Several people asked me if I planned to do some sketching on our trip, and the answer was yes. Here's some of the evidence. I would have liked to do more, but it's hard when you're always on the move and not wanting to devote an hour or two of sitting-down-time to making a drawing. Still, I'm glad that I was able to do these, because a sketch somehow becomes a special kind of memory more than a photograph, probably because you remember where you were, how you felt, and what was happening as you concentrated on the sketch. During the hours when I was sick and had to stay in the hotel room, I turned to the sketchbook and was glad for that distraction, too.
The first sketch I did (above) was from the steps of a large gazebo in the Alameda Central, looking across Hidalgo at the very old churches there, Templo de San Juan de Dios and Parrochia de la Santa Veracruz. At the bottom you can see the tarps and umbrellas of the vendors who set up along the street every weekend, selling everything from books to bobby pins to candy and cast-off clothing. The tilt you see in the tower at right is real, a result of age and earthquakes. In fact, a few days later I was inside that church, and accidentally stepped up to my ankles in water that was seeping into the structure. In a few hours there were emergency crews standing outside, trying to figure out what to do, and the church was closed for the remainder of our visit. It's hard to imagine the expense or responsibility of maintaining these historical structures in a place that is subject to frequent earthquakes.
This is Parque Rio de Janeiro in the Condesa district. The crossing signs on the streets of the Condesa show a person wearing a hat and leading a dog on a leash - a Mexican friend told us that's because everyone in that upscale district wears a hat and has a dog. When we visited the park it certainly seemed to be true, and I had to record this large St. Bernard and its bored, cell-phone obsessed owner for posterity.
A bouquet of orange roses graced our room for nearly two weeks. After being able to buy beautiful flowers of all kinds for next-to-nothing, it's painful to come back to Montreal where they cost a small fortune: a bunch of tulips was a whopping $12.99 at the supermarket yesterday. I didn't buy any, but this is when we really need them!
Dinner in our room one night: a baguette (yes! and it was good!) with prosciutto, tomato and avocado salad, some Manchego cheese, and grapefruit sections with lime. (Oh, and a little tequila.)
The hotel bathroom (getting a little desperate here!)
And the view from our hotel room window, looking toward Tacubaya over the rooftops.