Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Palacio de Gobierno’

Our first stop on day five of B’s Week in Oaxaca was the Palacio de Gobierno to see the magnificent Mural of Oaxaca history.  Ooops!  I had forgotten that the Government Palace was now closed to the public.  However, a polite appeal to see the mural, addressed to one of the guards by a couple of tourists (okay, one tourist and one resident), resulted in the guard receiving permission from a superior to let us in.  We were instructed, mural only!  We obeyed, walking only half-way up the grand staircase to take in the entire work of art.  I love this mural by Arturo García Bustos and hope the palacio will again be opened to the public.

Once we had finished marveling at the Bustos history of Oaxaca, we walked up the Macedonio Alcalá to the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO) to check out the Espejos de Cal mural being painted in the courtyard by Jesús González.  Engrossed in watching the mural unfold and fascinated in the technique explained by the artist’s Russian assistant, we never made it inside this treasure of a museum.  Next time!

We strolled further up the Alcalá to the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (IAGO), founded in 1988 by renown artist, philanthropist, and social activist, Francisco Toledo.  First we wandered through the exhibition rooms and then into the impressive library.  The 60,000+ books on art, architecture, design, photography, and much more is one of the most extensive arts-related collections in Latin America.  A photography professor friend raved to me about finding a book at IAGO that he had been searching for and B (the architect) was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at titles he eyed — and pulled a few off the shelves to leaf through.  IAGO also hosts lectures, conferences, musical performances, workshops, poetry readings, and film showings.

Needless to say, by the time we finally left, we were hungry.  Lucky for us, the acclaimed restaurant Pitiona was only a block away.  Born in Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Chef José Manuel Baños spent time in Spain under the tutelage of innovative chefs Feran Adrià and Juan Mari Arzak.  However, as the name Pitiona (a native herb frequently used in Oaxacan cooking) suggests, the starting point for Baños is local ingredients.  The simple elegance of the old colonial building and attention to detail in table settings, service, and especially food, made for a sublime interlude in the day’s activities.

We descended the stairs of Pitiona to the sound of music coming from the atrium of Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.  It was Saturday and that means wedding day at Santo Domingo – each featuring a band, folkloric dancers, marmotas (giant cloth balloons), bride and groom monos (giant puppets), a wedding procession down the Alcalá, and scores of tourists and locals stopping to watch — which we did, too!

Our final stop was at the photography museum Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo, another brainchild of Francisco Toledo.  The museum has over 18,000 photographs in its permanent collection, including by its namesake Manuel Álvarez Bravo, his first wife Lola Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Tina Modotti, Guillermo Kahlo (yes, Frida Kahlo’s father), and Mary Ellen Mark.  Works from the collection and by photographers from all over the world are exhibited in galleries surrounding a beautiful courtyard featuring a reflecting pool.

However, that wasn’t the end.  After a siesta, we gathered with eight other diners for a Waje pop-up dinner.  The June menu was an homage to mole and the setting was at the restaurant Mezquite Gastronomia Y Destilado where Waje chef, José Daniel Delgado is the new chef.  As always, José Daniel and his Waje team provided a creative, delicious, and delightful evening.  An added bonus was being seated across from Jason Cox, co-owner and mezcal steward of El Destilado — a restaurant I definitely need to try.

Only one day left in B’s Week in Oaxaca.  Where to go?  What to do?  Stay tuned!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

September 16, 2015 marked the 205th anniversary of the beginning of Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.  Like all such occasions worldwide, it was celebrated with patriotic parades.  Here in the city of Oaxaca, civic and military contingents marched from the corner of 20 de noviembre and Trujano, passed the Government Palace, east on Guerrero, then north on Pino Suarez, to wind up at Paseo Juárez (aka, Llano Park).

P1140081

Oaxaca’s Palacio de Gobierno, with images of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez and José María Morelos y Pavón, two of the heroes of struggle for independence.

Before you could see a contingent, you could hear it; often drums and drummers heralded the arrival of both school and military groups.

IMG_9648IMG_9653Like most patriotic parades, military and police elements dominated the civic.  In Oaxaca, we are talking federal, state, and municipal, including units from the thousands of members of the Gendarmaría Nacional, who have been in town for at least a month.  I do have to say, besides the usual, some of the camouflage face paint had an “only in Mexico” flair.IMG_9691

IMG_9719IMG_9717copySpectators lined the streets along the route, but mostly reserved their applause for the bomberos (firefighters)…

IMG_9710IMG_9711Cruz Roja (Red Cross) workers, especially the canine unit and young volunteers…

IMG_9731IMG_9727and, last but not least, the riders from the Asociación de Charros de Oaxaca, who brought up the rear.  I guess the thinking was to keep the streets free of horse manure until the end!

IMG_9742IMG_9743IMG_9758IMG_9757IMG_9750That’s all, folks!

Read Full Post »

I love the carved masks worn in many of the traditional dances in Mexico and, thus, made a bee-line to the current exhibition at the Palacio de Gobierno, Máscaras de Juxtlahuaca — part of the month-long celebration of Guelaguetza.

Most of the masks in the show are the work of  Alejandro Guzman Vera, a native of Santiago Juxtlahuaca in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca.  He was born in 1972 and, as a young child, made his first mask of cardboard and painted it with crayons.  At age 12, he carved his first wooden mask.  He went on to study at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas and has become one of the premier mask-makers in Mexico.  He has exhibited world-wide and is one of the honored Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular de Oaxaca, profiled in the book by the same name.  By the way, he is not only a mask-maker, but also an accomplished musician and is playing a role in the rescue of the traditional music of Juxtlahuaca.

