The old woman


THERE IS A handful of folks I spot downtown whom I want to photograph. I just need the proper moment.

This old woman was one of them, and she provided the moment on Saturday as she ambled in my direction.

Amble is her top speed. The other is sitting on a stoop.

Another was this old fellow. I photographed him about a year ago. He has since died. Still on my to-do list are a man who makes and sells bows and arrows — he has a great face — and a couple of lovers I call Los Tiburones, the sharks.

Recently, the bow-and-arrow man walked by my sidewalk table where I was enjoying a café Americano negro, so I asked if he would pose for a shot. I offered 10 pesos.

He said he’d prefer doing it when he was carrying one of his long bows, not the relatively short one he was toting on that day. I said okay. I’ll just snap him when he’s not looking. Like my sister-in-law, he sports the nose of an Aztec king.

Los Tiburones are a young couple who’ve been an item since high school. They are now in their early 20s. I’ve been eyeing them for years. The girl is incredibly beautiful and rail thin. Her guy is good-looking too, but in a normal way.

I call them the sharks because they are ever in motion, making them difficult to photograph. Normally, I spot them as they sweep by me, going in the other direction.

The girl’s long hair is sometimes streaked with blue or pink, and she smokes, which is not what a skinny girl should do.

Just sit on a plaza bench, you two, just for a few moments, will you? I’ve never seen Los Tiburones smiling either, but real sharks seem dead serious too.

One day I’ll show you what they look like. Also the bow-and-arrow man with the Aztec nose.

The woman in the photo above is a street vendor. I don’t recall what she sells. She is remarkably nice.

She is so old and feeble, she can hardly walk. Sad.

* * * *

(As always, Felipe’s Fabulous Fotos can be found here.)

Mexico, 1935

HERE IS an interesting video. It is, as the headline has already revealed, Mexico in 1935, a tour from the border taken by a couple of Gringos in a Chrysler of the era. I never knew those old cars were so sturdy.

If you just want to see the tour and avoid the introductory babble, start at about the four-minute mark. In the latter half of the video the intrepid travelers go to a bullfight in Mexico City’s Plaza México, the biggest bullring in the world, then and now. The two of us went to a bullfight there a few years ago. I wrote about it. It was my first bullfight and, I imagine, my last. I do not object on moral grounds, just not my type of thing.

And then they visit Teotihuacán, the pre-Aztec ruins north of Mexico City. My then-intended took me there in 2002, not long after we met. It was very hot. I was not young, even then. I purchased a bottle of water and climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun to make an impression on the young woman. Almost killed me.

I got a chuckle out of one video moment. It’s common to hear Gringos oooh and ahhh over how friendly the locals are. The narrator repeats this myth as the camera pans across four or five Mexican men scowling at the lens.

It’s a fun and interesting video, even if you are not fortunate enough to live here.