Category: Travel

MORE FROM YESTERDAY’S WALK

I first visited San Blas in the early seventies. It was a sleepy little fishing village then. Now, it's a a run down, crowded, crumbling, dusty little fishing village. It's also a quiet backwater, where no one seems to be in a hurry, where whole families pile onto a scooter and drive slowly around the zocalito, waving at friends, stopping for an ice cream.
There's not much here for the tourist, no blocks and blocks of souvenir shops, no over priced restaurants and bars, but for a photographer, it's a real shutter melter.

Dogs and scooters are ever present in San Blas,

Bicycles.

Motor bikes and mobile phones, too.

I saw color,

And tenderness,

Contrasts,

And ingenuity, as in this grill made from an automobile wheel and what looks like it might have been a storm drain grate in another light.

Tomorrow's a travel day. Who knows what that might bring?

Hasta mañana.

 

A DAY OFF

Well, I meant to take today off to hang around the room and rest up for the next four days. But I had to walk over to the convenience store and by the time I was finished, I had gone all the way through the local market, caught a cab down to the Malecón, and walked for eight hours! I caught a bus back to Ixtapa, had a small seafood pizza, and finally made it to the convenience store, and back to my room. I doubt that anyone who knows me will find this believable, but there it is. I was photographing all that time, as well. Here are a few results, all are taken with my iPhone 6s Plus, and adjusted in Snapseed.

Gerard and Dini, my hosts and I were all complaining this morning over breakfast, the way today's kids all have there noses buried in their electronic devices, missing the world around them…

When ancient and modern meet…

I know this one looks posed, but it's as candid as can be…

Gerard and Dini are from Holland as is my fellow guest whose name I can't pronounce. They tell me goodnight is vaskrister, and by listening to them talk to the dog Nana, I've learned to say naey for no. This evening, they were playing cards and I learned to say Oholyshit! I think it means You're beating me again.

Now, I'm off to bed early for a little of that rest I had promised myself.

I need that rest, obviously.

Hasta mañana.

 

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL / iPhone 6+ / PhotoForge 2

We had to make a quick trip to Santa Fe today. The drive down was the best show we've seen in terms of golden cottonwoods. Simply beautiful. All the way from Taos to Santa Fe. Did you notice the moon?

A great lunch with Cousin Ann Lawrence at La Fonda was followed by necessary shopping and errands and we're back home, tired but smiling after a nice, uninterrupted day together.

 

 

 

 

LEAVING FLAGSTAFF, AND TAOS, AND PHOENIX

I left Flagstaff on June 27, heading out the old highway, “Historic Route 66”, past the Santa Fe Railroad's giant cinder pit at Winona,

and stopped for a nostalgic shot of the old bridge that was such a thrill to me as a five or six year old boy, standing in the front seat of Grampa's two-tone 1941 Oldsmobile coupe on the way back to Flagstaff following our many trips to visit family in Winslow.

I stopped at Canyon Diablo for a quick “selfie” among the ruins of the old roadside attraction “zoo”.

But my main interest was rocks for a series of paintings I'm considering. Rocks like these just north of Meteor Crater.

I made my way through Winslow and Holbrook, then turned north to Ganado and over to Window Rock and Fort Defiance to photograph the rock formations there.

After sundown, I went on into Gallup for dinner and made camp in Fordacho.

The next morning I started out old “66”, and took every opportunity to cross the railroad tracks, followIng dirt roads out among the red rocks, gathering more research for that series of paintings I’m thinking of starting.

I continued like this all the way to Grants, then, after taking a brief detour into the pueblo at Laguna, for more photographs, of course, I made my way to Albuquerque and on to Santa Fe where I camped for the night. Oh, and I met an interesting young man, on my way to Grants, that I will tell you about the first chance I get.

A lot has happened since then. We just returned late Friday night, July 24th, from a second trip to Phoenix. Thea has undergone two eye surgeries. One for cataracts and one for glaucoma. She's doing fine, and her recovery is progressing better than expected.

We've been burning up the roads between Taos and Phoenix, and I've been working on a “secret” project hat I hope to tell you all about soon. So please be patient and do stay tuned.

To be Continued…

 

WUPATKI AND STELLA PESHLAKAI

After the Kachina Dance at Moenkopi, I drove south to Cameron for dinner, photographing the golden light of evening on the sandstone cliffs south of Tuba City on the way. The hotel at Cameron was full, so I camped again in Fordacho.

