Friday, July 19, 2013

paris part i : tourist shots

by the time i post paris part ii, i would have been here +/- 3 weeks with occasional day and weekend trips out of the city. try to contain your excitement, but those trips will be part of another blog entry. c'est bonne! for now, here's my generic version of paris tourist shots:
view of front façade from the seine
late afternoon lounging. best view of notre dame is from behind if you ask me
bridge of locks
façade detail of holy dudes
stained glass interior shot
typical seine scene: tourist boat, bridges and the notre dame
token eiffel tower shot
token bridge lamp post shot with eiffel tower in background

token arc d'triomphe shot
place de la bastille
skip the louvre, and spend the day in musee d'orsay
jardin du luxembourg
musee rodin
rodin's the thinker
my favorite precious church, sacre coeur in montmartre
with lots of tourists enjoying the view

Thursday, July 11, 2013

not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore.  and why should you since no one ever posts here.  but just in case someone checks in, here's photos from my week in london in no particular order or logic.  enjoy!
flying into london
rainy st. paul's from tate modern

these two last seen at tate britain
these "t's" seen at tate modern
hello ben
tower bridge
one of the guards at buckingham palace actually fell when making a turn.  here he is just getting up and rubbing his bum
multiple dinosaurs
one of london's many parks
i like you too 'friend'

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

finally left the place that no one seems to leave

you know those beach towns where backpackers and hippies seem to straggle into and never leave. zipolite happens to be one of those places. the routine seems to be is to struggle awake at noon, down breakfast, lay on the beach, follow that with the first sundowners at sunset, walk the beach or the one street in town to find out where the gran fiesta for the night will be, and then party till the wee hours. this cycle happens over and over again, similar to bill murray in groundhog day only with sun instead of snow.
the routine is 2 sundown beers to end the day or start the night depending on how you look at it
we quickly became locals the first day, knew half of the waitstaff or bartenders in town, and frightfully became one of them, stuck in time. we repeatedly heard from several people living there i've gotta get out of this place. luckily, having spent five days there, we snuck out just in time before becoming one of the permanent zombies. most people have been stuck there for anywhere from 2 to 4 months. one hostel manager visited 2 years ago and still hasn't left. he is now permanently leather skinned.
a restaurant in zipolite called the terrible...not the smartest name for a restaurant
we have now escaped to san cristobal de las casas in chiapas, mexico's southernmost state. it's the origin of the zapatista rebels, a hotbed for leftist revolutionaries, and home to some really good bars and cafe's. it's mexico's coffee region. the people here are more indigenous than other regions in mexico, and still speak tzotzil, a language rooting back to mayan civilization. it has a lot of 'shhh' sounds to it, but could be russian for all i know.
the catedral in the zócalo in san cristobal de las casas. if you ever want to call attention to yourself, then sketch in a public place. the shoeshine boys in the plaza like this young lad here, flocked around me to watch, and then proceeded to hit and kick each other, and then stopped for awhile to watch me sketch some more, and then returned to hitting, scratching, and kicking each other some more, and then watch me sketch again while climbing on top of my stuff and asking questions, and then after that breaking into a free for all no holds barred violence bonanza. the funny thing is they'll keep going to no end until they see someone with dirty shoes and then they'll harass them for 5 pesos to shine them.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

vivé méxico!

i haven't posted here in awhile, which makes sense for a travel blog if you're not travelling. but i´m glad to see that now that i'm on the road in mexico, that i haven't forgotten how to write meaningful bits of cultural observance. also, i still have a traveller rock star belly that up to this point has been immune to montezuma's revenge. speaking of which, food has been one of the highlights of this trip. i have this theory that the warmer and more colorful the country, the spicier and better the food. mexico hasn't dissapointed and is ranked somewhere in the top five after india and thailand and a couple others.
how about deep fried chile grasshoppers for a snack
a funeral procession of chickens
in mexico city, there´s one street stall that i would go to for a folded tortilla filled with refried beans, onions, nopales, and spicy salsa. the street stall lady cooked it with just the right amount of her dirty fingers squashing the frijoles, that one couldn't help but fall in love.
food stalls in oaxaca
one of the more interesting things about mexico city is how much it is sinking. you can see it in all the buildings of the historic center including the cathedral. the cathedral in mexico city
when cortés and the spanish destroyed the aztec capital of tenochtitlán, they filled the lake it was sitting on and built the entire city on this crappy soil without compacting it. henceforth, sloppy soil in earthquake zone equals sinking city. the ruins of the original azteca city of teotihuacán with the catedral in the background
i'm not sure what's stranger, an ice rink and snow park set in the middle of the zócalo in mexico city, or...
the creepy charmin bear mascot who hangs out at the porto-potties in the same plaza
a pretty little church in coyoacán mexico city
but enough about the wonderful merits of imposing colonization on indigenous people. highlights for me of mexico city was getting to see the house frida kahlo grew up, and also the house that frida and diego rivera lived in.
the lovely garden where frida kahlo grew up
dia de los muertos doll of frida at her casa azul
i could explain their tumultous relationship, or just watch the salma hayek movie frida to get a good background on her. she´s one of my favorite artists because of the amount of pain and suffering of her soul and body that is poured onto the canvas.
the house that frida kahlo and diego rivera lived in consisting of separate houses for each connected by a bridge. they lived here until frida caught diego sleeping with her sister cristina
diego's studio
diego's studio
have also been a tourist and visited some archaeological world heritage ruins. teotihuacán, the third tallest pyramid behind those in egypt.
pyramide de la luna in teotihuacán
pyramide del sol in teotihuacán
pyramide del sol in teotihuacán
also visited monté albán just outside oaxaca which is perched high up on a mountain plateau.
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
even though the touts selling their wares aren´t as aggressive as i´ve seen in other countries, my technique of randomly hugging them still steers them away from making a sale, and more towards sharing love and kindness amongst grown men.
normally i'm used to hugging sweaty smelly guys selling crap i don't need. this time i was caught on camera hugging a mezcal mujer telling her after seeing you 3 days in a row, i'm still not buying mezcal from you but i'll give you a hug instead
in oaxaca right now. been here for about 4 days now. it's a great colorful colonial city (that wonderful word again)filled with artists, galleries, brass marching bands, libraries and tourists. the plaza here is wonderful in the evening with street players, touts selling chicklets, for people watching and general wasting of time.
chiesa santo domingo in the background of a oaxaca street
dancers in the oaxaca zócalo
lots of oaxacan dummies everywhere
we're here for the noche de los rabanos (the night of the radishes). it doesn't take much to describe what this festival is all about
a radish church
they also had tamale wrap figurines and diaoramas set up. neat
the one high or lowlight here depending on how you look at it is the mezcal. it's native to the area formulated from the agave plant. every bar or restaurant has it's own house version, not the kitschy worm in the bottle stuff you get in the states. the stuff is a slow, trippy burn type of a buzz. we became friends with a couple of bartenders at a local watering hole in town. in exchange for our undying friendship, they kept pouring us free shot after shot after shot of mezcal. i don't really need to explain further what happens next.
the source
the villian. homemade artesenal mezcal
tomorrow, we leave oaxaca for the sleepy beach town of zipolite for your typical wintry, white sand christmas in the warm mexican playa sun. felíz navidad
payaso, deja en paz

Labels: , , ,