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

Thursday, May 19, 2022

from here to there....

A composer friend (RB) recently said he had moved on to new things and would not be composing anymore. Of course, he did not mean that the music ends, as we know, it never does. And so it is for me.... and I love the latest tech that makes everything so much easier.... except embedding it here.  So click on the link. From here to there

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Canastas Chiapanecas

Baskets from Chiapas.  One of the many great things about Oaxaca, and probably most of Mexico, is that one can often get things straight from the source via the ubiquitous popup roadside stands.  On any given day, you can get almost anything from food to furniture depending on who sets up where.  Today, it was all these fantastic woven pieces from Chiapas. 
This was just down the road from me and kind of a curious place to set up although he must have known what he was doing, because people were checking things out. 
I was tempted, but was out on errands.  Now that I think about it, I may go back.  I did see a couple of things that were calling my name.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

It's an art.....

Sign painting.  I watched these street sign painters working yesterday and marveled at just how good they are at their jobs, their art.. 
Because one sees this kind of signage everywhere, you don't really think about what goes into it.  They make it look so easy.  So what did the finished product look like?  Here's what today brought. 
Yes, that's the same sign they were working on above.  And here's the one right next to it. 
Eye catching, aren't they?  As I say, one sees them everywhere. 
When the event passes they are just painted over and a new sign gets created on the spot.
It's an art, like so much else here in Oaxaca.  One has to keep one's eyes open to appreciate it and not take it all for granted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Food, glorious food.....

This past weekend was the 4th Encuentro  de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca featuring many of the area's best cooks and their fabulous food. 
All of the offering were traditional dishes and because Oaxaca is so diverse, it is a big state, there was a wide variety of taste treats from which to choose.  Mole anyone?
Everything looked so good.  However, I've learned that one's eyes are always bigger than one's stomach.
The spit roasted pigs are always one of the most popular dishes with long lines to get some.
Iguana tamales were on the menu and quite affordable. 
As were many of the other dishes.  Higaditos are always a favorite.
I think this is a chile relleno, but whatever it is, I'm sure it was delicious. 
I have to say that going to such a wonderful food extravaganza where everyone is masked was hardly ideal and made things a bit difficult.  I mean, no one could see all the smiles behind all that wonderful food.  Still, it was great to be there and bask in the glory of the cuisine for which Oaxaca is so famous.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Domingo de Ramos - San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oax 2022

It was so good to get out and return to San Antonino Castillo Velasco for Palm Sunday.

Friday, March 18, 2022

"Love that dirty water..."

"Yes, Boston you're my home"  Well, one of my homes... and the water is much cleaner these days.  So today,  a quick trip north and, oh my, the changes,  My sojourn into Chinatown found my normal stops all closed for "renovation." Ouch!
So with both my normal supermarket and dim sum place gone, I searched and found another large market where I could stock up on essentials.... "ain't nothin' like the real thing." 
As I walked down Boylston, I passed this building where I used to stop to shop, play and purchase music and pianos. 
I hope it finds a new life. It was always so filled with music.  There was a room filled with what seemed to be hundreds of pianos.... and some really great musicians.
Just a few buildings down, that new life was on display. 
Emerson College has bought and restored several huge buildings.
It's snowed two days ago.  Today it was in the 70's. "Ah, Boston, you're my home."

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sunday Delivery...

Some people get the Sunday paper delivered.  I get a different sort of delivery.  This is one of my neighbors, Doña Barbara, who brings these delicious chile rellenos to my door every week.  
These are filled with chicken, but today she also had beef. 
Maybe I'll try those next week, but for now...  It's time to eat!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Bird is the Word...

I heard an unusual sound in the garden and rushed out to find the source.  It was this large bird and I was lucky to get this shot, but missed its bright yellow breast.  Anyone know what it is?  It had a rather raucous call.  Meanwhile, overhead...
Then it was off, riding the thermals.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Super Bowl Sunday Traffic....

This is one of the neighborhood fuel delivery services.  I had just watched them unload a large load of firewood or leñas for one of my neighbors.  These burros had been fully loaded with perfect pieces of wood, perfect for much of the cooking that I can smell on a daily basis.  "I love the smell of leñas in the morning... It smells like... breakfast." - was never said in "Apocalypse Now."  The scene immediately reminded me of a very different fuel delivery system, the fuel oil trucks, very pipa-like, that are ubiquitous in New England and are keeping my house up there safe and secure.  Luckily, I'm here, and instead of mountains of snow, I have these mountains.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Friday Market Shopping

After hearing how expensive things in El Norte are these days,  I though I'd share what $30 US buys at my local street market or tiangue.  I'll list them, fresh mango, two avocados, cooked pork for $3, green beans, three tomatoes, two jalapeño chiles, two kinds of bread/rolls, two tamales rajas, quesillo cheese. a piña tart, a chocolate nut muffin, a kilo of grapes, garlic, mushrooms, calabasitas (squash), bananas, three onions, broccoli and carrots.  That's a pretty normal week's worth of food, except for one of my neighbors who brings chile rellenos every Sunday.... uh, three delicious fat ones for  $50... those are pesos, so $2.50 US.  Do we love Oaxaca or what?

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Things are looking up....

Everyone has taken shots of this wonderful installation on the Alcala, but I haven't seen one like this although they are probably out there.  Here's one of the more popular perspectives. 
Simply gorgeous and an amazing creation, a real work of art. ¡Viva Oaxaca!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Tehuantepec Represente!

As I mentioned in the previous post, Oaxaca always has a varied and expansive public art scene.  Almost every neighborhood has its own versions and 'tis the season to let it all go.
This installation of figures in the style of the dancers from Tehuantepec is right across from the sandia pieces. 
It's a made to order photo spot with Santo Domingo in the back. 
Someone in the government/tourist/arts world sure knows what they are doing.  More mañana.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Sandía - Watermelon

One of the very best things about Oaxaca is the abundance of public art.  And these wonderful works by local artists are currently being displayed along Santo Domingo church and are well worth checking out. 
There are quite a few of them and each is beautifully painted on a sandía inspired shape.  A nice diverse representation of the contemporary art scene for which Oaxaca is so renown.
Really some beautiful pieces.
Very Oaxacan, reminiscent of some of the street art which also is everywhere.
And really that's just the beginning.  There are wonderful installations right across the street... but that's for tomorrow.  OMG! Two days in a row?  It could happen, but you know...

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Ain't nothin' like the real thing.....

I'm talking about chicharron, fried pork belly or, as it's known in many other places, cracklin'.  It is a very common snack here, cantina food.  Like anything, it can be really good or really bad.  In this case, the picture tells the story.   Just about perfect. 
Time for a beer or mezcal.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Side street bounty....

Every Friday, on a side street just down the road, a tianguis, street market gets setup and I can find everything I need for the coming week. It makes life so much easier to be able to shop so nearby in these crazy times.  And look how good everything looks.
It's always a pleasant outing as I see these vendors every week and they all know me.  It's funny, but as I walk in and down towards the produce stands, my tamale people hold up two fingers and I know they will have rajas for me on the way out.  And then there is this amiga,
Who always fills a container I bring with all sorts of fresh baked goodies.  And the quality of everything is always just so good. 
Perfect breads, rolls and conchas to start the day.
I really am spoiled.  And really, you can get pretty much anything there,
From furniture to flowers.
Just a slice of daily life...