mexico city category archive

coyoacan pt2: what frida (and diego) wore 0

among the many noteable residences in coyoacan, (like trotsky’s hideout,) is la casa azul,  where frida kahlo lived with diego rivera and home to the museo frida kahlo. one of the most famous latin american artists in the 20th century, reknowned for her paintings, physical (and emotional) tribulations, frida kahlo is also revered for her defiant,  flamboyant style. inspired by the beautiful traditional dress of the people of Tehuantepec, a southern city where her mother was from, she also used these outfits to either call attention to or divert attention from a variety of physical afflictions resulting from childhood polio (embroidered platform shoes) and a near fatal auto accident (her sculpted, be-dazzled corsets). 
until recently, all we had seen are photographs and paintings of fridas’ elaborate outfits, never the garments themselves. after her death, rivera locked away all her belongings, corsets, huipiles, skirts, capes, gowns and accessories. after his death they were  in the safe keeping of a friend  who kept them until her death in 2002.  as if frozen in time, the permanent collection of the museo frida kahlo includes art and ephemera of both frida and diego, placing social and historical significance with letters, newspaper clippings and photographs.  but now through november, there is also a small gallery housing temporary, rotating exhibit called, Appearances Can Be Deceiving, of  a few of her outfits, accessories, photographs and some contemporary fashion inspired by her oft-imitated style.

you best believe we made a bee-line to pay homage to this style icon (sneaking a few pix along the way!)

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coyoacan by bike 1

coyoacan is one of 16 boroughs of mexico city. it’s name, in nahuatl, means ‘place of the coyotes’ and is where the aztecs named this pre-hispanic village mostly populated by the tepenec people. hernan cortes and the spanish used this area as their headquarters making it the capital of ‘new spain’ around 1523.  over the centuries the urban sprawl of mexico city developed around coyoacan leaving its’ cobble stone streets, alleys, plazas, gardens and many homes relatively intact amidst a vibrant, thriving bustling community. for locals or tourists, i can think of no better way to explore this gorgeous neighborhood than by bike. so we did. heathermarie’s friend febo, a professor of urban planning at the university, also operates a bike tour company and was our knowledgeable, enthusiastic guide/host. in the cool of mid-morning we breezed through the streets, taking in the sites, while febo explained  historical and social significances, often stopping along the way to explore gardens or alleys or doorways or whatever caught our eye. you get to cover so much more ground, breezing around by bike. we had a light lunch at a nearby cantina and afterwards, walked back to wander some more on own. febo and his mexico bike tour offer tours of other areas i would’ve liked to explore, had i the time. next visit. when you visit mexico city i highly recommend adding their bike tour to your list of must-see + do’s.

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mexico city: primera parte 1

about that time i went to mexico city, to visit my dear sister heathermarie, for the first time, after many years of her living there! boy, did she show me a grand time,  take me to beautiful places, introduce me to wonderful people who also shared their gorgeous, vibrant city with me  – generally, make me wonder what the heck took me so long to get my ass down there! tlalpan, centro historico, coyoacan, tlalpuente, la condesa…pre-colonial, colonial, mid-century modern, contemporary modern -it’s all going on…good friends, fine food, textiles, art and culture -this long overdue trip was so up my alley.  i can hardly wait to return!

enjoy primera parte of my whirl-wind tour!

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