Tag Archives: New York Times

More Than 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico — Where To Stay, Hotels, Hostels, B&B’s

Where to Stay in Oaxaca, Mexico: Hotels, Bed and Breakfast Lodging and Hostels. The list that I sent to Freda Moon, The New York Times travel writer who crafted the feature 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico, included recommendations for where to sleep in Oaxaca City.  She was only able to include one, El Diablo y La Sandia.  So, I’m sharing with you what I sent to her and a few more that I recently discovered.

El Secreto de las Bugambilias, NEW, Reforma #522, Col. Centro, Oaxaca, (951) 514-9536; USA (866) 829-6778, 3 rooms, Single/Double, Dahlia Room, $70 single/$80 double; Begonia Room, King Bed, $80/90; Azalea Room, King Bed, $90/$100.  Extension of Las Bugambilias B&B one block away, owned by the Cabrera Arroyo Family.  Just opened in June 2011.

El Diablo  y La SandiaNEW Libres #  Maria Crespo, owner. $80 USD per night double, $75 per night single includes breakfast. Email: info@eldiabloylasandia.com

Clean, basic and convenient Hostal Paulina, Trujano #321 at the corner of Diaz Ordaz, 4 blocks from the Zocalo. Phone (951) 516-2005.  370 pesos per night including breakfast, shared baths. reservations@paulinahostel.com  www.paulinahostel.com/ing10/localizacion.html

Lovely, European-like, quiet neighborhood of Jalatlaco is just a few minutes walk from El Llano Parque and the ADO bus station. It is easy to imagine being on a back street in Florence, Italy.  For 200 pesos a night you can stay at Hostal del Barrio, Privado de la Noche Triste #5, delbarriohostal@gmail.com or (951) 515-2910.  Innkeepers Señora Oliva and daughter Señora Julieta offer a warm welcome to their quiet home. Each very spare, small bedroom has a private bath and hot water. It is clean and adequate with no frills. Go around the corner to Casa Arnel for a healthy breakfast a la carte or during the week or Saturday morning to Xiguela, the organic market/cafe.  It’s a 30-minute walk to the Zocalo.

In Teotitlan del Valle, our workshop groups stay at Las Granadas Bed & Breakfast and at Casa Elena.

Photography + Art Collage Workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico

Questions? EMAIL  normahawthorne@mac.com

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Yesterday, Mari and I worked together in Humberto’s studio to create this poster.  The main image is a fine example of how you can make a photograph and then transfer the image to create an art collage.  The small portrait at the top features a Carnival reveller.

The workshop allows you to focus on the medium you prefer to work in:  photography, collage or painting.  You can also experiment with any mix of the three, if you wish.  Our two expert artist-instructors will coach and teach you every step of the way.  Mari is an accomplished photographer who will share her tips and techniques.  Humberto is an exhibited painter and assemblage artist. They have been teaching together for over five years.

Reduced price for Oaxaca visitors/residents who don’t need lodging!

Oaxaca is filled with art to inspire you.  There are gallery and museum openings galore during this time of year.  For Carnival, we take you to the village of San Martin Tilcajete to experience the festival first-hand.

Then, after the workshop, you have the option to join Mari for 3-Days in Puebla.  If you can’t attend the workshop but want to come along or meet us in Puebla, you are more than welcome!

If you are in Oaxaca in February, we offer a special resident’s/visitor’s price that does not include lodging.  Contact Norma Hawthorne for details and special pricing.

More Than 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico–Favorite Restaurants

The list that I sent to Freda Moon, The New York Times travel writer who created the feature 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico, included some of my favorite places to eat in two categories:  1) Where to eat that won’t break your budget, and 2) The GaGa Dining Experience.

Where to Eat That Won’t Break Your Budget

El Gran Gourmet, Av. Independencia #1104, between Juarez and Pino Suarez, clean, quick, delicious local food joint, 3-4 course lunch about 50-60 pesos, including beverage.  This doesn’t look like much from the street, but believe me, the food is delicious and a definite bargain.  If you are watching your pesos, this is the place! Can’t find it in any guidebook.  Where my pals from the Museo Textil de Oaxaca eat lunch.

Casa del Tio Guero, 55 pesos for a fixed-price, 3-course lunch.  Offers vegetarian, typical Oaxaqueña comida (lunch), sandwiches.  Av. Garcia Virgil #715, continue uphill 2-3 blocks past the corner of  Av.Jose Carranza. Tel. 951-516-9584; known for Puebla’s  quintessential treat–chiles en nogada (available as vegetarian). Incredible flan.  Great folk art plasters the walls.  Lots of visuals to keep you occupied.

   

Café Los Cuiles — Cafe with a Conscience! Av. Abasolo between Alcala and 5 de Mayo, across from the outdoor artisan market. Plazuela La Bastida #115.  Ex-pat heaven with locals who love it, too! Comfy little spot with great omelets, waffles, and traditional Mexican fare, free Wi-Fi, which means that sometimes it’s difficult to find a table.  50-80 pesos.  Office away from home.

