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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Instant Car-ma

Check out this sweet Ford in front of Santo Domingo that was the limo for a noon wedding on Saturday.
I got it turning around and moving into the shade.
 I talked to the driver a while.  He even showed me the rumble seat.  Looks really uncomfortable.
Of course, folks kept getting in the shot.
 Love how these guys are checking me out.
However, being the right spot at the right time.
Now for something karma related.  Glad I didn't park under this bird.

In sync

This is pretty weird and very cool.  All of these metronomes start at different times but eventually get in and in stay in perfect sync.  Why?

One of the things I used to have to do when I conducted orchestras and bands was to hit the metronome markings in my head.  It is a learned skill and I was good at it.  I can tell almost to the second when my microwave is going to ding.  The trick I learned was to imagine Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and that always gave a remarkably accurate 120 or 2 beats a second.  Then it was easy to adjust that up or down in my head.

Incidentally, they sync up because of the vibrations and energy transferred to the table which, in turn, is transferred back to the others.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Call it what it is

It was a good day.  Got some gas for the car.  Got garafones of water.  And got a nice large truckload of abono, aged cow manure, you know, bullshit.  So I will be shoveling it more than my normal amount, but oh my, the gardens are gonna love it.  Should be a couple of hundred wheelbarrows full if memory serves me well.  I'm psyched.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More art and artists....

The work continues, if one can really call it that, in photographing some of Oaxaca's most esteemed painters and visual artists.  Each has such a strong and unique presence.  Some are quiet, while other gregarious, but their art speaks volumes about each of them.  Somehow, I think these particular portraits really let these particular artists' personalities and auras come forth.  I will let you form your own opinions.
Emiliano Lopez Javier
Maximino Javier
Cecilio Sanchez
 Still more to go....
ps:  Can you guess which two are brothers?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

Yesterday was another birthday and, in truth, I was not expecting much.  I am cranking on recent photos of more of Oaxaca's artists and spent much of the day working in Photoshop and listening to music.  After about 8-10 hours at it, totally dazed, there was a knock on the door and I was whisked off to dinner at Comedor Colon in Etla with Henry and Rosa.  The food, as always, was delicious and at the end of the meal, the entire family who runs the restaurant came out and sang Las Mañanitas and gave me a little cake with a "?" for the candle.
 Of course, it was one of those candles that relights itself.
I have to say, it turned out to be such a sweet and joyous moment, the very definition of happiness. That and all the amazing thoughts, well wishes and love from all my FB friends, many of who are former students, made it a really special day. 

Eye chart in the sky

As my eye doctor always says, "Can you at least see the big E?"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Breast feeding

Breast feeding is so natural and common here that one barely notices it.  You see it everywhere, in markets and parks, on the streets, I mean, everywhere.  So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to see this statue celebrating it, which I had never noticed before.  It is in a little triangular park which was pretty much cut off by the rerouting of the major roads entering the city from the north.  I pass it every time I go into the city, but somehow had never noticed it before.  I shot this from the car and will have to go back and try to figure out how to dodge traffic and get a better shot.
With all the talk in El Norte of the "moochers and parasites sucking at the public teat," the story about Kate Middleton's exposed breasts and this wonderful post from BagNewNotes, one of my favorite blogs, I guess I was struck by the absurdity of it all.

I know that some women get arrested or shunned for breast feeding in the States and when you think about it, that sure says a mouthful about what a bizarre culture we have created.  I mean between our obsession with breasts, boob jobs, side boob shots, clothing malfunctions, etc., it is hard to comprehend why one of the most natural things in the world is somehow verboten.

What I love about this statue, besides it very existence, is the look on the mother's face, almost Pieta-like, and how her hand lovingly cups the butt of the other child.
I did go back for some additional shots.  It is sad, but it is almost impossible to get into the little park which I am sure used to be a popular and clean green space.  I had to jump a couple of small walls, but it was worth it just to be able to get up close and personal.

Friday, September 21, 2012

We all scream for .........

La Feria de la Nieve
For the next three days the Plaza de la Danza will be the coolest places to be as it will be filled with ices, ice creams and artesanos.  Oaxaca in all its glory.
The vendors came from all over and even though it was early on the first day, the place was hoppin' with a band playing and several dance groups.  I remember this woman, Aracely, from the Feria de Nieve in Tlacolula last April.  She has it down.  Her ices are delicious.
I sampled as many as I could and kept going back for more.
 These guys had some wonderful combinations.... mango with nuts.
And some traditional fare, as well.
I'm definitely going back for more.   If you know Oaxaca, you'll know that this feria is right next to the ice cream center of Oaxaca, the newly renovated Jardín Socrates, which is filled with nieve vendors.  Needless to say, business was down today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It is nothing to worry about

You know how your perspective can be altered by what you are reading at the current moment?  You read Kafka and things look futile.  You read Dante and it is all Heaven and Hell.  You read Stan Lee, you can kick a lot of ass.

Well, I am currently reading (actually, listening to audio versions as I put in long days working outside) "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace and "It" by Stephen King.  So I go between seeing things in incredible detail to being scared by seemingly normal things.... you know like, clowns.
Yes, "It" sure make one look at clowns differently.  Not to spoil the thousand page novel, but there is one scary clown that terrifies Derry, Maine for a few hundred years.  So I did a double take when I saw these two by my car.  The guy with the clown was selling some sort of candy, a sucker, I think.   Nothing to be alarmed about, right?
Hmmm.....  what kind of a look is that?
I guess I have watched too many movies like, "Blow-Up," or "Blow Out" or "The Conversation."
Keep reading, my friends.  Get a library card!!!! (h/t spixl)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More art and artists

Well, it just gets weirder and weirder and I am more confused than normal.  Obviously, I am shooting lots of artists these days and am drawn to those who work on the streets.  So today, as I was on my way to the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Sanchez Pascuas Mercado, I passed this gentleman who was painting in front of Santo Domingo. 
We talked a while and I asked his name.  He answered "Rodolfo Morales."  I said, "No, verdad.  That can't be true."  He dug in his bag and came out with this as proof. 
 In case you don't know, Rodolfo Morales and Rodolfo Nieto were two very famous Oaxacan painters.  And here is Rodolfo Morales Nieto.  I dunno, seems kinda..... strange.
I started down the street and then caught myself.  I needed a better portrait so I went back.  Here's what I got.  He said that was his official look because people were out to get him, no, seriously, they wanted him dead.  In their opinion, there could only be one Rodolfo Morales.  Crazy, huh?  So there his Facebook (tho I couldn't find him), his email and a gallery showing his work.  One wonders doesn't one?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Street Art cont.... part 88

It really is wild.  Street art appears and disappears like that.  I am always watching the walls, especially when I am someplace new.  I make mental notes and then, when given the chance, I hoof it back to see if it/they is still there.  Sometimes I will shoot from a moving car, if I am not driving or just pull over and get the shot before it disappears.... and they all disappear eventually.  OMG!  This is nice!
These are pretty remarkable and are on Crespo just before the stairs going up to the Guelaguetza Auditorio.
Love the detail work.
 The bougainvillea fits right in, in terms of color.
I am sure some of it is stencil work, but I have shots coming up of people doing it all freehand.
What an amazing art scene here.  I still maintain that this place is unique in the quantity and quality of the graffiti artists here.
Tag wisely, mis amig@s.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Afterschool Treats

There are always vendors outside of schools just at release time.  They do a good business.
One things I love is that parents always, I mean, always, meet their children after school to walk home with them.  And somehow, parents always end up carry all the little knapsacks and stuff.
If they had turned around they could have sat on this inviting bench on Crespo.
And look at the artwork adorning the walls.