Mexico city architecture

If I start to bore you, you’ll let me know?

One of the things I love about Latin America are the homes. Mexicans have the custom of painting their homes in very vibrant colors. The colors have significance although I’m not sure what the meanings are. Here are some photos that I took on a walk heading to and west of the Frida Kahlo house. Frida Kahlo was one of Mexico’s most famous painters. Plagued with serious health problems and a childhood tragic accident that should have killed her, her life was one of constant pain. In spite of it, she lived large and traveled extensively. The artist Diego Rivera, twenty years her senior, was her lover until she died of pneumonia at age 47. I use the term lover to mean passionate relationships but they were actually married. Twice. To each other.

This first photo (before Frida’s house) is of a courtyard outside a church. We’ve all seen pavement art before but this isn’t chalk. It’s colored sand which can be a bigger challenge to render.

The method seems to be a mix of using templates and freehand. Below a template was used for the purple scrolling, the rest freehand. The photo after, shows the scale of the images in the courtyard.

Below is a closeup of the front of the church. If you look closely, you’ll see what looks like a photo above the door. Oddly, it depicted a woman with a mustache and goatee. I don’t know what that means.

Outside the courtyard, vendors were selling egg shells filled with flour, their ends sealed with glued colored crepe paper in anticipation of Fat Tuesday celebrations.

Now for the walk through the neighborhood. In this neighborhood, the homes came right to the sidewalk with no front yard. So, home owners landscape portions of the sidewalk in front of their homes.

Now we’ve arrived at the Frida Kahlo house. Like many homes in this part of the neighborhood, you can’t really see the homes, just the outside walls. People live in compounds with an outside wall facing the street. Here’s a photo of the courtyard of Frida’s house.

Here’s a picture of Eric and me in the courtyard. Eric is wearing a reticulated wooden tie with Frida’s picture on it. Everyone needs a tacky souvenir. This is the only tie I’ve ever seen my husband wear.

Leaving Kahlo’s house, here are some photos of homes and buildings in the neighborhoods.

Here’s a photo of an entirely floral decoration outside of a church. It was quite amazing.

Lastly, a place of prayer in the courtyard.

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  1. Hmm, would this be Santa Librada?

    Google and Wikipedia turn up references to Santa Librada/St. Liberata, revered in New Mexico as a Penitente saint and patron of to a girl’s college in Columbia and a province of Panama – not specifically to any churches in Mexico City. But it seems possible. She is the patron saint of women desiring freedom from arranged or abusive marriages, as she successfully avoided marriage to a pagan man by praying to be made hideous and growing a beard overnight. (See Saint Wilgefortis.)

  2. morgen says:

    Oddly, it depicted a woman with a mustache and goatee. I don’t know what that means.

    No way to be sure but my guess is that’s a man in a dress. (Not that I know what that means.) The shape of the torso, arms, hands, and feet lead me to believe that the figure is male. Not to say that a woman couldn’t be stocky with broad shoulders and forearms, but this individual also appears to have no breasts. I think that a woman painted during this period (late 19th century?) might also have been depicted in a longer gown? It looks a little like a Goya to me. There’s someone who loved to paint ugly portraits! Maybe this is the work of a trickster. Or maybe it is a later work, and the moustache is some kind of homage to Frida.

  3. nadine says:

    JUST GREAT! I’m running out to door to do tedious work today and your pix made me remember my New Years in Mexico City many years ago. It was so wonderful, uplifting and inspiring. So many people say Mexico City is terrible, the cab drivers are this or that, but actually I found it to be a very warm and soulful place. I did go to Oaxaca too but I loved Mexico city the excellent food, the oilcloth fabric stores and the kids playing with parachute army men over the subway grate where the air rushes up in the Zocalo. The best! Thanks for the memories! BTW, all my photos were of tiled bathroom floors, architecture, colors, patterns, signs, the color of where the sky meets the earth near the pyramids. Non creative people thought I was mental.

  4. Sue says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these photos – they bring back great memories of my visits to D.F., including Frida’s home. Nadine, thanks for putting into words what I feel about Mexico City – it is soulful. Maybe part of it is from the fact that they so lovingly preserve and appreciate their colorful art and rich heritage.

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