Here’s some running commentary as I go through photos I’ve taken on my trip to Mexico City. These are photos I took on on our way downtown to see the Templo Mayor (the old Aztec ruins) on Saturday (? -the days seem to merge). We passed by a meeting of Boy Scout troop leaders in the park. This gentleman below says the participants are in training to lead their own packs.
I’m glad to see scouting alive and well in the world. I was very active in scouting when I lived in Germany. I’ll bet it surprises those of you who’ve never left the US to know that scouting is a world wide activity. Eric was also a boy scout. Supposedly, it prepares you for leadership. Many prominent people were once girl or boy scouts.
Leaving the park, I saw this rundown building with an arresting sign on it. The building stood out because abandoned and unkempt properties are rare (or were rare in this district; we stayed at the Hotel Milan which I heartily recommend).
My translation of the sign is “This estate this being expropriated by the Institute of Housing with the support of the Popular Revolutionary Union (UPREZ) of Emiliano Zapata“. I’m not sure of this group’s activities. If you know anything about Mexican politics (Do Not. Ever. Discuss Mexican Politics in Mexico. Ever), you tend to view the word “revolutionary” with a jaundiced eye. For all intents and purposes (although this is changing), the country only has one political party, so named the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and it is quite conservative, serving the interests of the powers that be. In spite of its name, it bears little resemblance to a party looking out for the interests of the common man. Boy, I hope I don’t have trouble getting a visa next time I go… Anyway, I was surprised to see this sign on the building. I guess it’s kosher because political dissension is summarily dispensed with.
Below is a photo of the entrance to the huge subway terminal. That’s Sandy in the foreground. She’s one of the artists from New York.
We saw the craziest thing in the subway terminal. “Art”. There was lots of not quite professional (models anyway) cheesecake protected by glass along the walkways. ‘Nuff said.
After we got off the subway, this is the view of the Metropolitan Cathedral, an immense baroque building dating from the sixteenth century. Much of the material used to build it came from the nearby Aztec ruins of the temples of Tenochtitlán.
Here’s a picture of our tour group. Starting in back is Bobb (Albuquerque), Sabine (Bremen), Stacy (NYC), Sandy (NYC) and Eric.
Here is where I get sidetracked. Finally, some fashion for aficionados. In the plaza outside of the Cathedral, Mexica Indians were doing “limpias” or cleansings. For ten pesos, a curandero will envelop you in aromatic herbal smoke with companionate dancing and drumming to rid you of bad spirits and bad luck. Their costumes were quite striking.
Here’s a blow up of this chest piece. By the way, this is all insets, sewn and trimmed away. In vinyl.
Here’s a head dress (below).
And a close up of the same. Check out that beading below.
Here’s another head dress (side view) which also covers the face in part, again, all vinyl.
And another closeup (below).
I loved the drum. More recycling at work. It’s a 22 gallon steel drum with rawhide affixed to the top.
They wore some kind of seed pods attached to ankle bracelets. The seeds made a soft bouncy brown sound, hitting the sides of the pods while the men danced. It was a wonderful noise, quite pleasant.
Here’s the back of another costume. I apologize for the rear view but it’s not as though they were going to pose for me. That rear panel is snake skin with beading near the waist.
Okay, since I’m about it already, here’s another rear view of my favorite costume from above.
In case you wonder, I did leave a donation, paying a gratuity for the photos. I’m sure not many people do that but not doing it felt exploitive.
I think that’s enough for today. I’ve come down with a cold (I think, Eric has one) and I’m feeling aches, the sort you get with a pending fever. I’d go home but I have too much to catch up on. Hope your holiday weekend was lovely too.