Posts Tagged ‘store displays’

Thinking of all the sign painters I used to know back in the day, up in el norte.

At a time ruled by the industry and advanced technologies of all kinds, it’s easy to forget that once many things were done by hand. One of these things would be sign painting…. However, like many crafts and trades, hand-made sign painting was taken over by computers and printers, which promised cheaper and quicker solutions to its curious customers hungry for the wonders of the new era. As a result, these creatives lost their jobs, like many of their fellow draughtsmen and handymen.The Nostalgia of the Sign Painting

But, here in Oaxaca…


We’ve got the ladder, the brush, and the artist.


The hand-painted artistry continues and leads to…


The creation of a beautiful and unique sign on Av. José María Morelos in Col. Centro.


¡Vive los artesanos!

Update:  The sign painter (rotulista), Arturo, can be reached at:  951-201-3527




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I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area for a lengthy stay — a necessary trip to el norte to sell my grandparents house.  I’ve only been here for three weeks but I’m missing Oaxaca, already!  However, driving up Solano Ave. on my way to Berkeley, a storefront caught my eye.  Skeletons, tapetes, a riot of color…


Where am I???


Casa Oaxaca is a gift shop featuring arts and crafts from Southern Mexico.  Artesanía from Chiapas, Guerrero, Puebla, and (of course) Oaxaca cram every nook and cranny of the store.

Casa Oaxaca’s delightful owner, Guillermo (“Memo”) Robles, was born and raised in the city of Oaxaca and he returns frequently on buying trips.  All items are carefully (and lovingly, I think) bought directly from crafts people and artisan collectives.


I stood talking with Memo for almost 30 minutes and, surrounded by the artesanía I have come to know and love, it was almost like being back in my adopted city.  Ahhh…  If you go, don’t forget to look up!


I’ve also discovered Mi Pueblo Food Center in San Rafael, one of a small, privately owned, chain of supermarkets in Northern California.  I came home with Tajin seasoning, a bag of still warm tortillas, a whole roast chicken, quesillo, along with fruit, fresh herbs, vegetables, and a case of Modelo Especial (the latter especially for my son, in whose home I’m staying) — all for a better price than the unnamed, but well-known, big chains.  On my next visit, I’ve got to try their tamales.

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Revolutionaries behind bars.

Boy and girl figures, seen through window bars in shop display dressed in traditional revolutionary clothing

Couldn’t resist just one more El Grito window display!

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The word "ASK" written on white wall with light green trim on left

Where else have you seen El Grito decorations?

Blue and peach colored school decorated with Mexican flag banners and drapes

Schools, of course!  This one in Teotitlán del Valle.

People standing in front of newsstand decorated with a green, white, and red garland.

And, how about newsstands?  You can’t miss the green, white, and red — it’s everywhere!

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El Grito is coming, El Grito is coming!!!  Green, white and red is on display all over the city, including clothing stores, as tradition calls for wearing the colors.

Are you in the market for a traditional look?

White blouse and skirt with green and red trim.

A huipil and rebozo?

Green, white, and red dresses and shawls hanging on wall.

Or, are you leaning toward an updated mix and match style?

Green, white, and red dresses, skirs, blouses, and sash.

Do you need a sweater for going down to the zócalo on the evening of September 15?

Green, white, and red sweaters hanging on display hooks.

By all means, don’t forget to accessorize!

Green purse and red shoes.

On a more serious note:  Despite its current challenges (which are many and serious), Mexicans are extremely proud of being Mexicanos.  And, in my humble opinion, they have every right be!  They can trace their history back to ancient and highly developed civilizations, their national cuisine has been placed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO, and Mexico is considered one of the most geographically and biologically diverse countries in the world.  Plus, when was the last time you heard Mexico had invaded another country?

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