Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home for the Season!

Today we returned from Northampton and Bekah, Mitch, and Tovah's for the season. We won't be gone for an extended period again until next December. We had a great time in Northampton and it included a celebration of Pesach last night.

As part of the Pesach celebration, I made some homemade Matzohs! Recipe was courtesy of Foster DeJesus and Jane Alpert - Thanks.We had two families as guests for the Pesach meal. Here are the women heads of the guest families along with Bekah.We also celebrated Mitch's birthday during our visit which included celebrating his submitting his dissertation thesis. Congratulations Mitch!

Happy and Tovah bonded in a most delicious way.
To top off the evening, Tom Knight sang some wonderful songs! Tears were shed, children were enthralled, the night was whole.Hag Sameach! Next year in Jerusalem!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Improbably Blue Bluebirds

Improbably Blue Bluebirds
With Rufous-Rouge Breasts
Quicken a Sallow Winter field

Monday, March 15, 2010

Redwings and Red Squirrels

Today I heard my first Redwing of the season. The snow is melting. The weather is warm. Naomi watched a pair of Red Squirrels 'frolicking' in the woodpile - must be the beginning of breeding season for them too! Ahh! Maybe we will have an early Spring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

RUFINO TAMAYO MUSEUM Oaxaca, of PRE-Hispanic ART (of Mexico mostly from the Oaxaxa area)

There are a number of great museums in Oaxaca, but the RUFINO TAMAYO MUSEUM of PRE-HISPANIC ART is just amazing. It gives an idea of the achievements of the Pre Columbian civilizations of the Americas - so tragically lost. The idea of the museum is to show pre-columbian art as art and not as archeological artifacts. Also, it has the goal of keeping this art in Mexico rather than have it stripped away to Europe or the United States. I'll post just a few pictures to give a flavor. Unfortunately, all the pictures are taken through museum glass cases, but I think they are still interesting and will change your mind about what pre-Columbian American Civilization was all about. I apologize for the comments on some of the pictures. I hope they aren't too distracting.

This first one seems like a musician and a warrior. It could be a contestant in a game.

This one is a well known relief with a lot of exposure. Even I have seen it before.
This one blew my mind. Looks like a happy child. I would have expected to see it in a museum of Chinese art.
This is one of Naomi's favorites. It reminds her of Moore's work.
I like this one. Maybe because I'm afraid of snakes.
The colors and broad stripes remind me of Northwest Coast Indian design.
Another of Naomi's favorites.
One doesn't need to wonder any longer where 'Day of the Dead' iconography comes from!
The detail in this man's hand is amazing. I didn't get a satisfactory close up. Quite a hat!
An interesting grouping including some of Naomi's favorites.
Lizard's head as feet for the vase. There were a number of imaginative vases.
There is a reason the dog looks so plump and ripe. A hint, its not because of pregnancy.
Just an interesting bowl. I couldn't get the base's detail work very well.
Archeologists are thinking the bumps on the leg are some kind of skin condition. They occur on a lot of ceramic figures. I'm not so sure. But it does remind me of the skin conditions the ancient Jewish Rabbis were so worried about.
An Eagle.
Not uncommon to have a God standing on the back of others. Just think about the various Hindu Gods.
This one truly is scary.

There were a number of ceramic pieces with exaggerated female genitalia. Beautiful indeed.

This is pretty recognizable as the portico of a temple.
Just plain beautiful!
Family II
Pretty clearly a musician.
What does this wink mean?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Market scenes and street life in Oaxaca

The large covered markets in Oaxaca are crowded, colorful, confusing, and fun. So is the Zocalo. And street life in general is full of life. Here are a few pictures just to give a flavor. There are three or four balloon vendors walking the Zocalo and the square in front of the church at any given time.

Numerous small groups of musicians ply their trade.
And the covered markets provide some color.Another market stall featuring grasshoppers and other stuff.

The meat section of the covered market. Temperature in the 90s and no refrigeration.
I plant myself in the middle of one of the many celebrations on the Zocalo! By the way the second story behind me is one of the more famous restaurants in Oaxaca - La Casa de la Abuela. The food is good, but the view of the life on the Zocalo is outstanding - get a balcony seat.
Just couldn't resist taking this picture of incredible colorful clothing. Lots of folks wear ethnic designs for celebrations.
Advertising the local pharmacy. Many celebrations use puppets as part of the processions. We saw puppet bride and grooms in several wedding processions.
Colonial balconies line the streets. I thought this was an imaginative use of one.
Really good street food was plentiful and cheap. These tortillas cost 7 pesos - about 60 Cents American. They were excellent and you had a lot of choice about the fillings.
Yes, people still do carry things around on their head. They are balanced on a scarf that is wrapped around the top of the head and the basket sits on top. It is quite amazing to see a woman carring glasses of some kind of drink on her head in the Zocalo.
Colonial architecture with balconies predominates in the central city area. Buildings are colorful.
All in all, it is quite a riot for the senses.