title Franz Mayer Museum

 

Franz 1

North of Central Park, the Franz Mayer Museum featured a private collection of mostly local art and historical artifacts.

 

Franz 2

The comfortable plaza outside the museum served as a setting for visiting and eating a leisurely lunch.

 

Franz stairs

The museum was housed in a beautiful old building which encircled a central courtyard.

 

fraaz cermics

A ceramic's room featured contemporary artists, these pieces by Alicia Sanchez Mejorada.

 
 

 

Paloma Torres Art

A very different look in ceramic art is presented by Paloma Torres.

 

Franz Library

The museum library was most inviting and featured manuscripts and contemporary works on Mexico City.

 

franz painting

An interesting painting captured strife in the pueblo's early history.

 

title paseo

 

Reforma poinsettias

Following the museum, I boarded the bus to travel westward on Paseo de la Reforma. The islands were vividly decorated with Poinsettias. Tents along the boulevard sold the flowers for home decor.

 

El Angel

El Angel, or The Angel of Independence, was built in 1910 to celebrate the beginning of Mexico's independence in 1810. It has been an important city landmark for over 100 years.

 

Corn stand

Proceeding west, Reforma makes a 20 degree right turn and enters Chapultepec Park. This is perhaps the Golden Gate Park of Mexico City, with several museums, a zoo, a lake with boats for rent, and broad areas for walking and relaxing. Near the museums are stands for food and trinkets.

 

Anthropological Museum

In the park is Museo National Antropologica. It is huge, and a world class anthropological museum. It has eight sections in two stories which surround a plaza the size of a soccer pitch. I spent an hour here and saw a tiny fraction of it. As one walks into the plaza, one is immediately struck by the fountain which rains down around a large column.

 

Museum 2

What is not obvious until one gets some distance is that the huge roof of the plaza is supported solely by the single pillar. This may not be hurricane country, but I would love to see some video of this during the recent earthquake.

 

Teens along reforma.

Heading back down Reforma, the traffic was vicious and we sat here for some time. As I photographed these teens, they got into the moment and we had some fun back and forth.

 

Jello

I had time to sit and watch the interactions between the customers and the fruit and jello vendor.

 

Reforma traffic

My bus was stopped. Pedestrians were making much better time, so I got off and joined them. This radar tells the story of the traffic.

 

 

Stroller on a walkway

On Saturday, Loren and I took a couple of walks, mostly exploring the residential area south of Reforma.

 

Pink Villa

The neighborhood is mostly zero lot line, with a combination of old, stately villas, and more modern apartment buildings up to about eight stories in height.

 

Decorated sidewalk

A pride of ownership was evident, with the sidewalks tended and the greenery usually well trimmed.

 

White villa

The many villas were architecturally interesting.

 

Earthquake damage

However, this area was once lake bed, without good bedrock. Loren showed me building after building that was damaged by last summer's earthquake.

 

Earthquake2

Here is another example. These buildings are condemned, empty and are being dropped.

 

Earthquake3

The man walking by told us that this elegant apartment was empty and would soon be destroyed. I would estimate that perhaps 10% of the apartment buildings in the area south of Reforma are condemned. Loren said that rents have gone up dramatically and thousands displaced to face difficult commutes from outlying areas.

 

VW bus

We came upon this VW bus and stopped to admire it. This man and his girlfriend had driven up from Argentina, were continuing up to Alaska, and planned to drive across Russia.

 
 

Contramar restaurant

Loren had said we would have lunch at the best seafood restaurant in Mexico. It was a bold statement. Googling "Contramar," seems to confirm its top rating. Here we have an appetizer of sushi quality raw tuna on freshly baked corn tostadas.

 

Contramar 2

The red snapper two ways was absolutely fresh. The uniformed waiters never let our plates get empty.

 

Basement cafe

While on the subject of food, I should mention the eating in downtown Mexico City. The street tacos were the only Mexican food I had. The central area is cosmopolitain, with ethnic foods of great variety, and numerouls little restaurants and cafes where chefs experiment with fresh, healthy food. We had Japanese, and in the cozy cafe pictured we had an excellent salad and ginger infused soup from their menu of the day.

 

Vegan restaurant

At a vegan restaurant, where Loren is good friends with the staff, we started with flavorful appetizers. My main course was a ramen soup noodles with a broth containing pureed peanuts and mushrooms. The nearby appetizer is their very good homemade mole sauce.

 

Maison for breakfast

Maison Kayser offered tempting breakfast options, from the local Chilaquiles, to a most acceptable almond croissant. Indeed, we did not suffer from a lack of interesting food. Prices at restaurants tended to be reasonable, like eating at Dennys. Contramar was more pricey, but it was a famous place and worth it.