Our frightful times

A sidewalk singer who posed for me.

We are in the midst of the Day of the Dead hoopla. It’s the 22nd time for me and, like the 18 years I lived in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, the newness has gone poof! Now it’s just a big traffic jam.

No matter. We drove downtown yesterday afternoon. We had to park blocks away from the big plaza due to traffic and the closure of some streets. In time we made it afoot to the family coffee shop where I sat with a cookie and coffee, and took some photos.

The guy above is one, and the girl below is another. She is the granddaughter of a friend of a friend who happened by.

It’s her everyday makeup, she said.

This last photo is what we used to call lagniappe in New Orleans. It’s a little something extra, a gift. I shot it last week while strolling downtown. If you walk directly down there, turn right half a block, you’ll be on the main plaza.

It was a quiet, lovely afternoon. Unlike yesterday.

Sign of our silly times

From what I read, mask-wearing is more common on my mountaintop than in some other areas of Mexico. I shot this photo while sitting at a coffee shop table this week. Note that the gent just past him, the one glancing downward, is sporting his useless mask in another style, below his chin.

What a silly world we live in.

The end of faces?

I enjoy shooting photos, and I’m good at it, better than average. This is due in great part to working on newspapers for decades. You pick up things, skills.

My preferred subject matter is faces, but the Kung Flu hysteria over the past year has made that difficult. All the face masks. In spite of the pandemic’s drastic reduction recently — pandemics come and go — the folks in my mountaintop town cannot kick the habit. They are junkies. Face masks are everywhere. And gel.

But I still catch a nice shot on occasion though there’s a face mask in this one too. It’s resting there, like a toddler’s jockstrap, between two of the crosses. This woman sells artesanías on the sidewalk. The photo was taken downtown last Saturday just after a rainstorm. That’s a sheet of plastic behind her. Perhaps you can see the raindrops.

I hope we can put aside the mask fetish soon and return to normal. I have.

The game of chess

The two of us headed downtown this afternoon to do lunch at a restaurant and complete a few chores like paying the annual water bill for the Downtown Casita and tax bills for the Casita and the Hacienda. Unlike some years ago when they were boring, time-consuming procedures, it went like a snap today.

For a few minutes, we sat at my sister-in-law’s coffee shop, out on the sidewalk, and I shot this photo of a chess game. The young fellow with the black mask is one of our numerous nephews. He was just learning to play, which heartened us because normally all he does is lie in his dark bedroom playing video games on his cell phone.

The guy with his back to the camera is also a nephew who is visiting from Querétaro. Both the boys are 17 years old. The older guy standing up is giving them some chess pointers. Below is a photo of him that I took three or four years ago at the same location.

He’s an artist who needs a pair of glasses. Reminds me of Tom Waits.