In front of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia there is a daily demonstration of Voladores, an ancient tradition of "flying" dance. The dancers hang from ropes that are wrapped around a pole then let go to send themselves flying around the pole until the ropes fully unwind.
Leon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.
Leon Trotsky lived in the Coyoacán area of Mexico City at the home (The Blue House) of the painter Diego Rivera and Rivera's wife and fellow painter, Frida Kahlo (with whom he had an affair).
On 20 August 1940, Trotsky was attacked in his home in Mexico with an ice axe by undercover NKVD agent Ramón Mercader.
Leon Trotsky's grave in Coyoacán, where his ashes are buried.
We watched a film about Leon Trotsky and Frida Kahlo in a bus in a way to Teotihuacan.
If you give to hear this melody to any Russian he will tell you that this melody is out of the famouse Soviet film-comedy.
The music of "La Adelita" was adapted (without greater changes as a main theme of whole picture) by Izaak Osipovich Dunayewskiy, who wrote the songs for one of the best known soviet comedies "Vesolye rebiata" (1934). The soviet composer never mentioned the origins of his song.
You can compare these two songs (Leonid Utesov/Jorge Negrete) when watching my video.
Mexico is onbe of the places in this world where i have seenthe most political demonstrations.
I don´t think i have ever spend a day in Mexico City without seeing one.
I´m generally quite happy to see them though as there are lot´s of countries around the world where such a thing is not allowed and it´s good to see that people are active even if you might not agree with what they protest for or against.
Mexicans love music and play it everywhere.
Go to any square in mexico at night and you will find music going.
This can both be children like shown on this photo aswell as rock bands and mariachi bands.
During the Christmas season/holidays the entire city is decorated with lots of lights, Xmas trees, Nativity scenes and similar stuff. The main square in downtown (Zocalo) is where you can see the biggest display of lights, but the downtown area of Coyoacan is also nicely decorated and the interior of its church is as well.
I had never visited Coyoacan during the Xmas season so it was nice to see the decorations, especially now that the main square has been totally remodeled and the street vendors have been removed, so you can walk more freely and enjoy the view of the whole square. It was also a nice surprise to see the church decorated inside, including a human-sized nativity scene (please see the pictures).
On December 21, 2009 there was a concert being offered inside the church. The music wasn't exactly Christmas carols as one would have expected..... it was an acoustic & electronic music mix which was rather unusual for the season instead. But concerts in churches aren't really common in Mexico as they are in other countries, so it was a nice surprise to have this during the holiday season and it wasn't too bad after all. There were also religious themed plays called Pastorelas being offered in the area by different groups of actors/performers, although these usually aren't for free (the concert was) but are very traditional in Mexico so you may want to see one some time if you get the chance.
The harmonipan players in Mexico City are an institution and even if the sound is pretty awful then i totally love them and give them a few coins whenever they are there.
It´s a tradition that was quite big in Europe a few decades ago, but has now died out, so it´s nice to see that it´s still alive and well in Mexico City.
Do like the locals do and enjoy some good street food, especially the awesome tacos. It is always a gamble to eat street food, but if you go to one that is relatively crowded, that is a good bet. My favorite taco stand was near the Alameda, across the street from the movie theater. They have the best Al Pastor Tacos, generous portions of veggies, and a great staff.
You get a plastic bag or two just entering the Benito Juarez airport. DFeños/Chilangos love to give you a plastic bag in stores for almost each and every item you have. It's good in theory if you recycle them and use them for trash or something. But after one or two visits to the OXXO store, you should be set. After that - try to use a fabric bag of your own or better yet buy one of the colorful mercado bags and use that. They are strong as HELL and I used those when moving apartments. The environment will thank you too. Go bagless!
When walking in the city you might be approached by people just trying to sell something or begging for coins, especially in the metro you will find people selling DVDs and CDs. It is not considered insulting to ignore these people if you are not interested.
If i could give anyone some good advice about mexico city - its when using youe camera, use it with a little discretion. In the zocala you will see people performing purification rituals which may seem like great photo ops, but please bear in mind that its a real person, doing something thats very real to them. Coyoacan is a good place to take photos of the hussle and bustle of mexico city at the weekend market.. people wont mind camera pointing so much there especially but just try to be respectful .. what may seem kitsch or cool to you may be just a normal person doing there normal thing and you dont want to cause any fuss or trouble on a trip.
... Continued from Foreign vs. national business tip.
For you visitors who are coming to Mexico, I think my natural suggestion would be: visit our local businesses! Why would you come so far to eat at McDonalds or drink coffee at Starbucks when you can find those virtually ANYWHERE?? The real Mexican stuff you WILL NOT find everywhere, so you oughta take advantage of it while you have it available. Besides, you may like to know that some of the coffee they sell at Starbucks is MEXICAN, regardless of where the shops are. So if you're going to drink Mexican coffee anyway, do it at a national shop! Please see my recommendation about Cafe El Jarocho in my restaurant tips, just as an example of how you can enjoy the Mexican stuff while in Mexico!!
There is also a tip/suggestion about an ice cream parlor in Coyoacan, where you will find out that our ice cream can be as good as Ben & Jerry's or Baskin & Robbins'. We will very much appreciate your business, and you will enjoy it as well. Cheers!!
People in Mexico usually go crazy when a new & fashionable business opens - be it a shop, restaurant, etc. - especially if it comes from abroad. In the last years we have been invaded by businesses such as Starbucks Coffee, Krispy Kreme (donuts), Popeye's (seafood & chicken), Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, etc., which people flock to because they feel those are the places to be. Visiting a new foreign business makes people feel like they're "IN", even though the Mexican average economy cannot afford to pay the high prices of the products sold there. Just as an example: a small fancy donut sold at Krispy Kreme will cost you over $1.20 USD ($15 mexican pesos), while a bigger donut - perhaps not so fancy - will cost you less than half a dollar elsewhere ($5-6 MX pesos). Same happens with the coffee and many other goods sold in foreign businesses as opposed to national businesses.
This is due to a cultural feature many - if not most - Mexicans have: they prefer foreign stuff over national stuff. They think the quality of the foreign products is better, the locals/sites themselves are more fashionable if they belong to a foreign company, and buying something at an "international shop" gives them some kind of higher status. This is very sad because, as good as these places & products might be (and I do love Starbucks coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts), the national companies also need support from the local customers and they also offer good - and quite cheaper - products in most cases, so there shouldn't be any reason for people to prefer the foreign companies and despise the national ones.
Please read next tip (part 2)!!
The day of the dead has some special dishes that go along with it. Here is some basic information
Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de muertos) - decorated dough that look like human bones.
calabaza en tacha, cooked squash sweetened with cinnamon and brown sugar
Not the best tasting treat but how fun!!!! Next year I am going to have day of the dead baking day and I'll definitely be making these with friends (think the sugar eggs we make in the US for Easter)
This is a great video on how to make the sugar skulls for the day of the dead celebration...note this is a multi-part series. Basically its sugar, marang
Try pulque, an unusual alcoholic drink favored by the Aztecs and made from fermented agave hearts. We did and it wasnt too bad. It taste like a type of cider. We actually liked it. At first I thought it would taste similar to tequila but I isnt like it at all.
If you get a chance to try it, do so.