I Look Down, They Rarely Look Up

The View From My Tiny Second Floor Balcony

GE McKerrihan
4 min readMar 19, 2023
Looking up at my tiny balsony.
“Observation Balcony” — Photo by Author

Earlier this month I moved once again to a new location in Oaxaca. I do this on a regular basis, about every two to three months. It is the result of wanting to experience different parts of this amazing city.

I learn more about this city with every move. Airbnb makes it all possible. Yes, Airbnb has its issues, but they also make my lifestyle simple and easy.

This time I moved into the heart of Oaxaca Centro. Within a two block radius are many of my favorite spots.

I am now living on the second floor of a delightful building. I chose this particular spot for its tiny balcony. That’s it in the photo above. Yes, I said it is tiny, with a wonderful view of life on the street below.

View of wall across the street.
“Sidewalk Composition” — Photo by Author

This view is across the street. It is a construction site. The recycled corrugated metal covered door never fails to fascinate. The juxtaposition of the colorful metal, brick wall, graffiti, and old tree, is a bonus.

I stare at this view daily. It never gets old. I thank the gods above for this lovely composition.

Looking down on four passersby.
“Young and Old Passing By” — Photo by Author

I made this photo earlier this morning, as this foursome walked by. My bird’s eye perch delights me daily. I also find it odd, that rarely do the passersby look up. I smile and wave when they do.

I also know those walking on the sidewalk, are in the moment. And fully present with their respective companions.

Those passing by are friends, often lovers, both old and young. At times I wonder if I’ve become an old voyeur. The truth is, I am fascinated by human nature. I am a watcher of people, and always have been.

The people of Mexico are very expressive of their love, for friends, for their families, and yes their lovers. Age has no bearing on these expressions of affection. The young learn it at an early age, from their extended families.

View of construction across the street.
“Construction Progress” — Photo by Author

There is construction going on across the street as well. Those metal clad doors in the second photo are the worker’s entry to the soon to be, third floor of this building. And yes, I am fascinated by the daily progress.

The great majority of construction here is done by hand. Every morning a crew of eight to ten men appear on the second story rooftop. They spent more than a week assembling the rebar reinforcement for the next layer of the concrete beam.

You can see the wooden forms at the top of the walls in the photo above. I am guessing the third story will look much like the second story. Vertical concrete columns with bricks laid between them.

The workmen have a relaxed and playful attitude. They display an obvious affection for each other. The sense that they are all on the same team is obvious.

This is all so different from construction workers I have witnessed, and been a part of in the States, where a competitive environment is the norm.

Volkwagen Bug at night.
“Looking Down On A Bug” — Photo by Author

The view from my tiny balcony at night is a joy. The expressions of love on the street seem to intensify after dark. I am sure those below have no idea that they are occasionally being observed. Though I doubt it would matter to them.

I never make photos after dark. But last night I happened to look down and saw this vintage Volkswagen bug with the custom roof rack. I quickly decided it was time to try my hand at night time photography. And I’m glad I did.

This one is for my pal, Rodrigo S-C. We share a love for vintage Bugs!

Thanks for reading, and looking. I welcome your comments, always.

To wide open lenses . . . and wide open hearts. — G.E.



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.