I’m still in Mexico, if you are still curious. A year or so two weeks ago now. Nothing yet everything has happened, ha ha. Here goes as well as I can.
18 Days ago we returned from our trip Faith and I. We spent the last week in Oaxaca city. For those of you out of the loop Mexico is not so fun or safe lately. Fraudulent elections, teacher strikes, guerrilla uprisings… things just getting out of hand. So we had attempted to leave on Wednesday the 23rd of August, but we were cut off. It’s strange being held in siege. Oaxaca city was under siege. All roads blocked off, with bonfires burning bright. We knew it might be a little tricky leaving, but we didn’t know that as soon as we boarded the bus and it began to pull out of the terminal we would be stopped with a statement stating a bus had just been hijacked, all its passengers left of the highway and that our bus would not leave. We’d heard a warning from our cab driver that night on the way to the terminal that at 12 all cabs were to be put away because something might happen. Something.
The bus finally pulled out of the station an hour and a half after we expected to leave at 12:30 am, and after having to convince the ticket salesman that we needed to catch a flight out of Mexico City international. As the bus, 2nd in a caravan of 5, rushed through small Oaxacan streets we finally arrived at a road that led out of the city, and as soon as we reached the road, the bus in front of ours carried out a quick U-turn with astonishing precision. As ours followed we caught sight of the highway, ablaze, all of it.
I don’t know if it was a bus that was with us in the caravan but another bus had been hijacked. The protesters that now had control of the whole city could be heard oven the radio stations they had captured. They’re anger could be heard through the message concerning the buses that had attempted flee the city. They took it as a personal affront. So we stood in line and waited to cancel our tickets, and then it started smelling of smoke. As I peered out the station window I could see fires lighting up every street surrounding the station.
We tried catching a cab, but they refused to take us anywhere. All the streets were blocked; I had hoped we could return to my father’s house to seek refuge. As we walked back into the station I spoke to a woman who had been on the bus with us. Her son offered to drive us to a hotel. So there we were speeding down small streets again, fires blazing at many intersections. And we arrived a hotel. They were full. So we sped on to the woman’s house, as she offered to put us up for the night. Oaxaca had changed she said as we stood on her rooftop with her 3 beautiful daughters. We had arrived after convincing a barricade unit to allow us to pass because of a sick passenger. There was no other way through; it didn’t matter if you lived in the neighborhood or 2 steps from the barricade. The streets were controlled by 14 year old boys and girls playing guerrillas, carrying machetes and making home made bombs while burning everything they could get their hands on. They even would cut trees down to block the streets. You missed it Jess, all the glamour.
Then the gunshots started, far off, church bells rang conveying messages between the guerillas. We went to bed to be awoken by yells of “There he is!” and “Get him!” and “Careful he’s got a weapon!” and then to sleep again. The morning came and we were alive, and we rushed of to catch a bus home…. or to Mexico City and to work for Galleria Hilario Galguera and Damien Hirst.
It is strange being back having arrived over a year ago. One would think that you’d know the place where you grew up, where at least half of you friends live, or that you would at least feel at home there. But that’s not what happened when I arrived.
So I never imagined i'd go to an exhibition dinner party where they would have a wrestling ring with real mexican wrestlers and the big cheese commentator for the sport. Even less did i imagine it would be sorrounded by drunk brits and americans yelling obsenities to the wrestlers. And then to top it off, a big fat old man in suit pants a wrestling mask and no shirt comes out with the wrestlers and two floozies with a championship belt, and Damien Hirst gets into the ring and is proclaimed champion of the night as he takes his shirt off and dons the championship belt. Ha ha...
Crazy times in mexico city.
PS that fat guy was his manager.
until you run into your mother in the hallway at 3 in the morning when you've come home with a cute girl.
Tue, Sep. 6th, 2005, 08:30 pm
i found myself in bed last night before 10. I'd had a slight fever all day and hadn't been to sleep before 3 in the past week or so... The pace is different in mexico the nights go on and on. Some time around 11 my phone rang. A friend (cynthia) was getting out of the interpol concert and wanted me to go to the afterparty. I had been trying to figure out how to get there all day and had given up. I got dressed and ran out. The party was kinda lame. I expected to see more people there that i knew, especially since paul banks the singer went to highschool with me, so i expected that crowd. Few arrived. We stuck around until 2 then my luck changed.
I must say that I am not one to seek out a star's recognition. I wanted to say hello to paul because i had run into him a few months ago in philadelphia and after trying to muffle the sounds of girls shouting his name said my goodbye's and told him i'd see him again. So i wanted to catch him again and keep my word. But i appeared impossible to approach him without yelling out his name is starstruck anxiety so i switched my focus to a cute girl.
