How to channel surf in a fully democratic media system
By Marisa Demarco
What's scaring people in the world today, says media theorist Gene Youngblood, is a lack of confidence. "People say, 'Wow, I'm so depressed. Everything sucks. God, the world is so messed up.' What people are really saying is, 'We don't have the knowledge, and therefore we're not going to do anything about it. That's what's really scaring people."
A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
It's not a "best of," say the women of BellaDonna, Albuquerque's most traditional burlesque troupe. Best of’s are what you put out before you retire, and goodness knows Cookie Fortune, Henrietta LeCoup and Cherry Jubilee aren't going anywhere.
September Smith can flip her aerial hoop upside-down, eight feet off the ground, and just hang from it. She can climb strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling, make herself a little pod in which to strip off clothing and peak out at the waiting crowd. She can put together a burlesque act to be performed from atop aluminum stilts at a car show.
1866—Prototypical musical comedy The Black Crook becomes a massive success on Broadway, despite a daunting five-and-a-half-hour length. The show’s chorus of ballerinas in flesh-colored tights prove that respectable American audiences are ready to fork over hard-earned dough for sexually stimulating entertainment.
Kitty Irreverent builds things: a 6-foot-tall heart, a giant martini glass, a pair of painstakingly handcrafted rhinestone pumps. And a community. Kitty desires to see New Mexico’s scattered dancers congeal. "I want it to be like, ‘Go to Albuquerque. There's a great burlesque community there, and they all work together, and there are all these neat shows you can see.’"
It’s often accepted as gospel truth that one must be silent while in the audience of a great performance. This rule has been beaten into the very brains of every American child by nagging mothers, overbearing fathers and obnoxious ushers. Well, let me assure you, my dear friends: If you find yourself in the audience of one of the fine burlesque shows New Mexico has to offer, you will then be asked—indeed, encouraged--to lighten the hell up and have some fun. To help you become a better “outfitted” audience member, here are some helpful principles of etiquette you might find useful while attending a burlesque show.
Couldn't get Shins Tickets?—You're not alone. In fact, The Shins' choice to play the El Rey had a lot of you folks scratching your heads—the band routinely sells out venues twice the size of the El Rey, which seats somewhere between 700-800 people. How in god's name were you supposed to get tickets that were effectively sold out before the the show was even advertised? Why not play a bigger venue like the Kiva Auditorium?
Washed in daylight, Evangelos sits quietly amid the trading post-style shops, art galleries and jewelry stores dappled along West San Francisco Street, which leads to Santa Fe's famous downtown plaza. Tourists and locals alike walk past its large windows, shaded by Evangelos' American flag-clad sign—some stopping to glance into the lounge's simple interiors, others passing by without any notice. As the sunlight fades, the glow from Evangelos' stage starts to draw more attention from pedestrians and the bar begins to fill.
Yale for Sale—Marissa Glink had a good time at the helm of the Yale Art Center, the contemporary art and performance venue located a few blocks south of the university, but she feels it's time to move on. “It's been a great two years,” Glink says, “a great experience. But first and foremost I'm young, and I'm ready to do my own art.”
If you have a full-time job, you probably spend more of your waking hours with your coworkers than anyone else, including your spouse or children, on any given weekday. In fact, coworkers often become like a second family to many—a family to love despite some nutty or embarrassing quirks of its members.
A bill that would have granted an $85 million tax break for the construction of a coal-fired power plant on a Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico died in the Legislature late last month. The Navajo Nation and Sithe Global Power, a New York-based energy company, lobbied for the subsidy [Re: News Feature, “Absolute Power,” March 8-14], but were unable to convince legislators that the plant would be a worthy investment of New Mexico tax dollars.
The April 4 meeting kicked off with a staple appearance by Albuquerque Animal Control, which featured a police officer parading a terrier puppy on the floor of the City Council. Once the puppy was whisked from the scene, the meeting went from sweet to serious, with city councilors focusing their attention on a bill that would approve the city’s purchase of a large plot of land in a small subdivision in the Vista del Norte neighborhood. The plot is nearby Balloon Fiesta Park and is used as a landing site by the majority of balloons that take flight over the city. The site was being eyed by other bidders, namely big-box stores, with Wal-Mart as the lead contender.
