Mexico City--Saying Adios


El aguila y la serpiente--the eagle and the serpent, the symbol of Mexico, in folk art

A quest for the best barbacoa

Barbacoa, amazing grilled lamb, deserves a pilgrimage. On the advice of Chef Alberto, we sought the tender meat via a treck across three Metro trains and a dusty walk through Roma Sur to an authentic meal of delicious barbacoa. At El Hidalguense and most barbacoa restaurants, the lamb is served by the kilo. We enjoyed a quarter kilo, which was plenty. Accompanying the succulent meat, fresh-off-the-griddle blue corn tortillas, delicious salsas and, of course, cold cervezas. Seriously, the best lamb we have ever eaten! The journey was worth it, as we sat in the shady street table and enjoyed the colorful mid-day street life scene.

We even enjoyed watching the garbage being picked up. Yes, it's quite a process. First, men walk up and down the street ringing loud bells to announce the imminent arrival of the truck. People charge out of their homes with their garbage, wait in line and then pay cash for the privilege of having their trash collected. The process varies in different parts of the city, actually. In some places, a smaller cart carries the trash to a collection sight where it is sorted. There is one such sight on Pino street where we are living. There is always a mound of garbage waiting to be picked up...Yuck.

El Museo de Arte Popular--The Folk Art Museum

After lunch, we headed downtown to find the Museo de Arte Popular. We loved seeing the amazing, beautiful folk art from all of the regions of Mexico. From ceramics to paper mache, pottery and work in precious metals, this museum has it beautifully displayed. As in all Mexican museums, we discovered, there is a correct way, that is order, in which to see it. In this museum, we started on the third floor and worked our way down. Here are some of the treasures we viewed.

La Ciudadela--Artisans' Market

La Ciudadela was the last market that we visited in Mexico City. Located near the beautiful Alameda, as was the craft museum, it was walking distance. Here, I bought a hat to wear in San Miguel (planning for bad hair before I get back to Cindy in Dallas). We browsed the uncrowded market, specializing in well-made, hand-crafted items from across the country. One of the hardest things for me to do at the market is to keep my money in my pocket. If you know me, you know I love handcrafted folk art from all over the world. Yet, since I am now a vagabond, it doesn't make sense to buy beautiful things to put in storage. But I can always window shop and drink a cerveza.

Our very last day...

Mexico City was a crazy, wonderful experience for us. Complications we never expected confronted us at every turn, losing my phone, having Paul's phone stolen in the Metro, the bank canceling my debit card due to fraud at a merchant, having my phone found and getting it returned to me, learning how to transfer money to a bank using Remitly (much harder than it sounds when you are not in the same country as your bank). Yet, we loved our neighborhood, learned the Metro, discovered the city together, made new friends and reconfirmed our decision to lead the vagabond life.

Our final morning after three thrilling weeks, we had to pack our monstrosity of luggage. Then we ventured out to Roma Norte one last time, for shopping. Our shopping savvy daughter Chelsea had previously furnished me with some great ideas for shopping and dining. We were also headed to lunch at the famous Rosetta, owned and operated by one of the best female chefs in Latin America. One thing about Mexico, here and in other Mexican cities, is that the street numbering can be a bit wacky. We finally found one of the stores and I bought something beautiful and on sale! It's a hand-knitted, cotton poncho by Carla Fernandez, just perfect for the weather now. Then off to Rosetta, to discover that it was closed and I had booked a reservation for Weds. at 3:30, two days after we were leaving. Yes, some mistakes were made in my planning! We found food, Italian; we found wine, Chilean; we found ice cream, heavenly, at Helado Obscuro, where they specialize in alcoholic ice cream. Yummy! Then the Metro back to Coyoacan for the last time to prepare for an early wake up the next day.


Our next stop is the beach for R & R from our busy tourist life. Hope to see you there!




Karen DeGraffenreidComment