28 February 2011

Mazatlán Graffiti

. . .was my title. La Mexicana preferred something like "A Grand Mural of Mazatlán." Just another of those nitpicky disagreements about genre.

27 February 2011


Interesting faces, I thought, at this international gathering yesterday. . . .

24 February 2011

The Merely Unusual

On a certain level there is something the same about all beach resort communities. I gave some thought to this. Is it the slightly shabby little hotels of two or three floors all in a row. Is it the abundant souvenir shops and theme restaurants and other concessions designed for only one purpose—to relieve those tourists of as much of their money as possible during their short stay? Or is it the sameness of the tourists themselves, the elderly white men in their awful shirts, mandatory short pants, and over-priced, name brand sandals morosely accompanying their plump white women—“moderately obese” in physicians' parlance--who never shut the fuck up?

In the end I concluded that this sameness resides in the fact that all beach resort communities abut some large body of water and abandoned the whole train of thought as circular.

The point is that I am not going to put up a bunch of photos of the same stuff that you would see in any beach resort community anywhere. Yes, it is beautiful. You can see that from the one photo that I have put up. But a little time at the beach goes a long way for me. I have the craving for landscape, the craving of the flat-lander who has lived his life amid visual monotony. The seashore does it for some of us. Cliffs. Breakers crashing on the rocks. All of that.

It is the mountains that do it for me, but I find myself here on the beach for a good reason that I will explain later.

Still, Mazatlán has its charms. The shrimp boats are a-comin' all the time. After an obligatory pass through the predictably historic, disgracefully clean downtown, La Mexicana and I hit the side streets. We found an old guy selling shellfish on the sidewalk. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed fresh oysters on the half shell and split a big shrimp cocktail glass full of assorted dead sea life. With hot sauce. It was a delight the likes of which I had not enjoyed since the old New Orleans.

La Mexicana was wielding the little camera today. I know my baseball cap is on crooked. That was intentional. I meant to do that.

The one good thing about tourists is that they are seldom truly adventurous. They confine themselves to the designated tourist areas where they can speak their language to each other; swap stories with each other about the quaint local practices that they have mastered; and then return home confident that they have been to Mexico. This makes escaping them easy.

La Mexicana and I wandered the streets deeper into the city away from the beach and got lost there. That was intentional, too. I meant to do that. There was an abandoned building there that fascinated me. 

A tree was growing out of the top of the building that was difficult to photograph because La Mexicana could not back off enough by reason of the narrow street. She did a wonderful job of photographing the rest of it though, I think. 

The tree's roots had grown down through the building. All through the building. By my feet you can see some roots emerging from a drain pipe that was built into the wall.

 This is a closeup of that very same root.

This is a tree root emerging from underneath a door and running along the foundation. It looked to me like The Blob from the early Steve McQueen film. (Am I remembering that correctly?)

The old shutters were ajar so that one could look into the interior through the bars. Those assemblages hanging down in the middle of the room are tree roots. To tell you the truth the whole thing gave me a creepy feeling.

You have to admit. This is subject matter the likes of which you have not encountered in other blogs here today. Right? Entertainment in the form of the downright bizarre and the merely unusual. That is my game here at The Solipsist.

15 February 2011

The Dicky Neely Blues Band

A Debut Documentary

When Adriana told me last September that she wished to borrow the video camera in order to make a documentary, I was taken aback. She had never touched a video camera before in her life let alone pressed a record button. She mastered the art of the brutal closeup right away though.

12 February 2011

An Opening

Last evening I attended an opening at Galeria Casa Diana over on Recreo. Paintings by Keith Miller were the feature. Keith Miller is billed as a botanical and landscape painter wherever you read about him. That seems a slightly insulting pigeonhole after one sees his work, and I have several times before. I suppose one has to convey something of genre when one is trying to interest the public in a painter's work.

11 February 2011

Guanajuato: Ten Photos

I had put off visiting the center of Guanajuato, the state capitol, until this past 31 January because I had heard of the series tunnels that one must negotiate in order to get in there. They are intimidating to the first time visitor, not quite like any other tunnels I have driven in. There are underground intersections in that pitch black for one thing. For the remainder of the day in Guanajuato the question remained in the back of my mind, "Will I be able to get back out?"

Even after one is in the city and walking around, there is a bit of a claustrophobic feel to it, not entirely unpleasant after a time.

The people there have a different taste in colors for their homes than I am accustomed to. More pastels.

05 February 2011

Camera in Your Face

The previous entry brings me to a subject that I have come to know a bit about. It is a subject, though, that I have not completely thought through yet for myself, although others have had things to say about it. It is this business of taking pictures of people. To put it bluntly, shoving a camera in another person's face. There are many people in this world who would feel more violated only if you shoved a gun in their face.

04 February 2011

Funeral in Guanajuato

God, I love this shot, if you don't mind my saying so. A completely lucky hit, it is to me worth hundreds of other photos that I've taken here for reasons impossible to explain. It is tweaked a little but not much. You can faintly see the widow's face through the windshield. The flowers stacked on top. The boy running in front. The mass of humanity behind; the empty street in the foreground.

Of course I felt that I was intruding. This was not the only shot. The new camera was set on machine gun. However, I took may hat off and stood respectively later as the cortège proceeded on by. It seemed to me that all was forgiven then after that gesture.