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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Dine in Style (Really) in San Juan


3. What to Do

The Puerto Rico Convention Center, site of the CIRCA art fair.  

Art admirers should visit in late March when the city’s massive new convention center hosts CIRCA, the first international art fair to be held in the Caribbean and Central America. The four-day fair’s Caribe Mix section will present ten galleries focused on Caribbean-based artists—from Cuba and Mexico to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and, naturally, Puerto Rico.

If you miss the fair, there’s still plenty of art to see, with classicists displayed at Galeria Botello—which honors fifties-era Spanish-Caribbean painter Angel Botello—in Old San Juan. The island’s contemporary talents meanwhile hold court at Espacio 1414 (1414 Avenida Fernandez Juncos; 787-725-3899), a two-year-old warehouse space in Santurce with an impressive roster of emerging artists.

For post-art eats, check out Pikayo in the nearby Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (229 De Diego Avenue; 787-721-6194), where local celeb-chef Wilo Benet—a former chef de cuisine at Puerto Rico's Governor's Mansion and a veteran of Le Bernardin—creates colorful combos like halibut with mashed apio and sautéed Japanese squid.

If you're in town on the first Tuesday of the month, finish up your prowl with an evening in Old San Juan for Gallery Night, when over twenty area galleries and museums throw a massive, art-filled open house.

Published on Jan 10, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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