By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
No, not all mezcal distilled in Oaxaca is smoky, and no, the difference between tequila and its misunderstood cousin is not that the former is commercial or industrial and the latter is handcrafted. But the truth is that the lesser-known Mexican agave-based spirit is nevertheless a big deal for several reasons. One is that no two batches of artisanal mezcal are the same. Why? This short treatise explains just some of the reasons, and in only a cursory fashion because of space constraints. Continue reading So What’s the Big Deal about Mezcal? First in a Series
By Brooke Gazer
If you spend a significant amount of time in Mexico, the effort required to learn how to converse in Spanish will be well rewarded. It’s a sign of respect and you´d be surprised how willing locals are to accommodate you, even if you butcher their language. In my experience, Mexicans who speak English don’t mind letting you make a fool of yourself as you struggle to communicate in Spanish. They’re amazingly patient. Continue reading Free Spanish Video Lessons!
By Leigh Morrow
I remember when I was about twelve or thirteen, using my babysitting money to buy my first pair of skinny cropped pants as we called them. I remember thinking I was so in vogue, only to have my mother exclaimed “Those are adorable”! I had a red pair when your father and I were first dating, that I loved to wear.” I was shocked. First, that my mother had ever worn something I now coveted. Second, I had no idea that fashion recycled itself through the ages. Continue reading Skinny Cropped Jeans
By Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken
The North American Free Trade Agreement (known as TLCAN in Mexico) went into effect between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 1994. The objectives were noble and included “STRENGTHEN the special bonds of friendship and cooperation among their nations; CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader international cooperation; CREATE an expanded and secure market for the goods and services produced in their territories; ENHANCE the competitiveness of their firms in global markets; FOSTER creativity and innovation, and promote trade in goods and services that are the subject of intellectual property rights; CREATE new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living standards in their respective territories; UNDERTAKE each of the preceding in a manner consistent with environmental protection and conservation.” Continue reading What’s Wrong with NAFTA?
By Luis Gasca
As music director of Louie’s Jazz Club, the new jazz dinner club at Restaurante L’Echalote in the Hotel Posada Eden Costa, it is my pleasure to present international and world-class music that includes jazz, Latin jazz and blues.
The grand opening will be on Thursday, December 7th through Saturday, December 9th, featuring “Direct from Cuba,” pairing the outstanding pianist Gabriel Hernández and Grammy-winning saxophonist Alfred Thompson. Mr. Hernández has played with some of the world’s greatest artist, including the Afro-Cuban All Stars, led by Juan de Marcos González, co-founder with Ry Cooder of the very popular group Buena Vista Social Club; Arturo Sandoval; Roy Hargrove; Lila Downs and “Doc” Severinsen (leader of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson band). Hernández is aways on tour playing the major jazz festivals of the world and will be arriving in Huatulco via Africa after performing at private government affair in Johannesburg the day before. Continue reading Concert by the Sea
By Kary Vannice
Art can come from anywhere, but it is the art that springs from the soul of an artist thatis the most impactful. Being born on the Isthmus of Mexico imprints an artist’s soul in an extraordinarily distinctive way. Artist Cristian Pineda Flores (who resides in Huatulco) was born in Juchitán and has made his career sharing his unique perspective of the human condition with audiences in the United States, Mexico and Europe for nearly two decades.
Recently, I interviewed Cristian about his life as an artist and his connection to the Oaxacan coast. It’s hard to tell whether Cristian is more artist or political activist. He certainly uses his art as a medium to bring important socio-political topics to the public eye. However, I got the impression that Cristian wouldn’t really consider himself an activist. It’s clear from his creations that he has the soul of an artist that just so happens to have a strong social consciousness.
Whether his art appears on paper, canvas, or urban streets, it’s making a global impact and calling people to take notice, not just of his work, but also of the world around them and their fellow human beings. Continue reading Interview with Cristian Pineda Flores
“Tragedy is the greatest art form of all. It gives us the courage to continue with our life by exposing us to the pain of life. It is unsentimental, it takes us seriously as human beings, it is not condescending. Paradoxically, by seeing pain we are made greater, it becomes a need.”
― Howard Barker
So much has happened since I sat down to write my last editorial for The Eye at the end of August. We have had several earthquakes that devastated areas of Oaxaca and CDMX – so many harrowing stories of loss. Continue reading Editor’s Letter
By Brooke Gazer
When I think about traditional Mexican design, the first image that pops into my head is a huge terra cotta pot filled with plants. This may be a personal bias because I was a potter in a former life. I learned to pot on an electric wheel, never advancing beyond a large salad bowl or a two-liter casserole. Few potters do because it takes so much upper body strength and energy to handle more clay, even if it is added in segments. This makes me I appreciate the amount of work and skill that goes into throwing those enormous pieces. Continue reading Potters of Ixtaltepec