David Iglesias’ hold on the U.S. Attorney’s office began slipping when he didn’t prosecute anyone for fraud in the 2004 election. Iglesias says his federal-state task force found nothing to prosecute. Republicans threw a temper tantrum. Sen. Pete Domenici passed it along to the White House and Attorney General. Iglesias is now looking for a new job.
Our overreaction to the HPV vaccine, and Richardson's mistake
By Christie Chisholm
It almost isn't surprising. Almost.
At this moment in the history of our country, we should no longer be shocked by puritanical ideals sneaking into our politics, by our culture's simultaneous loathing and worship of sex, by some of our leaders'--and some of our citizens'--heartbreaking disdain for science. Yet, somehow, the jaws of disbelief still manage to unhinge and swallow us whole. Or maybe it's just me.
Burlesque's Real Tease—Since new burlesque gained popularity in Albuquerque several years back, I've tended to confusedly take issue with the distinction between it and other forms of titillating clothing removal.
Dateline: Croatia--A man thought he had come up with the perfect crime, but it didn’t quite turn out the way he expected. Dragos Radovic, 25, was arrested for smuggling at Zagreb airport after flying in from Bangkok, Thailand. Customs officials became suspicious when they saw the top of a bag he was carrying appeared to be moving. When they asked him to open his luggage, they found 175 chameleons stuffed into the bag. The endangered reptiles are reportedly worth nearly $100,000 on the black market. Radovic paid just $150 for them in a Thai market. Radovic had assumed that the chameleon’s color-changing abilities would make them impossible for customs officials to detect. “The man who sold them said they changed color to make them invisible against any background, but it did not work,” said Radovic. Vets who were called to treat the reptiles said they were dehydrated and distressed from the long flight.
Diversity in Film--Gov. Bill Richardson, in between presidential campaign fundraisers and jaunts to North Korea, continues his commitment to the film industry here in New Mexico. He recently announced “First Vision Filmmakers Forum,” the first-ever diversity forum for N.M. filmmakers. This day-long symposium featuring a diverse group of emerging and established film and television industry experts from the U.S. and Canada will be held at Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Here’s a riddle for you. When is a thriller not a thriller? Simple: When it has no thrills to offer. How does one accomplish such a seemingly contrary feat? Well, the 1995 Irwin Winkler-directed “thriller” The Netwas a perfect example. The makers of that tech-obsessed thriller thought they could fold some newfangled, cyberspacey twists in with their standard-issue conspiracy theory script. On screen, that boiled down to star Sandra Bullock sitting and typing on a computer screen scene after scene. It was, in a word, boring. Now, the James Foley-directed “thriller” Perfect Strangerfinds a way to make a thriller even more enervated--by looking to The Net for inspiration.
I’ve vowed never to get fooled again by booze with a “Southwestern” angle. Case in point: I bought a bottle of DeKuyper’s “Cactus Juice” margarita schnapps a few years ago and poured myself a cheap plastic glassful. Despite the ice and several hours worth of chilling time it received, the liquor inside the cowgirl-festooned bottle tasted like I had just brushed my teeth then taken a bite of a lime, rind and all.
Procuring a hot pizza pie in this town can be easy, but the quality is not always above the bar. Ordering pizza from a delivery chain is a straightforward process—that is, until the driver shows up at the door. I’ve had my share of cold, sticky cheese, orders of hot wings lost in the Bermuda triangle and, worst of all, the parade of pizzas lacking heat, toppings and even sauce. This is why I was really looking forward to picking up a nice, fat pie from homegrown Rio Rancho staple Sal-E-Boy’s Pizzeria.
Contrary to what you might a heard, Albuquerque ain't the sticks. Yeah, sure, we got our fair share a whiskey-chuggin', banjo-pickin' rubes in these parts, but our town is mostly a sophisticated sort a place, filled with a sophisticated sort a folk.
