Friday, March 31, 2017

International Women's Day

March 8 marked International Women's Day. As in many places, numerous events and activities took place. But I wanted to call your attention to one by the Hemiciclo a Juárez (a monument to president Benito Juárez) – a demonstration by trans women. 

March 8 serves as a reminder that we have not reached an equal world yet. And that women still face more obstacles just by virtue of their gender. But there is one group of women that faces way more discrimination, much more horrible violence, and a lot less recognition – trans women. 

They have it so bad, there are even feminists that won't allow them in their events because, in theory, at some point in their lives, they enjoyed male privilege. Which sort of doesn't make sense, since they've always identified as female. But that's a discussion for another post.

I was glad to see these brave group of women making some noise, making themselves visible, and reminding us how far we still have to go so we won't forget to press on.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Panteón de San Fernando

Finally, after two and a half years living here, I finally visited the Panteón de San Fernando, one of the city's oldest cemeteries (1832). A small and well-kept cemetery, it soon became too expensive but for the most important of families, which led to numerous important people from the 19th century to be buried here. 

After Benito Juárez became president (one key character of Mexico's history, by the way), he secularized all cemeteries, and declared San Fernando a cemetery for distinguished people. There are military heroes, politicians, artists and, finally, the very last person to be buried here, Benito Juárez himself.

A fascinating little corner of the historic centre of Mexico City.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Jacarandas!

From the end of February until the end of March Mexico City comes to life with the bloom of countless jacaranda trees. I think it's one of the more characteristic aspects of the city. But why these beautiful jacaranda trees right here? Well, first, there was a Japanese gardener (Tatsugoro Matsumoto) who arrived to Mexico via Peru by the end of the 19th century. He brought with himself jacaranda trees from... Manaus, Brazil. These trees adapted nicely to Mexico City's climate.

In 1912, Japan gifted Washington with 3,000 cherry trees. And this precedent created a certain desire to have something similar here. The Matsumoto family, who had achieved some fame, advised the government against having the cherry trees, as they'd be ill-fit for the climate, and suggested jacaranda trees instead. And there you have it!

Of course, this story is overly simplified, and there are competing theories. But what we can't deny is that Mexico City has already enjoyed some 100 years of its streets ending up covered in purple come spring. Gorgeous.


Colonia Juárez

Ángel de la Independencia

Alameda Central

near Panteón de San Fernando

near Panteón de San Fernando

Colonia Juárez

by Monumento a la Revolución

Friday, March 24, 2017

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

A few weeks ago we went to our favourite Russian restaurant, Kolobok and, on the way back, we passed by a public library, the Biblioteca Vasconcelos. We had some time, we were curious (neither of us had ever been inside), so we decided to have a look.

Wow. Like, the place consists almost entirely of hanging bookcases!? It's huge, airy, with lots of natural light, it looks really crazy with the whole structure just hanging above you, you can even experience some fun vertigo by leaning over from the upper levels if you want... Loved it! And what else did I love? That we could walk in just like that! No need for an ID to just waltz in and research or do your homework? Amazing. Sure, if you want access to the computers (plenty of those, by the way), or to take a book with you, you'll need a library card. But if you're happy to do your business the traditional way, with books, a notebook and a pen (and/or a smartphone to take photos of important data), you're set!

It also made me very happy to see lots of people making use of it. I believe it did cost a fortune. But it looks great, even sci-fi-y, and it's definitely serving its function. Left there feeling good. 




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

L'Huîtrerie

So, yeah, I missed my golden opportunity to eat oysters to my heart's content in Canada. Who'd have thunk I'd become a flexitarian here in Mexico City, right? Anyhow, I've already talked in previous posts about a really nice place for our shelled friends, called La Docena. In fact, you'd have no reason to try any other places, I think, except that line-ups are insane! Which led us to ponder where else to enjoy this delicacy, finally landing us at... L'Huîtrerie!

A much smaller place. But also a lot less people. Especially if you want to sit at the bar, which works out great for us because we LOVE sitting at the bar (some Japanese nostalgia there?) and because most people here clearly prefer sitting at a table. Yay! Also, L'Huîtrerie, true to its name, has a peculiarity: as a French-style oyster bar, your oysters arrive with the adductor muscle (the muscle holding the oyster to the shell) still attached. As it happens, the French consider this keeps the oysters the freshest possible. It does involve just a bit of manoeuvring to detach the meat, but nothing too complicated. 

Anyhow, all three different kinds of oysters we tried were superb. Like, totally delicious. Although the clear winner were their Kumiai ones. Such a rich, layered flavour! So, now we've got two brilliant options and in bordering neighbourhoods, eh?



Oh, and, by the way, please please please, do slurp the liquor in the shell along with the oyster, and do chew it well at least 3-4 times! There was a couple sitting near us, and the guy would first drain all the liquid out, then pick the meat with the fork, and finally swallow it whole. An awful sight, LOL.

Monday, March 20, 2017

El Bósforo, again

Well, first of all, I'm back! I had some issues with my laptop, lost a bunch of photos I had edited for numerous posts, spent a whole month trying to recover them. Nada. So, I've cut my losses and now I'm back to posting! Which you'll now see as a regular thing, for the time being – every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00am Mexico City time. Yay!

And my first post after over a month of absence? El Bósforo, the mezcalería we love most, again. As I've said before, I love the space, I love the very eclectic music, and I love the mezcal selection. If you find yourself somewhere near the historic centre of Mexico City, this is a must.