys provided. Hesitantly at first, but after just a few informal gigs they started to come together (in the immortal words of the immortal Beatles) and home owners throughout Loreto Bay were hooked.

They started playing acoustic gigs on rooftop terraces throughout Loreto Bay and over time word spread and the terraces couldn’t accommodate the crowds. So there was a plugged-in courtyard concert in Founder’s that drew some 100+ home owners. The Dogs expanded their set list and started playing charity events (all of their performances are gratis in accordance with Mexican law). Then they played at Loreto Fest a couple of months ago, the big annual fund-raising bash at Puerto Escondido, and their fan base expanded and hit the floor dancing!

Each of the Dogs brings something unique to the trio and they bring out the musical best in each other.

Steve's intricate guitar licks add an extra dimension to the tunes, while showcasing his jazz roots. When he's not working and playing in Loreto Bay, he's working and playing with a jazz combo in Northern California.

Although Rich spent his formative years as an endodontist (root canal guy) in Minnesota, he has a real knack for penning tunes that totally capture the essense of living Loreto. Whether sweetly sentimental or wildly hilarious, his tunes are big crowd pleasers that all of us here can identify with.

And then there's George, who spent 20 years on the road as a solo musician/performer, and who can still wow a crowd with his expressive voice and commanding stage presence (he's going to absolutely hate that description, but I speak the truth!). And how about those mouth harps he wails on!

Last night it was an informal, mellow gathering to celebrate the completion of a neighbor's garden, but the result is always the same no matter the venue. The music brings us all closer together. The music makes us more of a community.

Gracias Beach Dogs!