This past year has seen an explosion in quality art in the area. Perhaps the most significant event is the expansion of the Hidden Garden Art Gallery to display an average of 25 artists at any time. Featured this month is “People of Sun,” an exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Ulises Jiménez. Not to be left out, the new Pisces Restaurant in Coco Bay Estates is featuring an exhibit dubbed “Pisces” by Carlos Hiller. The restaurant managed by Carolyn Ryan, formerly owner of Coco Coffee Company, is open daily for lunch and dinner (2670-1345). Even the newly opened consignment store, the Fisher Wienberg Shop next to Café Java, features an art gallery.
Looking back at the past 12 months, this has not been so much a year of change but of a return to normalcy, with the seasonal rains coming as expected yet not doing the damage too often seen in the past. Tourism is up, returning to a level of pre-economic slump years, and, in spite of the changes in the air travel industry, flights are up as well. We’ve seen the addition of the new beach promenade, and there is much discussion in town of the impact future improvements such as increased access for those with mobility handicaps will have on both tourism and local residents. These will be strongly affected by the new hospitals and other medical and dental facilities in various states of construction in the area.