April 27, 2012

Mexico City, Part II

On our second morning in Mexico City, we headed to the Bazar de Sabado, a big Saturday arts + crafts market in the San Angel neighborhood that spans a large central park and many neighboring blocks. The streets are full of men and women selling sweet and savory tamales, hot chocolate drinks, tacos, huaraches and fresh juice. We did as we do, and ate, and walked amongst the endless walls of flowers overflowing from the walls.

As we tour with Girl Walk, we've also be shooting the dancers in the new cities we get to explore; the reactions of passerby elsewhere are always notably different than in New York -- i.e. they stop and watch. This was especially true on our first day of shooting down in Mexico City, where we headed to a small barrio called "America," escorted by our new friends Clora + Eric and driver Horatio. After 15 or twenty minutes of dancing in the streets, shopkeepers had emerged from their stores, people from their homes, and children were lining the street. One man, with his wife and four young children in the car, insisted that John (in the mask, above), dance on the hood of his tri-color car (red, white and blue), which looked moments from falling apart. He got out of the car with one of his daughters, called to his friends to watch, and took utter glee in the idea that an American guy in a Dia de las Muertos mask was dancing on his car.

Moments like this are overwhelming proof that the streets are an endless source of unpredictability and serendipity. And, that whatever hesitation or discomfort one feels in causing a scene or being part of a scene (I feel nervous all the time) is also an enormous opportunity to create joy for others and a memorable afternoon for one's self. I experience this when Im taking photographs too, and communicating what you're up to and why you're making something something usually elicits a lot more positivity than one might initially think. And often gets you a good photo or video.