Friday, May 02, 2008

Two Days in Mexico City

Two days isn't enough time to see sprawling Mexico City, but we did our best. Covering spots from the historic centro, Alameda, Coyoacan, Condesa/Roma, and near Xochimilco.

We enjoyed Yucatecan food at Restaurante Circulo Del Sureste at Lucerna 12, Colonia Juarez. While we ate cabrito at Guadalupana, a bar in Coyoacan since 1932, I wondered at which table Diego and Frida sat when they came in to this bar just blocks from the Blue House. For a comida we went to "Titita" Carmen Ramirez Degollado's El Bajio Restaurante in the new upscale galleria at Plaza Parque Reforma 222. We had drinks and watched the very well dressed crowd at the hip lounge, Lamm in Roma at Alvaro Obregon 99.

We spent a morning treading through the vast Mercado La Merced where you can find not just limes and potatoes but multitudes of varieties of limes and potatoes as well as varieties of other vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and spices that are displayed in amazingly arranged stacks. We saw the dulce mercado where I dare you to leave without buying something. We wandered through markets of plastic flowers, a market of every kind and size of cookware and cooking appliances. Through tables of clothes and toys, pinatas. These markets never cease to amaze me.

We watched prostitutes pose and parade in a circle while lines of men looked on. Also on the streets not far from the mercado the women stood waiting about every 50 feet, waiting for some man to take up their offer of sex. Some of them looked so young. What happened in their lives to bring them here?

We didn't leave out the cultural side of DF. We saw Mexico y La Estampa Moderna at the Munal, at Tacuba 8. Great exhibition. We spent a long time slowly walking through the courtyards at the Secretaria de Educacion Publica, Republica de Brasil 31, and looking at the murals by Diego Rivera. There are over 100 murals painted by Rivera in the 1920s. He said that they formed a tableau of the 'very life of the people.' After the murals a death defying taxi trip out to the Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino where there is perhaps the biggest and most important collection of his paintings. These murals and paintings have raised a lot of questions for me about Rivera and the cultural and political issues of that period in Mexico. I've added another book, a biography about Rivera, to the Amazon list.

As I said, two days isn't enough time, but there is always the next time.


Steve Cotton said...

Billie -- I just returned from Brazil and was shocked and disheartened to see the number of very young girls (and I mean little) being marketed for sex in Recife and Salvador. Brazil is very casual about sex, but this was just heart-rending.

John W said...

Somehow I hadn't managed to get to Mexico City since we moved to San Miguel five years ago. But las month I did get to spend a couple of nights there, and realized what I had been missing. And the ETN bus made getting there so easy!

Billie said...

Steve, I think that these young women were past the girl stage but still at 17 or way to start a life.

John, The ETN bus makes it so easy to get to the city, then jump in a cab and off to your hotel. We have gone several times and every time I come home with an even longer list of places I want to see and restaurants I want to try.

Babs said...

Billie - I have a fabulous biography on Diego Rivera with color photos of his work and all. You are MOST welcome to borrow it anytime.........The first time I went to the Olmedo Museum it was with Suzanna Glusker whose mother, Anita Brenner wrote "Idols behind Altars" and was one of Diego's lovers. Suzanna used to play at the home of Diego and Frida - HER perspective on Olmedo was VERY, VERY interesting..........and its historical content was priceless.

Billie said...

Babs, Well sometime over a cup of coffee you will have to fill me in Olmedo.