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

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mitla and El Tule - Old and Older

As for the archeological sites, Monte Alban is the pinnacle, literally and figuratively and so it should not be visited first because everything else seems anti-climatic after seeing it.

Here is a map of the area.

Mitla is a good starting point, an area where people having been living for almost 10,000 years. The site itself has about 3000 years of history and is remarkable for many reasons, the architecture and stonework being just two of them.

The complexity of design, the tightness and precision of the joints, the various techniques used makes it look like they were able to weave with stone. The fact that when the Spanish arrived, they knocked down some of the site and built a large church on the rubble is fairly interesting as well.

Normally, because the site is small, people don’t spend a whole lot of time at Mitla, but we took most of the day. Two photographers in a dramatic setting, we just shot and explored.
Mitla is southwest of the city and on the way back we stopped at Teotitlan for lunch at “Restaurante Tlamanalli” which has been featured in Saveur magazine and is run by the Mendoza sisters.

One of the most beautiful kitchens I’ve ever seen and the food is always very fresh and flavorful. The restaurant is a slightly hidden jewel, but famous and with fame, the prices are slightly higher. “Higher prices” is a relative term. The cost of all foods is low here, but so are salaries.

Closer to the city is El Tule, the tree with the largest circumference in the world and one of the oldest and largest living things on the planet.

This is one big tree, hard to convey just how big. It makes the church look like a miniature, which it is not. The main road used to go directly through Santa Maria del Tule, but there is a bypass now and the village is much more attractive and peaceful now.

There are plenty of good places to eat and the gardens are immaculately kept. There was a large brass band playing at a baptism near the tree, all of whom were feeling no pain even though it was mid-afternoon.

As a former music teacher, I can tell you the bands here are excellent. Kids in the villages learn at an early age and there is live music everywhere. They do things with 6/8 that are crazy, but I will save that one for another time. At any rate, this band had a tuba player that was simply amazing. He was simply out of this world.

“Practice, practice, practice.”

Yesterday we were off to the museum next to Santo Domingo, but the shopping and eating traps got us. Deal of the day – heavy-duty air pump (for bikes and wheelbarrows) $5. Sonya might say it was the blouses she bought.

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