Mexico

Instead of freezing in Minneapolis as usual, I was able to travel in Mexico during the Christmas/New Years holiday this year, visiting Huatulco, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. It was amazing to see so much culture compressed and layered, getting glimpses of ancient to modern, urban to rural and all the colors in between. As with every trip, especially the ones with good food a comfortable exchange rate, I wish I had been able to stay longer. But we packed in lots of stops and sights and I tried to make the most of the photo ops I came across along the way.

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The End of Bad Beer

Doug John has been refining his beer recipes in small batches for almost 25 years and he has finally decided they are good enough to share. His new brewery, Apocalypse Ale Works, just opened twenty minutes from my front door and I could not be more excited. The new brewing facility and tasting room are next door to “Pints-O-Plenty,” the craft beer store he runs with his wife, Lee, making it a one-stop hops hotspot. I was with them a few weeks ago while they brewed the first batch and again during their opening weekend when I got to enjoy a glass of it. They will have their beer on tap at restaurants throughout the area and hopefully in bottles next year. A preacher who blessed the space (and then had some samples) must have done a good job. They have two beers available right now and four more will be rolling out before too long. It’s a good time to be here.

Weathered (cont.)

Today was a lot like yesterday, yet totally different. I guess it was exactly the same in that I went out in my car and spent the whole day trying to understand and photograph the happenings of a city reeling from a natural disaster. However, it was completely different because I met at least a dozen new people, each dealing with a unique situation. From a church service held in the dark, a near-mob scene over bags of ice, a store owner who found her shop broken into overnight, to people finding some joy amidst the rough times. I also had a chat with our managing editor about the importance of the stories and photos we will be printing tomorrow, as more than 80% of the city is still without power and therefore will not be getting any news from TV (maybe battery radios or smartphones?). I think it made me try a little extra hard.

More photos picked up here, here, here, here, here and here.

Time Capsule

Fifth-graders crane their necks for a first glimpse inside a 30-year-old time capsule buried by fifth-graders in 1982. Personally, I don’t think 30 years is enough time for the contents to become relics or even antiquated. Still interesting to see what people in the 80’s thought represented their lives. Items included a pair of designer Levi’s jeans, a Hardy Boys book, a Rubik’s Cube and, in case they had since disappeared, a pencil.

Modern Monks – revisited

I am not usually able to return to a daily assignment for a follow-up, let alone twice. However, as Randolph College is a only a couple of blocks from my apartment I was able to spend time with the monks on Thursday and Friday in addition to my visit on Monday, allowing me some unexpected photos opportunities. I’ve kept my original post from October 24 and added the new photos below.

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Yesterday I spent some time photographing a group of Buddhist monks at Randolph College who are visiting from Tashi Kyil monastery in India. They are on a tour around the United States, sharing their way of life and creating sacred mandalas – intricate colored sand paintings that take several days to complete. Once finished, the piece is dismantled and the blessed sand is given away or spread in a natural setting. When I asked about the other cities they have visited, they opened a nearby laptop and brought up their facebook page. I guess this is 2011, after all.

new photos: