back to Mexico City
I took a trip to Mexico City 5 years ago and fell in love with the city. A cosmopolitan town that stands right up there with NYC and Paris. The food, the neighborhoods, the art, the bars, the music, the architecture, the shopping, the beat of the street.
Fred did not come with me last time and when we were deciding on a week long trip in October all signs pointed to Mexico City. The weather is very similar to Los Angeles and so is the sprawl. We are staying in the Polanco area although Roma and Condessa is where we continue to head back to. We got in and took a stroll around the neighborhood and stopped in Common People. The store is housed in an old mansion that is under construction. A concept shop with a variety of small rooms each curated with different merchandise.
We had dinner at Pujol. Perhaps it was the day of travel or perhaps it was the vibe of the place but we were not that wowed. I went last time and remembered the intense dark walls of the restaurant as well as the cadence to the meal. This is a deconstructed lamb taco. Neither of us loved the food. We prefer Cosme in NYC.
Our first stop the next morning was Casa Luis Barrigan. Barrigan was a Mexican architect and engineer. His home is now an Unesco site. This home was completed in 1947. Insanely modern for that day. His brilliance has influenced the design world for years. The house uses mostly natural light. Only one room has a ceiling light. There is a reason for every decision in this house. It is a must see in Mexico City. The light.
The turntable in every room.
The division of rooms, the book shelves.
The greenery outside that envelopes the house making it all about the inside of the house not the outside.
The same chair in every room.
The colors that reflect light inside and out.
The ceilings. Need I say more. Very inspirational.
We then headed over to the Condessa area for lunch. Sunday is a tough day. Big lunch and very few places open for dinner. There is a flea market there on Sunday, Bazar el Oro
Gotta love the grasshoppers to be bought by the bag along with nuts.
Lunch was at Contramar. A classic must go. The tuna tostadas are signature but you can’t go wrong with anything you order.
Octopus tacos too.
After we went downtown to see a few museums. Not a good day to go downtown. Ends up on Oct 2, 1968 was the Tlatelolco massacre where students were killed caused by an ideological clash against the Government prior to the Olympics. Every year there has been an event in the park to remember. All of the major places were boarded up. It was kind of crazy. We quickly made our way out of there and will return later in the week. We did manage to stop by Dulceria de Celaya, the oldest candy shop. Picked up a few truffles and left.
We went to the Tomayo Art Museum that is a public contemporary art space. The building alone is pretty amazing. This piece is by Teodoro Gonalez de de Leon.
There was an installation of Noguchi. This scale model is a rendering of Riverside Park. Noguchi and Louis Kahn were invited to restore the then abandoned Riverside Park in NYC. The plan never happened due to size, scale and funding. I had no idea. Sad it never happened.
There is also a permanent exhibit. Miro.
Rothko and more.
This is an installation from the artist Eduardo Sarabia. All of these birds, 300 of them, are on route to extinction.
Our next stop was Soumaya Musee. This museum was built by Carlos Slim to house his widows art collection. The building is fantastic. Inside is a collection of art from the 1500’s, and not that interesting.
This Diego Rivera is the most contemporary piece in the building. Better to stay outside and ogle then to go inside.
We had visions of going back out in the evening for a taco stroll around Rosa and the Navarte area but in a sprawling city we weren’t psyched about taking a 30 minute or more drive to stand in line for tacos. Instead we walked around our neighborhood and stopped in the most happening restaurant we saw. The food was fine but sitting at the bar was fantastic. The bartender, a mere 23, was able to serve the entire place. He treated us to a few incredible cocktails all made with these liquers from Ancho Reyes. This stuff is top. Went back to the hotel, figured out where to buy at least one bottle so it is waiting for us when we return.