Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bikes take over Guadalajara

Every Sunday the city shuts down a couple of main thoroughfares to all but bikes and pedestrian traffic. It turns into quite a rolling parade. Makes the city seem more livable.
Traffic here is always heavy. The metropolitan area is comparable to Baltimore in terms of total population, and everyone has a couple of cars. One of the big dailies had a story last week about the peak traffic hours, and the hour-by-hour graphic showed traffic at a high level from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m. I believe it.
You see lots of monstrous American cars, and getting around in traffic is tricky, which is a topic for another day.

Above and below are miniature ceramics that were part of an impressive exhibition of work from all over Mexico that we saw a week ago in nearby Tlaquepaque. The little cards in the display cases are the size of business cards, to give you some idea of scale. That´s Noah´s Ark on the bottom.

Tlaquepaque does a thriving trade by separating wealthy tourists from their cash in exchange for antiques and authentic handicrafts. We´re told that if we go to the next town over, Tonalá, we´ll get very nice stuff but at better prices.

Apparently, Mariachi grows on you after a while.

The Roman models of architecture are all over Spain, Italy, France and all of Latin America. Courtyards or atriums surrounded by the house, porticoes, arches and columns.

A fanciful sculptor´s bronzes of anthropromorphic furniture are all over the central plaza of the city. Cindy takes a break on one of them.

Work and home

Monday we move into an apartment on a busy street with all kinds of stores, restaurants and cafés in the neighborhood below. Our stuff from Baltimore should arrive this week. We took no furniture with us so we´re furnishing the place.

I´ve been meeting every day with various people at the University of Guadalajara who will be helping me to design the first course on digital journalism, which will be aimed at editors. We´re going to create it online, with an in-person part at the end of the course. The idea is for professional journalists to have the opportunity to work on the course on their own time and then break away for a week or less and wrap up the work.
Designing a course online is brand new for me. The University has a track record in this area and a lot of people with experience. They are excited about the project and pitching into it with a will.

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