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, December 19, 2021

Things are looking up....

Everyone has taken shots of this wonderful installation on the Alcala, but I haven't seen one like this although they are probably out there.  Here's one of the more popular perspectives. 
Simply gorgeous and an amazing creation, a real work of art. ¡Viva Oaxaca!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Tehuantepec Represente!

As I mentioned in the previous post, Oaxaca always has a varied and expansive public art scene.  Almost every neighborhood has its own versions and 'tis the season to let it all go.
This installation of figures in the style of the dancers from Tehuantepec is right across from the sandia pieces. 
It's a made to order photo spot with Santo Domingo in the back. 
Someone in the government/tourist/arts world sure knows what they are doing.  More mañana.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Sandía - Watermelon

One of the very best things about Oaxaca is the abundance of public art.  And these wonderful works by local artists are currently being displayed along Santo Domingo church and are well worth checking out. 
There are quite a few of them and each is beautifully painted on a sandía inspired shape.  A nice diverse representation of the contemporary art scene for which Oaxaca is so renown.
Really some beautiful pieces.
Very Oaxacan, reminiscent of some of the street art which also is everywhere.
And really that's just the beginning.  There are wonderful installations right across the street... but that's for tomorrow.  OMG! Two days in a row?  It could happen, but you know...

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Ain't nothin' like the real thing.....

I'm talking about chicharron, fried pork belly or, as it's known in many other places, cracklin'.  It is a very common snack here, cantina food.  Like anything, it can be really good or really bad.  In this case, the picture tells the story.   Just about perfect. 
Time for a beer or mezcal.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Side street bounty....

Every Friday, on a side street just down the road, a tianguis, street market gets setup and I can find everything I need for the coming week. It makes life so much easier to be able to shop so nearby in these crazy times.  And look how good everything looks.
It's always a pleasant outing as I see these vendors every week and they all know me.  It's funny, but as I walk in and down towards the produce stands, my tamale people hold up two fingers and I know they will have rajas for me on the way out.  And then there is this amiga,
Who always fills a container I bring with all sorts of fresh baked goodies.  And the quality of everything is always just so good. 
Perfect breads, rolls and conchas to start the day.
I really am spoiled.  And really, you can get pretty much anything there,
From furniture to flowers.
Just a slice of daily life...

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's like new....

My 2004 VW Jetta has a brand new look...inside and out!  No longer does it have a sun bleached roof.  All the little scrapes and dings and one good size hole are gone.  It's got sparkles.  And this is the maestro who did the work. 
His name is Arturo and he really worked miracles on this car.  I'm almost afraid to drive it now 'cause you know what always happens.  Speaking of which... Did you know that to reprogram your key fob after changing the battery, you have to insert the key in the door, turn the key towards unlock for .5 seconds (three times in less than 5 sec.) and it resets.  I did not know that... the internet saves the day again.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Besos from the street...

Points if you know who this kisser is.  It is so good to be back and enjoying walking the streets and catching all the new urban art which is always so good and timely. 
The guelaguetza is more than just a dance festival.  At its core is the concept of shared wealth and work.  It's a way of life.  How I missed seeing the politics of the streets while I was away. It's good to be back.
And this wonderful jaguar on a small side street where I park when I'm in the city. 
This Virgin on Reforma has been there for years and is always freshly painted.
Sweet art, street art.  Sunny skies, perfect walking weather.  As I said, it's good to be back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"We don't need no stinking masks...."

WTF Oaxaca?  Today was my first trip into the city since my return. I went in to pay bills, get a haircut and shoot a little pool.  I was stunned by the huge number of people walking around without masks. I saw hundreds without as I walked from near Llano park to south of the zocalo.  It was the subject of conversation at the pool hall.  "It is the extranjeros, the foreigners, the tourists."  Absolutely!  It's mind-blowing to see so many young visitors acting so irresponsibly and disrespectfully. But in truth, lots of oaxaqueños were following suit.  Did I miss something?  Is covid over?  Seems rather crazy to me.  OK, I stole this image, but I am too pissed to make one of my own.... but the sentiment?  Right On, MoFo's!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

All my ducks in a row....

OK, so they're geese, but I'll take it as a sign that I'm ready to head back to Oaxaca.  It was very nice to be in my New England home.  I do love this place and it's easy to see why. 
Plenty of time to reflect on life with covid.  Reading the runes nature provides.
Just as in Oaxaca, it's a solitary existence. 
However, with my booster, my spirits are boosted, too and I'm ready to keep on keepin' on.  As one of my fav artists, Dua Lipa, says,
This is not a, this is not a
Swan, swan song
This is not a, this is not a
Swan, swan song
We just gotta, we just gotta hold on tonight
This is not a, this is not a
Swan song, swan song
Swan dive (Yeah)
It's a new life

Friday, November 12, 2021

Cruz de Piedra - The way that it used to be....

Going through old photos and I found these.  I always found this to be such a powerful depiction of Christ. with all the wires and cables.
It seems very old school by today's standards.
The anguish of the face is so typical on many of the statues one might find in churches. 
The new version is not as powerful an image and I wonder how oaxaqueños felt about the change.  It is still a very popular site that draws many visitors and lots of desfiles and calendas start there.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Street Art - Waltham style....

I do most of my shopping in nearby Waltham, which used to be the heart of watchmaking years ago with large mills along the Charles. 
Now, it is one of most ethnically diverse cities in the area.  Hence, it is a real restaurant mecca.  Thai, Indian, Guatemalan, Japaneses, Spanish, French, BBQ and good Mexican, too, it's all right there.
And so it goes in the large supermarket and the many small markets on the main drag, Moody Street.  "If you want it, you can get it." 
Just seeing this timely and political street art reminded me of Oaxaca, where it is so prevalent.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Autumn in New England...

One of the reasons I came north a bit early this year was to try and catch some fall colors.  Normally, I head up just after Muertos, but with it being so subdued once again this year, here I am. 
And well, I guess I'm too early.  The colors are very muted and the leaves are still more green than gold or red.  And they will soon be on the ground as it was -2 C. this morning and the first good frost normally does a number on them.  Did I say they were a bit muted?  Well, not all of them.
And with daylight savings ended, it starts getting dark at 4 PM, which makes the leaf peeping time much shorter. 4 PM is just too early... to go to bed.
Still, the place is beautiful.  I'll enjoy it while I can.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

They work hard for the money...

"You want your house where?"  I keep thinking about this work site in Etla because it shows several things about the area.  I remember when I moved into my house, I noticed all the cantera stone and thought it must have been left over from construction.  But no, it is simply what is just under the soil.  And you can see just how prominent and deep it is.  "No problem, we'll just chop it out.  It's only five meters high." I wonder how much was done by hand.  Oaxaqueños got some serious work ethic!
It sure explains why so many structures, ancient, not so ancient (colonial) and new, are built with the stuff.  It is everywhere and Huitzo, just to the north is famous for its quarries,.  The stone can absorb air and water without expanding, so it is close to a perfect building material.  Guess what the Spanish word for quarry is....