Nighttime is playtime in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico

65… In the night, streets provides space and boys will be boys…

4 boys on sidewalk with cat at night, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

On summer nights outdoors is a cool place to be with friends.

Sitting on the sidewalk-porch of a house on Calle Galenna were Miguel Alfonso Ayala Sayas, Jesus Antonio Ayala Sayas, Ivan Vincio Zavala Lucero and Carlos Enrigue (Alcentar?) Verdugo. I am not sure of the order. I am researching my pocket Álamos workbooks where folks signed their names and in some cases indicated where their parents came from. The hand writing, as in the case of Carlos, at times is difficult to read. For this photo the page read “night photo taken at House of Chriyscolia King” and these four names. No name for the cat.
Outdoors on a summer night, if it isn’t raining, is a good place to be. Many homes have three generations living in small spaces. It is difficult to invite friends over for a variety of reasons including privacy and adding additional body heat. The streets at night become an extended living room.

@ boys at night, one with new skates, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Erick Osvalda and Vardes Valensuela enjoying Christmas vacation.

It is late December, 1993, few cars are traveling on the one-way street which old maps named Calle Aurora and Google shows as an extension of Calle Francisco Madero. The crisp winter night air has a bite to it. Most folks are indoors watching television or celebrating each other’s company. In contrast to summer, the doors are closed, now holding the heat in. Thick walls, high ceilings, doors and windows are the primary climate control systems in Álamos. Tis the season to be jolly.

Three men in the plaza singing on a summer night, Al;amos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

They would sing for hours in the Plaza, their songs echoing off of history.

Martin Alonso Sanchez Silva, Juan Gabriel Hurtado Vla., and Victor M. Robles L. could be found in the Plaza on many summer nights. Martin, on the left, worked on a crew I filmed building the Straw-bale House at El Pedregal the previous spring. As for other two gentlemen I am not sure who is who. The gentlemen on the right owned, or managed, the liquor store at the corner of Calle Rosales and Aquiles Serdan on the Alameda. Both sang in the church choir. Here, their melodic voices, and practiced harmony, filled the Plaza with humanness and added to the sweetness of a summer night.

The Place to Be and Be Seen

It is a wonderful feeling to sit with a friend in the plaza on a pleasant evening. Here, one can watch people come, be and go. This is the a place to be seen and see. When all have come and gone it becomes a romantic refuge for a young couple. 
Imagine horse drawn carriages, burro pack trains, and cars that have come into Álamos along these streets. Imagine the families that have been here for centuries. Imagine the change of government, some peaceful some violent. It is all here in the shadows of night. Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson.
Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

It is In The Night That the Past Dances Down Narrow Streets

Oh little town of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Lights sparkle in the evening darkness. Pungent smells float with the shifting breeze. Music, live and recorded, rises up from the homes and neighborhoods. Birds sing under star filled skies. Dogs bark and cars pass by. Footsteps on cobblestone and smoke from fireplaces create mystic moments. Children of all ages play late into the night on the quiet streets. Night time is not threatening, it is a celebration of another day both coming and going. Night time is magical. The town seems smaller. The world becomes all you can see looking down a street. It is easy to focus on the smallest thing. And behind the walls there are other worlds: private legacies, conversations., comforts, learnings, entertainments, deliberations, dreams.
 Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

A Parade of Lights Brings Song and Joy to Colonial Álamos Streets during Christmas.

We see a traditional Posada visiting from house to house and arriving at Casa de los Tesoros where children in their holiday attire play and adult family take in another Christmas in Álamos. It is a tradition. Another scene is a trip to the Alameda. Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from”Camino Songs” by Denver Clay and SonicAtomics.

Nightfall brings out spirits, ghosts and legends.

Oh little town of Alamos dreams, as seen from Gringo Point in the Sierra de Alamos.

Lights sparkle in the evening darkness. Pungent smells float with the shifting breeze. Music rises up from the homes and neighborhoods. Birds sing under star filled skies. Dogs bark and cars passe by. Footsteps on Álamos cobblestone and smoke from fireplaces create mystic.

Friends gather outside a Friday night dance.

Anders arrived his on first visit to Álamos, Sonora, Mexico at 4 am, after an 18 hour drive from Tijuana. Coming into town at night accented the fact he had arrived in a place where time stood still and discovery awaits. Seeing the town in morning light did not diminish his first impression.

Thick walls embrace outside and inside a house on Calle Comercio.

Children of all ages play late into the night on the quiet streets. Álamos dogs and cats lay together by front doors. Night time is not threatening, it is a celebration of another day both coming and going.

Romantic songs, live and recorded, come from many houses aglow with music.

Music concerts happen on a public and private level. Guitars and singing takes place all over Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Singing and dancing are part of the passion for life that begins as little children and continues throughout life. It is felt with every step and heartbeat.

The plaza at night is refuge for a young couple.

It is a wonderful feeling to sit in the plaza on a pleasant evening with a friend. Here, one can watch the people come and go. The church draws people throughout the day and into the evening.
It is a joy to listen to the church choirs practice.

The Estudiantina entertains at a local hotel.

The Estudiantina de Álamos are a group of young men learning music and performance styles from the days of old. The Museo de Costumbrista de Sonora coordinates their training and busy schedules. They are bring a pride and joy wherever they go.

For over 300 years people have been in their homes on this corner.

The thick walls help keep out the cold and heat and hold in the spirits of anyone who has walked inside. If there is a place where past, present and future come together it is inside the walls of Álamos. These photos are slices, literally. from a portfolio of 100 Álamos night scenes by Anders Tomlinson. Some day Álamos may be able to look at them on exhibit or projected at night.

gatherings acroos the plaza at night, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

A place to sit, a place to walk, a place to talk. It was, it is, it will be.

Imagine the horse drawn carriages, the burro pack trains, and cars that have come into Álamos along these streets. Imagine the families that have been here for centuries. Imagine the change of government, some peaceful some violent. It is all here to behold, all embraced by night shadows.

Two friends share thoughts at the entrance to town center.

Summer nights find townsfolk outdoors in the cooling air. The sky can light up with a roll of distant thunder. If it begins to rain people stay under the sky and embrace the blessed moisture. Listen to the crickets Álamos, Sonora, Mexico, listen to your heart.

Rain is always welcomed in Alamos. It is Life.

Night time is magical. The town seems smaller. The world becomes all you can see looking down a street. It is easy to focus on the smallest thing.
And behind the walls there is another world. Private legacies. Conversations. Comforts.
Learnings. Entertainments. Deliberations. Dreams… Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

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