Criollisimo Sinfónico

¡El caballero!Tomorrow, April 7th at 7:30 PM in the fabulous Jardín Botánico y Cultural de Caguas, the inauguration festivities continue with "Criollismo Sinfónico". The evening's program counts on the participation of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, under the direction of the maestro Roselin Pabón. In addition, the evening will conclude with a performance of "Salsa Sinfónica" with the Caballero del la Salsa Gilbertito Santa Rosa. Cucco Peña will direct the orchestra.

The events will once again take place on the Isla de Identidad, which is a stage built out into a man-made lake. Although perhaps they should rename it the "Isla de Incomodidad". My family and I went to the festivities last Saturday. While the performances were stunning, it seems to this humble blogger, that something was missing. Something that would make enjoying the performances significantly more comfortable. Something called seats.

While the area is extremely beautiful and the environment is spectacular, with the lake reflecting the lights and images of the performers, not having an area of dedicated seats seems to detract from the magic. Sure it's fun to sit on the grass around the lake and watch the show, but I believe more people could enjoy the shows if they had built some bleachers into the hill in front of the stage. While they provide a multitude of plastic chairs, the seats are placed off to the side of the stage. I wouldn't want to eliminate the grass seating, but I would recommend both: an area reserved for grass seating and bleachers. So if you plan on heading over to the remaining events, make sure you take some folding chairs or a blanket.

I have two other minor complaints. First, is the lack of bathrooms, especially for women. They have plenty of port-a-potty's, but most women prefer dedicated facilities and running water, or at least that's what my wife told me most of the night, on the way home, and the next day. Second, is the layout of the primary facilities. More precisely, it is lack of paths between said facilities. After the conclusion of the puppet show last week, which was delayed a half an hour, we rushed over to see the beginning of the Taino show. In cutting across some grass (which was the shortest path) I stepped in un bache de fango. Of course last Saturday was after two or three days of glorious rain, so your results may vary.

To their credit the remaining facilities are incredible, especially the fountain over the entrance. They have kiosks selling typical Criollo food, drinks, fruit, and even beer and mixed drinks (I think). While we didn't get a chance to explore the entire grounds, I believe that the Jardín Botánico y Cultural de Caguas is a perfect example of the quality and visionary thinking that could revolutionize tourism on the island. Enjoy it while it is free!