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

Monday, January 23, 2023

We're all in this together...

Yesterday was tequio day here in San Pablo Etla.  I went on an early afternoon walk and the roads were filled with people cleaning the neighborhood.  What is tequio? According to Wikipedia: "the task or collective work that each person owes to their indigenous community is known as tequio. Since it is done for the benefit of the community itself, it is not paid work."
And folks were out in force, working hard.  I walked several kms and saw many different groups. 
Not only do the neighborhoods get cleaned, but it's also social occasion with people having a good time, very Oaxacan.
Shared work and shared happiness, so typical to the indigenous communities here. And yes, I did my part and cleaned the sides of the road near the house, too.

Friday, January 13, 2023

The truth hurts...

I wonder if there is any city in the US where these images could be seen.  States are passing laws banning any discussion of Critical Race Theory(CRT).  Here's a list.  I guess if we can't talk about it, none of it ever happened. 
It's like Mexico passing a law banning any talk of Spain... even though everyone speaks Spanish!  So much of the culture that is "American" comes from, dare I say it?...
Better not.  I wouldn't want to offend anyone with the facts.  I guess it is like Jack Nicholson said, "You can't handle the truth." 
And yet here it is in black and white on the walls in Oaxaca.  These are all shots from a couple of months ago on the street that abuts the north side of the Botanical Garden, seen by tens of thousands of people.  I went by it yesterday... 
Ah yes, work closed, suspended .... perfect. 
The truth hurts...

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Word for the day - Amortiguador

That's right, shock absorber.  Living in the land of tope's, serious speed bumps, my 2004 Jetta was long overdue for some new ones.  I went to the same place that installed the old ones, maybe ten years ago.  It was just past this fine flying VW bug on the Pan-American Highway, a handy landmark.
I had to take a couple of moto-taxis back to the house to get more money and then returned, where I just sat patiently listening to an audiobook for the couple of hours it took them to complete the work. 
I have to say the new shocks, amortiguadores, made quite a difference in handling and feeling the bumps and topes. It was a job well done and long overdue.  A point of interest: no two topes are the same.  They can be easy to get over and then there are the ones that hit the bottom of your car, not to mention the invisible ones.  After a while, one can sense where those are.  You don't want to take them at 40 kph.  So when's the last time you changed your shocks?

Monday, January 9, 2023

You never know.....

What you'll see in the city.  For me, it is always a breath of fresh air, filled with lots of smells, fragrant aromas, like those coming out of Bamby Bakery.  Or the aroma of freshly brewed coffee that fills the air just to the left of this little work of art. 
Ah, yes.... Oaxaca's sights and smells and always some amazing street art. 
That is a pro-choice piece, really thought provoking.  "Here's look'in at you, kid." 
And this beauty should be on the cover of some lit car magazine.
And as always, on display, Oaxaca's wonderful diversity of its folkart and textiles. 
To mangle a famous movie quote, "I love the smell of Oaxaca in the morning.  It smells like...alebrijes?"

Thursday, January 5, 2023


Back to the city...

OK, it's been a while since I posted anything, but baby, I'm back... at least I'm gonna try to do better.  We'll see how long that lasts.  Given all that's happening in the world, my words, thoughts and photos don't really matter... except to me.  Anyway, I ventured into the city for the first time this new year and it felt great.  It was just nice to see the place so vibrant.... and different. 
Here's the NW corner of the zocalo where those huge laurel trees dominated the scene for so many years.  Lots of tourists in town and they present some of my trepidations in going into the city.  In case you hadn't noticed, covid is still out there and actually there's a new surge going on.  Of course, this is Oaxaca and there is not much info out there as to how things are going. 
So half the people are masked and the other not.  Anyway, it did my heart good to see some of the iconic Oaxacan figures like the Maestro of the dogs.  He is so good with them, he normally would have five or six with him.  He must be a trainer or something. 
This shot has so much in it, but please note the rider on the dog's back.  I also ran into a woodcarver whose work I have in Boston, two large and unique mirrors.  It turns out he lives right around the corner from me.  His shop is Tribus Mixes.  I will have to dig in the files to see if I have pics of the mirrors.  So that's for another post.  On my way back I saw this...
"Open paths to love"..... I have not called.... yet.  Oh, and I have a nice video upcoming of the danzantes in Teotitlan del Valle.  Happy New Year!  Feliz Año Neuvo!