Tulum is the reason I moved to the Yucatan. Escaping the Parisian winter of 1995 I was stuck in a blizzard in NYC. A friend suggested we head down to Tulum for a week. The first 3 days were some of the most stressful of my life. I had a fashion business to run in Paris and a new venture to open when I returned. On the beach there 4 or 5 little hotels to choose from and we chose a new Italian place with limited electricity and no telephone. It was one of the few with electricity and none had telephones. Each day found me in town lined up at the post office for a phone or fax machine. It was not until the third day that I decided my problems would still exist a week later and I decide to stay on the beach and relax. A week later in NY I decided not to go back to Paris. I canceled the new venture gave my business to my partner who had only a 10% share and I enrolled in NYU film school. I soon discovered that all of my problems that I had blamed on miscommunication in Paris were in fact….my problems. School was not for me. Films were not for me either. It took me 5 years to figure out that New York was not for me either. I started coming back to Tulum and then discovered Merida. Yucatan has been my home for 15 years. In the beginning I´d go back to Tulum every couple of months and then twice a year and I went back for the first time in two years this winter. For me it´s over. Hartwood I love you but it´s really not worth soaking up the residual stress of the New Yorkers de-stressing and detoxing their way back to New York. If I find the next Tulum you can be sure I won´t tell you or anyone else about it. For sure I won´t tell David Keeps.
Here is David´s article for Travel+Leisure a decade after we met him in Merida. Here is an excerpt….
This, however, is what happens whenever I visit a vortex of altered consciousness, particularly one that is endlessly raved over; it takes awhile for my L.A.-bred cynicism to subside. Fortunately, I am able to meet up with my designer friends John Powell and Josh Ramos, who’ve driven in for the weekend from Mérida to spruce up a rental villa on a private beach in Tulum’s Sian Ka’an Biosphere nature preserve. We dine on smoky wood-fired pork at Hartwood Restaurant, where the sound track is 1970’s rock, the waiter wears a T-shirt that reads slacker, and the chef–co-owner Eric Werner is a bearded Brooklynite who formerly cooked at Peasant, in Manhattan. The meal is sumptuous; the conversation boisterous; the you-are-here decompression complete.