i finally found a market with records. LOTS of them. Complete luck, just strolling around some streets and ran into a centro commercial called Puentos. Struck up some good conversations here, bought a jacket for about $1 dollar, plus 30 or so records for about $8 bucks. pictures....
this collector is Jaime Juicenos, a music lover who was more than willing to speak for a while about the various types of Colombian music. If you're ever in Colombia and need records, get in touch with me and I'll lead you directly to these two. They have an incredible library.
and this is the other guy I met in this market who had gems. Albeiyo Moutoya, real humble guy..sits down here all day and listens to music. For collectors...a must visit. When it comes to Colombian music, he's got everything...literally. He also used to play piano, but thats all i could pry out of his musical past. He was more concerned with showing me his favorite pieces of vinyl. Good fellow.
learning spanish has been a slow process. I've made it to the point where I can communicate on a basic level but thats not nearly enough. I still cannot communicate ideas, feelings, or basically say anything deeper than "Yes, No, Maybe, I like it/ I kind of like it/ etc etc." Real difficult, but I'm grateful for the people along the way who've been kind enough to write down words for me, or help me with my pronounciation. I know there were plenty of times where foreigners in New York may have asked me for something...and I looked at them like they were crazy. tables turned...and I appear crazy to someone every day. Takes getting used to, but poco a poco, I'm learning. Thanks to all who have helped. With each new conversation, I'm slowly learning not only a new language, but the voice of a people.
Interning at WaxPoetics Magazine, a magazine specializing in rare funk, soul, jazz, and hip hop music doesn' hurt. My taste for rare music in all the countries of the world has only increased. And Colombia's music history is rich. New issue has James Brown on the cover. Pick it up if you can. I wish i could find an issue out here. waxpoetics.com. best magazine in the world (in terms of content and style).
Monday, March 26, 2007
So I realize I've been in Colombia for quite some time now. It was supposed to be 3 weeks, in and out...then on to Argentina, Chile, Equador, Peru, etc...but as always, things change. Depending on how things go with my Visa paperwork, it looks like I may spend a few months here in Colombia. While I have no idea what will happen tomorrow that'll have me feeling different about my choice, for now I'm looking for an apartment, an english teaching job, a spanish course, and a salsa instructor.
Medellin is a city I haven't quite figured out yet. There's definately lots of money here. To quote my fellow traveler Ryno (his blog-->http://www.ninjanomads.blogspot.com), all the women look like Barbie dolls. Plastic surgery is huge. Everyone has braces. The good (but fake) looking women all date these dorky looking rich guys(who love guys that look like barbie dolls). The rave party we went to was a perfect example of this...
On the flipside, there are these neighborhoods (or barrios) outside of Medellin that are incredible. My photographer friend Josh has better photos of them than I, but they are humble neighborhoods, which i'd describe as "acojedora" if speaking in Spanish. Its my understanding that acojedora sigifies something familiar, comfy, friendly, ambient. They're all elevated into the mountains, and have wonderful views of the city. Small communities with no rich snobby people, but warmer, friendly people just doing what they do, carrying on thier lives.
As a traveler, its usually difficult to blend in to places like this but if you meet the right people, its a seamless transition. I happened to get lucky, and through some university students, met a wonderful family who lives in one of these barrios. Dania, her brother Daniel, and their mother are all from the Choco region of the country (where most of the country's African population are from..close to the coast and the Panamaian border). They took me into their home, helped me with my spanish, taught me about the various types of Colombian music, and cooked me up a mean meal as well. Its refreshing to meet people like this, because quite honestly everyone else I've met in Medellin (probably because of the area of the city I'm staying in), have been nice, but distant. Like I'm here..but we're all of different worlds. Friendlines on the surface, but beneath that a deep disconnect. I didn't feel that with this family. A cozy city indeed, Medellin.
kids on a swing..
Julien's a cool guy. studying audio engineering...specializing in reggae music.
this guys holding a belt, but with my camera (which now works only when it feels like..), it looks like some sort of magic rainbow thingie..
jess esta loco
augustine is one of the most free human beings i've ever met. more stories about this character from the wonderful land of Argentina coming later. We plan to produce an entire album together...
this cat is really cool. very friendly. every time we leave or arrive to the hostel, no matter what time of day or night, this cat walks us to (or from) the gate to make sure we get to where we're going safely. I'm really starting to like cats.
my parting shot. make love, not war.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
i met "Acara" (i cant spell her name..but thats how its pronounced) in front of the museum of contemporary art in downtown medellin. she sits down people watching all day, and every 15 minutes, she stops one of the vendors for a bon bon. her favorite, she told me, was apple loli-pops. sweet lady.
always odd to me that national heroes, in this case simon bolivar, have these magnificent statues of themselves mounted in park centers. and every time you look at them, the peole sitting in front of them are indiffernt to the legacy.
Homer is one of the elderly guys that sits down in parks all day. I struck up conversation with him to practice my Spanish, and ended up having a pretty funny conversation.
i want this bike.
liliana is a medical student here. struck up good conversation with her after i got lost on my first day.
i miss the nyc subway. for now its the medellin metro.
the proper way to chill in parks.
if anyone knows the name of this scupltor...please let me know. they've got an entire park here full of his work, and i really like it.
and no matter where you go, cant escape homeless. there are a million images of homeless i've seen for every 1 that i actually snap with my camera.