Taxco Redux

By Rob Packer

In my last post, I said that I didn’t have a photo of any of the silver figurines of questionable taste.

Luckily (or perhaps unluckily), I just found this beauty on my phone. So here it is: a silver gorilla surfing a wave.

Just don’t look at it too long, I found myself falling into some kind of catatonic state.


By Rob Packer

Taxco is one of those picture-perfect colonial towns that crop up over Latin America and I visited the town twice while I lived in Mexico in 2010. Unlike a lot of Spanish colonial towns, it isn’t built on a gridiron plan but is instead splashed over a mountainside a few hours south of Mexico City. Streets disappear down canyons or snake around the mountain contours filled with white taxis vochos, the VW Beetle taxis that have mostly disappeared from Mexico City.

Even though I must have been at least 20 before I ever stepped foot in a Beetle, these vochos fill me with a borrowed nostalgia, which blinded me on my second visit with my parents. Read more of this post

A rainy afternoon in Coyoacán

By Rob Packer

The plan for today was to meet up with Alexandra and Érica, two friends visiting the D.F. from Medellín, and head to the pyramids at Teotihuacán. They’d managed to get an amazing deal with a taxi driver to take us to the pyramids for the day for next to nothing and had arranged to be picked up at 10:30. After he phoned me at 10:50 to say he was stuck in traffic and would be another 20 or 30 minutes—he was probably at home—we gave up and decided to spend the day in Mexico City: after all, climbing pyramids in the rain isn’t most people’s idea of fun.

In the end, we decided to head to Coyoacán and to the Frida Kahlo Museum, which is excellent, although I’d forgotten how zealous the attendants are at enforcing the rules they have in there. No touching is perfectly understandable and no photography is fair enough, but even though I understand that the no mobiles rule is to stop people having their experience spoilt by other people’s conversations, it seems a bit heavy-handed to make people text outside in the rain.

Once we’d left the museum, I took them back to the plaza for a mango and chile paleta—I hope it changed their life.

Graffiti in Coyoacán

A sculpture by Mardonio Magaña in the garden of the Frida Kahlo Museum. An amazing sculptor

Another sculpture by Margonio Magaña.

Pre-Hispanic sculpture on Frida's pyramid.

Sculpture and shells in the fountain.

Frida Kahlo's house and now museum, la Casa Azul.

Car in Coyoacán.

A very damp Mexican flag, one of countless flags around the country hung out for Independence Day on 15th September.

Coyoacán streets.

A balcony in what could be one of my favourite buildings: at the corner of Melchor Ocampo and Francisco Sosa.

More graffiti, this time in La Condesa.

Saturday afternoon anthropology

By Rob Packer

I’m now starting my fourth month in Mexico City and I’ve been an embarrassingly bad tourist in the city. It’s not that I really feel that I should be spending my weekends with guidebook in hand, ticking off the sights; but if anyone ever comes to visit, it’s a little awkward if you don’t know where anything is. In my defence, I have visited the city several times before, but with one trip to the Centro Histórico and zero visits to museums, I was starting to feel a like a bad visitor. To make up for lost time, I went to the Museo de Antropología (Anthropology Museum) yesterday for the first time in four years. The museum is enormous and, in my opinion, one of the best in the world in terms of ancient, and some modern ethnological, artefacts. Here are the photos:

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