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  1. #21
    Curt's Avatar
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    My wife is getting very interested in Oaxaca from just what she has read today, I would like to go some time this year, even January would be fine. A two week rental would be great but a decent hotel at a fair price or a house could work fine too. She has wanted to go to Belize for some time but this looks better to me. Do they have any drug wars or violence going on there? Dennis, what airline did you go with? We have put Italy on the back burner, I was told by a woman that just got back from Venice that they had signs saying American's Go home. We'll wait until the frost melt some more and then tell everyone we're Canadians. Ain't it great to be an American these days?

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #22
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    Curt, I flew from Portland on Mexicana. And as to crime drug wars and safety, you leave those problems in the US when you go to Mexico. The worst thing you have to put up with in Oaxaca is beautiful children trying to sell you wooden toys or cookies. Well.. and their parents or grandmother trying to sell you stuff on the streets as well. But it is all friendly and you should buy some of the stuff from them as they are living on very little. There is a really great market some bus ride away but I can't remember the name of the market though I am sure Sandy knows. It is around an ancient church yard and there are endless stalls of everything from hats to live turkeys to buy.

    Everyone drinks bottled water there and there is plenty available in the shops. My spouse and I are vegetarian so I can't vouch for the meats but the other foods in the restaurants are great flavored with 20some different kinds of peppers. Look for bowls of Pozole!! And the fresh fruit available in stalls on the street. And if you get out before dawn there are people pushing carts that will sell you cafe con leche which turns out to be Nescafe made with steaming milk and sugar. It gets you going. I never even saw so much as an argument there, much less violence.
    Dennis

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpurdy View Post
    Curt, I flew from Portland on Mexicana. And as to crime drug wars and safety, you leave those problems in the US when you go to Mexico. The worst thing you have to put up with in Oaxaca is beautiful children trying to sell you wooden toys or cookies. Well.. and their parents or grandmother trying to sell you stuff on the streets as well. But it is all friendly and you should buy some of the stuff from them as they are living on very little. There is a really great market some bus ride away but I can't remember the name of the market though I am sure Sandy knows. It is around an ancient church yard and there are endless stalls of everything from hats to live turkeys to buy.

    Everyone drinks bottled water there and there is plenty available in the shops. My spouse and I are vegetarian so I can't vouch for the meats but the other foods in the restaurants are great flavored with 20some different kinds of peppers. Look for bowls of Pozole!! And the fresh fruit available in stalls on the street. And if you get out before dawn there are people pushing carts that will sell you cafe con leche which turns out to be Nescafe made with steaming milk and sugar. It gets you going. I never even saw so much as an argument there, much less violence.
    Dennis
    The major market is called the "Mercado de Abastos" and it is located in the south of the city, and you can pretty much buy everything there, from food stuff to live goats to major appliances. There is another large marget located just a few blocks south of the Zocalo, and I suspect this is the one you are thinking about.

    You never drink the water from the taps. In fact, i don't even brush my teeth with it.

    The people are generally very friendly and the center of the city is quite safe, even late in the evening. I would not venture too far south of the Zocalo, however, in the late evenings as the area where drugs and prostitution are to be found.

    If you look at my gallery at http://www.alternativephotography.co...andy_king.html you will see a lot of images made from negatives taken in Oaxaca city. Although I work mostly in monochrome the city is so colorful that you might want to consider color even if you primarily like B&W.

    Best time to go to Oaxaca, IMO, is late October through the end of February. The climate is dry at this time, and the temperature cool but rarely cold. Oaxaca is at about 5000 feet elevation so even though it is very far south the climate is temperate all year. The summer is the rainy season.

    Sandy King

  4. #24
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    "There is another large marget located just a few blocks south of the Zocalo, and I suspect this is the one you are thinking about."


    Actually no I am talking about a market that you have to bus to some 20 kilometers away from the city. You get out of the bus station and walk right into the market which seems entirely indigenous and has been going forever. In the middle of the market is an ancient Cathedral and large square (much like the Cathedral and Zocalo in Oaxaca, but much older with few tourists) It is filled with very short women in traditional colorful dress though the men all dress relatively modern. I started to get my camera going and then thought no I don't want to spoil my experience of just being here by obsessing over making pictures of it. So I plopped down in the shade in the square like a hundred other Mexicans and took a nap. It is one of my best memories. though no pictures to prove it.
    Dennis

  5. #25

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    Dennis, if you went in Sunday, the market you are talking about is Tlacolula, Tuesday is Zaachila, Wednesday is Ocotlan, I don't remember the whole schedule, but there is a market taking place each day in different close by towns. It is a tradition in trading that happens since precolumbian times. You can buy almost anything, and in some places, like in Zaachila, you find horses or oxen to farming, the animal market there is huge.
    Jose A. Martinez

  6. #26
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    I went to Tlacolula. It is rather amazing. Great old church there too.

    I should also note that I had the great pleasure of meeting Jose there. He brought me rodinal and some fixer so I could develop my film while I was there. It was great help.

    I would also suggest going out to Mitla to see the ruins there. I went to the "hot springs" about 2 hours away, up in the mountains. Not really worth it, especially if you don't speak spanish.

    One more thing. I walked all over Oaxaca with my Hasselblad and a tripod and not once, not a single time did I have any problems.

    And keep in mind also, if you plan on shooting at a ruin or historic site, tripods are not allowed.

  7. #27
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    Yes thanks Jose and David it was Tlacolula so it must have been Sunday. It is definitely a place you don't want to miss. I was so struck with the ancient purity of it that I had to just sit down and soak it up. I didn't get one photo there. though there was one photo I wanted of people crowded into the church and I waited and waited for the right look and it never came.

    Monte Alban is interesting but I couldn't find anything much to photograph except some trees. Mitla was interesting as well but it was side stuff that interested me. I took a photo that is posted in the pbase gallery of a sculpture standing with a cross with sunlight spots on the left.

    http://www.pbase.com/dpurdy/image/96968206

    It was standing in the church courtyard and recently I was looking at some Edward Weston work and he took a nearly identical picture of the same sculpture only his is much better and on 8x10 and printed very high contrast with side lighting. Still it is great to know I came upon and took the very same picture that EW came upon and took. (in Mitla)

  8. #28
    Curt's Avatar
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    Yes, this all looks great, we have time off in Sept. and that's the time we would go.

    Thanks all,
    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  9. #29
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    I read Weston's Mexico Day Books while in Oaxaca and made it a point to photograph the hotel he stayed in.

    Reading that in Mexico made it that much better. I did some portraits on the roof of my apartment.

    A terrific experience.

  10. #30
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    Reading that in Mexico made it that much better. I did some portraits on the roof of my apartment.

    Azotea?
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

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