Our first full day in Mexico City

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General observations: The air here is tough - because of altitude and pollution. I had the "I'm a New Yorker!" attitude about the latter, but it does slow me down a bit. I'm losing my voice.

The hotel is beautiful. It's huge, and the design is wonderful. In most cases of modernist architecture with which I'm familiar, the architects don't mix minimalism with vibrant colors. It's a great combination, rather than just using gray, black, and white. See photos that James took of it here.

We started with (a surprisingly cheap) breakfast at the hotel's La Huerta restaurant: huitlacoche omelettes with a sqash blossom sauce.

We walked around a bit, got connected with the hotel's wireless network, and then walked over to the Sala Siqueiros to check out the house, the Santiago Sierra show, and the murals by Siqueiros. Maria Alos is working there, so we met up with her and a friend of a friend (David) who lives in Mexico City. We grabbed a cab and went to lunch way out away from the center to Bajío. We got there a bit after 3, which is a typical time to eat lunch here. I love the schedule of Mexico City! Amazing food, check out the NY Times travel section on Mexico City to see a discussion of it. I'm glad we were there with a native Spanish speaker, since she and David ordered a whole assortment of wonderful things for us.

After lunch we all went to the Galería Nina Menocal with Maria to see the work, and to meet up with her husband, Gustavo Artigas. The best thing we saw at the gallery was in the project space, a sort of working studio with works pinned and taped to the walls, plus installations, by Fernando Carabajal. He is quite young, but already he is doing some beautiful, funny work. Nina will be at the Armory Show, so ask about him if you attend. The gallery is in Colonia Roma, a beautiful neighborhood with many late 19th/early 20th century buildings. Here is a page with some photos of the gallery building itself.

We then went to a couple of openings, after a drink at Casa Lamm, a cultural center in the area. The first was in a small ground floor space called glmutante (Orizaba 160) near Nina's gallery, with a one-man show of sculpture and video by Arturo Hernández Alcázar. Then we went to an opening of a one-night exhibit in the 41st floor observation deck of the Torre Latinoamericana. To be honest, the views (it was a clear night) and the attractive young crowd were more interesting than the show. As with everything in Mexico City, things start later. The openings usually begin around 8, but don't really get going until 9 or 10. Our taxi driver to the Torre downtown was pretty interesting - we ended up in a mixed Spanish/English conversation about Siqueiros, Trotsky, and Diego Rivera.

We ended the evening with a drink and light snack at Bar L'Opera. I couldn't find the alleged bullet hole in the ceiling from Pancho Villa.

UPDATED: I added the name of the artist whose opening we attended in Colonia Roma.

2 TrackBacks

Chalk Elephant, 2003 Fernando Carabajal Chalk & glue We saw work by this young artist on our trip to... Read More

installation view of, among other things, a giant clown nose The work of Fernando Carabajal has haunted me since we saw it in Mexico City late last month. Fresh, charming, quirky, and each piece a beautiful, microsmic reading by... Read More

1 Comment

When I lived in Mexico City, I was advised to take up smoking, because "it coats your lungs with a layer of protective tar."

After awhile, all us new pseudo-expats had this little *koff* that punctuated our conversation, caused by that tickle in the back of the throat that we could never get rid of...

I couldn't find the bullet hole either.

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This page contains a single entry by published on January 29, 2004 11:59 PM.

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