Oaxaca, Mexico is a punctuation mark of color. Deep, vibrant hues of orange, green, purple, red, banana, terra-cotta, salmon, raspberry, turquoise, lime, lemon, blueberry. At every turn juicy fruit color startles the eyes.
My architect/photographer friend Tom Robbins commented that the closer one gets to the equator, the more intense the color becomes. Food becomes spicier and more pungent. Life has an extra kick, verve, energy. (Tom and his wife Sam are teaching a photography course in Oaxaca this summer! Want to come along?)
For the last week, I have been walking the broad avenues and narrow alleys of Oaxaca, zigzagging the city across her cobblestone streets. I have been paying attention to color. Imagine entire blocks one color after another.
Houses, shops and office facades are painted with personality. It startles me and brings a smile to my face. Nowhere in my lexicon of the familiar does this make sense. But, it is Oaxaca, full of life.
Now, it is winter in the northern hemisphere, but here in Oaxaca it has been hot, in the mid-80′s. As I walk, I protect myself from the sun and hug the shady side of the street.
I walk with no particular destination in mind, only to enjoy whatever presents itself: riotous color, worm pocked ancient wood doors a remnant of the aristocracy, a Carnival parade, a stone sculpted arch, the floral embellishment of ironwork, a bouquet of flowers. It is easy to smile here.
In addition to color, texture is everywhere.
If you are waiting out the end of winter, I offer you this colorful tribute to Oaxaca and hope this brings you a moment of joy as it does for me. String a series of these moments together and there is satisfaction, even happiness.
Next, imagine the color of food. Here’s a tasty sampler: fruit plate at Las Bugambilias Bed and Breakfast.