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, January 31, 2019

Hidden Treasures

Last week, I noticed a bulldozer clearing a field, while a large family watched, sitting in the shade of some remaining trees.  This was just down the road from me and, while I had sorta noticed these before, the dozer had exposed them much more clearly.  Wow!
I never realized just how beautiful they were.  Each looked to be eight meters tall and covered the side of a nondescript building.  One really has to look to find them.
I wonder what their stories are? 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

To Sir, with love... with a shave and a haircut

This is not my barber, but I love this peluqueria, or barber shop, that I pass every time I'm in the city.  I mean, if you look closely, the place really says it all and with such personal panache, very old school.  Clearly, a place for gentlemen and boys and the name leaves no doubt....
Sir!  It's where James Bond would get his hair cut if he was in town.  And by another Sir....
All for about $2 or 3 US.....The tire is extra.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sunday delivery - Rellenos

Every Sunday morning, at about 7:30, this doña rings the bell to greet me with a basket of her delicious chile rellenos.  And each week, I realize how lucky I am to be living the life I'm living.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

This is so Oaxaca.... These kids are too damn cute

How is it possible to be this cute?  As I sat out in the middle of the floor, this young girl came up to me and said she was ready for her closeup.  I loved how proud and confident she was.  And her family was off to the side, all beaming.  She was dancing this morning, in the guelaguetza or dance presentation, at the opening day of the 8th Annual Feria de Carrizo in San Juan Guelavia.  After she stole my heart, these others followed her.  I didn't even have to ask.
They were all so free, open and happy.  Wow, what a treat.  And they could dance.
Both of them looked so good, great form..
This is how traditions are woven into daily life and guarantees that they will continue long into the future.  And what a rich culture they share and with such inherent elegance.
This is not to say, that they are not plugged right into the 21st century.
All these kids were just so at ease having their pictures taken.  We had so much fun.
Obviously, there are lots of other shots, with lots of amazing things made from carrizo, the bamboo-like grass, but the kids come first.  It's that damn cuteness thing.  The feria is only on Sundays and the last one is Feb. 3.  Be there or be square... on the QT.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

This is so Oaxaca... Colores!

I love watching people work here.  I watch and learn. They are masters in so many aspects of construction.  And check out how this building looks today.  Wow, what a color!
The workers are inspirational and have taught me much.... like, that with simple hard work, the results can be both beautifully finished and functional.  A lot of it is just grunt work, hard physical labor, no machines, just like they have been doing for hundreds of years.
It's an art!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Meditation - Symbiosis

Symbiosis comes in various forms.  In one, both parties benefit, like the one above.  Another is when one party benefits and the other is unaffected.  And the third is one in which one of the parties is a parasite. 
Hmmmm.... I wonder, is it possible to be all three at the same time?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies....

But quite cold, downright nippy.... and yes, the birds are solar lights and they are equally magnificent at night.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

This is so Oaxaca... for real.

For the last 60 years!  The wonderful little cantina, The Hall of Fame - Salon de la Fama. Truly hardcore Oaxaca

Saturday, January 19, 2019

This is so Oaxaca, too... or three or four

Ah, Oaxaca, with your motos and the ubiquitous street cleaners.  Oaxaca is such a fine walking city, full of sights, sounds and smells.  Yes, smells, like the aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice right in the zocalo.
The beauty of the home altars....
Stunning and brilliant street art.
And of course, dresses for little princesses.
And the streets are ever changing with new shops and restaurants opening and closing every week.
Oaxaca, here's looking at you.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

This is so Oaxaca, too.....

This is the newly painted facade of a little hole-in-the-wall shop on a tiny side street, Calle Carrasquedo, near where I walk every time I'm in the city.  I think they sell huiples, the traditional upper portion of the trajes, outfits, women wear.  One can find these and many other designs on the amazing huiples of Oaxaca.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This is so Oaxacan..... huitlacoche

Just back from the tiny Weds market just down the road from me with these little taste treats.  What are they?  Corn smut, fungus, Mexican truffle or, as they are known and loved here, huitlacoche, from the Nahuatl... and they are a real delicacy.  
They can be eaten as is, but I plan to make an omelette using the fresh eggs from my neighbor's chickens, some onions and quesillo.  These are so fresh with such a subtle mushroomy taste.  All these Mexican truffles for just under $1 US... and they are quite healthy, too. .  ¡Viva huitlacoche!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

This is not normal....

The whole world is watching, no doubt some with glee, but all in amazement as El Norte careens headlong into a metaphoric wall.  It's a slow motion wreck of a train carrying nothing but dumpster fires.  But maybe that's just how it looks from down here.  Two thoughts, not worth a peso, "Cui bono?",  who profits.... so follow the money.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It's everywhere....

One of the things I love about Oaxaca, and I've said this many times, is that art, in its many forms, is such a part of the social fabric.  It all unfolds so easily and naturally around us.
It's everywhere. 
Music, dance, the visual and folkloric arts, make this place always interesting and often magical.
And it often, makes one think...
Art makes life better.... simple as that.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Someone's sending me a message....

I think someone was messin' with me and my rosca, cake, yesterday.  For whoever gets the little plastic figure is supposed to prepare tamales and atole on Candelaria, Feb, 2.
I guess this means tamales for everyone I've ever known or met.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

No better place to be - Tres Reyes Etla

And no place I'd rather be on el Dia de Tres Reyes, Three Kings Day, than in nearby Tres Reyes Etla, where it was all happening today.  I arrived just in time to see Los Magoss arrive at the church entrance. 
They were a handsome trio.  First, Melchior,
and Balthazar.
They each looked quite regal on their hoses.
Soon, it was time to dismount and enter the church.
They were welcomed and blessed by the priest.
It was quite a sweet event, so colorful and joyful, the church filled to overflowing.
And I got una rosca, a cake, too.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cock and Bull - Gallo y toro

Hoping that these are not harbingers of the year to come, more squabbles and the bull, lurking, searching for the next china shop.
And to think, I have to live with these guys.  They're my neighbors.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year Meditation

“I’m just a mountain recluse who really doesn’t know a thing.  I spend my days looking at the eternally infinite blue sky and staring at the dancing white clouds.  So don’t be fooled by anything I say.” - SongChol