Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sounds of the City

Mexico City has a unique soundscape. Rather than the howl of sirens and buzz of traffic so common to urban areas, the air here is filled with the clatter of a thousand different noises. A large handbell marks the passing of the garbage truck, a loud steam whistle the arrival of a food cart. The morning stillness is broken by the singsong call of "gasssssssss, hay gasssssss," and tamale vendors on three-wheeled pedal carts play a standardized recording through tinny speakers... 'acércanse y piden sus ricos tamales oaxaqueños'... Wandering bands of musicians blare on honking trumpets and bang loud drums, while groups of Cuban musicians tap out classic boleros at street markets.

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