Saks in the City


Retailing company Saks Incorporated (NYSE: SKS) announced on Wednesday (28 November) that the company has opened its first Saks Fifth Avenue store in Mexico. The new tri-level, 150,000 square foot store is located in the Santa Fe Shopping Centre in Mexico City. 

Read  on.

Will Saks Off Fifth be next? Followed by Neiman Marcus? And when will anything good open at the Paseo Morelia?


You Can Keep Your Kindle

My name is jennifer, and I’m addicted to Amazon. Everyone who knows me knows this, catering to me by letting Amazon drop-ship books and books to their U.S. addresses. Each time I come back home from the U.S., my luggage is filled with the latest Amazon order.

Amazon tried to ruin my life by introducing the Kindle. Even though I’m not particularly fond of e-books, there was the appeal of simply possessing the latest toy on the block. Its portability and style weren’t selling points, nor was the idea of even buying books more cheaply. David Pogue of the New York Times always gives trusted advice, and his impression of the Kindle just wasn’t that glowing.

How long would Amazon’s free wireless conductivity last? Surely, not forever.

I read on.

With Whispernet, you can be anywhere, think of a book, and get it in one minute.

Kindle Unless you happen to be in one of the areas not shown in green on the map. That’s most of the U.S.




That wasn’t the end of my worries. Amazon insists that it can’t sell the Kindle to customers living outside of the U.S. I guess it’s worried that foreigners will do something dangerous with the Kindle, like read a book. There’ll be no Kindle under the Christmas tree for people who live in Mexico. That’s OK. I really didn’t want this piece of junk in the first place.

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Morelia-style Gazpacho

President Bush’s 2007 Thanksgiving menu features nothing out of the ordinary for typical Estadounidense Thanksgiving fare, except for one dish – Morelia-style gazpacho.

Here in Morelia, gazpacho amounts to a finely diced medley of whatever’s in season – cucumber, pineapple, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, jicama – drenched in orange juice, sprinkled with grated cheese and ground chile. And served up in a plastic cup, along with a plastic spoon. It’s a street food concoction bearing little resemblance to Spanish gazpacho, and it’s as likely as a corn dog to be found on a restaurant menu.

Did someone in the President’s family visit Morelia and take a liking to our version of gazpacho? Or is a cook from Michoacán hiding out in the White House kitchen? I’m going to be real suspicious if corundas or uchepos show up on the White House menu.

Foreign Relations and Native Tongues

An overwhelming percentage of the immigrant population in Mexico was born in the U.S., but that wasn’t always so.  Up until a hundred or so years ago, the Spaniards and Guatemalans outnumbered the gringos. (Gringo, by the way, comes from griego, which means “speaking Greek.” The term has nothing to do with the tune “Green Go the Lilacs” or greenbacks.) And, as everyone knows, Cortes and his merry band got here first. In time, Spanish was no longer a foreign language spoken in Mexico; it became the language de facto of the country, sparing millions from having to learn Nahuatl, Maya and a bunch of other indigenous languages.

Today, the foreign language most frequently uttered in Mexico is English.

But there was a time when Chinese was the most widely spoken foreign language in this country?  And another blip in history when German-speakers were second only to English-speakers?

Writing in Extranjeros in Mexico, John P. Schmal summarizes immigration and language patterns since 1895.



Death to the Three-Tequila Lunch?

A Reuters story reports that the death knell is sounding for the “long Mexican business lunch, a tequila-fueled food orgy that could last past sundown” in Mexico City, but that extended lunches are still the practice out in the hinterlands. Maybe I don’t hang out with the right people or at the right places, but my sense is that the habit died a long time ago. Or at least around the time it did in New York City.

The entire tenor of the article is offensive, evoking crude stereotypes of Mexicans and the way they do business.

Let’s read on:

A surge in women executives is also killing off the calorie-loaded “comidas” which could launch businessmen on a bar crawl that led to a strip club or into the arms of a mistress in a pay-by-the-hour hotel.

Maybe it was a slow news day at Reuters.


Give Something to Tabasco’s Animals

The church ladies have been hitting up folks earlier than usual with their requests for monetary donations for the posada. They started making the rounds a full week ago, which struck me as just a tad strange, given that they usually ask for money sometime around Dia de Guadalupe, accompanying the request with an invitation to some dinner over at the rectory.

I’m not going to donate this year. Not just because the request came just too damn early, and not because I’m still seething over the church secretary’s refusal to call an ambulance when the old limosnero lie half-dead and bleeding in the churchyard until I gave her his name and mine.

The Tabasco flood has left over one million people homeless. The entire area has been devasted. Some say that the disaster makes Katrina look like a day at the beach. Mexico gave what it could to help back in 2005. But Walmart’s donations make the U.S. government’s contributions to Tabasco look like pocket change. Maybe Walmart should simply run the U.S. government; it would probably do so more effectively. Imagine what a difference it would make if only a single day’s investment in the wall protecting the U.S. southern border was re-directed to Tabasco.

Last week, I gave to the Tabasco efforts while shopping at Superama, which is owned by Walmart.

Mexico’s Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (Foreign Affairs Department of the Secretary of State) has set up two bank accounts for donations in the U.S.:

Bank: Wells Fargo Bank NA
Account Name: “Ayuda Tabasco”
Account Number: 599253401
For Transfers: 121000248
Electronic Code: 111900659

Bank: BBV Bancomer USA
Account Name: “Ayuda Tabasco 2007”
Account Number: 2280300127 (For donations done in California)
ABA: 1-2222-05-06 (For donations done outside California)

Read 0n.

All right, maybe helping people isn’t your thing. But at least give a damn about the animals. C.M. Mayo, in a comment to an earlier post on this blog, tells about the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s efforts.

Boys Fighting Bulls

Nearly all of the 155 commentators to the New York Times’ article about teenage bullfighters in Mexico have their knickers in a twist. Barbaric, dangerous, most of them whine. Has the U.S. become a nation of ninnies and panty-waists? What about the Estadounidense kids who participate in organized sports? Or eat produce plucked from Mexican fields by underage workers?

There’s good reason that the Dangerous Book for Boys has become a best-seller. Even my co-blogger David Leffler recognizes the challenge of risk.

See the New York Times video of the 13-year old bullfighter and decide for yourself.


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