I haven't written anything in a while, so I thought I would give an update as to what is going on.
Not much really happening here right now. It has been kinda dead, with regard to the nightlife scene. If Rouge is still open (I have not confirmed this) then it is barely hanging on. Last weekend I heard there were less than 20 people in the club. I think that is a shame, as they opened with such big fanfare and tried to bring something different to the club-going public. I like Chachita Rubio a lot, so I hope they are able to turn things around. Arena is the club of the moment. The last couple of weekends have seen very large crowds there. Why? Because they are actively going after the "chilren." Reduced admission, drink specials, shows, strippers, etc.
From what I understand, starting next Saturday, November 4, 2006, Jay-Dee's is going to be featuring the hottest dancers in the Dominican Republic. Can't wait!!!! This weekend there will be many Halloween festivities going on. Jay-Dee's is having a costume contest, along with Arena. This weekend is also the official grand-opening of Ocho Puertas. So there should be something for everyone. Bar Friends is still open, too, though I have not heard of anything special going on this weekend.
There have been two smaller places that have opened and I have heard that they are predominantly Lesbian hangouts. They are right down the street from Arena, but I haven't been able to get accurate information about what is going on. I know a couple of people who have been, who are not Lesbians. I will have to find out exactly what is going on and report back to you.
I have recently talked to several people who come down here often, and stay for long periods of time. They talked about there is something missing, and it has nothing to do with the curfew. I thought it was striking that I talked with everyone separately, and they had the same take on things. They thought that the nightlife was getting boring. These folks are not the Arena crowd and much prefer the Friends to Jay-Dee's axis. Very, very rarely do they venture out of the Colonial Zone, and I think that could also be a part of the problem. I agree, things have definitely changed, but then there hadn't been that many tourists here.
On the other hand, there are other Americans who are here. Some staying for long periods of time, who are having the times of their lives. They have been scuba diving, whitewater rafting, partying in the clubs outside of the Colonial Zone, taking Spanish classes and hitting the beach every chance they get. So, who do you believe? Both. I have said this before, but I think your time here will depend on what you are looking for and what you are willing to do to make your vacation fun. If you come strictly to hang around the Conde and buggarones, then yes, it gets old VERY quickly. It is what you make it.
The other day the Minister of Tourism was on television, and he confirmed that the curfew was going to be lifted in the tourist areas (Colonial Zone, Puerto Plata/Cabarete, Punta Cana). Unfortunately, he says that he doesn't know when. I have adapted, but the bottom line is that tourists that come want to have a good time and don't want to have go home at 2am on the weekends. Some have said that there are cities in the U.S. where clubs close at 2am. True. But, then you can go to a restaurant or hang out in some gathering spot. Here, once the clubs/bars close it is barely anyone on the street, though it is not against the law.
This past weekend the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States ended their festival in Santo Domingo. It was a resounding success. I have some video of the the fashion shows and some of the performances, but it is too large and I can't figure out how to cut it down. Still working on it and will make sure to get it uploaded real soon. God willing.
In the meantime, here are a few photos from the festival.
The Monaga Blogger