Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aqueduct and the Bufa Hill in Zacatecas city.

The Acueducto is one of the must see architectural structures in Zacatecas city. It used to supply water to the city, it stopped working in 1910 during the Mexican Revolution. The top of the sketch is El Cerro de la Bufa, the Bufa Hill. There is a church there where you can still see the holes left by bullets during that war. One can go there by walking, driving or taking the cable car. I sketched this view from the Sierra de Alica Park, under the shade of a tree (what a relief!). A young man approached to me and told me he was from Wisconsin, USA. He came to live here when he was 3 months old brought by his parents, they were missionaries . He spoke perfect English, learned from his parents, but his Spanish was just as good as mine. Minutes later a teenager kid, encouraged by our conversation, approached to me to sell me a watch. I wasn't wearing any, but unfortunately I suspected they were stolen. This activity is not surprising here, and because I didn't want to support such activity, I told him I don't use watches. He left with a smile probably to find another potential costumer. I continued with my sketch and I noticed a couple of kids in school uniform were walking on top the aqueduct! Oh my....kids find audacious ways to satisfy their cravings for adventures! On second thought, adults too! Several things happened in just 40 minutes, other times nobody bothers me, but people in Zacatecas is curious and friendly..... I like it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Plazuela Goitia, Zacatecas City, Mexico.

Zacatecas is a city with lots of hills and twisted streets, a paradise for sketchers ( or a nightmare... whatever you want to see). It is the second city with the most number of museums in Mexico after Mexico City. The city is clean, people is kind and friendly. The city offers a cultural festival every year during Easter, which attracts local, national and international tourist because of the amount, variety and quality of its cultural program and activities; many of them free of charge. Plaza Goitia is used as a free stage where street artists perform. The many stairs help so the audience can sit and enjoy the show. The building at the top is the Calderon Theater. I've never seen a play there, so I cannot say my opinion. It is something I will have to put in my bucket list.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meson de Jobito

Jobito was a typical neighborhood in Zacatecas city, now is a hotel since 1990. After the approval of the City Architecture Council and the Goverment of Zacatecas, the big project of restoration began. Every room was a little house, where entire families lived inside tighly. The irregular shapes of patios and rooms is very attractive and unique. I think the lines in my sketch might look all twisted like in a dream coming out of the head of Dali. It is precisely that, what made me sketch these buildings. Rediscovering the city in which I grew up and sketching it is a dream come true.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My brother and soccer

Soccer is one the favorites things for my brother to watch, either on TV or the computer. He follows the German Soccer League, I don't know why not the English, or Spanish or the Italian Leagues, all of the have excellent players. He likes that country, idiosyncrasy, and above all history. You can ask ANYTHING about the WW II and he will know the answer. Once, some years ago, I brought him a souvenir from Berlin, a T-shirt of his team the Bayer Munchen no one else could get here in Mexico. He wore it proudly eveywhere. I've notice that Mexicans wear their sport T-shirt of their favorite sport club anyday of the week, while Americans wear their favorite sport team only on during the games. How can I notice such unimportant things and write about it? Well....I can't help it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The circus

The circus is here in the city. The grand opening was yesterday. I was there at 5 pm before the first show started at 6:15 pm.  During the previous days, we could hear the circus trucks driving around the city with a big speaker to let everybody know they were here. Some of the trucks had big cages with live animals, I saw a tiger one day and a lioness another day. I felt mix emotions, so vivid memories when I was a kid. I remember sitting on the first row, a HUGE polar bear standing on its legs, mama mia! Impressive! Now I think differently. How can man make a living by keeping captive these animals? They belong in the wild. I've heard people say they are taken care off better than in the wild because of the food, vets, etc. But when I really look at the animals, even in the zoos, I just see sadness in their eyes. At least they have a tent for the animals at this circus, protected from the sun and the heat. The owner should be proud,. Speaking of owner, this circus used to belong to a family, the name used to be Circo Atayde Hermanos, Atayde Bros. Circus. This one belongs to Aurelio Atayde. I wonder what happened? Anyway, going back to the sketch, I could prove, one can find more interesting shades during sunset and sunrise. I sketched the East side of the tents. At 6 pm I got out of there, people was arriving. I won't buy tickets for us or for my nephews or nieces. I prefer an image, I prefer a beautiful sketch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gorditas in Rioverde, Mexico.

The idea of not cooking when you expect more guests during your getaway is very attractive. Yes, we had a kitchenette available in the cabin, but who wants to cook when you are on vacation? Well, this last weekend Bob and I were expecting family members to join us, so we went to the market to buy some gorditas to surprise them. Gorditas are like tortillas but smaller and thicker and they are filled with different  stews. We ate there and we asked Araceli, the cook, to cook 40 mixed gorditas to go. I sketched her while she cooked them and told us the story of her life. She is a widow with two young kids, her husband lost the battle of cancer 6 years ago and came to Rioverde from a small community to find a better way of living. She is renting a room for about $35 USD per month. I asked her if this business in the market was hers. She told me she is an employee, and have no intentions to marry again. I thought she was beautiful, although my sketch doesn't show it. She knows for sure how make gorditas. I asked what was the trick to make them so moist because I've tried to make them at home and they are always dry or burnt!. She explained to me how to do it, I'll try next time, but I believe you have to have the talent to do it and I don't have it. Anyway the gorditas were filled with such a variety of dishes, I could try to mention some: zuchinni, red eggs, green eggs, chicharron, moronga, barbecue, chicken, tender cactus, mole with rice, the flower of pear pickle, cheese, potatoes with chorizo, beans, chorizo,  rajas and I could go on. Needless to say that my family loved the surprise, I just heated and served them a delicious homemade Mexican meal at the table. It sounds like it was fast food, but it's a fact that there are hours of labor behind the service that Araceli offers every day at the market in Rioverde.