Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Monday was a holiday, Our Lady of Mercedes. It was so quiet is was eerie. There was a parade, but I swear it looked like the same people marching that were there last year, and the year before. So I didn't take any photos.

So much has gone on since I last blogged. There is now some official movement towards relaxing the curfew. One of the newspapers (en Espanol) had a story about how some establishments are going to be allowed to open until 1am during the week, and 3 am on the weekends. Dominican Today also has a story about this. Is the end near for the curfew? Let's wait and see.

A Texas woman living in retirement in Las Galeras (Samana region), with her husband, was kidnapped and kept in a cave for 3 days. The FBI, and the Dominican Army came to her rescue. Thank God all turned out well.

Dominican President, Dr. Leonel Fernandez, has been on a whirlwind tour of the States. Many world leaders are traveling to the U.S. because of the U.N. General Assembly. He has thrown
the first pitch out at Yankee Stadium, spoken at Harvard and visited with Dominican leaders in NYC.

Last week, I got a call from J.H., in Florida. He was telling me that Bar Friends was raided, a cou
ple of employees arrested and the place closed. It was true. They had been closed because they were allegedly stealing electricity. Anyway, they opened later on that night with candles. I'm told it was a bit hot, but the show must go on. Right?

Parque Duarte is getting gayer and gayer by the moment. The park, located at Calle Padre Billini and Calle Duarte (Colonial Zone), is now the hangout spot. It attracts a very bohemian crowd, and there used to be a small gay contingent. Well, not anymore. Gays are now making up a large percentage of the attendees. Bored after the bars/clubs close? Then you should head over to Parque Duarte.

The most interesting outdoor photo gallery can be found at the Parque Independencia. Parque de Independencia is where the "fathers" of the country are buried. Outside on the gates there are some great photo exhibitions. Right now the photos are dedicated to the art hanging inside the Louvre Museum in Paris. Every couple of weeks the photos are changed to a new theme. Nothing like a little culture to brighten up your day.

I can tell when there are some airline sales going on. Many people are already planning for their Thanksgiving and Carnival trips. Thanksgiving is the "unofficial" start to the winter season to the Caribbean. American Airlines is having a sale that ends today.

Last week, I
went to two great parties. One, George T. through a 50th birthday party for Raul S., from San Francisco. It was on a roof deck and had a professional chef and bartender. Happy B-day again, Raul. The other was given by Ernest M. and Jose B. They opened their beautiful triplex up for friends and visitors alike. Where there is a curfew, there is a private party. I thought you knew ...

The photo of Felix Sanchez is just there because, well, I like it. He really should where a jockstrap.

Til next time,
Monaga Blogger


Anonymous said...

Buyer beware! American Airlines is run by a group of insaciable leeches in cahoots with DR government bloodsuckers who tax every penny they can out of the flying public. A 40 MINUTE flight from San Juan to Santo Domingo and back goes up to $450.80 in November and will probably go higher later in the holiday season. Since they have NO competition on this route, they squeeze tourists and Dominicans alike in their greed for more and more money!
From Puerto Rico,

Anonymous said...

I have an AA flight from San Juan to Santo Domingo and already they have changed the flight time 3 times...they keep cancelling flights...there really needs to be some competiton. My 3:30pm flight was changed to 5:30 and now has been changed to 9;pm.........what a rip off.

Anonymous said...

I always fly Carribean Sun between SJU and SDQ. More of an Island Hopper but cheaper fares.

Anonymous said...

I loved Carribean Sun but they discontinued service last summer.

Anonymous said...

The last poster took the words right out of my mouth. Caribbean Sun discontinued service some time ago. American Airlines rules
the air between San Juan and Santo Domingo. Money talks and bullshit walks...and AA has a lot of $$$ to spread around and bankrupt their competitors!
From Puerto Rico,

the Allen gallery said...

AA went from one of my preferred airlines to only-as-a-last-resort. The last flight we took on AA was from JFK to SDQ, around 3 years ago. the plane was so dirty when we boarded, there were shelled peanuts strewn about the cabin as if the airplane had hosted elephants on the previous flight. Horrible-HORRIBLE, scary and bad attitude flight attendants. And overpriced fares in markets where they dominate. They just don't give a damn.

Unfortunately, when they have cornered the market like the SJU-SDQ corridor, there's not much you can do since there's no competition to keep them on their toes.

Anonymous said...


This may sound ridiculous, but you can get SJU-SDQ through FLL for $236.00. I just tried Nov. 20 and Nov. 26 as departure/return dates, and each of the four segments is $59.00. I don't know if that includes taxes. Early morning departure with a short layover in FLL.

Like I said, it would take most of the day, and it's a bit of a ridiculous itinerary, but it might be one way to beat AA at their own game.

Just thot u might like to know....George in SF

Anonymous said...

I would prefer that American Airlines got NONE of my money! I will be flying from PR to DR on Oct. 18 to attend a conference. I paid $350.80 for round trip tickets (40 minute each way). On the same dates, AA is charging $198.68 for round trip tickets to NYC (3 1/2 hrs. each way). Why so low? Because if I don't like Americans prices, I can easily take Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, or another airline. Not so to the Dominican Republic. BTW, there is an article in todays Travel Section of one of Puerto Rico's major newspapers which states that in the first 6 months of 2007, travel dropped 31% (69,724 in 2006 to 47,980 in 2007) from PR to DR and the Department of Tourism in the Dominican Republic has not liked this one bit. Sources blame the new requirement of a passport, bad weather, and other stuff for the decrease in travel, but they do not mention AAirlines monopoly on this route and the constantly rising ticket costs as a factor for this decrease. I think someone is turning a blind eye to this situation. Anyway, thanks for sharing!
From Puerto Rico,

Anonymous said...

Rafael - I forgot to say that's on Spirit!