Friday, November 16, 2018

Our Mexico City Apartment

John and I have two weeks in Mexico City. We are staying in a Porfirian Townhouse.
These townhouses were built at the turn of the last century in a consciously European-style during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1911). Our apartment is spread over two floors. The living room window is over the street entrance and our bedroom window is above.
We enter through a very romantic wrought iron gate
and climb courtyard stairs to our door.
We enter a well-equipped kitchen with a gas range.
The kitchen has a dining room table under a bright light, perfect for writing and reading. Beyond, a step leads down
to a living room with lovely big French windows
that open wide
onto a quiet tree-lined street in the Roma Norte neighbourhood -- an area of three-story buildings and light traffic.
Here's John working on Tomatoes From Canada at our improvised command centre.
We like this huge antique map of The City of Mexico City over the cosy couch.
John climbs the narrow spiral stairs to our 2nd floor
with its modern bathroom
and big, comfortable bed. The bedroom has a cottage feel with the dappled light coming in through the trees. A perfect sanctuary after exhausting days of tourism.
Thank you to our charming hosts, Bernardo and Eva, for making our stay such a pleasure. We had hoped to fall in love with the city and have done so. We hope we can return soon to this wonderful apartment.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Frida Kahlo's Ex-Votos

Do you know the Roman Catholic religious folk paintings called "ex-voto"?
They have usually been painted in gratitude for divine intervention in resolving some danger or problem.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Riveras collected over 1,000 ex-votos.
Bill and I saw some of this stupendous collection today at Mexico City's Museo Frida Kahlo.
Here is the museum wall-text:  "Dated between 1842 and 1934, these works comprise one of the largest collections of ex-votos in Mexico."
We'll just present them one after another.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Seafood Lunches at El Contramar

All the guidebooks and local advice agree that El Contramar has some of the freshest and best seafood in Mexico City.
The large room is hidden behind bushes and a constant crowd. 
We enjoyed watching the locals arrive and greet each other.
 An excellent location to see and be seen, El Contramar is also an excellent place to eat.
 On our first visit we started with marinated tuna loin served on a tostada. Four pieces arrived for each of us. Delightful!
 Then we had spaghettini and clams.
 You will not have to look around for a waiter at El Contramar. You will find one at hand to offer advice and you will see them flying by with crockery newly-filled and newly-emptied.
On our second visit we decided to sample the soups. This is Bill's New England style Clam Chowder. I tasted it -- thick and rich -- pure comfort food.
This is my fish soup with tomato broth and snook. 
I hadn't eaten snook before. The soup was just spicy enough to bring out the mild flavour. Delicious. A generous basket of bread will allow you to soak up every drop.
 We both had tuna as an entrée.  Bill had a "simmered tuna fillet, citrus butter sauce and mashed potatoes".  Hungry yet?
I had the seared tuna loin. The soy sauce and citrus juice added just the right bite to the mild fish. It came with a side of fries.
Expect a big loud room with lots of action. Portions are large. Prices are low. Hey, isn't getting to be lunchtime right now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

La Condesa, Mexico City

OK, let's take a stroll through our colourful, next door neighbourhood La Condesa. Compared to the mixed-use of Roma Norte it seems to be essentially a residential area.
John and I entered from Avenida Álvaro Obregón. We moved westward past this delightful renovated 1910s building decorated with a "Jetsons" rocket and a sign saying it was "established in 2098".
Adjacent to the little Parque España, from which the tree-lined streets of La Condesa span out, we noticed some wonderful Modernist buildings. 
The buildings we saw were so interestingly Deco and so well maintained
 we wondered if most of the residents were design and architecture professionals.
We soon encountered a feast of Art Deco buildings
 like this lovely little corner store
and this door.
 and Modernist marvels evoking the early decades of the 20th century.
We also found evocative Hacienda architecture
mixing and matching 
with other styles
along the street.
 La Condesa is a very colurful neighbourhood
 with detail rewarding your attention.
 Never has Deco looked so cottage style.
 At last we finished our tour and wandered back through Parque España, through the Hipodromo
along Calle Celaya and back to Roma Norte.