Thursday, October 16, 2014

the Angel



I can't believe now I live so close to the most emblematic monument of Mexico City!  Sure, there are numerous very important sites and buildings and ruins, but if you want something everybody would recognize, that would be this: El Ángel (The Angel), which is short for El Ángel de la Independencia (The Angel of Independence), which in turn is how people from the city refer to what is officially called the Monumento a la Independencia (the Monument to Independece).  

If there is an important football match and Mexico is playing, this is where people gather to celebrate a victory.  If there is a demonstration of sorts, there's a good chanc ethe rally will start here.  The Pride March starts at El Ángel too.  When people refer to the 1957 earthquake, they talk about the quake wheen the angel fell down.  If you're going to light something up , El Ángel is a prime choice, and in my photo you see it lit pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   Oh, and it was built in 1910 to commemorate Mexico's independence centennial.  Basically, coming to Mexico City and not seeing El Ángel would be like going to Toronto and not seeing the CN Tower (sorry, I had to use a reference that was close to my heart).

So, as we walked by at night and we saw the goddess Nike, holding a crown of laurel in one hand ("victory") and a broken chain in the other ("freedom"), shining electric purple-pink, I couldn't help feeling... moved? excited? and surely surprised at the stark contrast between my familiarity with it, how dismissively I've sometimes looked at it, and how powerful and welcoming and symbolic it suddenly appeared.

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