A Travellerspoint blog

Cosmovitral of Toluca

the flowers aren't the only colors in THIS garden...

For my penultimate day in the Mexico City area, we went and explored "downtown" Toluca and of course the one thing that really stood out, which was this Cosmovitral.

The Cosmovitral used to be a traditional market built in the early 1900s. In 1975, it was bought by the State of Mexico and turned into a botanical garden. The huge windows were converted into stained-glass masterpieces, by an artist some say was mad (interestingly enough, supposedly he was Hugo's mother's art teacher).

The flora was, of course, beautiful, but I think it was the stained glass panels around and within the building that made this a very unforgettable place.

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After we had our fill, we continued to explore Toluca and came across some churches, statues, and the portales (another market known for its arches). Oh my!

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Statue of Miguel Hidalgo, a leader of the Mexican independence movement.

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One of the many, many, many torta stands.

And with that, I officially conclude my Christmas vacation in Mexico City...while I'm on Spring Break in April. Better late than never is what I always say!

Posted by lrbergen 10:47 Archived in Mexico Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Graffiti in Coyoacan

i have a feeling frida would approve...

Which brings us to our last submission (4 in one day! YEAH!). We ventured out on New Year's Eve to see the Casa Barragan and Casa Azul, but because of the holiday, both were closed.

Oh drat.

Fortunately, one of the things that I LOVE taking pictures of (I mean...really, really love) is graffiti. Not the crappy stuff that we see plastered over every single surface here in Ensenada (though apparently there is a stencil of Dali...not to mention the urinals painted on a couple of walls downtown)...I'm talking Banksy-esque stencil graffiti that is more of a work of art slash political commentary than mere defacement of public property.

Some of it is indeed NOT political, but I love it just the same. LOVE. IT.

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Carnal apparently means brother. I would be interested to know what exactly this is advertising.

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Not so much graffiti as....chewing gum covering a tree.

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This is Pedro Infante, a very famous Mexican actor. El heroe!

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Futbol.

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More Carnal!

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Tenoch power.

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Nothing to watch on TV.

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Anti-cocaine.

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The band implores...

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Clearly not political...

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They torture at home.

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Street of Coyoacan.

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Woman selling wheat stalks.

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Be careful of the police!

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Seriously. Be careful.

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Poverty is a time-bomb.

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Best streetsweeper uniform EVER.

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Jah people movement in Mexico City?

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Man making churros.

  • *Caution: the following, and last, photo may be somewhat shocking. I was shocked, for sure. It is not graphic, but it is extremely inappropriate, a little disturbing, and not at all what I believe Winnie the Pooh did in his past.

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I mean...nowadays, they can photoshop ANYTHING right? ....RIGHT??

Posted by lrbergen 17:59 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Museo Nacional de Antropologia

a month of visits

17 °C

I love me a good art museum. LOVE science museums as well. The other museums generally fall into a gray area for me. Anything with names and dates that aren't extraordinary to look at generally bore me. I saw some of the oldest stuff known to man in Taipei's National Museum (mostly artwork and artifacts from Beijing's Forbidden City)...I'm talking TENS of THOUSANDS of years old...after about 5 minutes I yawned my way out of there.

So I guess what I'm saying is that, museum-wise, it takes a lot to impress me. I was told that this particular museum (located in Mexico City's Chapultepec Forest) would need a full month to be fully, FULLY explored. We had a full...2 hours. In the whirlwind tour we did of modern-day native peoples, I became intrigued but definitely not fulfilled. If I do decide to live in Mexico City this coming year (it's about 50-50 right now), I will have all the time in the world to fully explore and satisfy my curiosity.

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Monumento a Los Niños Héroes, a handful of military cadets that gave their lives defending Chapultepec Castle.

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We happened upon a series of bronze statues by Leonora Carrington. This one is called "Musica para los Sordos," or Music for the Deaf.

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Another one by Carrington.

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Chapultepec means "hill of the grasshoppers." This is the symbol, the chapulin.

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Fountain inside of the museum.

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Ancient skull, which I believe is from Baja.

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A jug of a man thinking. A real thinking man's jug.

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Smoking calabaza from a tree of the dead.

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A Nahuatl text.

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A picture of a picture of a Mayan man dressed as a butterfly.

