Back in Oaxaca again. How do I know? Well, for one thing I had an 11,000+ step walking day, several days in a row.
There was a procession to honor Our Lady of Juquila in the neighborhood near the zocalo where I stay when I’m in the city. Men carried her on a palanquin trailed by women, heads covered, each carrying a lit candle with both hands. There were resting stations around the neighborhood, each numbered, to stop for refreshment and to honor the Queen.
At the corner of Guerrero and Xicotencatl streets, the locals set up a temporary shrine in a vacant lot with chairs set up for the prayerful. Fresh flowers adorned the altar and the Virgin of Guadalupe had her place of honor, too. I asked permission to come in to take a few photos and the two women sentries readily agreed.
Then, it was off to Omar’s twenty-second birthday party at a local eatery in Colonia Reforma. After lunch, Janet and I stopped at La Pasion, maybe one of the best bakeries in the world, to buy the cake.
It was a lemon cream, whipped cream, sponge cake that didn’t look like much but tasted like heaven. We quickly devoured it at the after party and then settled in to watch a soppy Mexican romantic comedy.
On the street again, I stopped a young woman with a bundle of flowers — maybe destined for a wedding shower or birthday party. I’m practicing asking random people on the street if I can take their photo. She smiled and agreed. And, then, this street vendor was cutting watermelon to put into snack cups. Oh, the color!
I was reminded as I passed by Teatro Macedonio Alcala that Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore will be shown this Saturday at noon. And, the Oaxaca Film Festival starts, and the month is filled with chamber music performances, too. We have many cultural riches here!
Then it was a meander by San Pablo Cultural Center where a new exhibition on growing organic vegetables demonstrates the commitment to local food and herbs, some used for medicine. I just love the life-size portraits of young women with vegetable crowns.
Street life takes on many forms here, from people watching to the sculptural interest presented by a hand-truck loaded down with fruits and vegetables on their way to someone’s kitchen.
On Tuesday my destination was La Biznaga for the weekly vegetarian comida corrida, the 110 peso lunch special that includes salad, entree and a mezcal. Before I settled into the restaurant courtyard and looked up at this magnificent blooming ceiba tree, I rounded the corner along the Alcala side of the Botanical Gardens to see this creeping cactus exploding over the wall.