The title of this section of our annual Best of Burque readers poll seems a bit vague, doesn't it? "Life in Burque." What does that mean, exactly? Is our existence summed up by the flaws of our elected officials, by the who's who of local celebrities, by the best and worst ways we spend our public money? The answer, of course, is absolutely not. "Life in Burque" should, at the very least, apply to the entire landscape of the Best of Burque ballot--arts, music, shopping, etc.--but even that would leave us lacking. The joyful reality of it is that no reader survey, no matter how mammoth, could even come close to capturing what it means to live in Albuquerque. Which is a wonderful thing.
We're not overstating things when we say life in Albuquerque revolves around eating and drinking. Among the first items of business for settlers entering the Rio Grande Valley was planting vineyards (just after unhitching the horses, but before building the churches). A day without chile is said to be like a day without sunshine. Generations of families still feud about whether sopaipillas come with or after a meal, and volumes are told about a person by the way he or she orders his or her enchiladas.
Underneath the blue sky, in the shadow of pink mountains, amidst the brown sand, paved desert and faux mud structures lies Albuquerque's commons of inebriation. We're talking about drinking establishments, and to the fretful chagrin of temperance types, our dens of sin are here to stay. That's because most Albuquerqueans, like most humans, enjoy stepping out and cutting loose. We know it's fun to drink, dance, gamble, swear, flirt and listen to music at deafening volumes, but we also understand that the nursing of these arguably bad habits is best reserved for designated areas such as our city's voluminous selection of drinkeries.
Albuquerque has a working-class, blue-collar reputation that belies its artsy, sensitive soul. You might not know it from all the strip malls and less than stellar public art displays, but there are a ton of talented artists in this town and plenty of fine venues exhibiting art.
For years we've been running the "Best Local Band" category buried somewhere amid the bars and cinemas in the nightlife section of Best of Burque. Last year, "Best New/Emerging Band" was added. But any fan of local music knows our fair city is home to all manner of gifted musicians.
We're all consumers. We buy clothes and shoes and used guitars. We need skull-and-crossbones shower curtains and love cute teddy bears with fuzzy ears and googly-eyes. What we don't need is overpriced crap from soulless stores. Lucky for us, Albuquerque is a booming, green-conscious shoppers’ paradise. From recycled vintage fashions to hand-carved (and fair-traded) soap dishes, somewhere in the Q there's a store to meet your consumer-driven lifestyle. Proclaim your love of spending and tap into your inner shopaholic at one of Burque's favorite retail establishments.
The First (and Possibly Last) Best of Burque (BoB) Awards for Lifetime Achievement
By Steven Robert Allen
We've rolled a plush red carpet out to the curb. The stars of Albuquerque are all dolled up in their finest designer dresses and suits. Anticipation is so high, if it stood up on tippy-toes it could brush its fingertips against the surface of Mars. Yes, fellow Albuquerqueans, it's time for the unveiling of our Best of Burque Lifetime Achievement Awards, otherwise known as BoBs. These Albuquerque fixtures win the same categories every single year. In most cases, they deserve to win (the exception being the beloved Bart Prince residence's long association with the Best Architectural Nightmare category). It's time to pay extravagant homage to their success—with an imaginary, highly collectible gold statuette of a monkey box—and give someone else a shot at the top.
For this year’s edition of Best of Burque, we decided to do something a wee bit different. As much as we respect the electoral will of our readers, every time Best of Burque comes around we find ourselves wishing we could point out some aspects of our lovely city that fall through the cracks when the poll results are released. These staff picks are meant to plug a few, but by no means all, of these holes. Keep in mind that Albuquerque—contrary to popular opinion—is a big, vibrant, active place. We aren’t aiming to be comprehensive. That would be impossible. These are just a few things about Albuquerque that folks would surely enjoy if they gave them half a chance. Dig in!
This year, a new section on the Best of Burque ballot required voters to send in digital photographs for five categories. Here are the winners, with lots of runners-up available for online ogling at alibi.com.
