A visit to Mexico City ‒ CDMX for Ciudad de Mexico ‒ imprints images in the mind and heart. The sounds and colours of a city in perpetual motion. Yellow uniforms of the street sweepers who start at dawn; bold designs of street art everywhere; the smooth hissing of the Metro; a ceaseless flow of passersby day and evening; sidewalk sales of shoes, hats, handbags, vibrant merchandise; the clamour of market vendors; shimmering feathers of indigenous costumes; painted buildings contrasting with stately stone; the iconic Frida Kahlo appears everywhere, in every medium.
Street performance is a time-honoured Mexican tradition, buskers of every stripe will pose with you, like an awesome mime in faux-bronze. Old-fashioned organ grinders ply a waning trade, competing with live music in the evening that induces impromptu street dancing. Children up till all hours (well, it was Semana Santa).
Many colonial family mansions have been re-purposed into museums, art galleries ... and restaurants.
The unexpected always delights:
|A Moorish pavilion in Santa Maria la Ribera park|
|Panteon San Fernando|
|Queen of the harp, Plaza Garibaldi|
|Festival de la Cartoneria|
In the side streets of the historical centre, the bustle slows down somewhat by late evening. In our neighbourhood's pedestrian streets, coffee houses and bars emit a warm, inviting glow; restaurants entice with signboards; street art murals abound. A vertical garden faces the entrance to Regina Coeli church. Across from a row of cafes, a convent has been re-purposed for university programs; do the students ever sleep?
Has a major city ever been so clean? Has a subway system ever worked so well? ... among the many things we could possibly learn from this amazing city. More to come ...
© 2019 Brenda Dougall Merriman