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

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Not in Kansas anymore....

Ain't nothing like the real thing.... However, this offering and its description made me long for my normal Oaxacan comida. Sorry the bowl is washed out by reflection, but the ingredients say it all.
I realize I am spoiled by living somewhere with such a rich and wonderful cuisine, but...  "Ain't nuttin' like the real thing, baby."
Don'cha think?

Monday, November 25, 2019

Chinatown Pilgrimage...

A beautiful day in Boston, so no better time to make my trek down Boylston, past the Public Garden and the Common to Chinatown to get supplies and some delectable dim sum at the China Pearl.
The food is always delicious.  Hot and fresh right off the many carts that get wheeled around.
And the decor....
More Beantown maƱana... but I did cross the Finish Line...

Friday, November 22, 2019

The gift that keeps on giving...

Even though I don't drink mezcal, unless required to by tradition, I always have some handy to give as gifts.  If in Teotitlan del Valle, it should be accompanied with tlayudas and chocolate, if one wants to be proper.  For me, I just love the different aspects of mezcal, the plants, the process and the people.  Plus, a little goes a long way.  I regularly give a bottle to my barber, my trash guys, the pool hall manger, street sweepers in the city, friends and families.  Well, I'm in El Norte, checking in on my 1895 house where I needed a plumber today.  When he finished, I asked him if he liked tequila.  He answered that he did.  I said, "I've got something for you." and gave him this bottle of some of the best mezcal from Chichicapam.... and of course, the whole spiel on agaves, mezcal, Oaxaca....  I think I have a plumber for life now.  Incidentally, the carving of Zapata is by master carver, Epifanio Fuentes from San Martin Tilcajete.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Flyover country

On my annual trek to El Norte to get the house ready for winter and, like most people, I'm always captivated by looking down.. a mandatory shot..
Different patterns
Heading north
Brrr.... just in time.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

No more rabies!

Given the number of feral dogs in the country, this is really an incredible achievement.

from the LAHT:
Mexico has become the first country in the world to be free from dog-transmitted rabies, according to the Pan American Health Organization on Monday announcing the World Health Organization validation.

To achieve WHO validation, Mexico implemented a strategy that included free mass-vaccination campaigns for dogs from the 1990s, as well as continuous surveillance and public awareness-raising campaigns for a timely diagnosis.

“Eliminating rabies doesn’t happen by accident. It takes political resolve, careful planning and meticulous execution,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the PAHO statement.

The WHO considers a country free from rabies after registering two years of zero transmission to humans. Mexico went from having 60 cases in 1990 to three in 1999 and none since 2006, the statement added.

The last two cases of rabies in humans transmitted by dogs occurred in the State of Mexico in 2005.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

She blinded me with science... uh, I mean, music

I have been trying to get a shot of this, one of my favorite pieces of street, for weeks.  However, it's in a tough place, on a hill on a busy street and there is always a car parked in front of it.  I have to stand in the street and jump up to get over the car and snap numerous shots in the hopes that I'll get it.  And finally, I did.  I love what it says to me.  I am definitely the guy with the boob tune for a head.  Music, all music, always blows my mind and cleanses the soul.  So there it is...zap....mind blown.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Muertos - Families and Friends....

That what Muertos is really about: Families and Friends.  It's not scary or anything like Halloween.  It's a time to gather together and share memories... and food and music and each other.  Our ancestors and our friends are remembered and live again in our hearts and minds.... and it's a good time as you can see from these photos.  Happiness, love and pride abound.
My friends in New England can't imagine cemeteries filled with so many people, smiling as they  decorate graves.  Entire families, parents, kids, grandparents, aunt, uncles cousins, all celebrating and honoring the spirits that all live on in our minds.
These are some of the things that bring smiles to our faces.
As well as toasting them with a couple of beers.
And note how many young people are involved in keeping these traditions going.
Imagine being involved in creating this...
It's the people, living and dead, that make Muertos so special.  It's such a healthy way of looking at life and death.  Maybe you just have to be there....  next year?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Muertos - Tamales in Teotitlan del Valle

It just doesn't get any better than this.  Muertos is such a special time and one of the highlights for us each year is getting to savor the remarkable tamales in Teotitlan del Valle.  Emilia Gonzales and her daughter-in-law, Virginia, get up at 3AM and make 250 of these beauties. 
Wrapped in fresh corn leaves and filled with a velvety masa and chicken and mole amarillo.... absolutely sublime. They are made only for this special day as dictated by tradition and it is an honor and blessing to share the day and the food with them, our Oaxacan family.  Tomorrow, it's back for her mole negro and if you have read this blog, you will know I think hers is the best in the universe.