Friday, March 13, 2020

Ciudad de Mexico, 🇲🇽 el trece de Marzo, 2020

I was on my way by 8:30 and my first stop was at a street stall for breakfast.  What a selection!

Nearby was a cool clock known as the Ottoman Clock.  It was given to Mexico in 1910 which was Porfiriate or the Centenial celebration of the War of Independence.  The Ottoman Empire was showing their gratitude to Mexico for accepting migrants from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey-

I was on my way to Calle Regina, known for it’s street art and along the way there was a lot.  I was walking through the music store part of town and there were paintings on most doors.  I was lucky to get here before the stores opened because once their doors are up, the paintings are hidden for the day-

Right at the start of Calle Regina is the Parroquia de la Natividad de Maria. It was interesting how the sun was shining directly on Jesus-

The side walls are very ornate-

This church even has a pipe organ-

Homeless sleep near the church. For the size of the city, I have only seen a very few-

Further along was the green wall of one of the many universities. I like how the bike and tricycle are also on the wall-

More street art-

After, I was on my way to Palacio National when I spotted this flower. I have seen this grass everywhere - here, in Central America and in the U.S.  In fact, I brought a plant home once from South Carolina but I’ve never seen it flower-

Beautiful buildings along the way-

From one side to the other of the Zocolo-

The Cathedral-

There were a few demonstrations:  oil and gas, unions and university students manifesting just to manifest. They had extension cords strung across the sidewalk and one woman was cooking breakfast on a hot plate while sitting in the entrance of her tent-

The National Palace has been the seat of the government since the 16th century.  There are many courtyards but few are open to the public-

The main attraction are the murals by Diego Rivera which are found on the second floor and in the staircase-

The parliament-

The mural shows the history of Mexico from 1521 to 1930.  It’s 4800 square feet and was painted by Diego Rivera between 1929 and 1935.  The work is actually a triptych which means three murals forming one picture.  On the right side is pre-Hispanic Mexico and the life of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl who is wearing the green headdress of Quetzal feathers.  On the right side, men and women are working in arts and crafts but on the left, Huitzilopochtli, another god, leads war, destruction and slavery-

On the left side of the staircase , Diego demonstrates the Marxist ideology and critiques Mexico post- revolution.  Capitalists exploit the workers and it’s all controlled by New York bankers.  We can see class struggle and the destruction of the Church which leads to a new dawn with Karl Marx at the helm.  The rising sun promises a new future-

The middle mural shows the history of Mexico-

The mythical eagle holds the atl-tlachinolli, water and fire which are symbols of war-

The Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire-

The evangelization-

The Inquisition-

Other murals in the hallway show The Arrival of Vernan Cortez in Vera Cruz.  He founded La Villa Rico de la Vera Cruz in 1519 and it was the port of entry of the conquerors, the Christian religion, cattle, black slaves and the European culture.  It’s hard to see in the picture but the child on his Mom’s back in the bottom middle of the picture has green eyes-

Feather work and gold smithing were talents of the Zapotec culture in the Oaxaca region-

Maize, yellow and blue was the main staple.  Cocoa beans were used as money for trade-

After about an hour, I took the metro to the Anthropology Museum.  I wanted to visit the rooms of the states I had just been to but found that most of the country has similar artifacts however in the west they did a form of stack burials where the corpse was positioned with its head to the east and many gifts were left to help the person transition to the afterlife.  Sometimes others- family members or the Shaman were buried with the dead person-

I like the mosaic work on this mask-

He’s kind of cute-

I took the metro back to the historical centre and travelled most of the time in the women only cars.  There’s a sense of calm here, one doesn’t have to be on guard all of the time-

I had lupper at a restaurant my landlord suggested - it’s a beef, chile and cheese burrito that was very good-

Next to the restaurant is a sculpture by Pedro Friedeburg, a Mexican artist-

I came back to my house and enjoyed a couple of beer up on the roof.  I’m catching the bus tomorrow morning to the airport for my 12:30 flight via Toronto.  I have mixed feelings about going home - I’m always a bit sad when my trips are over.  They seem to go by so fast but I guess that’s because I’m having a good time.  I like to go home to see my family and friends but I do find it a bit boring there.  Yes I go to the gym, walk, ride my motorcycle, golf and work but ‘real’ life is different from ‘travelling’ life but I wouldn’t want to be away year round - I want to be ‘Home’.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to travel like I do.  The corona virus is destroying the world - fear is an emotion that is created from the imagination.  What if?  What if?  We can drive ourselves crazy with scenarios that aren’t likely to come true.  Things at home are going to be quite different from when I left.  I hope I’ve got enough toilet paper!  

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