Monday, September 19, 2011

mexican day parade: que colores

(i seem to stumble into a lot of some point i should consider getting a calendar, so that every sunday during parade season i know what i'm in for?)

anyway, yesterday's hosts: mexicans.

i shot some photos last year, and wasn't sure if there was a need to take more this time. (if you've shot the crazy, color-mob scene once, do you need to document it again?)

but even though the energy level was the same (high, loud) the participants that i mingled with this time wore costumes that evoked different aspects of mexican culture that i'd been unaware of (i had to do a little research afterwards to make sense of some of what i saw). there were a few charros (cowboys, rodeo showmen) including riders from the federation of black cowboys , lucha libre costumes, chinelo dancers (their faces hidden by the traditional masks--and there were so many different kinds, reflecting the evolution of the dance from pre-hispanic times through the 19th century--with even the youngest dancers bearing the weight of headdresses and black suiting and beaded capes) and a posse of payasos (clowns--i had no idea that it's long been a common form of street entertainment in mexico. not sure how i'd feel about clowns coming up to me in the street or in my car offering "a laugh for a peso," but they were pretty fun to hang around with for a little while in the afternoon).


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

us open 2011: it must be...

it’s been a year of thrilling tennis so far (with inspired writing, always as the accompaniment). but there has been been one sort of disappointing thread for me, and other nadal fans, throughout the season. an irksome (now 0-6) record against djokovic in finals.

before yesterday’s early evening match, a few friends extended me notes of support (loved that) and a few asked me if i was nervous. was i ever! i know some deeply devoted fans who wouldn’t have watched it live, to avoid witnessing and experiencing a potential disappointment. my line on monday had been, i have to believe. if he believes, I have to. which maybe sounds a little corny to say out loud. but if I didn’t believe he could win, well then what would be the point of watching?

and watching nadal fight—and then get pushed back—and fight again—and then get pushed back, that wasn’t easy. i was cursing, jumping, pacing around my apartment. by the middle of the third set, i’d given myself a headache. by the end of the third, my voice was hoarse. i’d hoped i’d be gargling champagne (or at least, white wine) in celebration. after the loss, i drank, but without the same gusto. i wondered for a moment if it was all worth it, to be so crazy about a sport.

but I wouldn’t have given up those hours—witnessing that inconceivable toughness, physical and mental, from both players. i would have hated to miss all those exhilarating moments, even if in the end they added up to a “loss” for my favorite player.

one of the reasons I love sports, especially tennis, is at the best or most dramatic of times, it's like "life" (i'll leave it to the real writers to plumb that more eloquently) and with the best athletes, you're reminded how you want to conduct yourself in it. (one of my favorite quick rafa-isms after last night's match: accept the challenge, and work.)

and in some funny way, this particular rivalry is to me, is a bit like love and relationships--the way i (like to, try to) do them, anyway... believing always (though occasionally hearing the doubts of others, and sometimes getting set back on my heels). knowing, as nice as the other guy is, he has the power to crush. understanding that maybe i don’t have the right "strategy," or don’t know what one should be. but i’m there, always “with great illusion,” and enjoying the moments that are brilliant and beautiful and fun. never really sure of the outcome--i can't know or control the other guy, only me and what i do--but knowing that I’ve helped make those good moments happen before... well...again, believing always in just being there and trying my best at that moment…

we will see what's gonna happen, no?


us open 2011: ladies' game (the glam, doubled)

gisela dulko and flavia pennetta
photographed on sept 5, 2011
© anita aguilar

Monday, September 12, 2011

us open 2011: ladies' game (shotmaking, etc)

the ferocity, the vulnerability, the delight--all doubled.
love it.

flavia pennetta
roberta vinci
sara errani
gisela dulko

all photos taken sept 5, 2011
© anita aguilar

us open 2011: the ladies' game

It is beauty itself
that lives

day by day in them

This is
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing...

---william carlos williams, via the poetry foundation

roberta vinci (ita)

flavia pennetta (ita)

sara errani (ita)

gisela dulko (arg)

all photos from sept 5, 2011
© anita aguilar