The here and now... and what and why
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.
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.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
If you want to read a great piece on cantina culture in Mexico, read David Lida's chapter in"First Stop in the New World." It is not what you think it is. So don't fear for my innocence. Damn, where did I put that halo?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Some street art from the old neighborhood Jalatlaco on the house of a corn activist.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
No, it wasn't this guy in the zocalo. I just liked his guitar and asked if I could snap him. You know, he coulda used a lesson or two, he couldn't play a lick. but don't tell him.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I know there are hundreds or maybe thousands of people working hard to fix the streets and water/sewer lines. I am glad they have jobs. But you cannot get around the city. It was hard enough before, but so many streets are closed off, I don't know how businesses are surviving. I have the patience of a saint after so many years of commuting in Boston. I have a great stereo so I am always happy, but it almost, almost, got to me yesterday.
I did think it was interesting that there were cops directing traffic everywhere, but I think it was because of other action in the city. There was a big event in the stadium above the city and tons of police there. Not that any of the traffic management helped much. I mean, whaddya gonna do if all the streets are closed?
The good news? I get to do it again today. Maybe a different route? Like everyone else is not thinking that, too. As I said, whaddya gonna do if all the streets are closed?
From The Canadian Press
OAXACA, Mexico — The lone suspect in the killing of an independent U.S. journalist during protests against the Oaxaca state government three years ago was let out of prison Thursday for lack of evidence.
Juan Manuel Martinez, who had been one of the protesters seeking the ouster of the governor, called himself a political prisoner and said the 16 months he spent in jail were the worst "torture of my life."
His lawyer, Alba Cruz, had said Wednesday that a Mexican federal court cleared Martinez and ordered his release.
Many human rights groups contend Martinez was wrongly charged with the slaying of Bradley Will, 36, of New York.
Will was shot in October 2006 as he videotaped a clash between protesters and government supporters in the southern state. He was covering the conflict for Indymedia.org.
Martinez was charged with homicide. Two others were charged with covering up the crime, but were later released. All three are supporters of the radical movement known as the People's Assembly of Oaxaca, or APPO, which seized control of Oaxaca city for almost five months pushing for the removal of Gov. Ulises Ruiz.
The fight started as a teachers strike and ballooned into a broader movement to demand Ruiz's resignation over allegations he rigged his election victory.
Critics said prosecutors ignored evidence that implicated Ruiz's supporters. Prosecutors have failed to give specifics about the ballistics evidence or explain why Martinez would have shot Will, who supported the protest movement.
"I'm happy to have gained my freedom and that government's injustice against me and my family has ended," Martinez said after he and other APPO members marched from the prison to the main square in Oaxaca city. "What happened to me is what happens to all political prisoners."
Will's family also has criticized the investigation into the journalist's slaying and say they believe pro-government forces were responsible.
Amnesty International urged Mexican authorities to continue looking for Will's killer.
Martinez's release was long overdue, said Kerrie Howard, director of the London-based Amnesty's Americans program. "Mexican authorities used Juan Manuel as a scapegoat to demonstrate progress in the death of Brad Will."
or AP's coverage - full story
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
New graffiti appeared in several different sections of the city.
What's it mean? I will look into it. Still, deep and beautiful, nice on the different backgrounds
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I took one empty suitcase up with me and ordered a large duffel bag that awaited me. So what did I fill them with?
A partial list: Tibetan singing bowl and Tibetan incense, cheddar cheese, Chinese kitchen knife, good soy sauce, GPS unit (oops, no satellite coverage here) electric toothbrush, jeweler's screwdrivers, an Airport Extreme wireless, deodorant, contact lens cleaner, maple syrup, (for friends), small electronics, clothes, sneaks, seeds, two backup cameras (Canon Powershots)..... OK you get the point, right. I got a lotta stuff.
Most importantly, I got a decent digital piano and a road case for it. Weight was an important factor. I have a great instrument in Newton, but with its case, it weighs a ton. So as i picked one out this time, the first thing I did was pick it up, which looked pretty funny. Then I went for touch and sound.
So you can see I was pretty laden, but wheeee.... I got stuff!
Just rediscovering the joys of playing is indescribable. I played everyday for most of my life and it has been a few years since i could do that. The rust is there, but minimal. The exhilaration brushes it off. Who knows, but there could be gigs in the near future. Already got interest in prospective students and lessons.
One of the best things I did up there came in the smallest package. Uploaded tons of movies and music to the computer and backed it up to a portable hard drive.
I am already starting on a list for my next trip in the spring.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One like this.from the Latin American Herald Tribune:
Laura Chinchilla Elected Costa Rica’s First Woman President
Laura Chinchilla becomes Costa Rica’s first woman president after getting almost 47% of the vote, while vowing to open a dialogue with all sectors of society and improve the quality of health care, education and security.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The smell of gardenias and jasmine fills the backyard. The plants are lovin' it.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
So after braving massive street marches, a long sinuous seven hour moonlit drive through the mountains, we found ourselves in Puerto Escondido. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.
The sun, the sand, the warmth, the waves, the seafood, the mango empanadas.... I dare not go on for fear of being too cruel. Iconic Puerto EscondidoOther than to say, on the way back we picked up guanabanas and several kinds of bananas fresh off the tree and some wonderful honey. The honey changes every two months depending on what is flowering everything from mango to coffee.