Zócalo, etc.

Today we started at the Franz Meyer Museum, which is dedicated to decorative arts, mainly from the 17th-19th centuries. It is in a large building with a beautiful courtyard. My favorite part of the history in the brochure is that Emperor Maximilian decided it would be used for the medical care of prostitutes. There are some great pieces of art and furniture in the museum, and we were especially interested in pieces created in Mexico during the colonial period. There were some c.1800 chairs from Puebla that looked like mid-20th century modernist furniture. We also saw an outrageous painting titled El Niño Jesús by Nicolás Rodriguez Jauraez. It had a sad baby Jesus looking at the viewer after pricking himself with the crown of thorns. He was surrounded by implements of the crucifixion: the whipping post, the lance, a stick with the vinegar-soaked sponge, etc. Here is a different painting by him.

We also saw an Alvar Aalto show at Franz Meyer. Many of the museums and art spaces here devoted to "older" art also have spaces for more contemporary exhibitions. I think it's a great idea.

After the museum we walked to the Zócalo - the central square of Mexico City. Only Red Square in Moscow is larger. On the way there we looked at the Hotel de Cortés, in a 1660 building with a central courtyard (of course) on the Alameda Central. The hotel restaurant has tables in the courtyard, and there were bird cages on the walls and along the walks, with canaries, finches, parakeets, and parrots. The wild birds in the area (like sparrows or small doves) would fly up to the cages and "talk" to them.

We got to the Zócal just in time to watch the military come take down the gigantic Mexican flag that flies in the center. That's what the photos of soldiers in James's gallery are. We then walked around, looking briefly at the Temple Mayor and all of the vendors. My favorite sight was the one selling superhero dolls and crucifixes next to each other on the same blanquet.

At the hotel, when we were on our way out for tacos with Maria and Gustavo, we saw the crowd from a Jewish wedding. There was some serious couture on the older ladies.

We finished the evening with a drink at the "bar on the water" in the hotel. You'll see it in James's Camino Real gallery. I finally had a glass of Mexican wine, a Monte Xanic Chenin-Colombard, which was quite nice.

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 1, 2004 11:59 PM.

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