I grew up hearing that Sausalito and Viña del Mar were Sister Cities because, for one, my father (QEPD) was Viñamarino
, but more so, because his pal Sergio Castillo was commissioned, back in the early 60's, a sculpture that payed homage to the Sisterhood. The sculpture was titled Hermandad.
While working on his sculpture, Castillo relayed stories to my parents, living in NYC at the time, on the similarities between the Bay Area and Chile, enticing them to leave the East Coast and move West. My mom was California Dreaming for a while, but you couldn't get my dad out of the Big Apple.
Since I embarked on this Chile Lindo venture, I kept on thinking that at some point I would try to revitalize the relationship between these two estranged seaside "sisters." I thought their friendship had so much potential and I wanted to see these two beautiful Pacific Coast cities reacquainted. Fortunately, a visionary Sausalito resident, Michael Moyle, and
a proactive Newyorker, entrepreneur-turned-Mayor of Sausalito, Herb Weiner, beat me to the punch! In less than two years they've taken the spirit of the initiative to new heights, as Mayor Weiner has already visited Chile twice, (once with Mike), and both gentlemen were host to Alcaldesa Virginia Reginato, Viña del Mar's Mayor, on July 2010.
At this point in time the Sausalito~Viña del Mar Sister Cities program has joined the ranks of the Sausalito Sister City Committee, Inc., a non-profit corporation that includes two other Sister City relationships with Sausalito: Sakaide, Japan (established in 1988), and the upcoming relationship with Casçais, Portugal. Did I mention Mike Moyle is a lawyer? What's more, a Sister City Sausalito~Viña del Mar Passport has been issued for residents of either City.
On Friday June 22nd
, the Sausalito~Viña del Mar committee will have a concession stand at the Jazz & Blues by the Bay
concert at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito. Music starts at 6:30 pm. And, of course, yours truly will be there with Chile Lindo Empanadas
. Also, Carolina Wine Brands has made a donation of Santa Carolina Carménère Reserva
, by virtue of Rebecca Chapa of Wines of Chile. Gracias Rebecca! Nothing goes better with empanadas than wine. Sales from the concession benefit the Sister Cities program.
Sergio Castillo's Hermandad
is located at the Park where the concert will be taking place, and a tribute will be payed to Sergio. I am in touch with Sergio's son Diego, and with his daughter Antonia, aka Tola (both living in Madrid), thus I'm particularly thrilled to be part of this program, that resonates with me on so many levels.
Finally, special thanks to Erin Stroud of Parks & Rec, staff and volunteers, for making it all possible.
aka The Girl from Empanada
For more on Sausalito~Viña del Mar Sister Cities visit the following facebook page: