Tuesday, January 29, 2008

E.N. Clave grows restless in NYC again and heads to Mexico in search of new talent for the Enclave

Hey everyone, we just received the following post from Enclave co-founder Eddie Clave, who has apparently jumped in his van again and headed south with his friend B to find new talent for our upcoming readings this spring. Check out his report:

Hey everybody back in NYC:

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm still alive down here, some 3000 miles south of New York. Today is my final morning in Mexico City before we head south to Oaxaca most likely, though as yesterday we were going to try to rip it straight to the jungle and see about a rumor of a young and gifted psychedelic poet who allegedly resides near Palenque, you never know where we will end up tonight - a testament to the rules of the road perhaps.

I've been in DF though since Monday now and have really dug it. I could easily spend another month here, though I should say that this is all I have really seen of Mexico so far - my wish is that things will get even better the farther I travel south.

To recap a bit: after crossing the boarder on Sunday into Nuevo Laredo we had dinner with some of B's friends and rolled 2 hours south to Monterrey. We didn't get in until late and rolled out early. Originally we intended to take the pan am highway to DF, but once we realized those roads are shit, we headed west toward Saltillo and caught highway 59 south and on a whim (at a rest stop B did a bunch of push ups to rec him up and wanted to see if he could rip it the entire way) we rolled straight to DF in about 8 hours going about 90 the entire way (the Mexican toll roads are a wonderful thing).

After arriving we caught dinner with some of B's friends (where we stayed), and turned in to recuperate from the road. We spent most of the next day exploring DF - everywhere from the centro zolcalo and student neighborhoods to less flattering places like the strip on san pablo where prostitutes of all ages gather in broad daylight along with cops. It's really a trip being here. This city contains all sorts of people coexisting side by side. Of course there are regular incidents, (people get beaten and robbed in the libre cabs everyday), but for the most part it seemed that everyone sort of just minds their own business and is pretty relaxed. Pretty much everything I have ever heard about exploring DF has been wrong.

Yesterday we explored the pyramids north of town, Teotihuacan, where we climbed the temple of the sun, the 3rd highest pyramid in the world. Pretty amazing to be on the sight. Afterward we stopped by this bar, The Red Fly, in the Roma neighborhood for lunch. While we only intended to stay for an hour to eat and maybe walk around the area, before we knew it we had befriended our waiter and the owner and ended up talking and drinking with them both for hours – eventually we even ended up going to one of their friend’s apartments to commemorate the experience of meeting each other by all getting tattoos. I got the enclave logo across my chest and B got a mermaid on his thigh. Overall I must say our last night in DF was pretty bad ass - again an instance I think emblematic of the kindness and openness of most of the Mexicans I'm meeting down here.

To top things off, we had the luck to meet this old guy Jaun who allegedly used to steal books with Roberto Bolano in DF back in the early 70s. We actually met him in a bookstore after getting the ink done where we were unsuccessfully trying to steal books for the road, as the ink had exhausted most of our travel funds. Jaun instantly recognized our inexperience and offered his services as a distraction in order to facilitate our escape. Needless to say the operation was a success. As we had no money to thank him with, B suggested he hop in the van with us. We didn't need to ask Jaun twice. He promptly accepted as it seems that a sort of consortium of vigilante bookstore owners has been forming against him recently, so the time away wouldn’t do him any harm.

Anyway after we worked out the details, B and I headed back to his friend’s place and hit the hay. Now in just a few moments we are off to pick up Jaun and rip it through the mountains further south. I have heard some really great things about a young novelist in Oaxaca who goes by only the name of Nestor. Hopefully we will have a good internet connection there and I will be able to post again shortly. Hope everyone is freezing their asses off in NYC. If things keep going as they are going I’m never coming back.

Best regards,

Edward Nathaniel Clave