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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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« Island Girl- Puerto Rican Vignettes II | Main | Coop Dreams »
Friday
Jul092010

Island Girl- Puerto Rican Vignettes Part I

So I haven't been blogging much lately, but no worries- I'm preparing an onslaught of cool and interesting blog posts coming to you soon! For now, due to my dad's ill health and my cousin's wedding I've had to leave the coop completion to my hubby Gregg, while I return to my island hub in Puerto Rico for 2 weeks. I thought I might share some Puerto Rican vignettes along the way with you ;))

Quenepas Or how the Jibaritos all around me on the island spell it...Canepas- (which I will honor here) are one of my favorite snacks...you crack open the green skin and pop out a juicy, fruity and somewhat massive seed ball that you suck the life out of before you spit it out.

Note-

When I was a little girl, I lusted after a batch of canepas that my older cousin and her schoolmate got a hold of. Back then canepas came in the same little brown paper bag like the one you see in the photo above.
When the older girls obliged my puppy eyes and gave me a canepa, I was so eagerly sucking the life out of it that we broke out laughing - with this gumball size thing in my mouth. Before I knew it- in one split second- I began choking violently on the slippery seed as it fell down my throat and lodged itself into the much too small space.


my bag of canepas - --- photos by m.diaz I remember holding my throat, as I lost sensation and began to see the room turn into double images. I walked in random circles, straining and turning dizzy, unable to breath. As the older girls saw what was happening they started to yell,

'¡Mami, Mami se ahogo Marisol con la canepa!!!'

My aunt came running up to try to hit my back to get the villianous seed out. When that didn't work, my aunt recalled her NYC candy-striper-nurse's-aide days and grabbed me by the ankles, turned me upside down and positioned me against the arm of the sofa to smack my back...until the seed was finally dislodged and fell out.

I had a sore,irritated throat for days after. And for those who know me - yes, that was THE aunt. Life is messy and quite ironic and 'she' my DREDLIMA, is the one that saved my life. That's what I think about whenever I eat canepa.

Luquillo beach...so so so warm and salty and buoyant I float on my back effortlessly and feel so familiar, at home and at peace with this body of water.
hipstamatic photo by m.diaz

Limbe- or little frozen ices/sorbets, in all the classic Puerto Rican flavors like coco, and parcha (oh so good!)


Piragua / Water Ices- mmmmmm mmmmm mmmm- one of my favorite flavors is Tamarindo (tamarind).

Me....

Reader Comments (11)

Amazing pictures...I really wish I was there when I see those photos. WE all miss you here so much and can't wait for you to return and see your family and coop and start our summer again.

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstainboy21

hiiiiiiiii! so gregg just read us the blog entry. life seems pretty awesome right about now. i've nener had canepas, gotta try those. i'm jealous. i miss you, can you please come home? actually, now that i've read this... maybe i should go down to PR. Lovelovelove, have lots of fun. i look forward to reading more blog posts!

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella (light foot)

I went to Tortola (an island in the BVI) to do community service one summer, and I had Canepas!!! I loved them so much, they were everywhere. I haven't had them since then, this blog post made me crave them!

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLily P

This is really cool! Really awesome pictures, I love the iPhone pictures. I also love the stories that go along with the pictures. Really adds another layer.

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCooper

¬°Quenepas manchan! I hear my abuelita yelling in the background of my mind. I'm sure there is a quenepa- choking scare ever few minutes... But a nice brown bag full and a coco- frio on luquillo beach mmmm it's funny how many names there is for that child- choking hazard fruit, my southamerican buddies have stories of almost choking on mamoncillos!!

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Great photos and vignettes! The canepa story is quite a memory. I don't know that I would have wanted to eat one after that! Hope your dad is doing well and congratulations to your cousin!

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey

So sorry to hear that your dad has been ill.

Loved these memories of PR. I read canepas and thought, "Don't choke!" But oh how I longed to get my hands on canepas as soon as we got to the island each summer. And to get leche de coco and to head to the panaderia. Mmmm... Enjoy!

Con un abrazo fuerte, Rosie

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

canepas have made it onto my "foods to try" list

hope everything turns out okay!

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterB

Rina- Awesome Blog post! Possibly your best yet! I love how you incorporated stories and hertige of P.R inside. Awesome! :D

Ur mom- we got back late last night so we commmented on this today. Gregg is a lucky man to have a beautiful wife like you. Be careful on those cenepas, i remeberd what happened and told Rina even before we saw the story. I like how your hair looks in the photo. You look beautiful. Oh and it was nice to see the pictures of P.R. And that i am counting the days until your back home in your warm cozy home. <3

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRina and Ur mom

looking foward to trying cenepas... im willing to try anything!!
have fun in PR and wish ur cousin congradulations for me!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindz

I love this post...It makes me miss PR so much, the boys and I will be visiting in May.

Oh and who's "the" aunt?!?

Love you!!!

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTital

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