(Click on an image to enlarge it and to enable a slideshow.)

Dancers from Santiago Juxtlahuaca will be performing the Danza de los Rubios in the morning Guelaguetza presentation on July 27 and will, no doubt, be wearing masks, cracking their whips, and jingling their spurs during the Procession of Delegations on the preceding Saturday.  For a glimpse at the Danza de los Rubios and to get a feeling for some of the music Alejandro Guzman Vera is involved in saving, here is a snippet from last year’s Guelaguetza performance:

Masks are donned not only for the Danza de los Rubios, but also for the Danza de los Diablos and the Danza del Macho, which are performed at various annual festivals in the region.  Once carved and painted, the wooden masks can be embellished with glass eyes and real animal teeth and horns of bulls, goats, or deer.  They are an amazing sight to see!

The Máscaras de Juxtlahuaca exhibition at the Museo del Palacio in Oaxaca city closes August 28, 2015.

(This blog post is especially for you, Jane and Ken!)

Read Full Post »

My morning caller flew the coop and so did I.  After being confined to quarters for the past several days due to the rain and gloom, I walked downtown.

P1020289

Also, I was curious as to the state of the Zócalo, in light of the teachers, ambulantes, and the annual reenactment of “el Grito de Independencia” by the Governor, from the balcony of the Government Palace, at 11 PM tonight.

P1020307

I found, except for a handful of tents and tarps, the Alameda and Zócalo were back to normal.

P1020309

Castillos were being constructed on either side of the Government Palace.

P1020301

P1020304

P1020297

And, like every year, the Mexican flag was flying high, green, white, and red lights and banners were strung, and images of the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain decorated the front of the Palacio de Gobierno

P1020291

P1020292

Most of the teachers and ambulantes have departed and all is being readied for el Grito de Independencia 2014.  And, nobody seems to miss the State Police, who are staging a “work stoppage.”   Ahhh, Oaxaca…  Ya gotta love her!

El Grito de Independencia
¡Mexicanos!
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron la patria y libertad!
¡Viva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Viva Galeana y los Bravo!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

In English
Mexicans!
Long live the heroes that gave us the Fatherland (and liberty)!
Long live Hidalgo!
Long live Morelos!
Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!
Long live Allende!
Long live Galeana and the Bravos!
Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long live National Independence!
Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico!

Read Full Post »

Early Wednesday evening, I walked down to the Palacio de Gobierno to see Dreamer, one of the Oaxaca FilmFest4 offerings.  It had been raining on and off all day and so, to lighten my load and make room for my umbrella, I left my camera at home.  Why would I need it?  I was just going to be sitting in a small dark theater.  Sheesh, was I mistaken!  It was twilight when I entered the Palace via the side door on Flores Magón, but we were directed to exit through the main front entrance — and I was blown away by the scene before me.  The rain-soaked zócalo glistened and glittered, awash with El Mes de la Patria green, white, and red lights.

Needless to say, last night when I returned to watch, Twenty Million People, I took my camera!

Government Palace lit with green, white, & red lights

Heroes of the independence movement, Hidalgo and Morelos in the spotlight as they gaze down from the Government Palace.  I always forget how beautiful the zócalo is at night!

Read Full Post »

Last night I walked down to Oaxaca’s Palacio de Gobierno at the south end of the zócalo.  This former government palace is now a museum and I was headed up to the second floor to see two more Oaxaca FilmFest3 films.  I was early, the building was mostly empty, and so I took the opportunity to really study the mural that graces the walls of the main staircase.  Painted in 1980 by Arturo García Bustos, the mural depicts the history of Oaxaca.

Coming up the stairs, to the left, the customs and lifestyle of the Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and Aztecs of pre-Hispanic times unfold.

As you ascend further, on the right wall the Spanish conquest is portrayed.

However, it is the center section of the mural that grabs the attention.  Best seen when one reaches the top, here Bustos, pulls out all the stops in representing the one hundred years from the War of Independence through the Reform Movement to the Mexican Revolution.

Featured in the upper right corner of this panel, wearing his signature red bandanna, is War of Independence hero, José María Morelos y Pavón.  He can also be seen in the lower right with a printing press, in his role as publisher of Oaxaca’s first newspaper, El Correo del Sur.  On the upper left is anarchist and Mexican revolutionary hero, Ricardo Flores Magón.  He is also pictured holding a banner reading, Tierra y Libertad (Land and Liberty).  Flores Magón is the namesake of the street that borders the west side of the Government Palace.

However, front and center is Oaxaca’s favorite son, Zapotec, former governor of Oaxaca, and Mexico’s much beloved five-term president, Benito Juárez.  He and his Oaxaqueña wife, Margarita Maza, hover prominently above his Reform Movement cabinet.  The full text of the ribbon is a quote by Juárez, “El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz” (Respect for the rights of others is peace).  It appears on the State of Oaxaca’s coat of arms.

Juárez is also pictured along with the cabinet and third from his right stands another Oaxaqueño, the young, menacing-looking, and far from beloved by the 99%, Porfirio Díaz, trademark epaulettes and all — a portend of things to come.

Following his death in 1872, the city and municipality of Oaxaca honored Benito Juárez by changing its name to Oaxaca de Juárez.

Save

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: