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Puerto Rico Esta de la Mode!

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Story and Photos by Jonathan Waks

After being trapped inside a studio apartment these long winter months, I jumped at the chance to attend Puerto Rico's High Fashion Week. Puerto Rico may be extremely casual during the day, but all year-round everyone dresses to the nines by night. Pack with that in mind and leave your passport behind if you are a U.S. citizen, as the island is a domestic flight requiring merely a driver's license.

Almost as soon as I landed, I was whisked away to visit participating Fashion Week designers. A local gay talent, Luis Antonio's had a collection of modern men's suits and elegantly tailored gowns that shined. Puerto Rico esta de la mode! Who knew?

For the rest of the daylight hours, I explored the island's capital, the old Colonial city of San Juan, aboard a Segway tour. Segways are two-wheeled, self-balancing "people-movers" that are an excellent and effortless way to navigate San Juan's steeps and windy streets.

My guide pointed out the influence of Spanish design through the walled city. All the single-lane, cobblestone streets are lined with brightly painted houses sporting balconies and covered with flowering vines and potted plants. The entire city exudes timeless warmth, combing Old World charm with the comforts found in the continental U.S.


Story and Photos by Jonathan Waks

After being trapped inside a studio apartment these long winter months, I jumped at the chance to attend Puerto Rico's High Fashion Week. Puerto Rico may be extremely casual during the day, but all year-round everyone dresses to the nines by night. Pack with that in mind and leave your passport behind if you are a U.S. citizen, as the island is a domestic flight requiring merely a driver's license.

Almost as soon as I landed, I was whisked away to visit participating Fashion Week designers. A local gay talent, Luis Antonio's had a collection of modern men's suits and elegantly tailored gowns that shined. Puerto Rico esta de la mode! Who knew?

For the rest of the daylight hours, I explored the island's capital, the old Colonial city of San Juan, aboard a Segway tour. Segways are two-wheeled, self-balancing "people-movers" that are an excellent and effortless way to navigate San Juan's steeps and windy streets.

My guide pointed out the influence of Spanish design through the walled city. All the single-lane, cobblestone streets are lined with brightly painted houses sporting balconies and covered with flowering vines and potted plants. The entire city exudes timeless warmth, combing Old World charm with the comforts found in the continental U.S.

Dinner at the trendy Budathai restaurant was a tasty example of the magic that happens when Latin and Caribbean spices are added to Asian-fusion cuisine. Famous for their dim sum, I ordered a little of everything. The seared foie gras with pistachio brioche and the soy-glazed salmon with coconut hash were particularly delicious.

While having drinks later on at the Lounge Eternal inside the Condado Plaza Hotel, someone told me that the hotel had recently undergone an extensive renovation. Now, the lounge has a striking, modern décor with geometric white-lace curtains, red blown glass chandeliers, and comfy banquettes.

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