Photo Locale of the Month – December 2018

2018 is coming to a close as I write this. I thought I would conclude the year – and this series – with a post that circles back to where it all began. This blog was created not long after I moved to Mexico City in 2012, a two-year experiment with numerous highs and lows, though certainly more of the former than the latter. My first photo locale feature, three years later, featured the city’s Chapultepec Castle. Twelve months after that, a follow-up post highlighted the visual wonders of the city’s Centro Histórico.

But there is much to be seen in a city this size that doesn’t fit easily into any single category. Like this blog, there is a veritable potpourri of eye candy throughout CDMX, ranging from dilapidated buildings to elegant roofcombs to market foodstuffs to haphazard graffiti to the Chilangos themselves, 22 million living, breathing human beings who give Mexico City its heart and soul. Enjoy this random Mexico City potpourri, Loyal Reader…and thanks!

The Museo del Estanquillo, in the Centro Histórico, highlights the odd collection of Mexican writer Carlos Monsiváis, who passed away in 2010 and bequeathed his belongings to the city.  While the collection itself is just okay, the rooftop terrace provided interesting views across pedestrianized Madero Street. The clock tower across the street is part Art Deco and part Renaissance Revival.

A different perspective of lively Madero Street, above. Notice the dual clock towers; the one on the right marks the roof of the aforementioned Museo del Estanquillo.

The literal and figurative Palmist, beckoning passersby from the Atrio de San Francisco, an open-air cultural space that is also found along Calle Madero.

An adjacent street during daylight hours; looks like G.I. Joe (José?) has got me in his sights!

Grass wall and bicycle on a few blocks south of Madero along Calle Regina, which is being groomed as the next pedestrian hotspot in the Centro Histórico. And no, this picture is not sideways.

Book seller and aficionado, near Madero.

Further north, near Lagunilla and taken in 2017, not 1960.

Comic books on display along the sidewalks of Lagunilla.

Tepito: entering the belly of the beast.

Fear is a monster.

Speaking of fear, be on your guard as you visit La Isla de las Muñecas (Doll Island), in the backwaters of Xochimilco.

Subway station…

…and subway car, somehow all to myself. This only happened once.

Mercado Cabecera, Iztapalapa, where the stacking of fruit is an art form.

Also in Iztapalapa: penitent disciple of Christ rests on Good Friday before marching to Parque El Molino – Mexico City’s version of Golgotha.

Monument to the Corpus Christi massacre. The June 10, 1971 massacre of student protesters, the second of two that were likely orchestrated by interior minister Luis Echeverría Álvarez, remains a black mark in modern Mexican history. Incidentally, the Corpus Christi massacre features in a key scene late in the 2018 film “Roma.”

Mural of Bellas Artes, in the metro station of the same name.

The UFO-like Espacio Escultórico, on UNAM’s campus in the south of the city.

Jacaranda trees canopy the streets of Colonia Roma, one of my favorite neighborhoods.

Siesta de basura.

This abandoned structure, in the little-visited Sección 3a of Chapultepec Park, resembles Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo after it was tossed about by the rapids.

Chapultepec again, after the summer rains.

I will give you 500 pesos if you willingly climb those stairs.

Chinatown gate. Yes, Mexico City has a Chinatown!

Gomichela – cerveza estilo michelada (beer with lime juice, salt, and chile powder) adorned with gummy worms. ¡Salud!

An odd sight in the middle of a busy pedestrian corridor in the Centro Histórico, the Ottoman clock, above, dates back to 1910.

Self-portrait? Nervous system exhibit in Universum? You decide.

Future president? This niño, photographed near Metro Balderas, is probably more capable of doing the job than Mexico leader during that time period, Enrique Peña-Nieto, was.

Looking east from Santa Fe, Volcán Popocatépetl emits a cloud of smoke to let us know it’s waking up. Also of note: this picture was taken at 6:50 in the morning, which is way too early.

The Cabeza de Juárez, one of the city’s quirkier museums and a muralist’s tribute to the country’s first indigenous president.

You are being watched, so smile!

Mexico City’s street dogs, whiling away a lazy afternoon.

Get your chucks in Santa María la Ribera, one of the city’s barrios mágicos (magical neighborhoods).

I have no idea what’s going on here.

The building above, near Parque Lira, has seen better days, but traces of its colonial-style beauty still remain…

…while the inside of Mexico City’s central post office is as stunning today as it ever was.

Mexico City is a teeming mass of humanity (and traffic). While the city won’t always present a pretty picture, it will always present a captivating one.

All pictures were taken with a Nikon DSLR camera or Android cellular camera. All images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise, and should be used with permission only.

Author: gringopotpourri

Gringo - aka Scott - was born outside of Chicago and has lived most of his life in or around big cities. He spent two years of his adult life in Mexico City (talk about big cities!) and fell in love with Mexican food and culture all while weathering the challenges of life in a city with over 20 million people. Life's unpredictable journey has since brought him to Tennessee, where he close to family and the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Scott also enjoys movies, hiking, top ten lists, and travel in general.

4 thoughts on “Photo Locale of the Month – December 2018”

  1. As someone who spends at least one third of the year in CDMX, of course I loved this post! I have seen most of the places you featured. I have been a chicken and have never ventured into Tepito, though. Nor have I been to the third section of Chapultepec. And where is that monument to the Corpus Cristi Massacre?

    As you know from my blog, this year for the first time I played “tour guide” in Mexico City for friends who came to visit me. I was apprehensive that they would find it overwhelming. But they loved their trip. This coming spring a couple more friends are going to come down for a visit. I am constantly reading lists on the internet… I just saw another one this morning… that include Mexico City as a “must-see” destination. After years of being asked “Is it safe to go down there?”, it is nice to see the city and the country as a whole receiving the recognition they deserve.

    Have a great new year, Scott!

    1. Hi William, thanks for the NYE greeting. Backatcha, por supuesto.

      It can be fun playing tour guide, I agree…although the challenge for me has always been to adapt my tours to a pace comfortable to whoever is being showed around. And I, too, have noticed an uptick in positive travel articles for CDMX lately.

      The Corpus Christi monument is right outside the entrance to Metro Normal. That (above ground) part of the city is definitely off the beaten tourist path, and I don’t recall what prompted me to alight there from line 2. ‘Twas a fun and safe wander, though, with some interesting street art nearby and lots of university students hanging out.

      Saludos!

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