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A volador de Papantla. It is a ritual originating in Veracruz; 5 men climb atop a pole and "fly" as their ropes unwind. Pretty impressive, especially since one of them is playing a flute the whole time.

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We happened upon another traditional dancer.

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And a baby with a monkey on its head. But of course.

Stay tuned for next time! Graffiti!

Posted by lrbergen 14:59 Archived in Mexico Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Palacio de Bellas Artes

FINE art, indeed....

17 °C

A typical Sunday in Mexico City? Wake up, have the typical breakfast involving fresh fruit and freshly-squeezed orange juice, help your abuelita prune some trees, and get showered and ready to go to the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Lord knows I love a good art museum; generally, wherever I go, I make an attempt to see at least one good art museum (exceptions being Spain, where I saw approximately 500 and Cambodia, in which I saw none...but that whole dang place is like a living museum, so fair enough...). I had been all pepped up and ready to see some Frida, some Rivera and Orozco murals, and that's about the extent of my Mexican artist knowledge. Nonetheless, what I lack in knowledge, I make up in enthusiasm (a life philosophy? could be...).

Of course, it was amazing and I was overall very impressed.

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Happy bucket along the way.

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One of the images from Rivera's "Carnaval."
I don't quite recall what this represents, but it was all explained to me. Many Mexicans were eager to forget their past and idolize other, blonder cultures. Lots of corruption...Rivera was clearly against this.

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A local enjoying the arts.

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This is from Rivera's "Man at the Crossroads," a mural portraying an Aryan man in control of the future; science, progress and socialism vs. religion, conservatism and capitalist leanings.

As Wikipedia says: "Rivera's "Man at the Crossroads" mural was originally painted for the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Rivera had finished ⅔ of the mural when the Rockefellers objected to an image of Vladimir Lenin in the mural. When Rivera refused to remove Lenin, his commission was cancelled and the mural was destroyed. Rivera repainted it a smaller scale at the Palacio in 1934 and renamed it 'Man, Controller of the Universe.' "

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Rivera's "Communist Paradise". Notice the workers sitting on the head of the statue, a false idol.

Of course there was more, including my first-ever Frida, and other murals by Siqueiros and Orozco, but I do believe I was most enthralled with Rivera. As this post may suggest...

Posted by lrbergen 14:14 Archived in Mexico Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Teotihuacan

the third-largest pyramid in the world.

17 °C

Let it be noted that this trip happened December 27; the beginnings of the blog began in March (possibly February), and is here submitted for your approval in the middle of April. Yay technology!

We went to Teotihuacan, a short 45-minute bus ride from DF, a couple of days after Christmas.

Teotihuacan, all told, houses two giant pyramids, the Sun (the 3rd largest pyramid in the world) and the Moon, and a third, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent-god who is creator of humanity...strangely enough, more than 200 sacrificial victims were found under this temple), the remains of residences along the "Avenue of the Dead,"and numerous sellers, hawkers, and children running around. It's a pretty popular place among tourists and locals alike. And appropriately so.

We first braved the Pyramid of the Sun (or as I preferred to call it, "getting it out of the way"), its impressive size hulking in the distance as soon as we arrived (it is 738 ft wide and 246 ft tall). We moved on to the Moon Pyramid, in which Anna Paola (another teacher at my school who was vacationing in DF as well) conquered her fear and made it to the top! We met Quetzalcoatl, had a little bit of lunch and explored the ruins some more. In no particular order, here are some pictures!

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This is a view from the Pyramid of the Moon; here you can see the Avenue and Sun Pyramid.

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Biking to Teotihuacan.

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The view from the Sun Pyramid.

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Selling wares in the heat.

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People walking along the Avenue of the Dead.

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Inside the Citadel, some original mural work dating from 150-200 AD.

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The columns inside the patio of the Citadel were somewhat hodgepodge-y, or mosaic...y. Either way, they are super old and pretty cool.

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I got this little guy hanging out in some ruins.

There are many more pictures: the Sun Pyramid up close, from afar, from the bottom, from the top, the facade, etc. Likewise, I have the same pictures of each structure from various perspectives. As always, I have weeded through hundreds to bring you the best and most interesting (in my opinion of course).

Continuing on with the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) in DF....

Posted by lrbergen 09:33 Archived in Mexico Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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