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, June 29, 2017

On this very stage....

On this very stage, next month, the dancers of the guelaguetza in Reyes Etla will, once again, present the regional dances for which Oaxaca is so famous. 
This round platform surrounded by mountains and vast vistas is one of the best places to see this annual celebration.
And you may recognize the church found there.  It was in Nacho Libre.
The views south to Atzompa are always lush, but even more so now with all the recent rains.
A detail from the above....   A man, a scythe, a horse and a sea of green.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Good to be back... cont...

There are people, places and things I miss in El Norte, like friends, food and my piano, but while I am there, I miss the people and the food here... and I have a digital piano here.  While I'm there, I take advantage of all that New England has to offer, but I never see anything like this...
So good to see my friends at the Etla market... my juice lady who gave a gift of those greens...  I had no idea what they were.
Rosa, from who I have been buying from for many years.
They take such good care of me.
However, the traffic snags are surely different than in the Ted Williams Tunnel.
And a different sort of bull than in El Norte.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Good to be back... tamales!

There ain't nuttin' like the real thing....
Sure, there are good tamales everywhere, but for me, nobody's are better than Doña Melisa's at the market in Etla on Wednesdays.
Three big fat rajas for $36 pesos ($2 US)

Good to be back... cont....

Everything is so green!  When I left, it was just starting to change from dry brown.  It feels like the whole countryside has awakened.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good to be back...

And such a nice welcoming committee...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More Oaxacan magic...

I'm headed back mañana after a month of house maintenance in El Norte.  I also got a chance to touch base with some old friends, pieces from my collection of carvings.  I feel very blessed to have experienced what was probably the golden age of alebrijes or carvings, the 90's up until 2006.  Yes, there is wonderful art being produced now, but several of the old masters, the originators, have passed.  Oaxacan woodcarving was hot in the international art world and people were enjoying and taking advantage of the acclaim and creating many masterpieces.  Like this mask of Medusa by Margarito Melchor of San Martin Tilcajete.
The mask is two feet tall and even the back is remarkable.
Margarito and his son, Margarito, are still carving wonderful masks and a must see if one visits the village.
For many years I commissioned music stands from anyone who would make one.  Here is a beauty by one of the grand masters, Isidoro Cruz, also from San Martin Tilcajete.
That's actually me and my two dogs.
Sadly, Isidoro has passed, but he lives on in his art and in our hearts.  Viva Maestro y amigo!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A song for the times

From John Legend, thought provoking....

Monday, June 12, 2017


Just getting ready to head back and going through shots from the past and came upon these two from almost twenty years ago.  It never gets old.
There have been hundreds of thousands of photos of each of them as it seems that every visitor snaps both of them.  I certainly have.... numerous times.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What a difference - Cement edition

Almost all the houses and buildings in Oaxaca are made of cement.  10,000 earthquakes a year might be part of the reason.  Yes, there are a few wooden structures, but they tend to be where there are trees for lumber... surprise.  So needless to say, the people who work with cement can do almost anything with it.  They are masters.  And, as a typical guy and as one who still has an 1895 house in El Norte which needs constant maintenance, I am always watching and learning about all things house construction related in both countries.

I just love watching guys working with cement and in Oaxaca and it is all grunt work, hard and physical, like these guys unloading a truckload of 110 lbs bags of cement... on their heads.
Or these guys pouring a roof.

Well, things are a little different here.  This is happening just down the street from me as they continue to tear down single family houses to put up newer and bigger ones.  Here's how they pour the foundation.  No grunt work at all.
I just watched in awe thinking of my Oaxacan friends.
They can direct the flow of cement anywhere.
Hard at work....
All done with a wireless remote.
Vive la differance?

Sunday, June 4, 2017