Monday, November 17, 2008
Aside from armadillo you'll also find live gusanos (worms from the maguey cactus), fried chapulines (grasshoppers), and escamoles (ant eggs), when they're in season. There are excellent cheese vendors, exotic fruit merchants, wild mushroom sellers and much more--plus all the regular stuff you need like string beans, bananas, and chicken.
For those of you tired of the usual turkey on Thanksgiving, here's
a recipe for Armadillo in Cream Sauce that's guaranteed to leave your dinner guests talking: click here (Serve it with a chilled German Riesling).
The Mercado San Juan is located in the centro on Calle Ernesto Pugibet near Calle BuenTono (metro stop Salto de Agua).
Monday, November 10, 2008
One of the great things about Mexico is the daily presence in our lives of hand-made objects: baskets, pottery, weaving are found in shops, markets and street stalls all over the country. Recently I had an article published in 'The News' about Mexican artesanias. In the course of my research I learned from informed sources that many artesanos (craftspeople) are suffering greatly from the poor economy. So I'm suggesting that you consider buying Mexican artesanias for holiday gift-giving this year. You will be getting something beautiful and soulful, as well as helping to maintain the tradition of craft production in Mexico.
In my article (click here to read) I suggest several places to shop. I also recommend the Mercado Ciudadela in Mexico City (near metro Balderas) and the Museo de Arte Popular in the Centro (Revillagigedo 11, behind the high-rise Sheraton Alameda)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Mexico City has some of the most stringent laws protecting tenants from eviction--it can take years to evict a non-paying tenant--but evidently the landlord in this case persisted.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"Que bonito es hacer nada...y luego descansar."
(How beautiful it is to do nothing...and then to rest.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
"In Mexico City, anyone who is anybody has hired bodyguards and what you see are
businesspeople, legislators and people of both the middle and upper classes surrounded by men in suits, looking around.
There is an overwhelming feeling of fear and insecurity throughout the population in Mexico City."
I was reminded of a frantic phone call I received from my mother years ago when I lived in New York City.
"Are you all right?" she asked, breathlessly.
"Sure, I'm fine, just finished dinner--what's up?"
"They're burning down buildings, shooting people in the streets, rioting everywhere!--I'm watching it on TV right now!"
Indeed, something was going on in Brooklyn, but the impression had been made that New York City was in a state of emergency.
We live in an age where fear sells almost anything--quite easily, it seems. It can distort or expand truth to the point where it is unrecognizable.
There are some grim truths in Mexico these days, and surely some people live in fear. But, while headlines about the killing and kidnapping of14-year old Fernando Martí, the 24 cadavers found in San Isidro Tehualtepec, and the 7 innocent bystanders killed by a grenade in the plaza of Morelia, may have overwhelmed some Mexicans, at least 150,000 of them showed up here recently to demand a response from the government. No doubt, the police and the judicial system are in great need of reform, and maybe some drastic headlines will finally push the government to act. But, as I walked through the park this morning on my way to yoga class, watching people jogging, walking their dogs, feeding ducks in the pond, I was reminded of the bigger picture. The violence occurring in some parts of Mexico does not turn Mexico into a violent nation.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Facing challenges by conservative factions here,
This is a new identity for our city, better known as the place where Aztecs ripped out beating hearts, Spaniards burned heretics at the stake, and government soldiers shot at unarmed students. Shaken to their foundations by the 1985 earthquake, the city’s inhabitants clearly sense the basic instability, the fragility, of our planet...perhaps making them more tolerant of everything that's on it.
Until recently, even the discussion of birth control or abortion had been taboo, so the new law touches a lot of hot spots. For many Mexicans, the often heard phrase“lo que Dios nos mande” (“whatever God sends us”) sums up the attitude here about family planning. The idea of a woman choosing to be, or to remain, pregnant, is new in Mexican society.
One out of every four Mexicans lives in the greater metropolitan area, so anything that goes on here affects the whole country. As
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
(Mexico City 1904-1957) was a painter, illustrator, art historian, and ethnologist. As a young man he went to New York City where he became famous for his caricatures and drawings for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. He was an avid fan of the Harlem jazz scene, and compiled several books of 'negro' drawings. His book on Bali is still in print, and his many illustrated books are now collectors' items (you can find them on ebay).
His series of billboard size maps from a world expo in San Francisco (1940) have been shown in several Mexican museums recently.
The map of Mexico shown here is part of the permanent display in the Museo de Arte Popluar here in el DF. Curiously, I have never seen a reproduction of this image--is there some enterprising publisher out there who wants to promote this as a poster?
Click here to see more images of Covarrubias' work.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The ‘three cultures’ referred to here are represented by Aztec ruins, a Spanish Colonial church, and a huge apartment complex that was a benchmark of Mexican progress in the 1960’s. For most Mexicans, however, the name Tlatelolco recalls the student uprising on October 2, 1968, which was brutally crushed by the Mexican army, and still hotly discussed today—it's usually referred to as the Tlatelolco massacre.
