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

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Food, Glorious Food - Day 4

If you've seen the last few posts, you've probably thought, "Hmmm, the Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca looks pretty good, in fact, mouth-watering."  Well, it was even better than that.  Simply, one of the best food events of the year.
I spent hours just walking around, meeting the cooks, talking to people and ogling food.
Yesterday, blogger buddy, Shannon and I managed to get three dishes to share.  On previous days, I had only eaten one thing before being full.  We finally got to taste the Pozole Triqui, this time with chicken rather than beef. 
It was wonderful, real Mexican comfort food.  We shared it with an older couple sitting across from us.  One bowl filled four people!  Another dish we had, these empanadas de boda, filled with pork, almonds, raisins and other good things.
"Please, señora, I'd like another... twenty."
The third dish, these tasty little babies, garnachas.
All four days, the Plaza de la Danza was packed.  Great food, great ambiance, great people and Food, Glorious Food!  We weren't the only ones that thoroughly enjoyed it.
And so good to see people I've met out in the villages like this woman from Diaz Ordaz, whose higaditos are the best I've ever had.
I was so happy to see her.  Now, just writing this post, I'm hungry again.
I can't wait until next year.

One more thing.... over the first three days I managed to spend all of about $6 US.  Yesterday, the two of us together spent maybe, another $7.  I ended up giving up all my left over coupons to some young guy standing in line with his family.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Food, Glorious Food - Day 3

It was back to the Plaza de la Danza for more from the fabulous cooks at the Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca.  It's impossible to sample more than one or two dishes and there are so many to choose from, over 300! ... Like this wonderful Pozole Triqui, which I watched these ladies assemble.
First the pozole, which is like hominy, was shaped into a cup,
Into which the beef was placed and finally filled with what looked like mole amarillo.
Of course, I was already too full to get the pozole after finally getting these higaditos, an egg and chicken dish.  I missed them the first two days.
Like almost all these dishes, there is a different recipe in every house, all a bit different.  These were sublime.  I loved them.
Or how about the happy guy's torta or sandwich.
I just had to stop him and take a pic.
And there was this most interesting and unique dish, yucca balls in a frijol sauce and nothing else.  So simple, yet absolutely delicious.
Because I was already full,  I stopped people to ask if I could take a shot of their food.  "Claro que si."
It all looked so good.
Makes you hungry, doesn't it?  Well, I'm back tomorrow for the last day to drink (and eat) it all in.  Plus I've gotta see more of the Mendoza sisters from Teotitlan del Valle. 
Look at how happy they are!  We love them!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Food, Glorious Food - Day 2

Another post to either entice you to come or drive you crazy.  It only makes sense to take advantage of all the wonderful culinary offerings at the Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca.... so it was back to the Plaza de la Danza for the second day of this four day event.  Really, there are simply too many choices.  I did sample this wonderful pork with potatoes and mole amarillo.
And I just had to taste this mole amarillo with hongos (mushrooms) from Cuajimoloyas, up in the mountains where they have a big feria de hongos in July.  Mmmm... so good.
These gentlemen roasted pork that people stood in long lines to get.  Totally vale la pena... worth the wait.
Lots of delicious tamales.  They are different in every village.
Empanadas from San Antonino... some of our favorites always.
And sweets from the sweet.  This señorita, like all of the ladies, has been so friendly and warm.
Two more days!!  These cooks want to share their traditional dishes with you. 
Be There or Be Square!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Food, glorious food!

Heads up!  Today was the first day of the Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca, one of the best food events of the the year.  This is its second year and it was hard to improve on last year's inauguration, but they surely have, with 300 different dishes prepared by 85 oaxaqueñas and their many helpers. 
What a wonderful opportunity to sample many, many different Oaxacan specialties. 
It goes on for four days and I plan on returning a couple more times just because it is just too good to miss.  I'll have more, but for now.... Be There or Be Square! 
Plus, you can hang with the Mendoza sisters, maybe the most famous Oaxacan cooks in all the world.  Their mole?  Sublime!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"Ya got trouble, Right here in River city!"

"Ya got trouble,
Right here in River city!
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool."

I confess to frequenting some of the local pool halls.  Each has its own ambience, its own characters and its own set of rules.  
This one is in nearby Etla, right across the street from the market.  It has a nice vibe.  I got to play with the owner and managed to hold my own, although I was clueless as to the variations of the rules in his hall.  And it's fun, because there are always spectators and lots of interactions and reactions to both amazing shots and ridiculous misses.
And, of course, Etla is a very different scene from Billar Liverpool, the pool hall in the city where.....
Oh, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil's tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
With a "T"! Gotta rhyme it with "P"!
And that stands for Pool!!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

What's in a name?

"That's the name of your band?.... aw, dude." Band names are a source of wonder around the world.   Yes, there was once a band called The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.  Anyhow, the sign painters of Oaxaca regularly display their art announcing upcoming concerts. 
"Pegasuses of Oaxaca?" Hmmm...   One can see these announcements everywhere and they are actually quite cool and well done and obviously, they only paint what they are told to paint.  They don't make up the names.  OK, they may suffer from translation.... Rococo Cemetery....
You can put Rancho in front of anything and it will work.... "Rancho Fulminantes"... fulminate has so many definitions.... could be "Rancho Devastation"....
"Birds of Iron".... not to be confused with Mariposa de Hierro... that's a joke....
And there should be no doubt as to who's the for real decadents.
Party on, Garth....

Sunday, April 22, 2018

They're everywhere....

You know how it is, you notice something that's ubiquitous, so common you normally pass right over it and then, all of a sudden, it becomes a fixation......
They're everywhere... and they don't look like us.
And they come in all forms, none of them typically Oaxacan.... at least, not in my experiences.
In my travels, I stumbled across a rooftop display of newly produced models and was struck by how it was almost like a gallery installation.
I loved some of the poses
A new way of seeing them
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.