Okay, here’s the question? Who isn’t a big Dr. Seuss fan? Who doesn’t have his thirty life-changing quotes as their computer screen saver? Hey, this guy’s a home-grown philosophizer!
Our usual inquiry about places to visit brought several responses, one of which was to visit The Jade Seahorse, a short ten minute walk from our apartment. It was recommended that we visit it at least twice, once during the day and once at night, to fully appreciate its uniqueness. In other words, to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, “…this place is Fun and Fun is Good”.
As we walked through the gates onto the grounds our smiles stretched wide. Everywhere we looked was a colorful assortment of mosaics forming underwater corals, marine life flashing and shining; broken mirrors, tiles, marbles, glass bottles arranged into new and ever more pleasing walkways and walls representative of, well, anything you wanted!
Color and light shifted, refracted and reflected from amazing conglomerations and hanging art as we walked into little spaces and gazebos, climbed onto platforms, ascended and descended winding stairways and bridges into the artist’s vision, laughing and pointing out various discoveries to each other along the way.
The Jade Seahorse is the ever-evolving design begun at least twenty years ago by a former LA school teacher and artist, Neil, and his chef wife, Julia. Neil worked on it part-time during winter and summer vacations using flea market finds, other people’s rejects and recyclables from LA and other objects from trips to Guatemala and Honduras. Julia tended to the restaurant and growing the business on Utila on a full time basis.
The grounds are occupied by Neil and Julia’s home, the Treetanic Bar, built as a shipwreck high off the ground in three mango trees, the restaurant and a few independently standing little bungalows which are for rent. And the space in between the buildings, above and below too, is a fantastic carnival celebrating life and the pursuit of happiness.
P.S. If the original guest register existed, I’m rather certain you would find a familiar signature: Theodore Geisel.
By Anita and Richard, September, 2013