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

Monday, August 27, 2007

The first month

After exactly a month in Oaxaca, I am finally getting settled. The house I am staying in is in San Agustin Etla, which is about 15 k. north of the city. It is a small village that receives more rain then many of the pueblos and consequently, it is very green and lush. It is also in direct line from many of the springs in the mountains which should prove to be very beneficial when the dry season arrives in the coming months.

As in setting up a residence in any new location there is always lots of work and lots to learn.
Even though I have been coming to the area for years, there is a huge difference in being driven and driving oneself. For one, there are topes (speedbumps) everywhere and they are often quite serious. They are called "el policĂ­a durmiente," "the sleeping policeman," and they certainly work in terms of slowing drivers down. Of course in certain pueblos there is a tope every 50 meters and they are often unmarked. Nothing more disconcerting and amusing to be innocently approaching one at a high rate of speed with a carload of people and everyone screaming, "Tope!"

Topes aside, the plan is to experience Oaxaca as fully as possible for the next ten months and see where it goes from there. I do have a folk art store in the city. It is still known as Corazon del Pueblo, which was one of the best folk art stores for many years and run by Rosa Blume in whose house I am staying. The store is upstairs from Amate Books, which is owned by Rosa and her husband, Henry Wangeman. It is a great bookstore, a real Oaxacan fixture. Thus far in Corazon I have very few pieces, but things are starting to trickle in. Antonio Ruiz, a fine weaver from Teotitlan del Valle, the Zapotec weaving village, brought in thirty beautiful rugs. The plan is to run the place as an artesano collective of sorts with people from the villages brings in pieces to sell. Not many people are visiting the pueblos and it is a chance for the artist to have more people se and purchase the art and crafts for which Oaxaca is so famous.

So in the coming days, the store will be set up. I have portraits of most of the artists that I will frame and hang. Let's see where is goes from here.

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