Back in the late 60s, my friend Dewain Maney took this photograph of Earl Carpenter and yours truly with Stella and Della Peshlakai. That’s Stella pretending to paint us.

I first met Stella when I was working as Preparator at the Museum of Northern Arizona and she was there demonstrating Navajo rug weaving. We became friends and I spent many happy days in her hogan, painting her and her father, Clyde Peshlakai and visiting with the family, her sister Della, brother Clark, daughter Helen, and others.


In 1969, I had my first one-man exhibition at the Stable Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gallery owner rented a flat bed wagon, team of horses and drivers. Stella came down and set her loom up on the back of the wagon. I set up my french easel and stood there, painting her, as a trophy winning entry in the world famous Scottsdale Parada del Sol Rodeo parade

Dewain called recently to say he had visited Stella at her home at Wupatki, that she is now ninety two, and that she sure would like to see me. So. That was the main reason for my trip to Flagstaff.



The next day, I went out to Dewain’s where he showed me his setup. Unlike many darkroom photographers, Dewain had taken to digital photography with a vengeance. He has mastered the software Corel Painter, and now creates beautifully rendered photographs like this one of Stella.

STELLA PESHLAKAI

By Dewain Maney

Click here to see more of Dewain’s work featuring people, wildlife and landscapes

After lunch in town, at La Fonda Cafe, my parents’ favorite for many years, and where I announced that I was returning to Greasewood Trading Post on the sponsorship that would launch my career, we drove out to visit Stella and Helen’s husband Anthony. We had hoped to join up with Earl and to recreate the old wagon photo, but neither of us had any luck finding Earl. Also, Stella no longer lives in the old family hogan, but in a lovely new house with running water and solar power, and wagons have been replaced by pickup trucks.

We had a great visit, though, sitting on the porch, talking over the old times and of the traditional native herbs that the government will no longer allow the medicine men to gather.


Clyde had lived at Wupatki and worked all his life for the Park. Untold generations before him had lived on that site. The National Park Service, though, in its bureaucratic wisdom, has decided that Stella will be the last of her family allowed to live there. Clyde once told me of the time he went with a delegation to “Washindon-di” and met “that man…what was his name? John, John Kennedy”.


I have to wonder what the Kennedy brothers, Jack and Bobby, would have to say about this National Monument no longer having room enough on its 35,000 plus acres for a single Navajo family that was there since before it was a National Monument.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/03/26/the-last-of-the-navajos-to-live-at-wupatki-national-monument/


http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/05/09/311119409/federal-goverment-jeopardizes-navajo-familys-ties-to-their-land


I camped at Dewain’s that night and we continued our catching up and plans for future endeavors.

Then I went to visit Rosa and John and on to Williams. Next, Gallup and the slow road back to Taos.

 

 

 

 

SAN JUAN, MEXICO CITY’S FOODIE MARKET

I had visited this market in the center of Mexico City eight years ago, and photographed the typical Mexican market scenes of fish, rabbits, cabrito and pig, fruit and vegetable vendors, butchers and fish mongers, and the busy food counters…

But, somehow, I had missed something. Something I should not have missed. The San Juan Market is a “foodie” destination!

On this second visit, I noticed what I had previously overlooked…

Tapas? You bet! First a complimentary sampler of wine, followed by a small plate of cheese samples, then tapas,

followed by tasty complimentary dessert tapas of bread, honey, cream cheese, chocolate, striped strawberry and pecan…

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THERE I WAS IN MEXICO CITY…

There I was in Mexico City, having a great time on my way back to the Palacio De Bellas Artes for the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

When I got there, I was surprised to be allowed to photograph inside the show. I spent hours there, pouring over some three hundred of the works of this master of street photography who was also a leader in photo journalism. And a film maker. Altogether a thrilling, satisfying and educational showing.

An added pleasure was seeing a large and diverse crowd so deeply involved.

Afterward, I had strolled through Chinatown

and the Plaza San Juan, with its brightly colored playground filled with laughing, squealing children, it’s splashing, overflowing fountain,

Past the locksmith, a real Peter O’Toole look-alike,

And on to El Mercado de San Juan de Pugibet.

(To be continued)