South of the university is an ecological preservation area which holds the Centro del Espacio Escultóric, a gigantic stone artwork, like a modern Latin American Stonehenge. I don’t think I understand it’s purpose and after reading the artist’s statement a few times I’m more confused. Doesn’t matter though, I really enjoyed it. I had the place to myself, (liking things no one likes the things does have it’s advantages) and just wandered around for about an hour, it’s really impactful and I cannot possibly explain why.
Month: February 2023
University of Mexico
Spent the day wandering the massive, MASSIVE campus of the U of M. According to my phone I walked over 20kms, in 30c heat, across the literal thousands of square acres that make up “University City”, I am sunburnt and done.
The entire campus was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007 due to the architectural style that only really exists on this campus. The buildings and grounds have a style that blends Modernism and Brutalism with a huge dose of Mesoamerican influence.
After a few hours I asked a student, in my best awful Spanish, if there was somewhere I could get lunch, she tentatively pointed me to a building. I headed over and walked into what turned out to be the Cafeteria for Students of the School of Chemistry, sooo….
I was, absolutely, the only non-student in the dining room, and boy did they stare, most fun I’ve had so far.
Mexico City Fruit Review #2
Same produce market before, the one where the fruits are not marked, except the watermelon…. the watermelon has a label.
Grabbed two of these wrinklepusses, no idea at all.
Sorta looks like a lemon-pear, if that existed. The smell is sorta familiar, a bit orange-pineapple.
NOSE – Mild, biting, orangey lemony.
TASTE – Ahhhhhhhhhh, it’s some kind of passionfruit! It’s very tart, the typical passionfruit flavour is muted and there is definitely a strong citrus overtone. It’s goooooood, it’s not like regular passionfruit good but nothing in this life is.
DOES IT GO WITH TAJIN – Dear God no.
The Neighborhood Torture House
The last time I was in Mexico City my wonderful host, Aurora, among many other things, told me that there was a house nearby where the government used to torture people but that they weren’t allowed to anymore.
Being not particularly informed of Mexican history I had no idea what she was talking about.
I’m still not very informed about what Aurora was referring to, it’s not a subject I would often choose to dig into but as far as I know the Mexican government, in the 50s and 60s, with support, training and money from the CIA, made all Left leaning political parties illegal and arrested anyone of consequence from within those parties, especially focusing on university students. Hundreds and hundreds of them disappeared into the building next door where the basement functioned as a torture chamber, as many as 1,000 students are estimated to have been taken to the basement and never seen again.
While exploring the area around my home for this visit I have realized that the house she was referring to is the building beside where I am staying, I am 90% sure this was what she was referring to.
My place on the right, the government torture house is the white building on the left.
Mexico City – Gallery 2
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Mexico City – Galley 1
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This was to be a review but…
The highest rated bar in North or South America, Licorería Limantour, is in Mexico City, about 5 minutes walk from my place.
I figured early on a Sunday evening would be the best bet for getting a seat at the bar, I arrived around 6pm and was guided to the last remaining seat at the bar, a rather uncomfortable spot at the end on the corner.
I’m not going to review it today however, I’ll give it another try another day.
- Uncomfortable bar stools.
- Bar too high in relation to the seating, and I’m a lot taller than most Mexicans.
- There was a foot rail but so low as to be basically useless.
- Pounding music, absolutely pounding. No part of “cocktail bar” includes pounding music so loud you can’t talk to the bartender.
- None of the bartenders taste tested a single drink they sent out, this is really odd to see.
- At one point I actually had to move my drink and water glass to make room for a waitress dropping off dirty dishes, uh, no, nooo, no.
- Service? I mean, there really wasn’t any. It wasn’t good or bad, there was just zero interaction in any way. Getting my bill took ten minutes and multiple interactions.
- I would have loved a bite to eat but at no point did anyone inquire or offer a menu.
Believe it or not there were other reasons too. Because the place is extremely famous I’m willing to try again but will have to wait until this taste leaves my mouth.
The drink was good, not great.
Aiding MexoRomanoCanAm Relations
I’d forgot how sleepy Latin-American cities can be early in the morning, here I’m a morning person, apparently. I left home around 9am and most of my neighborhood is still frozen
There’s one particular taquiles place I was heading for but it’s still locked up, Google info is really more of a suggestion here. Eventually I found a Mexican version of an American diner…
The couple sitting next to me are a mystery, young, elegant, of the scarves and neckerchiefs persuasion. I assume they are speaking Spanish but when the waitress comes it’s clear they cannot communicate. The three of them have a lot of fun ordering and I try to figure out what their story might be.
Eggs, tortilla, plantains. Really good.
The couple are clearly speaking a Romance language but half of what they say just doesn’t match that. After a bit the obvious hits me, the half of their speech that sounds odd totally sounds Slavic, they are speaking Romanian!
While waiting for their food the elegant, presumed Romanian couple step outside to smoke, leaving all their possessions at the table, bags, coasts, phones, I envy their trust and hope it never goes wrong for them.
The restaurant and the street outside sit in shade, I can see through the window that the couple are standing in the one sliver of warm morning sun, holding each other, dancing and kissing and laughing.
While they’re outside their food comes, the waitress is clearly dismayed that they might let their food get cold. I wish I knew enough Spanish to tell her they won’t care.
They come back inside, see their food, laugh and hug again, they are lovely.
I watch two Romanians excitedly enjoying the Mexican interpretation of gigantic American stacks of pancakes, they appear novel to them. After a bit I ask if they are from Romania, they look SHOCKED and smile huge, asking how I knew, I said I have Romanian coworkers and I’ve been to Bucharest, I say good morning in Romanian (the only thing I remember) and they ask where I’m from, they are going to Vancouver, for their first time, in a week.
Mexico Beverage Review #1 – Caparritas Grape
When the label has to legally warn you about EXCESSO CALORIAS and EXCESSO AZUCARES you KNOW it’s going in my basket.
Gumby lending a hand.
NOSE – Hmmm…. slightly spoiled fake, fake grape.
TASTE – I mean, it’s totally flat mediocre grape soda.
IS IT GOOD – Nope. It sucks.