Shootout + Early Bird = Dead Bird?--This summer, Albuquerque will play host to the 8th Annual Duke City Shootout. The idea of this script-to-screen film festival is to cast, shoot, edit and premiere a short film in just seven days. Organizers of this year’s festival are currently beating the bushes looking for quality scripts of 12 minutes or less. If Duke City chooses your script, you’ll get transportation to Albuquerque (not such a big deal for you locals) and help making your short film. The festival provides cast, crew, digital cameras, equipment, mentors and everything else needed to make your movie a reality. The early bird deadline for scripts is Monday, April 16. You can save five whole bucks on your entry fee if you submit your script by then. If you can’t get it done in time, the final deadline is May 11. This year, prizes for the best completed films will include screenwriting courses valued up to $1,300 from Writer’s Boot Camp and software from Movie Magic. The festival itself will take place July 20-28. For more information about submitting your hot little script for the Shootout, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Writers rarely make good subjects for film. They’re too insulated, too self-centered and can rarely be considered men of action (Hemingway aside). Liars, on the other hand, are fine cinematic protagonists. Liars are interesting and complex and frequently quite outgoing. And when you think about it, there’s a rather fine line between writing and lying. It’s the job of writers--those penning fiction, anyway--to make things up. Consequently, people shouldn’t be too shocked to find out that even journalists occasionally fabricate their stories. Tales of disgraced journalists like Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass should come as no surprise to readers who demand more and more sensational stories on their front pages.
It’s not surprising to find that documentary filmmaking--covering concepts from penguins to politics--is in the midst of a major renaissance. Considering that 70 percent (charitably) of Hollywood features are poorly made, profit-minded pabulum (from conception to completion), documentaries represent America’s last best chance of finding intelligent discourse, skillful cinematography and a near total absence of fart jokes. ... OK, so The Aristocrats might have slipped in one or two of those.
Clear the decks, people, it’s upfront season! In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s that nerve-wracking time of year when the broadcast television networks start greenlighting pilots for the fall season, hammer out their schedules and decide what will and will not be returning in 2007-08.
Last year, a television and film location scout found himself in Albuquerque with a mission that could justifiably be considered a location scout’s worst nightmare—to make places here look like scenes from, of all places, Pittsburgh, Penn. The towns are as distant aesthetically as they are geographically.
It's hard to characterize Albuquerque. Some days, the politicians and headlines depict a city ready to modernize, courting businesses and industry found in real cities. But there's the rub. If Burque were a man, he'd have a pretty big little-dude complex.
The laws of living with pets changed for Albuquerqueans on Oct. 10 of last year, the day the city’s HEART ordinance went into effect. Yet the real deadline for the legislation is still a few days away, on April 10, when the six-month grace period for the new rules will expire. The legislation—which stands for Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment—requires a number of actions from pet owners within Albuquerque city limits: They must have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered or else buy annual “intact permits” for their pets that allow them to go unscathed; owners must have their pets microchipped or tattooed; and if their pets are going to have babies, owners will have to purchase litter permits from the city, set with a six-month expiration date.
Oppressive talkers might consider shutting up every now and then
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Imagine this: You're surrounded by people you barely know. The conversation turns to a subject to which you can contribute. You're a shy person, and mustering the courage to speak around unfamiliar people involves a considerable amount of anxiety. There's a break in the banter, you finally begin to speak, but in the midst of what you're saying some dolt interrupts you, keeps talking and makes no amends for the discourtesy he or she has created. You feel humiliated and annoyed.1
Dateline: Gaza Strip--A woman who guards described as “strangely fat” was stopped and searched at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing last Thursday. Alerted by the woman’s unusual shape, a female border guard at the Rafah terminal searched the woman and found three crocodiles strapped to her waist. The animals, each about 20 inches in length, were concealed beneath a loose robe. Though it did not ultimately involve terrorism, the incident sparked a panic at the crossing. “The policewoman screamed and ran out of the room, and then women began screaming and panicking when they heard,” said Maria Telleria, a spokesperson for the European observers who run the crossing station. Still, “everybody was admiring a woman who is able to tie crocodiles to her body.” The animals, which were eventually returned to the Egyptian side of the border, were most likely intended for sale to Gaza’s small zoo or to private collectors.
“We’re a little nervous,” James Mercer says into a cell phone as he stands outside the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., a slight unease in his voice. “But we’re really looking forward to it.”
The Grand Slam Poetry Finals at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
The Albuquerque poetry scene has come a long way in a very short time. Ground zero was the 2005 National Poetry Slam Championship, which people are still talking about two years later. Held in Albuquerque, the hugely successful four-day event brought a ton of attention to local poetic talents, partly because Albuquerque took home the team title, the first host team to do so since 1992.
