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.
This time in San Sebastian Etla just down the road from San Agustin.

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Covergirls and hipsters

From Sunday in San Antonino.
 The future is now.
.... and bright.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday in San Antonino - Domingo de Ramos

San Antonino is one of those special villages that has so many rich traditions and so many highly accomplished artesanos, that it is always a privilege and a blessing to share in the celebrations there.  The palm fronds for everyone.
Palm Sunday is no exception as the village gathers at the panteon to adorn and bedeck the statue of Christ from the church with all manner of fruits, vegetables, breads.
People also bring all sorts of food, animals, items for the home, as offerings to be sold after mass as a fund raiser.
This was a long assembly process and the whole thing ends up a work of art and obviously, a very weighty one at that.  Look at how glorious the produce looks.
Then long poles were inserted under the platform and the whole thing was carried a kilometer or so to the church where a huge crowd awaited.
Led by the priest, flower pedals strewn along the path, with the smoke from copal filling the air, the procession made its way down the street.
The strain was obvious as the men struggled to carry the load.
People followed carrying the offerings that had been brought through out morning.
Or used a wheelbarrow if necessary.
Finally, they ducked under the arch and arrived at the church.  Hundreds of people were waiting in the plaza in front of the church for the statue's arrival.  Mass soon followed.
No better way to start Semana Santa.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Waters of March? Not here, but....

I wish there had been, however, I just found this and it is one of my all time favorite songs/performances  evah.  I had no idea there was a video of their performance, but wow, I love it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Red sky at night...

This.
to this
It is supposed to be in the upper 90's this weekend which is very unusual for Oaxaca.  We did have a nice break Wednesday with "normal" temperatures, 80's during the day, 50's at night, but it would seem we are going back into el horno, the oven.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Whew! - What a job

I am always absolutely amazed at how hard people work here and some of the things they do.
This is one of my favorites sights, watching a crew pour the cement for a roof.
 
It always goes something like this, but sometimes the cement is hand-mixed, adding even more intense manual labor to the process.

In this case, just down the road from me, they had a mixer, but the ongoing activity was wild to watch as someone was shoveling sand, another was loading the mixer, others were carrying the stuff up to the roof, where others put the finishing touches and smoothed the mixture.
Once started, the process has to continue until the entire roof is poured as the concrete needs to set as a whole.  Just watching these guys work made me tired.  How do they do it?
I imagined running up those hand-made ladders with a five gallon bucket full of cement on my shoulder and I am pretty sure I would struggle with the first one and I am in good shape.   What's more, they are acting like it is one big party, a good time being had by all.  I love it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Words to live by.....

Sure works for me.
"And that's the Double Truth, Ruth."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Viernes del Llano continued.... one last time.

On Friday we had our final installment of this year's Viernes del Llano, the series of popularity/beauty contests, presented by a different preparatory school each week.  After the previous two (this one and that one) that I have been to this year, this one seemed exceptionally lively and the place was packed with cheering and enthusiastic students ready with lots of flowers to be presented to their favorites.  These are a big deal and people turn out in droves to enjoy them.  They rekindle memories for many and are just another traditional part of the fabric of the city.  I can't entirely figure them out, but hey, no one ever seems to be bummin' and it is definitely a wonderful people watching time.
 After their initial introductions, the young ladies process in a circle and are presented flowers.
There are lots of sweet moments when shy guys get up the nerve to make their presentations.
 Lots of cheering sections this week.
 They were not messin' around this week.  I love how almost everyone in this shot is smiling.
Yes, there are judges.  I like the halo over the second judge.  The contestants are judged on how photogenic they are, how many flowers they get and if they have solutions to all the world's problems.... well, many not so much on that last one.
It starts slowly, but by the end the girls need lots of support in carrying the flowers. 
Fortunately, there are a few guys willing to help..
Ready for the runway.
Whew!  Am I glad I am not this guy.  That is some serious floral poundage.
And once again, there was the fun and challenge of getting nice candid portraits.  Given the nature of the subjects, it was not too hard.
I like this one.  I think they are mother and daughter, but certainly, two classic oaxaqueña beauties.
That's it for this year.  Now, we get ready for Semana Santa.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Handy Man

I was following this gentleman the other day and noticed that, even though he was traveling light and had only a binder in his hands, he had almost every tool one would need to do lots of jobs. 
As one who has lots of tools, I have to appreciate his economy towards efficiency... or is it efficiency towards economy?
Hammer, drill, hacksaw, vise grips, wire clippers, pliers, putty knife, screwdriver and no doubt, a pencil in his pocket and a tape measure on his belt.
I can think of people who have van loads of tools and never seem to have the right one with them.  And the Buddha was oh so right when he said, " The right tool for the right job, grasshopper."  Also, too, "Measure twice, cut once, chapulin."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Right around the corner

 
It is hot and dry as we are well into the dry season and although there have been a few drops, we are still many weeks away from the rainy season..... unless, this whole climate change thing messes things up.  But for now, it is time to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and take in the contours and patchworks that look so different from when they are so nice and green.  It is almost like winter in New England (without the snow) when there are no leaves on the trees and one can see the lay of the land.  This is the view right outside my door as I headed in. 
At any rate, I walked down into civilization today, Trinidad de Viguera, just to see all the little places that go by in a blur when you are driving.  I could not believe the number of places that there were to eat... and lots of them looked good.... but hot with those corrugated tin roofs.  I love the look of this tiny place which is all of five minutes walk from my house. 
Now this is art.
"American Pickers" would love it or as they are known here, "Cazadores de Tesoros."
The Raid is a nice touch, too.
I've eaten in quite a few places like this and they are always fun.  Most of the time, people are more shocked and amazed by me being there than vice versa.  And the food is made right before your eyes and often soooo good.