I couldn't figure out if the girl was cute. She was. And i was missing my chance, and like i am known to do, i wait until the last moment. She was walking out of the door, leaving, i ran after her. And when i caught her what did I say "ya te vas" (are you leaving) she said "no, why?" What could I saw but the truth... "porque te queria conocer" (because i want to get to know you) what a sucker... she left... but she came back after a small snack and we talked all night, it turned out that her and her friend's favorite band right now is interpol. So i finally got her number and after that i introduced her to paul.
I ran into him. It has to happen naturaly. I dont like forcing it. So i came out well for the night. And to top it all off i ended up getting invited by a stranger to a party tonight. This stranger turned out to be the manager who made Oasis the band, the one who discovered them and a whole lot of other bands... strange but good night.
Much more going on... i'll keep in touch
Sun, Aug. 28th, 2005, 05:22 pm
5 days down. I arrived, alive and well in mexico city on tuesday august 23rd. After spending two night in Dallas one with my highschool girlfriend and her 3 week old husband i headed for laredo and met my mother there. We crossed the border on monday at 3pm after spending 8 hours going through customs. I didn't declare my belongings, so i ended up paying 7 dollars in taxes, but I did have to pay 670 for my car. We made it through without getting inspected so we were safe, or I was rather.
It is a little strange being back. Every other time i came in the last years i pretty much knew I was leaving soon, this time i know i am here for a while. It changes your perspective. So far things are going well. I have a few leads. I went o an opening met some MORE people and saw many friends. Doing the art thing. I also went yesterday to a location were a friend was photographing for some guys feature film. That was fun.
Still getting used to things here.
Wed, Aug. 17th, 2005, 09:46 am
Arrived in Durhan last night. Here is the rundown
-Tried to leave by 8 AM.
-Didn't leave till 9:30 and as soon as I started the car my traveling partner Joe informed me that we had to go by the dentist. We didn't end up getting out of the city until 10:30ish.
-Packing in philadelphia took about an hour more than i thought, and the car is way too low in the back. I think i'm bringing too many things.
-We had Lunch with Virgil Marty, a philadelphia artist whom we are friends with. Had a very good tofu cabage salad.
-Arrived in D.C. aroun 8
-Joe's friends Erik and Karen are wonderful. We went out for dinner and had lebanese Mezza
-Clif (Joe's other friend) joined up for the ride. 3 in the truck, it was alright, we're all slim.
-Departed around 11 from D.C.
-Stoped for the worst lunch ever at Waffle House.
-Arrived in Durham around 6pm.
-Saying here with Abby and Michael and their son Ben
Everyone has been very nice.
Today on to Birmingham... I hope we make it atleast there, maybe a bit farther. Gotta find a motel.
Good news: I don't have to unload my truck and import it seperately from my belongings at the border. Bad news. I don't know if i have enough cash to pay my taxes....
We returned alive from "James' Batchelor Party Extravaganza." And after many hours of trecking up a mounting through pretty much a swamp and a trail that really should be marked as a creek, all 7 of us made it to the top of the mountain (Summit was above 3500, we started half way or something) and back, but I think someone lost their leg along the way? I'd never been camping, well except for that fateful adventure when i went camping with 3 of my friends which involved 2 fist fights and we all forgot to bring food, so it was pretty exciting. We saw some orange newts, a toad and lots of bugs and stuff and an airplane crash wreckage site. Not much wildlife that i noticed although i was lucky enough to see a black bear cub run across the road when i was leaving. That was bad ass. All in all, all that mattered was that James had a good time and i think he did.
James looking back at freedom.
Bob W. at the Summit. After the climb up over wed bolders it was a worthy reward.
Lunch at the top of the mountain, we forgot our good food so we had to settle for PB sandwiches.
Mon, Jul. 4th, 2005, 12:43 pm
So I am leaving to Mexico, its been decided. I'll be leaving some time around the 10th of August. I'll pack everything i own and want to keep into my 1990 Toyota Pickup and i'll drive down to mexico city. To be honest its a little unsettleing, i'll be leaving everyone here, the places and things are not even close to secondary. But it feels good to have made a decision, i was wobbling between going there, staying in philly or moving back to NYC. I think mexico will be good for me and my work. But it just feels good to know i'm going somewhere.
Here we are in the waves.
Bryan Eating Fruit Gummies Next to Fiddy Cent.
Figuring out what to do in Jersey City.
Bryan Freezing his ass off.
I have these and more in bigger sizes so email me if you want.
Sun, Jun. 26th, 2005, 04:17 pm
So what goes through someone's mind as they jump into the freezing waters of the atlantic at one in the morning, wearing nothing but a pair of underpants? What goes through the minds of nine of them? Well thats what we did last night. The old B.Z. friends and the new tied the knot and came together in the ocean waters. Thats were we ened up last night, at the jersey shore 11 of us. Damn it was cold.
The weekend was nice. Drove up to J.M. and S.W.'s on friday night, rode bikes, swam at the pool, played capture the flag ate thai.... oh and ended up in the ocean. Thats a good day. Happy birthday B.Z.