The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Color scheme?

Unlike places like New England where all the houses are gray, white or brown, the color palette here in Oaxaca is pretty much anything goes.  So when I saw this on the Alcala, I wondered if it was some new artistic treatment, because it looked kinda cool.
Well, it all became clearer today
I wonder if the turquoise will stay.  It goes with the pink doncha think?
Stay tuned...

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Infantiles Rule!

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the village's Cultural Center's opening in Teotitlan del Valle and wow, what a party, such a great time.  Hundreds showed up to celebrate and we were all feted with music, dance, food and all the pride and exuberance of this famous Zapotec village.  It is famous for many things, like its weaving, traditions and food, all of which were on full display.  It will take a couple of posts to cover it, but no better place to start then with the Infantiles, the  kids dancing the Danza de la Pluma. 
They are all about six or seven years old and practice in their school and all the practice showed. 
They were very good, a tight ensemble....
And so much fun to be with.
And to watch the dancer dads. 
That's the dance master on the left.  He was one of the danzantes in the 2009-2012 promesa.
It turned out that La Malinche is the daughter of one of my oldest friends, Juan Ruiz Bautista, the brother of Mario, the village photographer.
Of course, they were watched by guys at the opposite end of the age spectrum, the viejitos, old men, who also have their own dance....
But as W.C. Fields said, "Never share the stage with a kid or a dog."
Hard to argue with that, wouldn't you say?...
Well,  he probably could...
More later..

Thursday, August 15, 2019

How cool is this? - Band uniforms

How's that for band logo?  I'm sure it not only looks cool, but also has a much deeper meaning.  Mixe Sun god?  Anyway, as a musician and former music teacher/conductor, I am always blown away by the young musicians from the Mixe village of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, where almost everyone plays a musical instrument.
I love this shot because it takes me back, remembering kids just before performing.  Every face adds to the story.  And yes, they can play with the best of them, but the also do it with the utmost style.
The village is famous for its amazing trajes, always color coordinated with that remarkable machined embroidery.  They also look to have very nice instruments.
What a village - ¡Viva Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Keep on truckin'...

I'm often in traffic, surrounded by trucks.  So I'm drawn to their signage, a language all its own.  What does it all mean?  Like this one. 
I believe that "mota" is the local term for pot, so I did a double take when I saw this right outside my window.  Judging from the straw and stuff coming out the base of the doors, I figured it must be BS.  And somehow, I don't think you will see many of these in your city....
But maybe, if you're lucky.

Monday, August 12, 2019

This is so Oaxaca - El Dia del Taxista

As I drove into the city this morning I noticed lots of large decorated bows along the side of the road, obviously blown off of cars... Ah, yes, indeed, of course, it's El Dia del Taxista and it is always fun. 
There was a huge parade of the highly decorated taxis down Independencia so of course, traffic was a mess, but that too, is very Oaxacan.
There were celebrations in all the villages with different colored cabs, but this one was strictly city and all yellow..
After they process, the taxistas party mighty hearty and soon it's the Day with no Taxistas.
Party on, Garth.... Be there or be square.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Work in progress... and Done!

This new piece of street art is on a little side walkway that I pass regularly.  I spoke with the artist, Adan Bustillos, as he was working on it and forgot to take his picture.  And then.... it was finished!
¡Viva Oaxaca and all its many artists!  Art appears in endless forms here and all of them feed the soul and inspire.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

¿Tiene hambre? - Hungry?

Ah, yes.... a tostada with tasajo at the Comedor Colon in Etla, which happens to be one of the best places to eat on this side of the city... or anywhere.  Here's how to get there...

Friday, August 9, 2019

Life in the country...

Y'all come back soon!
Wonderful rain all day today, a real rarity.  The countryside is lovin' it.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Of bees and butterflies...

It's always important to plant things that attract bees, birds and butterflies. This side of the city, to the north, has had a decent rainy season thus far and the garden is filled with flowers and lush greenery.
The sunflowers reached three meters.
The tithonia, Mexican sunflower, at two meters tall, is a butterfly magnet.
Plenty of seeds for the birds.
Here comes the sun... 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Before the parade passes by...

It's hard to believe, but it's been only a week since this year's incarnation of the guelaguetza and its defiles or the processions of all the dancers.  And it has taken all of that week for the city (and me) to recover, but ahhh... the memories.
Dancing in the streets...
So many different styles, from all of the eight regions.
Each presented with joy and pride.
So many stunning photo opportunities....
As always, the crowd favorites, the flor de piƱa dancers.
Beauty comes in different forms...
All so perfectly Oaxacan...
 Be there or be square.... next year!
 Today was the first quiet day in weeks with very little traffic.  It felt surreal.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

More Guelaguetza from Reyes Etla

As everyone gets ready for the next guelaguetzas on Monday, it makes sense to share a few more shots from last Monday's performances in Reyes Etla.  Always a favorite, the wonderful embroidery of Santa Maria Tlahuitolepec.
As I said, there are lots of villages presenting their own versions of annual celebration of traditional regional dances with the dances performed by local folkloric troupes.  And they can all really dance!
And every guelaguetza is different, although there are many common threads, like the trajes or clothing.
And smiles all around.
There are some fun parts like this, when the women trip up the men, they show no mercy.
One of the high points was during this dance, that I'm pretty sure depicts a chicken seduction.  When they finished and got up, there was an egg, which the guy immediately cracked and ate raw.  And the crowd went crazy.
And mock bull fights.
So many swirling colors.
And simmering looks...
Enough for now.  It's time to run into the city for the second desfile or procession of all the dancers for Monday's official presentations.
Party on...