Finding a place to stay is a cinch–47 weeks out of the year. During the week of semana santa in spring, July's Guelaguetza, Day of the Dead celebrations during late October/early November, and the last two weeks of December, everybody and their mother comes to town so accommodations are tight. Not impossible, just expect to pay a little more.
Oaxaca has two English-language newspapers with good tourist and resident information, the free Oaxaca Times and the bilingual Go-Oaxaca. And you can't beat the local, all-Spanish Noticias for sheer balls, what with the paper being the target of a siege/vendetta by Gov. Ruiz of the PRI Machine.
Plenty of schools have Spanish classes, but I'm partial to Oaxaca International, Los Libres 207. Their rates are very reasonable, and they include fieldtrips; homestay options available, even if you aren't studying there.
Oax-town has plenty of internet cafes around town, ranging in price from 5-10 pesos an hour. Inter@ctive, Alcalá 503 (across from Santo Domingo), has DSL with all new equipment with USB ports, supplies like cds and diskettes, a scanner, color and b/w printers, and direct connections for your laptop. 5 pesos per half hour.
Oax-town is also a good walking town, though take care on the sometimes sketchy sidewalks. If you get tired, the city has plenty of cabs; negotiate and agree on a fare before getting in. Also take note of the cab's sitio in case you leave something in the cab. For destinations in and around Centro, figure no more than 30 pesos. City buses are usually 3.50, 3 pesos for the older ones; almost all have the fare marked on the outside of the bus. Drivers give change, too. No transfers. Destinations and major landmarks are written on the windshield or on signs hanging from the windshield. Signal for a stop by pushing the buzzer at the back door.
Hey, sports. Head out to Gringolandia for a pick-up game of basquetbol or futbol, or over to the Llano for early morning jogging. I hear there's a bowling alley somewhere, too, though I never did find it. Co-ed Zinacantli Rugby, Alcalá 902-BIS, www.planeta.com. Open practice every Saturday from 11a-2p at the sports field near Gringolandia. Beginners welcome!
We're also lucky to have several bookstores with good selections of English-language books. Amate Books, on Alcala, carries cookbooks, history, art, and handicraft books, magazines, and a choice selection of art. Provedora Escolar, on the corner of Independencia and Reforma, has tons of books on Oaxaca and Mexican history, including many obscure titles. The gift shop in Santo Domingo also has a good selection of books, and the full range of the excellent (Spanish-language) Archeologia magazine.
Oax-town has a number of movie theatres. Cinepolis shows first-run movies in both Spanish and English; their schedule is online. Same with Multimax, though their website is infuriating. Both are in Gringolandia. Take any bus marked Plaza del Valle. Admission is normally $37 pesos, with 2x1 Wednesdays. Both have stadium seating and cupholder armrests.
Over at Garcia Vigil 817, Cine El Pochote plays movies from around the world, poorly projected via LCD projector onto a wall in a small theatre with hard wooden seats. But it's free if you're cheap, or you could toss a 5-pesos coin in the collection box. Movies usually play nightly at 6pm and 8pm, though this being Mexico times do change. The Oaxaca Times carries their schedule.
Don't bother with Sala Versalles, on Av. Juarez, which plays first-run movies. It's crap. (Is it even open still?)
Tourist Office, Murguía 206, tel. 516-0123. Very friendly, and fairly knowledgeable if you stick to the usual tourist stuff.
The American consulate, Alcalá 407-20, tel. 514-3054. Yes, it's in a mall. Surprise.
Post Office, Independencia across from the cathedral. It's open Mon-Fri 9a-7p, and on Saturday from 9a-1p. It costs Mex$8.50 to send a letter to the U.S.
Airport vans, Alameda de Leon 1-G, across from the cathedral. It's the Transportes Aeropuerto Oaxaca, and they're open Mon-Sat 9a-2p, 5p-8p.
Finally, if you don't know a tlayuda from a tostada, here's a little glossary of Oaxacan words and terms. Did you know that iguana means "full of gristle" in any language?