Tuesday June 29, 2010

CAYAMBE ECUADOR – This town hosts a week-long festival for Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and Taita Inti (Father Sun) around the summer solstice. This guy’s costume bears no relationship to the prevailing native garb at this festival – he probably looked as odd to the Ecuadorians as he does to us. His mask looks like it was made from a child’s bib, but on close examination it’s actually finely beaded. He’s sufficiently odd that I’ve adopted him in the header for my site.

Cayambe festival

Leica M9 with 28mm Summicron.

Saturday June 26, 2010

HACIENDA ZULETA, ECUADOR – We visited Hacienda Zuleta a few hour drive north of Quito.

I’ve paraphrased the history of the hacienda from its web site. In the late 16th century, King Charles gave the Zuleta region to the Jesuits, who implemented Spanish methods of farming and cattle and sheep production. In the following years a small wool mill was established. And by 1691, the Hacienda house, granary and chapel were completed and the farm was in full operation. In 1713 the property was confiscated and transferred to Canon Gabriel Zuleta, making Zuleta his seventeenth hacienda. The farm became known as Cochicaranqui de Zuleta. After the Canon’s death the farm passed to the Posse family,who restored the hacienda back to its 17th century grandeur. The estate was sold to Jose Maria Lasso in 1898 and passed through two generations to its current owner, Galo Plaza Lasso, the ex-President of Ecuador.

We attended the feast of San Juan at the hacienda – this is Mr. Plaza Lasso catching an offering from a local village.

Chicken offering

Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron Asph.

Thursday June 24, 2010

QUITO ECUADOR – The space above the a side isle in the Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito. Wikipedia includes the following description:

“The basilica is the most important work of Neogothic Ecuadorian architecture and is one of the most representative of the Americas. It is the largest neogothic basilica in the New World. The building is noted for its grotesques in the form of native Ecuadorian animals, such as armadillos, iguana, and Galapagos tortoises.

“The Basilica is 140 meters long and 35 meters wide. It is 30 meters high in the sanctuary, 15 meters high in the votive chapels, 74 meters high in the transept, and 115 meters high in the two frontal towers. In the sanctuary, there are 14 bronze images representing 11 apostles and three evangelists. In the crypt, there is a pantheon containing the remains of several heads of state.”

Leica M9 and 50mm Sumicron Asph. Three images stitched.

Wednesday June 23, 2010

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – This was a travel day, starting in the morning at LaGuardia and ending the day in Quito, Ecuador, via Miami. This out of the window of a taxi on the way to LaGuardia. The Bridge is the Triborough Bridge – at least that’s its historical name and what most New Yorkers call it. It was officially renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008. Here’s a short excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the bridge:

“Construction had begun on Black Friday in 1929, and the Triborough project’s outlook began to look bleak. Othmar Ammann’s assistance was enlisted to help simplify the structure. Ammann had collapsed the original two-deck roadway into one, requiring lighter towers, and thus, lighter piers. These cost-saving revisions saved $10 million on the towers alone. Using New Deal money, the project was resurrected in the early 1930s by Robert Moses and the bridge was opened to traffic on July 11, 1936.”

Here’s a link to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s page on the bridge: RFK Bridge

RFK Bridge

Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron Asph.