One Reason to love Mexico City:
Diego Rivera’s Anahuacalli Museum in Coyoacan.
Over his lifetime, Diego Rivera collected 50,000 pieces of pre-hispanic art. According to the museum staff he bought from ‘archaeologists’ who robbed temple sites and had a hand in taking pieces himself.
In return, he built this volcanic rock house which mimics a pyramid inside, to give the historic art collection a home and share them with the Mexican people.
The house took 28 years to build and was unfinished upon his death. With the generous support of Dolores Olmeda, the house was finished and opened to the public. I have to say it is an amazing piece of architecture that they say was built with some consultation from Frank Lloyd Wright.
Inside, you are walking inside a pyramid laden with stone mosaics of prehispanic images on both the floor and ceilings, the walls made of volcanic rock from the land the house sits on. The top floor is home to some of his large mural sketches and houses contemporary shows. It’s beautiful and a must see if you are in Mexico city.
View the slideshow below:
© Suzanne da Rosa 2012
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In Mexico City there are bakeries that specialize in cakes. Not just your normal birthday and wedding cakes, but cakes that tower a full story tall with multi layers, fountains, bridges, lights and a scene for every occasion from baptisms to lucha libre wrestling matches. A few years ago we took photos in a bakery which is near the zocolo. The photos from that visit are on this link and worth having a look at.
In Coyoacan, there is a bakery that comes close to the style of the one in Mexico City, but much much smaller. Nevertheless, it has an incredible selection of breads, cookies, cakes, and an array of ‘gelatinas’ – in cups, with fruit, and as icing for cakes like the one in this photo. If you have ever been to your neighbor’s Mexican family birthday party, you’ll see that gelatina is almost always served with your piece of cake.
The pastries are works of art and in the case of the smaller pastries, it is mesmerizing to see hundreds of them lined up together, cut into perfect triangles squares or rounds, decorated with a dollop of cream or a piece of fruit on top. Oh, if they only tasted as good as they look.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO to view a slideshow of the bakery in Coyoacan
As for me, I just love these layered lighted cake towers. There was a time in my life that I would have loved to attempt making something like these cakes. The scalloped edges and colors remind me of an old fashioned kitchen curtain. From afar, the scalloped edges could be crocheted, the roses made of plaster of paris with matching turquoise satin ribbons. Then there’s the lighted bases. Where do they come up with these ideas? You can just imagine barbie dolls or action figures instead of roses – or better yet, coming out of the roses. In the bakery in Mexico city they were in to icicles hanging from the edges of most of the cake towers. Every bakery must have a theme. I guess I should be asking, can you eat these? And where do you begin the cutting?
Here is the link to the slideshow of the bakery in Coyoacan
And the slideshow of the bakery in Mexico City
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The Frida Kahlo Museum and the house that she grew up in, the house she was nursed back to health in after her tragic accident, the house she learned to paint in. This was her family home, which after one of her break ups with Diego Rivera, she moved back to. She painted it blue. She and Diego later brought the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife here to live. She spent her last days and died here. (slideshow at the bottom of this post)
The grounds outside the room where Frida's day bed was.
I was truly stunned by the size of the grounds, as well as the design of the structures which skirted the outer perimeter near the street, different than I had imagined. I was equally surprised at how many preconceived ideas about Frida Kahlo’s life I had adopted which this visit dispelled by just being in the presence of the real thing. This always happens to me with art galleries anyway. For example Goya’s dark series, which are housed at the Prado in Madrid, you can’t imagine what these paintings really are through photographs of them. You think you can, but when you stand right in front of them, they convey emotion, compassion, anger and the power of their story and they become real. You have to spend time with the emotion they create inside you afterwards. (more…)
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