In Rosarito, there is a special place that houses wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas …and a treasury of art.
By Jack E. George
Nestled in amongst a collection of unique and innovative shops, in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, visitors will be greeted with a variety of unusual treats at the Plaza de los Artistas. One of the small businesses is known as La Vid. When I stepped inside this wine bar and specialty store, selling fine wines from the smaller producers in the Guadalupe Valley, I was overwhelmed with the homey feeling, the cleanliness, and the organized location of every bottle, glass, and accessory. It is truly a gem to seek.
Owners Jorge Rodriguez and Norma Villasenor offer wine tasting, an art gallery, and unique items that can be purchased for a great gift. La Vid offers jams, marmalades, olive oil, sauces, and so forth. Jorge explained that the name was chosen because La Vid means a vine in a vineyard. He said that all of their wines are from Baja California and most of them are from small wineries. The shop offers vintages from 20 to 25 different vintners.
Visitors at wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistos can enjoy a wine tasting without reservations. The cost is $5. You can also add cheese, crackers, or other choices to make your experience even more enjoyable. Jorge, a very sincere, friendly, genuine young man prides himself on customer service. He said that what he enjoys most about his business are the interesting people he has the opportunity to meet. La Vid opens at 11 a.m. daily. During week nights, they close at 8 p.m. However, you can make an evening of it on the weekends when they stay open until the last customer leaves. (Sometimes, even bouts of spontaneous dancing break out!)
The art pieces hanging on the walls, the arrangements of the bottles of wine, and the many interesting items to look at make La Vid a great place for a visit. Next, you might choose to leave by walking down the outside stairs and going next door to the Baja Gallery. When you enter, through the back, you will see David Silvah painting one of his unique pieces of art.
David Silvah, a self-taught artist is a frequent exhibitor in area shows. He also exhibits in San Diego, Los Angeles, and he will be leaving for an art show in Boston in December. He is not the only artist in his family. He has a section he devotes to his eight year-old daughter, Jasmine; and his 11 year old son, Miten. He proudly explains their different pictures. He said they are both interested in becoming artists but he will not push them in that direction. He wants them to choose the career in which they will be happy. He is a firm believer in people doing the work they love. He explained that he could make more money if he was a doctor or a dentist but he would not be happy. His entire career has been devoted to art and he says this has added to his happiness and quality of life.
David said his career started when he was 13 years of age. He always wanted to give girlfriends a unique gift, so he would paint them a special picture. Through the years people encouraged him and his artistic talent. Eventually people asked him to paint specific pictures to hang on the walls in their home. This led to him becoming a professional artist at the age of 20.
There was one particular painting that was well wrapped and sitting behind a number of other paintings. When I asked him which was his favorite painting he started to remove all of the pictures in front. He then reached his special painting, leaned it against a chair, and removed all of the packaging. My eyes immediately focused on three people.
David named the picture “re-evolution.” The painting tells the story of an older man, standing to the left, who has had a difficult life in Mexico. To his left is a tattered Mexican flag. He eventually takes his wife and children and moves to the U.S. The young woman, standing in the center of the picture, has hopes and dreams and wants the best for her children. The young man to her right, her son, is serving in the military. His gun represents the war he is fighting, for the U.S., and the battles his people have fought through the years. Next to him the American flag waves in all its splendor.
David is one of several artists working in the gallery. The gallery offers a variety of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and many other creations. The Plaza de los Artistas is a fascinating, friendly, area to take a leisurely stroll. Chances are you will also have the opportunity to meet some of the finest artists representing Baja California, enjoy a glass of wine and chunk of cheese, and see artistic creations unlike any you have ever seen before.
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