David Tucker has been in the newspaper business 28 years and is a deputy managing editor at The Newark Star-Ledger. He writes odes to that sweet spot between deadlines, when time slows down and he can notice the world again.
Auspicious Chutney—In a city where restaurants open and close faster than a blinking eye (Starky's ABQ and California Witches are two recent examples of both), India Kitchen is a welcome anomaly. Saturday, April 7, marks the 25th anniversary of the restaurant.
I’m frequently asked: “Andres, oh wise guru of wine, how much do I spend on wine for my date?” Giving this advice a friend is easy—I already know way too much about their lives and dating history. However, giving this advice to someone I don’t know well is trickier.
It’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch out for. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for example, is one of the quiet ones. After five years of scoring effortless sitcom laughs on “3rd Rock From the Sun,” Gordon-Levitt unceremoniously segued his career into a string of fine indie film performances (Latter Days, Mysterious Skin, Brick). Gordon-Levitt’s newest film, The Lookout, is one of the quiet ones, too--a low-budget thriller directed by first-time cameraslinger Scott Frank.
Let's take a walk down hypothetical avenue: You are sleeping soundly in your bedroom in the spacious and surprisingly unaffordable new Downtown lofts. Suddenly your cocker spaniel begins to paw at you and whine. As you wake, you think, “That’s strange, Buster usually doesn’t bother me at this hour. Is there a midnight prowler outside?”
Senators stomp their feet while the House gets a recess
By Christie Chisholm
State legislators flooded the Roundhouse last Tuesday, March 20, on direct orders from the governor to convene a Special Session--only three days after the regular one had expired. At the same time, Bill Richardson was on a plane headed to California, where he would soon spend the next several hours shaking as many hands as he could (he does hold a record for such things), asking those on the other end to make him the next president.
Republicans have contracted a flesh-eating disease caused by a steady diet of unchecked power and severe deficiency of principle. It attacks the brain’s capacity to tell the truth. Loss of face follows. The only known cure is loss of the very unchecked power that triggered the disease in the first place.
And why a “Single Payer” health care option is ignored
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
The cartoon penned by “Toles” dated from 1994. Yet its relevance even today remains such that John McDonough, veteran health care reformer and consultant for Health Care for All, began his PowerPoint talk last weekend by showing it to a roomful of state legislators from around the country.
At the March 19 meeting, city councilors spent lots of time early in the evening on a land use appeal. Then, as 11 p.m. approached, they quickly passed several bills. In between, they wrangled with the recent controversy over taxes and transportation.
The Guts You Don't See—It’s a commonly used simile to say that making laws is like [urlhttp://www.sausagemania.com/[/url]making sausage[xurl] in that you don't want to see the process involved in creating them before they’re presentable to the public. Or maybe it's that both greasy products are full of lard and pig heads. Actually, that's not always true about sausage.
The city moves on its promise of a teen arts center unlike anything Burque's ever seen
By Amy Dalness
We often think of giving second chances to those who've committed some crime against society. Thieves, recovering addicts, white-collar criminals—most are given the opportunity to bring positive change to their communities. Why not offer the same chance to a building?
Dateline: England--Apparently, the best way to get an upgrade to first class is to die. A first-class passenger on a recent flight from Delhi to London awoke to find the corpse of a woman who had passed away in the economy cabin being placed in the seat next to him. The economy section of the flight was full, and the cabin crew needed to move the woman and her grieving family out of the compartment to give them some privacy, British Airways said on Monday. The first-class passenger, Paul Tringer, told the Sunday Timesnewspaper that he was sleeping during the February flight from India and woke up when the crew placed the dead woman in a nearby empty seat. “I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” said Tringer. “The stewards just plonked the body down without saying a thing.” British Airways said in a statement that about 10 passengers die each year in flight and that while each situation is dealt with on an individual basis, safety is the primary concern. “The deceased must not be placed in the galley or blocking aisles or exits, and there should be clear space around the deceased,” a statement from the airline said. “We apologize to passengers in the first cabin who were distressed by the situation--our cabin crew were working in difficult circumstances and chose the option that they believed would cause the least disruption.”
