It’s good to be back in Oaxaca — land of mezcal. Even the walls sing its praises.
And, they are not alone — so does National Geographic, with their article, A Mezcal Boom Spurs Creativity.
Posted in Agriculture, Creativity, Culture, Travel & Tourism, tagged agave, art, Mexico, mezcal, murals, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, popular travel destinations, street art, wall art on March 31, 2017| 4 Comments »
Posted in Animals, Casita Colibrí, Flora, Gardens, Science & Nature, Travel & Tourism, tagged African Tulip trees, agave, birds, Casita Colibrí, caterpillars, flowers, garden, Mexico, Oaxaca, orb weaver spiders, photographs, photos on December 17, 2016| 12 Comments »
Last week, a friend of mine in California challenged me to post a nature photo every day for seven days on Facebook. I had participated in one of these challenges nine months before, posting mostly photos from the countryside. This time, I decided to acknowledge the gifts that Mother Nature keeps surprising me with in my rooftop terrace garden.
And, in the spirit of the season, they are my gifts to you. Hope you like!
Posted in Creativity, Culture, Flora, Science and Nature, Travel & Tourism, tagged agave, California, Cerro Picacho, costumes, Mexico, Mill Valley, Mount Tamalpais, murals, Oaxaca, papel picado, photographs, photos on September 20, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Despite 2000 miles between here and there, similarities abound between the two places I call home.
Art on walls. (Left) A massive new mural in Mill Valley, above the side wall of the Sequoia Theater, by Zio Ziegler. (Right) One of the many murals by Sanez (Fabián Calderón Sánchez) in Oaxaca. By the way, I’ve previously posted murals by both artists: click Sanez and/or Zio Ziegler.
Agave. (Left) Of course in Mill Valley (California), it’s solely ornamental for those meticulously landscaped gardens. (R) Whereas in Oaxaca, it’s vital crop — land without agave means life without mezcal!
Fluttering swags of flags. (Left) Cloth Tibetan prayer flags flying outside the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley welcome patrons to the Mountainfilm festival. (Right) Ubiquitous papel picado found inside and out in Oaxaca, in paper or plastic, for events special or just because.
Sacred mountains. (Left) Mt. Tamalpais, the Sleeping Lady and mountain of my childhood dreams, teen driving lessons, and adult peace, joy, and renewal. (Right) Cerro Picacho (in Zapoteco, Quie Guia Betz), brother/sister mountain — the sacred mountain in Teotitlán del Valle, where, among other times, villagers make a pilgrimage to the top on Día de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross).
And, last but not least, colorfully costumed couples. (Left) Soon after arriving at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, I ran into this twosome. Turns out, in the “it’s a small world” universe, they are actually friends of a couple I know in San Miguel de Allende. (Right) During July’s Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, the delegation from Putla de Guerrero representing their celebration of Carnaval, is garish and gaudy and wild and wacky — in other words, fantastic!
Creativity is a challenge. It requires us to be fully human — autonomous yet engaged, independent yet interdependent. Creativity bridges the conflict between our individualistic and our sociality. It celebrates the commonality of our species while simultaneously setting us apart as unique individuals. —Greg Graffin
Posted in Agriculture, Culture, Flora, Travel & Tourism, tagged agave, Lapiztola, mescal, Mexico, mezcal, murals, Oaxaca, photos, popular travel destinations, street art, urban art, wall art on October 18, 2015| 3 Comments »
Before a “suspendida” order is slapped on this stunning piece by the Lapiztola collective celebrating the human face of agave cultivation, here is another moving work of art for the people, seen on Tinoco y Palacio on the wall of Piedra Lumbre, near the Sanchez Pascuas mercado. It tells a story…
There are 199 “recognized” species of agave. How many can be used to make mezcal? The Mezcal PhD explores the answer. And, for an illustrated guide to many of the more popular varietals, click The Many Varieties of Mezcal.
Posted in Animals, Flora, Food, Restaurants, Travel & Tourism, tagged agave, bike riders, cattle, Los Huamuches, Mexico, mezcal, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, restaurants on October 13, 2014| 5 Comments »
Sometimes a Sunday drive is just what the doctor ordered. Though when in Oaxaca, one can’t assume the course will run smooth.
After being blocked by bloqueos a couple of times last week, blogger buddy Chris and I were in the midst of congratulating ourselves when our leisurely drive south on Hwy. 190 came to a halt as we attempted to turn west at San Dionisio Ocotepec. At least ten men and a few trucks were positioned across the turnoff. Oh, no, not again… another protest?
No, a bike race had closed the road. Seeing our disappointment, we were directed to make a U-turn, backtrack a mile (or so), and turn onto the dirt road that skirted the hillside, in order to bypass the race. It was easier said than done, but after a few fits and starts, gullies and rocky outcroppings, and inquiries of all manner of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, we eventually wound up back on the paved road — right where we wanted to be!
We weren’t the only ones westward bound. These guys, while not part of the race, were also enjoying a Sunday ride. We passed them on our way to San Baltazar Chichicapam.
And, why were we going to Chichicapam? To fill up our 5 liter “gas” canisters with some of our favorite mezcal made from locally grown agave, of course! Muy suave…
Sunday or not, a campesino’s work is never done. Cattle, burros, and herds of goats were a common sight as we continued our Sunday drive. And, speaking of goats… By the time we turned north at Ocotlán de Morelos, we were starving. Lucky for us, Los Huamuches, our “go to” roadside restaurant between Santo Tomás Jalieza and San Martín Tilcajete, wasn’t far away.
What can I say? Mild temperatures, spectacular scenery, good company, and barbacoa muy sabrosa — the “doctor” was right!
… and for everything good, you also should.” — old Oaxaca saying.
Today, the XIV Feria Nacional del Mezcal opens in el Paseo Juárez el Llano. Preparations were in full swing yesterday afternoon, when I walked passed Llano Park (as it is more commonly known).
Behind the back of Benito Juárez, carpenters were busy.
Newly constructed puestos lined the sidewalk on Pino Suarez, waiting to be filled with vendors and displays…
For more information about mezcal, including how it differs from tequila, see:
In the meantime… “¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro!”
Update: Posters, website, and other publicity to the contrary, the feria did not begin today. Mañana is the word!