Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tijuana, "Low Calorie Los Angeles"

Tijuana is the low calorie version of Los Angeles

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peregrinos (Pilgrims), Basilica de Guadalupe, December 12th, Mexico City

The current, modern style basilica is to the left in the photo and its predecessors in the back middle and right. Atop the hill in the distant background is another chapel.

Peregrinos en la esplanada de la Basilica de Guadalupe, 12 de Diciembre, Mexico D.F.

During the festival of Guadalupe the esplanade is jammed with people moving around, camping out and dancing. Many independent groups of dancers perform at the same time in their respective costumes.

Peregrinos en la esplanada de Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico D.F.

Vast numbers of pilgrims come to the basilica to celebrate the appearance of the Virgen on December 12. Literally on foot and on bicycle from locations far from Mexico City. Many of them bring blankets and sleeping materials to camp out on the plaza during their stay.

Virgencita de Guadalupe, Basilica in background

La Basilica de Guadalupe, December 12 festival of the Virgen. Mexico City

This is the maximum religious site in Mexico. This building contains the painting of Guadalupe that appears on Don Diego's back at this spot, Tepeyac Hill. The event occurs on December 12 and thus it's the date of the annual festival and celebration of the Virgen of Guadalupe. The building is modern, it's predecessors are located near by. The entire complex is referred to by a mexican friend of mine as the "Little Vatican."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sunset over San Felipe sierra in Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Looking east towards Tlacolula across the valley of Oaxaca.

View of north Oaxaca city looking east to Tlacolula from atop El Cerro del Fortin.

Quilt of Metal Trash in Colonia Estrella, Oaxaca, Oaxaca

When I took a photography class decades ago at San Francisco State University there was a fellow who shot images of a yard and house in utter disorder, junkyard style. Those pictures fascinated me. Mexico is saturated with refuse put to work in some cases, like here, and just deteriorating in many others. Garbage isn't processed as well in Mexico as the first world. I've seen this fence and gate numerous times on walks and jogs up and down El Cerro del Fortin, the trademark hill above downtown Oaxaca that is also the site of the Gueleguetza Arena, where an annual pageant convenes indigenous groups from throughout the state for dancing and showing off their typical folk fashions and handicrafts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cafe at Arles? Could be but this is Cafe Terra Nova in Oaxaca Zocalo.

This setting on the Zocalo in Oaxaca reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh's beautiful night painting, "Cafe at Arles." Most historical Mexican cities and towns have a central plaza which is the center of social life. Most american cities don't have anything like it. This particular cafe, "Terra Nova," has a bit of modern myth about it. It is rumored to be owned by the mistress of the controversial governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz. The mini revolution in Oaxaca a couple of years ago dominated by APPO was initially about teachers salaries and morphed into an effort to unseat him. I think that's how it's interpreted.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Retrato Familiar: Marido, Mujer y Escuincle. Family Portrait, Husband, Wife and child

Outside of Abastos Market, Oaxaca, Oaxaca.

Seccion de Jarros y Tazones, Mercado Abastos, Oaxaca. Jugs and bowls.

Inexpensive ceramic products at Abastos Market.

Interior of Abastos Market, Oaxaca. Escenas del interior del Mercado Abastos


Normally live animals are sold outside on Saturdays. Maybe small fowl is an exception.

Sunlight passes through fabric and plastics of various colors creating a festive, ornamental atmosphere.  The seated women are selling tlayudas, big flat tortillas. A Oaxacan staple.

Dos machos y un chamaco en El Mercado Abastos, Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Chamaco means child or boy child in spanish.

Cargadores en El Mercado de Los Abastos

Oaxaca Abastos Market. Stalls on the surrounding streets.

The vast market, "Mercado de los Asbastos" has multiple warehouses, and beyond those the activity spills onto the surrounding streets. These images are from spaces on the streets.

Fresh chiles

Truck Decoration in Oaxaca. Decoracion de Camionetas en Oaxaca

Trucks are often decorated and perhaps the tradition intensifies as one moves south in Mexico. Drivers of public transport also commonly add artistic touches to their vehicles.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scenes from Mercado de Abastos, Oaxaca

The Mercado de Abastos is the biggest market complex in Oaxaca city and the state of Oaxaca. It's an exiciting place to be with an enormous variety of goods.

The market complex is bordered on one side by the Rio Atoyac, Oaxaca's river, although it now appears more of a creek.

In the mornings men wait for work on the east side of the complex.

Azulejos (Mexican tiles), Colonia Guerrero, Mexico City

I pass this fresh tile design on my way to my local Wal-mart in the mornings. The decaying building appears to be from the "Porfiriato", the period when Porfirio Diaz ran Mexico prior to the Mexican Revolution in the 1910's, a time known for "Europeanization".

Hotel Riviera, Colonia Guerrero, Distrito Federal, Mexico

On the periphery of the colonial center in downtown Mexico City many interesting examples of signage and architecture from deco to mid-century proliferate.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli, Periferico Sur, Mexico City

On a bus heading west on the Pereferico Sur (southern segment of the most important ring highway in Mexico City) my view was captivated by this arresting pattern. Later I visited and discovered it is a cultural center next to the pyramid park Cuicuilco. The southern zone of Mexico City is known as a prosperous one relative to other zones of the city. UNAM, the mega university of Mexico is about a  20 minute walk from here.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Panteon San Fernando, Dia de Los Muertos

Cemetery San Fernando is home of many very important political figures from Mexican history, the most important, of course, is Benito Juarez, Mexico's Abraham Lincoln. As in all cemeteries, tombs are decorated with orange flowers during the holiday. In this case, though, it's not likely relatives of the deceased make the decorations and "ofrendas".

La Catrina, Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

La Catrina, a character popularized by printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posadas, at beginning of 20th century, is immensely popular as a costume during the Dia de Los Muertos holidays. The idea is elegant people, just like everybody else, are subject to death.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Domingo en La Alameda, Mexico D.F.

Sunday is busy in Alameda Park. Masses of people congregate to listen to music, dance, eat, shop and cruise each other. Generally, the crowd is of lower economic means, shorter in height, and more indigenous than the city at large. Probably many of these people have come to Mexico City from areas in central and south of the country seeking better opportunities. Cumbia style music is popular with this group.

Returning home late at night I spotted this "comedor" next to an entrance to Metro Bellas Artes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ron in Plaza Santo Domingo, Mexico City

Plaza Santa Domingo is where the illiterate used to go to have letters written. Today there are many small job printers as well as typists who are available for letters and forms. Ron is a friend of mine, originally from Fort Worth, Texas who has lived in Mexico City for ten years. We met at the Spanish Conversation Group held weekly at the Casa de Los Amigos, a Quaker Center and hostel near downtown. He says he swam the Rio Grande to get to Mexico.

Lluvia en La Alameda Central, Mexico D.F.