Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hands Across the Water

Since the whole reason this blog exists is to build bridges between Mexico and Brooklyn (okay, so the rationale changes a lot - it's like the Iraq War of blogs, in that sense), we were delighted to see this piece in the old hometown paper about a Mexican-born photographer exhibiting his pictures of the Mighty Gowanus Canal. This is a definite short-lister for Quote of the Year:

These sights might drive others away. For Mr. Gaytan, they set off reveries of his childhood in 1950s Mexico.

“When I was growing up in Juárez, my grandfather was a handyman who took me on jobs with him,” Mr. Gaytan said. “The first thing he would do was go to the junkyards in Juárez to buy toilets and things he would clean and fix to sell to the people across the border in El Paso. I used to play in those junkyards. That aroma is embedded in my brain: a mix of sewage, kerosene and oil. That’s what the Gowanus brought back to me. My childhood.”

We'll leave it to partisans on each side to decide which city this quote flatters.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm hung up on the name "Gowanus."

Burro Hall said...

Part of the proud American tradition of naming places after the Indians we drove from them.

On Mexican Time said...

It's strange what our senses will do for our memory! Good, bad and ugly/sewage!

I would have loved to see Mexico in the 50's - my grandfather played soccer/futbol professionally and he remembers being in Mexico City with a population of just over a couple million... He said it was beautiful....