The ruins are similar to those of the Templo Mayor, but smaller. The recent addition of a new museum, El Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco, is another reason to visit.
Located in a former government building designed in 1966 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez (architect of the magnificent
The plaza and museum are located about a mile north of Bellas Artes, at the corner of EJE CENTRAL (also called Lazaro Cardenas--enter ruins here) and RICARDO FLORES MAGON (enter museum here). Metro stops Tlatelolco (no. 3 line) or Garibaldi (no. 8 line) are both a bit of a walk from the site. Taking a pesera north on Reforma to Flores Magon will get you closer. Going back south, you can catch a bus (which runs against the flow of traffic) on Eje Central.
Monday, August 4, 2008
It's harder and harder to find a good conchero dancer these days around the Cathedral, but I found someone from another tribe the other day--meet Max (photo), who was hanging around out front.
Did you know that you can climb up to the roof of the Cathedral? Tours leave every 20 minutes or so--look for the ticket booth with the word CAMPANARIO (bell tower) near the main door--it costs 12 pesos.
I stopped for a cup of coffee in the centro while visiting with family members from St. Louis. We were held in thrall by this young singer/guitarist, José Rodriguez, who just walked in off the street. (You can hire him for your next party--call 044-55-1633-7241).
Mexico City explorer Patrice Wynne sent me this surprising video of a Mexican corrida, a musical form popular during the Revolución, when many corridas were sung to celebrate war heros and to motivate the public--here is an updated version, which wins a special award from me for being (I assume) the world's only song to include the lyrics 'hasta con plan de salud' ('even a health plan!')
Finally, take a look at this video of Mexico's Queen of Ranchera, LOLA BELTRÁN, taken from one of her early movies. She was the acknowledged role model for Linda Ronstadt's excellent 'Canciones de mi Padre' albums. When she died in 1996, her casket was placed in the Palacio de Bellas Artes; thousands of her fans filed by for days. If you don't yet have one of her many albums (available everywhere on CD) go to your nearest music store and buy one today! You don't know Mexico until you know Lola Beltrán.
(A note about youtube: if you find the video stops & starts a lot, click pause and wait until the little arrow reaches the end, then play it.)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Classes, expositions, and other book-related events take place here. The address is Orizaba 124, at the corner of Puebla.
For more information, click this link.
Monday, June 2, 2008
If you've lived in Mexico for even a short while, it's likely that you have heard
the 1960's hit song 'El Ladron' by La Chamaca de Oro, Sonia Lopez.
If not, click here to remedy the situation.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I've been seeing this billboard all over town lately and found it quite compelling (not the vodka part). You certainly won't see this one in the U.S. of A.
The MUSEO DE LAS INTERVENCIONES near Coyoacán tells the history of the numerous incursions by Spain, France and the U.S. into Mexico in the years 1825-1916. Americans will be surprised and maybe a bit ashamed. The museum is housed in a magnificent
colonial monastery. For more information and directions click below:
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I mention it in my book, and I've recommended it to family and friends who have visited DF, but until yesterday I had never ridden on the turibus, that double-decker red thing you see carting hordes of tourists all over town. Who needs that? I thought to myself.
Much to my surprise, I loved it. Seeing DF from a vantage point about 10 feet above ground level offered views of the city I'd never seen before. We went after 4PM when the sun was lower--I would guess a mid-day ride on top could be pretty hot.
For 100 pesos (50 for children) you can get on and off all day at 24 stops all over the Centro, Reforma and Chapultepec areas. There is a new line that covers the southern part of the city, too.
For more information, visit their website www.turibus.com.mx
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I remember flying back from a trip to
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
http://www.insidemex.com/ Inside Mexico is an English language monthly with news, tips, features for anyone living in http://www.mexicotodayblog.com/ offers daily summaries of the news in
http://www.mexicotodayblog.com/ offers daily summaries of the news in
http://zocalodemexicanfolkart.blogspot.com/ Rick and Deb Hall investigate traditional culture, food and crafts—with great photos!
http://madammayo.blogspot.com/ C.M. Mayo is a Mexico-based author, editor and translator who writes wisely on literary matters, and more.
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/cultura/ This culture page from the daily paper El Universal has a useful Guía de Ocio.
http://www.solutionsabroad.com/ has practical information about living in
http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com/ is the ‘culinary travelogue’ of Christina Potter.
http://www.davidlida.com is a journalist who observes the city with a keen eye
http://mexicosoulandessence.com/ food specialist Ruth Alegria offers culinary tours and information
www.slowfoodcondesaroma.com is an organization promoting local food products and events
www.salt-earth.com has information about Mexican artesanias