Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nuevo Mexico City

Mexico City is a vast polluted, crime ridden smog ring of nightmarish traffic and poverty.

At least that is what I have heard all these years.

I read 'The Lacuna' a few years ago. One of the first fiction books I had picked up in years and I was captivated. Revolution, art, homosexuality, Communism and Artes of Los Campesinos. We have to go to Mexico City I said to Catherine.

No way she said.  I'm not going to get my head blown off or framed for some crime.

To be fair, the police have a reputation, rightly earned, for corruption.

Thus we went to Yucatan for a month backpacking right away from Cancun, which was considered safe, and loved it.  No gringos but us.

Then the next year my father went to Mexico City alone for a week after visiting an expat friend and said he loved it.

Catherine then agreed to venture there for a few days.

What do I see now in Mexico City?

A vast treasure of fabulous ancient buildings; some of the most beautiful architecture baroque to late medieval to Belle epoch. Mix this with cathedrals that leave you spinning at the gold, cherubs and beneficent saints.

I did a weekend intensive blacksmith course 2 years ago and now understanding how you shape iron, I was in awe of the grill work which abounds the buildings, much of it going back 400 years. The artistry! I stand in awe of the work all these fellows did, knowing how hard and hot it is to stand by the smith melting metal until you can finally force it to your will.

Who will win? You or the iron?

Most of the main districts of the city feel a bit like a very crowded Paris but in Mexico.

But as Catherine said, it does feel a bit like being on an acid trip. So packed with people, 22 million in the city and noise everywhere: the weird calliope organ grinder guys in some odd uniform everywhere like a bad circus nightmare. Who are they?

The police everywhere always in riot gear mostly checking texts on their cell phone as protest after protest occurs in Zocoala every day. Every day.

All the square surrounded by seas of gold sellers hawking religiously medals of Oro. Every shop. All the restaurants are hidden away up via gold shop tunnels to mysterious elevators that deposit you out of the rabbit hole into a fancy restaurant where you would think you were sitting in First Class on an ocean going Liner in 1910.

Stumble then upon the remains of vast Aztec pyramids where young gay men walk by holding hands. Two very ordinary looking Mexican women arms around each other laughing, then stop, and start making out for a few minutes, then kiss and continue on, so in love. No attitude there.

Awed at Diego Rivera murals today at the Palacio National.

When you first approach the main staircase,  you see all of Mexico history is played out before you like a storm of people, history, earthquakes and revolutions.

When I left the Museo De Artes National, with its lamps of dragons, I went down to Maderno. Waiting to cross the traffic a huge lightening strike and Crack of thunder like doom with only a light delicate rain.

All the pedestrians crowded waiting for a traffic police whistle.

Most people were laughing and bounding across in front of the cars with coats on their heads.



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