20 June 2011

Another Weekend, Another Fiesta

. . . but this fiesta, Dia de los Locos, Day of the Crazies, holds a special place in my heart. In truth it is only another excuse to fire off a truckload of aerial bombs, but I love it. A huge costume party it is. This fiesta also happens to coincide with St. Anthony's own special weekend. He is the patron saint of my neighborhood, colonia san antonio.

 
Dia de los Locos features a large parade on Sunday after endless partying in the street for a couple of days leading up to it. The participants in the parade assemble on Sunday morning in the San Antonio Plaza, a block to my north. They then stream down my street, callejon san antonio (St. Anthony Alley), to the main drag, ancha san antonio (wide St. Anthony Street) to form up for the parade that heads off downtown. Well, wait a minute . . .



There. Just to orient you. Nice font, huh? (Kindly refrain from sharing that map with any collection people, please.)

Since this all happens right outside my door and so as not to disappoint Rita Shibr, I claim Dia de los Locos as my own personal fiesta. It could form the vehicle to explore any number of high end, intellectual themes. Such as the coincidence of pagan festivals with religious observances. Or the Danse Macabre. Or the place of the mask in Mexican society. Or the institution of the masked ball in western society--I speak there of "ball" in the sense of a large formal gathering for social dancing, not the more intimate encounter. I am certainly capable of writing something along  those lines, I will have you know. But in the end, who really gives a shit? (I always put a spike into my blog entries like that in order to render them unsuitable as cover pieces. That sort of exposure would intimidate me.)
If it ain't fun, you and I are not going to do it. So permit me to show you some more photographs instead. Don't forget. Right click on any that interest you in order to see a larger version in a new tab.


This photo portrays my street, callejon san antonio, as it typically appears. We are looking north from the intersection with ancha san antonio toward the church plaza.



I always station myself for the parade near Los Rehiletes, The Pinwheels, which is a little specialty food shop that I depend on for such staples as snooty chocolate; snooty gourmet cheese; snooty, high class bread; and various exotic, snooty nuts.



Here we are looking in the side door of Los Rehiletes as the young lady that owns the place sells stuff out the front door to the gathering crowd on ancha san antonio. I am fond of this lady and always pull for her to make a ton of money on Dia de los Locos. I do not want her to go out of business.




 The crowd gathers early on ancha san antonio to await this very popular parade.



I am fond of over sized shades myself.




These pixies will not watch the parade from those positions. They would get trampled. Good spots to wait though.




Still, there are those who are really not into the parade, such as this distinguished lady passing by.




Or this lady walking down the middle of the parade route with her blue checked shopping bag.




All she wants to do is get out of there and get home as quickly as possible.




Then parade participants start to filter down my street toward the parade route. It is a family affair.





Soon the trickle becomes a flood.













Oh, yes. The parade. I must explain. Watching a parade in Mexico is a contact sport. The trick is not to go down. Stay on your feet at all costs. If you go down . . . and under . . . it is over. The following three photos pretty much capture my experience of all the parades in Mexico that I have ever seen. All parades look like this:








The upshot is that I always quickly lose interest in the parade and start photographing the spectacular rear ends of young women in as unobtrusive a way as possible.






And then go back to the deserted refreshment stands in the plaza for a coke.




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