Friday, January 16, 2015

Mexico City, Day 2: An Exhausting Exploration of Extraordinary Art & History

If you read yesterday's recap, you noted my being a good bit miffed that the National Palace--and its Diego Rivera murals--was closed to tourists, although that this was in response to protesters burning down its front door makes it somewhat understandable.

Today almost began with that chagrin doubled, as the guest services desk at my hotel informed me that the Secretaria de Educacion Publica--with a far more extensive treasure trove of Rivera murals--was also inaccessible today.

I whined to the one lady vehemently enough--while assuring I wasn't vexed at her--that she called the National Palace, which verified it remains closed until February.

But her partner took it on herself to call the Secretaria de Educacion Publica and learned that it actually was open, right then. This was quite pleasing, even before I went there, because I knew it wouldn't be open on the  weekend and wasn't sure if getting there Monday morning before my flight would be feasible.

But boy am I glad I got to see it. With Rivera murals wrapping around all doorways on two floors of the courtyard building plus some works on a third, it was one of the most impressive displays of art at a single location by a single artist I've ever seen. Really mind-blowing stuff.

So were all the amazing artifacts at the National Museum of Anthropology.

I'm kinda running on fumes here and so is my phone, so I think I'll cut this short.

Also seen today:

Chapultepec Castle
Museum of Modern Art

Dinner at Puyol, supposedly the best restaurant in Mexico. It was excellent, if not quite as good--but also not quite as expensive--as Chicago's Alinea or Las Vegas' Picasso, to which it might compare.

Off to Teotihuacan bright and early tomorrow.

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