Harvesting Mangoes

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You can hardly see him, but there’s a boy (no more than 8 years old) in the upper middle of this tree in Parque Llano. He’s cutting fruit (really, tearing it) from the tree and throwing (nothing resembling tossing) the almost ripe pieces to his partner below.

I worried that if he caught me documenting his heist he’d hurl a piece in my direction. I worried needlessly, for he dared not waste even one smooth slice of the sweetness.

Hola. Podria tomar una photo, por favor?

Market!

Today was Taco Friday. As I went to retrieve three carnitas tacos for Mari, I did two laps around the park to determine whether my favorite vendors were around — and approximately where.

At first, I had a hard time warming up to the crowds and asking permission to take photos or surreptitiously snap shots, but when I did inquire, people obliged my requests generously in the park and throughout the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.

These are some of my favorite shots of the day.

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Taco Friday in Llano Park

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I reminded Mari on Thursday evening, “Tomorrow’s Taco Friday.” She seemed as excited about it as I was. On Friday morning, as I was heading out, I cheered, “It’s Taco Friday!” and she clapped. The thing I like most about the way cheap and delicious experience of eating tacos at a stand in the park (and bringing them to Mari) is the joyous activity that fills Llano Park.

Sort of like the Davis Farmers’ Market, another place I love to eat and walk and eat and listen to music and eat, Llano offers even more delicious stands, more than a food court in a mall and way better, more music and variety, and way more color.

It’s a place where people have fun out in the community together. Children can paint on little easels, play ball, rent small vehicles and circle the fountain. Teenagers go there with their crushes and crowds of friends to buy sweets; others break dance. Families find time. It feels good to be a part of it.

As I was sitting on a wall, taking photos, a dog strode into the fountain in front of me. I ran to get a couple of photos. He came to the edge, as if to ask his companion, a man I recognized as a waiter at a local restaurant, if he’d be joining in. When the man didn’t budge, the dog went in to drink from the falling water, and then ran toward me. The waiter, recognizing me, said hello and commented how much the dog enjoys the fountain. He was picking up avocados for the restaurant, and her name is Bacha (I still don’t know his).

As I was showing the kids how to use the camera, they saw the photos of Llano Park and instantly asked, “Parque Llano?” I agreed. As I showed them Bacha, I told them her name. They wanted to know how I could know a dog’s name. I wanted to tell them she told me.

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