Chamber Music X—In a valiant and sustained effort to broaden the tastes of local chamber music fans, Chamber Music Albuquerque has brought the hip, young Del Sol Quartet to town for a one-night-only performance this week. Focusing on compositions more challenging than the run-of-the-mill canon of 18th and 19th century classics, this dynamic quartet, which was founded in 1992, is more about the here and now than the dead and gone. They'll be at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center for the Arts this Friday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. as part of Chamber Music Albuquerque's adventurous Chamber Music X performance series. Tickets are $20 in advance or $22 at the door. Student tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For details, call 268-1990 or go to www.cma-abq.org.
A lot of people would love to be more like Wayne Berube. After teaching at Cibola High School for 10 years, the 40-year-old Albuquerque native was burnt. He loved teaching, but whining parents and intrusive administrators eventually ground him down.
Sin for Free!--Albuquerque’s Sin Fronteras Film Festival (taking place April 20, 21 and 28) is gearing up with a series of free previews. On Monday, April 2, the festival will screen an English-subtitled print of the Argentine documentary Hotel Gondolin. Director Fernando Lopez Escriva’s film examines a group of transgender women who are squatting in a hotel in Buenos Aires and follows their efforts to organize as sex workers. The screening, organized by UNM Students of Latin American Studies, will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. at the UNM SUB theater. Following the 52-minute film, transgender community activists will be on hand to speak and lead a discussion. This event is free and open to the public.
Henry VIII: Fat dude, marriage addict, star of that maddening ’60s pop tune. Yeah, we all know him. But Showtime is determined to showcase a different side to the infamous English leader. “The Tudors,” premiering this Sunday, gives us a 10-part glimpse into the political backstabbing and naughty backstage antics of the early Tudor court. It’s sort of like “The Sopranos” but with fancier clothes and an easier-to-understand accent.
Romeo Needs a Name—My favorite three-car-garage lotharios, Romeo Goes To Hell, are practically naked right now, having rejected the band name they've rocked for the last five years. I enjoy publicly humiliating them, so let's all listen in on their innermost musings on the subject, shall we? From the band's Rocksquawk.com forum, as posted by bassist, vocalist, art director and songwriting/sex machine, Levi Eleven.
Los Angeles rapper Deadlee wasn't wanting for media attention last year. On his release Assault with a Deadlee Weapon he fired back at hip-hop's most homophobic MCs: Eminem, DMX and 50 Cent, even accusing 50 of having deep-seated homosexual tendencies:
Former pop-ska figureheads have become a prog rock outfit to be reckoned with
By Simon McCormack
Not so long ago, the RX Bandits were another cog in the gear of what seemed like an unstoppable ska machine. Propelled by bands like the Bandits, along with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish, the movement swept up millions of teens across the country … for about three months.
The label says it all. There's the ice-capped mountains, the amber waves of grain and the pretty plains of Anderson Valley depicted in all their glory—and right there in the middle of this splendor is Brother David with his sick, furry mustache and his favorite death-metal monk hood. (Brother David also looks suspiciously like the mid-’90s cab-driving spokesman for MTV.) The point is this Abbey-style dark ale is unique in a way that takes some getting used to: It's not how you might have made it, and it kinda sticks out, but it touches you nevertheless.
Cookbook is the perfect vehicle for a discussion of feminism, ritual and, of course, great food
By Marisa Demarco
Marge Piercy remembers the seders of her childhood, where the rapid-fire Haggadah, read mostly in Hebrew, "had all the emotional content of the directions for installing a DVD recorder." Her book Pesach for the Rest of Us makes itself pretty clear in its first pages—this is not a text for traditionalists.
Cash only—not a concept that most of us are familiar with in this age of plastic-in-a-hurry. I cruised into Lindo Mexico for lunch on a busy weekday and was greeted, seated and my beverage brought out before I read the looming, fortuitous “cash only” warning on the menu. Crap. I got up and made tracks to the ATM up the block, apologizing on my way out the door for my lack of money that folded or jingled. When I returned, my drink and chips were gone, and two new diners were seated at the table.