Archive for February, 2011

Inside the Mexican House of SpiceA friend of us tipped us to a new business in town: the Mexican House of Spice, at 2220 Douglas St. As the name suggests, the store stocks Mexican spices, but it has a lot more stuff: tortilla flour, cheeses (fresco, panela, oaxaca…), tostadas, cactus, dried chiles, tomatillos, tamales, piñatas, and a long et cetera that includes goods from all over Latin America and Africa. It’s a bit like Perolas in Kensington Market, in Toronto. Spread the word and visit the store, to make sure it stays in business!


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Still from "Circo"Val and I went to see “Circo” at the Victoria Film Festival last Saturday. It’s a documentary directed by Aaron Schock about a struggling circus touring rural Mexico, and about the family whose members own it, publicize it, set it up, perform in it, take it down after a day or two, and move on to the next town (tigers, camels, and llamas in tow), barely scraping enough to get by, torn between business and family obligations, dreaming of the days when their acts will be more solid and their crew larger so that they’ll be able to compete in the big cities, but seeing those dreams move farther and farther away with each stop on the road.

It’s a very good documentary, and one of those rare movies that portray Mexico as it really is. It is not afraid of exploring my country’s complexities in full, but it does so gently, sweetly, and lovingly. I hope it will get a wider distribution. Catch it if you can. Here’s an interview with Schock, if you’re interested in learning more.

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