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Viviendo la vida Boricua


Yes, I’m living a Puerto Rican life! But it’s not the typical life that you may be thinking of. Sure, I live around the corner from the beach, which is fabulous! But I mean that I’m living the regular, every day life … going to work, and driving in the dreaded traffic!!  There was a joke from my colleague that I now drive “like a true Puertorrican!” I am working with the Universidad Metropolitana on some projects, and my office here in San Juan is starting to look like my office in Maryland! ¡Ay Bendito!

So here are some of the things that I’ve been doing, besides working.

Wednesday, my friend Ivelisse Rubio (Math Professor at University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras), took me to the local hot spot, Dragonfly. Dragonfly’s food is “Latin-Asian” fusion.  It was very good!

Here are some photos:  Peking Duck Nachos, Boricua Rolls, and more!

(The menu is here: http://www.restaurantsinpr.com/menupage.php?restnum=91, more information on the OOFRestaurants page.)

Duck Nachos and Lo Mein (w/ Fried Chicken!) from Dragon Fly

Duck Nachos and Lo Mein (w/ Fried Chicken!) from Dragonfly

This is a sushi dish with crab, forbidden rice, and jimaca.

This is a sushi dish with crab, forbidden rice, and jimaca.

Ivelisse Rubio

Ivelisse Rubio

At DragonFly Restaurant

At DragonFly Restaurant

Our waitress left us for a minute because “Mr. Big” from TV was a guest at the restaurant next door and she just wanted to see him.  She had waited on Ewan McGregor and George Clooney in the past, so apparently this was the area where “Las Estrellas” (The Stars) come to eat!

Saturday,  one of my colleagues at UMET taught me how to cook some  Puerto Rican foods! So first, we went to the supermercado and bought some recao, cilantrillo, ajos, cebollos, pollo y plantillas para pastelillos (cilantro, garlic, onions, chicken and the pastry for the shells.)

Yes, I put the queso (cheese) in the plantillas (pastry) myself!

Yes, I put the queso (cheese) in the plantillas (pastry) myself!

Groceries from the Supermercado Pueblo

Groceries from the Supermercado Pueblo

Molly teaches me how to make tostones

Molly teaches me how to make tostones

La Señora Molly Hardigree Cancel
La Señora Molly Hardigree Cancel
Pastelillos con guayaba y Arepas de Coco

Pastelitos de guayava y Arepas de Coco

Ingredients for Sofrito -- seasoning for foods in PR (for Guisados)

Ingredients for Sofrito -- seasoning for foods in PR (for Guisados)

Yes, I learned how to make Tostones!

Yes, I learned how to make Tostones!

Happy in the Kitchen

Happy in the Kitchen

Excited that I learned how to make Puerto Rican Foods!

Excited that I learned how to make Puerto Rican Foods!

Quesitos. I didn't make these, they came from the Panaderia (Bakery).

Quesitos. I didn't make these, they came from the Panaderia (Bakery).

We bought Pan de Agua (bread) from here earlier in the week.

We bought Pan de Agua (bread) from here earlier in the week.

And I did manage to get to the beach afterall!

And I did manage to get to the beach afterall!

12 replies »

  1. You are blessed with such rich experiences that you lovingly share with all of us. Needless to say, you are tremendously special in giving to so many who look forward to being in your circle of LOVE! I cannot wait for you to prepare Puerto Rican food for ME! Thanks in advance!!

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    • Gracias Mom! Maybe during the Christmas holidays … I just made some more tonight. I made some with espinaca, pollo, y queso … Spinach, chicken, and cheese … the pepper jack cheese gave it a kick!

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  2. You are one lucky person. I want to live in PR. I have a year to go before retirement. There simply is no better place! I was looking for the name of the supermercado in the plaza in Luquillo. My search found your website. Best wishes. Tenga un buen dia!

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    • Thank you Jonathan! Best wishes as you retire. You will love it! I know others who have retired to PR to teach or relax. I love it there too. All the best!

      -Renetta Tull

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  3. This post is mirrored in my Facebook notes. You can see other comments there.

    Some of my responses include (Original comments remain on Facebook):

    Renetta Garrison Tull
    @Cousin Glo, I really am working very long hours! I know that it might not seem like it since it is PR and seems like a vacation spot, but that was the point of my post. 🙂 I’m not doing anything “touristy” at all. It’s a regular life. It’s warm and sunny … oh, it does rain daily, but other than that, my life here was been very typical. The … Read Morescenes are beautiful, and both the tropics and the water are wonderful, but I’m pulling 12 hour days. Really! 🙂

    @Serenella, the traffic has been terrible!!! Especially coming home using 1 Oeste! And that’s when I leave AFTER 7 PM.
    You’re right though, the beach always provides a sense of calm!
    September 21 at 9:43pm ·

    Renetta Garrison Tull
    Muchas Gracias @Serenella y @Francisco! 🙂 Si, ahora necesito hablar! Aprendí más palabras en este viaje. Molly dice que mi acento es muy bueno, así que necesito mucho más vocabulario! Poco a poco … 🙂
    September 22 at 10:05am ·

    Renetta Garrison Tull
    Hola Magui! Llegaré en Baltimore este noche! (Me gusta mucho mi trabajo!)
    September 22 at 12:55pm

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  4. Wow, I found this doing a google images search for quesitos and it reminded me how much i miss Puerto Rico…I lived in Río Piedras but never heard of Dragon Fly (we stuck with El Torre Chino, en la Avenida Universitaria). The vegetarian food from the stand near el Teátro en la UPI is awesome though (which is where I got my quesitos, but the ones from Pueblo aren’t bad either). Or burgers de El Ocho… Oh and the traffic…tuve miedo (Tren Urbano ftw!) Thanks for memories. Diaaaablo, quiero volver!

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    • Thanks Moriquendu!

      I may try some of your suggestions when I go back. And I like “Tren Urbano” tambien! One of my earlier posts chronicles my train experience. None can beat being on the train and going to one of the festivals (took train to Sagrado Corazon, then bus “guagua” to Old San Juan.) That was a true fiesta … on the train. Music, instruments, singing … all ages … quite an experience!

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