La Zandunga, Av. Garcia Virgil at the corner of Jesus Carranza, cater-corner to La Biznaga, traditional Isthmus of Tehuantepec cooking, delicious mole negro, tamales steamed in banana leaves, moderate $$ 80-120 pesos; maybe 10 tables; extensive mescal tasting assortment; Aurora Toledo owner is from Juchitan. Telephone: 951/516-2265

Terranova on the Zocalo, outdoor café, moderately priced. Excellent tortas made with whole grain rolls and great people-watching.  There are many restaurants that ring the Zocalo where you can dine alfresco.  I particularly like the Micheladas here — made with spicy tomato and lime juice and beer of your choice.

Where to Eat for the GaGa Oaxaca Dining Experience

Pitiona—Cocina de Autor, NEW Calle 5 de Mayo #311, (951) 514-4707,  across from swank Camino Real Hotel. Try the sea bass with ginger crystallized sugar, red chard, spinach, salsa Amarillo and fresh blue corn tortillas.  When I had dinner here soon after they opened, the wait staff was warm and friendly, and the culinary masters of the kitchen loved having their picture taken!

            

Los Danzantes:  Even though The New York Times mentioned Los Danzantes in their 2007 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico feature, the restaurant has staying power.  The food is still extraordinary.  The coconut shrimp I had recently was over the top, adorned with “tuna,” the fruit of the agave cactus, peeled pink grapefruit and orange sections, and cucumber, topped with a pineapple salsa with candied ginger and red pepper flakes. Macedonio Alcala#403 Interior Courtyard #4. Telephone: (951) 501-1184, (951) 501-1187.  Enter next to El Oro de Monte Alban.  Also, they distill their own mescal.  Muy rico!

 

 

La Biznaga, Ave. Gargia Virgil, #512, between Allende and J. Carranza, eclectic atmosphere with open sky dining and great recorded jazz on a good sound system, innovative food preparation and presentation. Try the black bean soup and anything with squash blossoms.  I especially love the salmon salad and trust the lettuce-washing here.  Quintessential SLOW FOOD, which says more about how quickly it comes out of the kitchen than its origins.  The red Malbec wine from Argentina is especially delicious.  You can dine here for between $7-25 USD, depending upon your menu choices.

Please feel free to add your own recommendations for your favorite eating spots in Oaxaca in the comments section.

In The New York Times: Oaxaca Cultural Navigator

Que milagro!  The New York Times features Oaxaca Cultural Navigator in its 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico article written by travel writer Freda Moon.  The Travel section story on Oaxaca, the first to be published about the city since 2007, appeared in today’s online New York Times.  It will appear in print this Sunday, January 15, 2012.

Forgive me if I have to pinch myself — again and once more.  When I showed the article this afternoon to Federico (Fe) Chavez Sosa, who with his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas (Lola) and family, run Galeria Fe y Lola, also noted in Freda’s story, he could hardly believe it. He was beaming!

Needless to say, we are trying to keep our composure.  It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime event for a little-known Zapotec weaving family from a pueblo outside the city to be recognized for their work in this way.  Never mind that their work is extraordinary.  Many people go through life creating something exceptional and rarely get this kind of attention.

So, a big thank you, un beso y abrazo fuerte to Freda for loving Oaxaca and wanting to bring this lovely city back into the limelight after it was tarnished so badly in the APPO wars of 2006.  The city thanks you and so do we.

I’ve written this blog for over four years now.  During this time, I have faithfully tried to write something meaningful at least weekly, so there is a huge compendium of information and photos here for you to sift through, if you are interested.  I don’t propose to know everything about Oaxaca.  In relative terms, I’m a newcomer.  I’ve traveled here regularly during the past seven years, coming three or four times a year for a couple of weeks at a time while I was employed full-time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Now, at this moment, I get to call this home and stay a while!

Many expatriates have lived here longer and know much more than I do.  We are all here because we love this place, want to support the culture, and find solace in the beauty of the natural world, insight through the artistic endeavors, and connection through the generosity of the people.  Each of us has something valuable to give and each of us wants to offer support in whatever way we are able to bring our varied talents to bear, individually or collectively.

And, there’s always room for more people to come, explore, and discover the creative energy that makes Oaxaca vibrant, satisfying, and stimulating.   Perhaps you will decide to come, then return, and then return again, as I did.  All of us hope that you do.  You won’t be sorry.

In gratitude,

Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, January 12, 2012

 

 

Always Dreaming of Oaxaca: NY Times Quick Tacos Recipe

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/dining/the-simple-pleasure-of-tacos-city-kitchen.html?_r=1#

Here I am in Soquel, California, the idyllic, temperate hillside perch above Santa Cruz, dreaming of Oaxaca. This New York Times recipe has triggered my taste buds and memory. So easy, you can make it yourself. In NC all our tortillas, even from the best Mexican markets, are packaged and imported from elsewhere. So I make my own. It’s easy. I have a recipe on the blog.

Thanks, New York Times.