Viewing entries in
My Latest Adventures


The Original Process of Making Mezcal - An Exclusive Mezcal tour in Mexico

On a Saturday night I came across La Mezcalera in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I've never had Mezcal before but I was curious...

This place was special.... Old masks and antiques were on the walls... People hanging about, talking...

And they only serve the best of Mezcal.

The bartender, Leon, told me to try the flight of three types of Mezcal.

I noticed that they were much smoother and the flavor was more subtle than most tequilas that I've tried.


First lesson about Mezcal:

Never compare Mezcal to Tequila.

Mezcal is more elegant. Mezcal has more flavor and is a classy drink.

Tequila is not.

I continued talking to Leon and he gave me the rundown about Mezcal.

The other people in the room chimed in their opinions.

I became good friends with a chef, Jose Luis and a photographer named Francisco.

Everyone was so nice and welcoming. We were laughing and talking, feeling great.

What a great night!

A few days later, I ended up staying at Jose Luis' house and he spoke about going on a tour of the Mezcal distilleries outside of Oaxaca.

I said, "Lets go".... And off we went.

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the Agave plant that is grown in Mexico.

The distillation process stems back to the early 1800's in Oaxaca, Mexico and today there are multiple variations of this technique that are being used throughout Oaxaca.

Mezcal is particular  to the state of Oaxaca. If its not made in Oaxaca, Its not Mezcal.

One thing that you must know is that it's not tequila.

As you scroll through the photos below you will see how they harvest the Agave plant and pull out the large root which sort of looks like giant pineapples.

Eating the worm

Map of where we went.

The Agave roots are then chopped up and placed in this fire pit. The process is long and hard because they have to place these large stones on top of the plants to create an oven-like effect.

After cooking the Agave and removing the stones the sugars in the Agave are carmelized. They place the cooked Agave on a stone crushed that is powered by a horse. This crushed the plant pieces and turns it into stringy fibers. From there, they transfer it into fermentation pits.

In this room the sour smell of fermentation was very strong. This one distillery had 3 different aged fermentation pits. After the fermentation process, it all gets tranferred to the distillation area where it gets process and distilled into a small jug.















We got a little crazy by the end of the day. I ate a few Mezcal worms that pop in your mouth. Interesting taste and feeling.

We were laughing, being silly, and having a good time.

I wasnt too messed up to drive and by the time we got back to Oaxaca I had a piano gig at this bar but was so exhausted. I still did the gig but it was a tough night.



Where we have come in the last 3 years...And where we want to go next

In 2010, I quit my job, emptied my savings account, bought a Truck and a Piano, and hit the road in pursuit of a new life.

I was tired of working towards someone else's dream rather than my own.

I knew that if I really wanted to create the life of my passions I had to make sacrifices and go ALL IN.

I wanted to experience life face to face. To take a risk and do something Extraordinary.



White Sands, New Mexico

I didn't actually play my piano in White Sands National Monument but it was a wonderful experience and I took some awesome photos.

welcome to white sands

white sands roads


white sands dirt


white sands


art sand dunes ant


white sands ant art


american white sands


sandy dunes in America


white sands celebration


white sands dog and puppy


white sands sand dunes





Piano Across America is the story of a pianist named Dotan Negrin and his dog, Brando, as they travel across the United States with an upright piano in a truck. Fed up with working towards someone else’s dream, Dotan decided to leave home in pursuit of his own dream: to travel, make music, and meet people. From Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, this piano man travels to great length to bring people together through the power of his music. What started as a trip to develop his skills on the piano, evolved into a movement that inspired people to fulfill their own dreams. This site chronicles the journey into the places and stories of the people he meets.


Comment in New York City

Man Plans to Play Piano Across America: Starts tour in NYC Piano Across Americaby Adel Manoukian

Dotan Negrin decided to fulfill his dreams of playing music, seeing new places and meeting new people by taking his piano and dog named Brando across America, traveling with few belongings in a 12-foot Box truck the 25-year old bought off eBay.

This year, Negrin is taking his upright 88-keys and loyal canine to 100 locations across the city, his hometown. Starting in May, Negrin has already performed in the elevated Highline Parking the Meatpacking District, becoming the first person to haul a piano up there. As of yesterday, Negrin has played atColumbus Circleand in front of Alice Tully Hall inLincolnCenter.

Although his next locations are uncertain, this piano man keeps moving and updates his twitter and blog followers with his current location.

Fresh out of college in 2008, Negrin began auditioning and performing small roles in non-union shows and was unhappy with the idea that he needed to spend more time looking for jobs than actually working one. He originally decided to travel and play to earn money but soon realized that he really wanted to see what it would be like to travel without laid out plans. Negrin’s main goal now is to inspire people with his music although he still wants to release an album with original music and develop more skills. He has been playing the piano for about 7 years.

This is Negrin’s third road trip, his first being from April 4 to September 5 and his second one being from November 22 to December 12, both in 2011. He has already visited popular cities and landmarks on both coasts, even performing in National Parks.

His adventures and who he encounters while performing can be read in detail on his blog,

Negrin also blogs about difficulties he encounters while out playing, including rain, and most recently the NYPD. Depending on where he plays, police sometimes threaten to give him tickets. Challenges last year include pushing the heavy piano, which has put strain on his back. One year, the piano, while being maneuvered, fell on and broke his hand.

Despite the hardships, Negrin is enthusiastic about inspiring and meeting more people. He hopes his next road trip will be documented more thoroughly with camera crews.