Tag Archives: street vendors

Holiday shots

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The smoker.

THE MASS OF people who crowd our usually tranquil main plaza downtown on the evening of September 15 and all day on September 16 for Mexican independence festivities provide excellent photo opportunities.

On one side of the plaza, the scene is the same every year. A band plays loud music while men — and the occasional woman — sit atop dancing horses. The guys are usually plowed, but the horses don’t appear to care.

The fellow above caught my attention. He appeared sober, did not have a beer can in his hand, but he was smoking. Took me about 10 shots before I got this one.

He and his horse were all over the place. Dancing fools.

screamer
The Screamer.

Meet The Screamer. That’s what I call him. He recently reappeared here in town after an absence of a couple of years. I don’t know where he went, but he’s back.

I don’t know his name. I just call him The Screamer because that’s what he does. He’s a vendor who walks the sidewalks with the basket of candies he’s holding. And, between spells of silence, he screams his bloody head off.

You can hear him blocks away.

I don’t mean that he’s hawking his candy loudly. He’s just plain screaming. Clearly, there is something seriously wrong with him. His eyes are crossed, and his fingers are twisted.

He sounds dangerous, but I do not think he is. My child bride, her sister and I were sitting at a sidewalk table a couple of days ago when he approached and offered his wares. He does not speak well. My wife inquired about prices, and he managed to say something we did not clearly understand.

My wife gave him 10 pesos (about 55 cents), and he handed over four or five of the candies. She was only doing it to help him, so she tried to give all but one back to him, but he wouldn’t have it. He insisted on leaving the small pile.

I interpret that to mean he has his pride.

He didn’t bellow during the sale. I was grateful for that.

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(Note: To view almost all of Felipe’s Fabulous Fotos, just click right here. You will not be disappointed.)

18 quiches, to go

quiche

MY CHILD BRIDE is a baker, a very good baker.

She hawks her wares downtown on the main plaza most Saturday afternoons. She does it for fun and profit, the profit going into a separate bank account that sports only her name, not mine. It’s her mad money.

On very rare occasion, she does special orders. That’s one in the photo, 18 individual quiches that were delivered to a private party Tuesday. They were ordered by a woman doctor who runs a chain of medical labs in town.

Finding quiche in this neck of the Mexican woods — well, probably in most parts of Mexico — is not easy to do. It was my suggestion in the first place, way back when.

Quiche, that is.

Many people who pass her basket downtown pause, point at the quiches, and ask: What is that? Pizza?

If the locals don’t spot a tortilla around it, they’re perplexed.

She cooks a variety of quiches. These have spinach, bacon and some other tasty stuff. And she sells them for just 25 pesos each, which is about $1.50 U.S.

When we met in 2001, she was a civil engineer for the federal highway department. Now she’s a love slave and part-time street vendor. Life changes, often for the better.

Sunday opera

SUNDAY AFTERNOON on the plaza. This fellow sings for tips that go into the glass he’s holding in his hand. His music comes from the blue box hanging from his neck.

I don’t know what’s up with the sunflowers.

After I shot the video, I looked in the other direction and saw the taco vendor sitting on the sidewalk with her two kids.

Years ago the vendor’s mother did the same in the same spot till she died. Her daughter took over, continuing the tradition.

A family enterprise spanning generations.

tacos
Tacos! Tacos! Get ’em right here!

Ice cream for sale

ice cream

WE HAVE TWO primary plazas in our Colonial downtown. One is a good bit bigger than the other.

We call the bigger one the Big Plaza, and we call the smaller one the Small Plaza, but we do it in Spanish, not English.

The two are just one block apart.

They are very distinctive, those two plazas. The Big Plaza is where fancy people hang out. The Small Plaza is where the working class gathers. It appears to be self-segregation.

I, of course, hang out in the Big Plaza.

There are other differences. The Big Plaza has far fewer sidewalk vendors than the Small Plaza, which not only has more vendors but a wider variety of products.

The vendors on the Big Plaza mostly sell corn on the cob. The far more numerous vendors on the Small Plaza sell all sorts of stuff. I’m particularly fond of shrimp cocktails.

I was slumming the other day by walking through the Small Plaza, and I noticed this smiling woman selling ice cream. I took her photo, and here it is.

The fan man

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THE TOP PHOTO is a huge mural you’ll see on the main drag as you drive toward the state capital 40 minutes down the mountainside.

The other photo is the individual in question. He is our town’s most notable character, a position I doubt he is aware of even though he’s been the topic of numerous artworks. He even hangs in galleries.

He is incredibly grungy. One wonders where he sleeps nights, if he even has a home. His clothes, his hat, appear to have been dredged from beneath the municipal waste dump

I do not know his name though I have spoken with him a thousand times.

He’s a sidewalk peddler, and what he peddles are straw fans, perhaps to cool your face on warm afternoons in spring, or to fan embers of a dying fire for our winter nights.

The mural has him smoking. I’ve never seen him smoking.

Here’s the routine: I’m sitting at a sidewalk table with Kindle and cafecito. Here he comes. Buy a fan, he indicates. He usually does not speak, just waves the string of fans and grunts a bit.

I say I already have purchased two, which is true, years ago. He replies that I need a third. I say no. He will continue pushing until I say the magic phrase: Maybe tomorrow. That always satisfies him, and he leaves.

For another shot of the fellow, go here.