Despite the fortitude of the stonework in every direction, one gets the sense that Oaxaca is always changing, as if solids behave more like liquids in extreme slow motion.
Monte Alban dates back to 750 B.C. and is built according to the 14 degree tilt of the Earth. The corner of one building points to sunset on the equinox. Note the size of the people below. The acoustics here are ridiculous. You could whisper to someone on the opposite pyramid.
I wandered into the opera house and found many people inside looking at the image of another opera house. The meta-insanity of this philosophical hall of mirrors is the sort of existential conundrum Oaxacans eat for breakfast.
Emily and I must have walked about 75 miles over 10 days. Combing the city in every direction from our hotel. We walked so much, I pulled a walk muscle behind my bottom right ribs.
The streets feel very deliciously non-United States-y. Cobble stone becomes paved road becomes staircase becomes aquaduct becomes motorcycle.
If you like corrugated metal as much as Emily and I do, then climb as high into the hills as there are houses.
One such jaunt led to Emily finding the perfect tortilla (she obsessed all week about these Oaxacan morsels, which are thinner and chewier than their L.A. counterparts). Standing in front of one of Oaxaca's many murals, she cradled this warm bundle in a way that could be described as "eerily affectionate."
And speaking of Oaxaca's murals, I've never seen such delicious whimsy. Oaxaca is to art as Copenhagen is to the atomic bomb. At 9pm on Sunday night, we saw 20 little easels in the middle of the park with children furiously creating away at each one. This town takes its art more seriously than Stringer Bell takes his business classes.
This is the Santo Domingo, in the center of town. Every square inch of this building was loved over by brilliant artisans. At first I thought, "what a strangely ostentatious display of wealth in a city and country not otherwise known for it," but then I thought, "this overwhelmingly communicates the level of loving detail that awaits those who believe in heaven, and might be less out of reach—on a cosmic plane—for those without, than I had realized."
Oaxaca has a staggering number of old Beetles. They are the most popular car in town. It seems odd, but for the fact that everyone in town is an aesthete.
After ten days of eating the most delicious restaurant food all over town we found out that the best restaurant is in fact a collection of plastic stools, a round stone slab, and furious florescent light.
Our hotel had a terrace on the roof where we thought they'd hung chinese lanterns, but in fact, they'd rigged old colanders with light bulbs inside.
As common a sight as the VW Beetle: couples talking close in parks and doorways. Know this my friends, Oaxaca is for lovers.
Emily and I spent the plane ride home wondering how the U.S. would have turned out if it were as mountainous as Mexico.