Archive for May, 2009

Paving the Callejon

May 11, 2009

Valvino and his family are paving the callejon. His sons Oscar and Rolando are men enough for real work, swinging the pick or sledgehammer, pushing a full-sized wheelbarrow full of cobblestones or cement. Various small grandsons share a child-sized wheelbarrow and have a go with the pick whenever anyone is willing to indulge them. Valvino’s wife sometimes comes out in the afternoon to kibitz, as do his two daughters, one of whom brings her own small daughter. A couple of friends stop by to work or hang out. Ian, who grew up with Valvino’s oldest son, Antonio, and is now in law school, kibitzes, too; his parents live on the callejon. Antonio himself comes by on weekends to pitch in, bringing his two small children to watch.

Road Crew at Work

Road Crew at Work

As I write this in the office of the casita I rent from my friend Sue, the excited chatter of children cuts through the deeper tones of the men, with a woman’s voice chiming in occasionally. Then all is silent but the thud of the sledgehammer. Read on

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Welcome to Beyond the Zeitgeist in Mexico

May 10, 2009

Zeitgeist: The spirit of the time – and place.

Beyond the Zeitgeist started as a New York City arts-and-language blog—random acts of culture from beyond the Zeitgeist.

After a hiatus, the blog relocated to San Miguel de Allende, a Central Mexico mountain town inhabited by a considerable (about 10% of the total) population of gringos—Mexican for “Americans.” Random acts of culture here mean culture in the broadest, or anthropological sense—anything that goes on, or the way things are. (From time to time we may report on the arts, but as likely as not from an anthropological, as opposed to a critical, perspective.)

Written by a gringa in Mexico, this blog is doubly beyond the Zeitgeist. And yet—the Zeitgeist is always the present time and place. So we can and do inhabit, legitimately, the spirit of our present situation.