San Juan Archives

December 29, 2004

Where Is Sister Bertrille?

The Flying Nun

I have arrived in Puerto Rico. It's warm but rainier than I had hoped. But I'll be here through Sunday, so ideally I'll have some time to craft a tan that will make everyone at home envious!

For those too young to remember, the picture above is from a TV show called "The Flying Nun" (I couldn't make this up!) that aired from 1967 until 1970. The premise was a novice nun--played by Sally Field--found that her light weight, the shape of her nun's habit, and the winds of San Juan combined to allow her to soar over the city. Really. For three seasons on network television. (Who thought this one up?)

Lucky Find


In middle of the parking lot of my Condado Beach hotel here in San Juan, I found lying on the ground the CD boxed set of the first four U.S. releases. This is something I could never imagine spending money on, as I already have all the music on other discs, but it's sure nice to have drop into my lap!

December 30, 2004

Casa Bacardi


I visted the Bacardi factory across the bay from Old San Juan this afternoon. Getting there reminded me of my time in Sydney in 1998: the ferry and the pier were reminiscent of the ferries from Circular Quay down under. And the Bacardi tour was better than the one I had in the Bahamas in 1989 (I remember riding a scooter all the way to the south side of Nassau just to get there).

December 31, 2004

Top Music Releases of 2004

Okay, I admit my pop music tastes have not developed much since 1990, but for better or worse, here's what earned my top ratings for the past calendar year:

7. The acoustic versions of Seal's songs on Best: 1991-2004, especially "Kiss From A Rose."

6. Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits. A great collection of Mellencamp's work over the course of twenty-five years.

5. Five For Fighting, "100 Years." I really like this song.

4. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters. Because I'm a sucker for a group that channels early 1970s Elton John in such a captivating fashion (check out "Take Your Mama"). The strange cover of "Comfortably Numb"--hands down, one of my favorite songs of all time--is beguilingly catchy.

3. Elton John, Peachtree Road. Sir Elton still has a knack for melody and this collection of tracks picks up where Songs From the West Coast left off--a fine assemblage of tunes worthy of comparison to the singer's early 1970s work.

2. The Complete U2. This exclusive iTunes release was significant for me less because of the music it included--I had the majority of the material on CD already, though there were some nice unreleased, rare, and live performance cuts included in the mix--than because of the ground-breaking concept of a digital box set. I can think of a dozen artists for whom I'd part with money to get something similar.

1. U2, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The Irish quartet prove they are still the most important band in the world. 'Nuff said.

Best Movies of the Year

I confess to having seen precious few movies in the theater this year. I've missed many of the picks on critics' best 10 lists, in particular. So the following group consists mostly of popcorn flicks that I enjoyed in 2004; I have not ranked them 1-10, so in no particular order:

Hero. A tremendous visual spectacle. Stunningly gorgeous.

Kill Bill, Volume 2. Far from perfect, but visceral when at its best. The scene of Uma Thurman being buried alive still gives me chills.

Farenheit 9/11. There surely are valid criticisms of Michael Moore's presentation, but but controversy aside, this stands as a fine piece of film-making.

The Passion Of The Christ. There surely are valid criticisms of Mel Gibson's presentation, but controversy aside, this stands as a fine piece of film-making.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Alfonso Cuaron's sure-handed direction raises the bar in the latest installment of this Warner Bros. franchise.

Super Size Me. An effective documentary in the best muck-raking tradition.

Spider-Man 2. This sequel successfully captured the spirit of Stan Lee's Marvel Comics in the 1960s.

The Incredibles. Like Spider-Man 2, this manages to be a lot of fun while making some thoughtful points. Terrific animated film.

Collateral. The best movie I saw this year. Great script, tremendous acting, excellent direction from Michael Mann.

Honorable mention: Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. An underrated movie that does amazing things with digital technology. A throwback to the "B" movies of sixty years ago.

January 1, 2005

Happy New Year!


Spent much of the day exploring El Yunque, the only rain forest in the U.S. Forest system. It's less than an hour's drive from San Juan and a site with striking waterfalls and amazing biodiversity.

About San Juan

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the San Juan category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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