Lost Musician In Juarez

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: July 27-August 3, 2007


Musico perdido en las ruinas de Juarez / July 2007

El Centro, the downtown of Juarez, is going down.

La Mariscal, the zone of shops and bars and (say this quietly) brothels north of El Centro, the commercial zone north of El Centro stretching to the border with the U.S., is being demolished and is, mostly, gone.

The “Plan,” has come. Progress is here. Now there is hope for those who need the border to be “clean.”

It shall be sanitized.

It will be safe, now, for “progress :” some people will cheer.

But there is a whimper.

For those who have cherished the texture of the border, the pure, undeveloped razor of its rawness, its rough and dark and sweaty and steamy soul, the smell and blinding glare of its poetry, an era has closed. Disappeared.

It was a good run compas de la frontera. Some things change. Some things stay the same but change locations. It’s the way of things.

For Los Musicos de El Centro, the “zone,” La Mariscal, is no more. I remember the sounds and the spiritedness of their playing. They wander now like beautiful beasts dislodged from the forest by Napalm. Maybe there is a writer or three that wander, also, similarly, wondering were their “Go To,” subjects went. Maybe there’s a photographer or two in the same boat.

It’s OK. This is the way of things. We’re all transients. It was a good run for me. La Mariscsal gave me a lot of images…for a long time: gifts, baubels sent by time and circumstance. They are little treasures of interaction that were good for me and who’s pleasures seem to have meant something to some.

Things change. Me too.

With the new Centro, the Border is a little more/lot more desaparecido/disappeared. It will have no interest for me. It’s not what I do. My work is elsewhere now and I am already in it.

Some will cheer. There will be lament. Things end “…not with a bang but a whimper.”

I understand.

But, look closely at the face of this Musico. A Musician without a audience.

What do you hear?

Juarez rising. El Centro going down.

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1 Comment

  1. La Mariscal. Diesel fumes and lysol, with a splash of lime.
    Frankenstein’s Palace, the Follies, and a Rainbow sandwich.
    Red tuck and roll, stray cats and no barking dogs, por que no?
    Taunts and catcalls, servicio “singular”. The smell of leather and the shine of copper. Onyx pawns and marble queens.
    Molten glass and sleepy shadows. Singapore Slings and dismantled bugs. And then sometimes,,, you gotta go home, and never look back.