Monday, July 18, 2005

Emily has been slamming all night long!

Hurricane Emily is "rocking" or "slamming" the Yucutan coast. I guess it's usually earthquakes that "rock" and hurricanes that "slam". I think only a few people have been killed, but the news knows more. But on the brighter side, things are relatively nice and uneventful here right now. The sun is out and it seems a little less rainy than it has been of late. I went out on the weekend to a friend's birthday party and my friend Steve made an impromptu appearance in town last week. We got a chance to hang out for one night though so it was nice to get an update of events in VanLand and see someone from the Old Country.

I saw a dog get crunched in traffic the other day. That wasn't so nice, but it seems to happen a lot here. As most know, Mexico is famous for it's populations of wild street dogs, so it's pretty common to see them wandering around or decidedly not wandering around in a gutter somewhere. Kinda sad though, but Mexico has bigger fish to fry than worry too much about animal rights. Nevertheless it hasn't stopped many from mentioning to me the sort of recent Canadian reputation here as seal-clubbing blackhearts. I guess the seal kill in northern Quebec or wherever had gotten quite a bit of publicity here. I blame a propensity for newspeople to dig up the dirt on places that are supposedly "perfect". "you think Norway's paradise? Well you should know they want to fry up Free Willy's loins and eat them with onions!" Nonetheless I didn't show anyone my monogrammed, government approved seal club for fear it would provoke an argument. Sometimes I scan around in the Canadian press to see what's up and cool etc... I noticed that spoken word will be at the folk festival this year. It seems like the folk fest has been getting more and more incongruent as time moves on. Now they have Punk Rock, World Beat, and spoken word? I thought Folk Music was about smiling guys with beards and mandolins and stuff. How will Jericho beach accommodate all those genres? The thought of someone spouting pissed-off diatribes about society framed by the Jericho beach sailboat sunshine, the gleaming green towers of the west end, and the majestic Cascade mountains makes me laugh a little actually. But maybe that's the point. Maybe that will be the theme. It reminds me of the time I spotted this uber-goth character clad in black vinyl and lace with a walkman on, clawing the air with one hand and screaming about gorgons and witches and stuff meanwhile, it's a beautiful east end spring day with the cherry blossoms in full bloom all along the street, kids playing, sprinklers etc... It's not always easy being a Dark Waver. Anyway, blah blah blah. I should go. I hope you've enjoyed the diatribe.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sunday Market & Scanners in the casa

There is a large market in the neighborhood on Sundays where you can get just about anything- even a haircut. I'm not sure what the quality of the cuts is like, but this guy seemed to have all the fixins' of any salon. We went for tortas and quesadillas, but I did not get a haircut.

A friend brought over a video projector and we watched the film, "scanners" with some friends. Not a bad film actually and it's Canadian too. Only one head explodes though. I thought there were going to be more exploding heads but the interesting part is that the guy whose head explodes I believe is the same actor who saw things in "Seeing Things" another Canadian show I sometimes watched as a child. The ending was pretty good, although dated. The best part is how much seeing a movie on a projector and with friends is like going to the real movies. I wish I had one all the time.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I want a Helicopter! Helicopters for everyone!

Hi everybody. guess what these are-

No it's not some guantanamoesque prison camp, it's government housing Mexico City style as seen from the air. Aerial photos are cool and aerial photos of Mexico City are even better. I was googling around (yes, I am ashamed to use the word "googling" but I guess that's what I was doing.) for material for my blog having no good stuff to show and I happened on this amazing photo .mac page. Some dude with tons of spare gas money or a job in a helicopter took some great shots of Mexico city. The photos are particularly interesting to me because it's hard to get a good look over the city as it's mostly flat and so huge. Some crazy sites to see though. These photos have been scaled down quite a bit, but if you go to his page;
you will see the photos more clearly and some other great ones too.

This is over the Central De Abasto in the east part of the city which is where Ale used to work. It's one of the biggest markets in the world and it is the central market for wholesalers in Mexico DF. All the food, and many other things are schlepped here starting at 3 in the morning. I'm told it's a pretty amazing place. Those long things are trailer trucks and the wear-houses go on forever.

This is the bull ring and the soccer stadium near our place. On weekends people park on our sidewalks and in the middle of the street to see bulls, or possibly, matadors, get killed and Cruz Azul score a few. I like all the excitement, but sometimes there are drunken goons.

This is also near our place. Looking north up Insurgentes past the WTC on a particularly clear day.

Typical Mexico City sprawl. It's easy to get lost in these kinds of Neighborhoods. I'm not even sure where this is. Many of these kinds of neighborhoods were built by the people who live there I'm told. The story goes thus: You move from the country with almost nothing to find fame and fortune, or maybe just a job in the big city. You can't afford rent or land so you start about building your own little home from grey concrete and other cheap, simple stuff. Meanwhile millions of others around you are doing the same thing. Eventually the city grows, fills in the gaps and hooks the neighborhood up to the grid, sort of and voila! Mexico City just got bigger.

These are the famous Pirata taxis. Most of them are VW Beetles and almost all are green and white. I'm not sure why they are called Pirate Taxis. I guess because they are unregulated and a few are unscrupulous and evil even. Just like Pirates. All I know is that I had no probs paying 5 bucks to go ten blocks in Canada and that'll get you halfway across the city with these guys so whose robbing whom? Of course you're not going to be pulling any zingers like that out of your mouth when your moneyless and shoeless in the factory district. Well, like most visitors I avoid them when I can, but sometimes you have to use them and there's usually one around on most major streets. Luckily, I haven't had any bad experiences yet. (knock knock) If I had my choice I'm sure, just like heads of state will tell you along with uber-rich oil execs, armed helicopter is the only way to go.