snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative

November 6, 2016, 10:06 am
Filed under: Photo | Tags: , ,


Mexican Pot Dealer
March 10, 2011, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Photo | Tags: ,

Trying to make up for 2 months of forgetting to post with a photo and bad joke…

Probably not what you were thinking

Dia de los Muertos
November 1, 2010, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Short | Tags: , ,

The skulls are back, pan de muerto is about to disappear from bakeries for 11 months, and I’m still a couple months away from heading back to DF.  I didn’t get a chance to set up a proper ofrenda this year (too much time at the hospital trying to keep people from ending up muerto), but I did make it down to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen to see the museum’s collection of altars, calaveras, and other Day of the Dead exhibits. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll leave the Dia de los Muertos exhibition up, but the museum is worth a visit either way (free and easily accessible by the L!).


Protect Your Statues
May 20, 2009, 12:28 am
Filed under: Photo | Tags: , , ,

Zach and I stumbled across this little scene the other day, and luckily he happened to have his camera with him.

Zach and I stumbled across this little scene, and luckily he had his camera with him.Fun with Swine H1N1 Flu

Giant Hand Jesus
April 14, 2009, 9:47 am
Filed under: Photo, Short | Tags: , , ,
Overlooking Jamay and Lake Chapala

Overlooking Jamay and Lake Chapala

On one of the hills overlooking Jamay, there is a church, a plaza, and a large Jesus statue.  While it’s hard to appreciate in this picture, the statue’s most striking feature is its grossly oversized blessing hand.  The story I was told was that the statue’s original hand was damaged and fell off, so a local businessman paid to have the replacement made and installed.  Whether the size discrepancy was due to the businessman’s desire to inflate his contribution or just poorly measured sculpting on the artist’s part, the statue now sports a cartoon-like hand larger than its head.  Having said that, the view from the plaza over the town and the lake is amazing.

A few other Jamay highlights:  Delicious fish, climbing through a mango field to a supposedly haunted cave, the traditional Sunday night walk-around-the-plaza (guys clockwise, girls counterclockwise), the massive blue and white monument to Pope Pio IX (my picture sadly didn’t turn out), and of course, a lot of tacos.

April 11, 2009, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Photo | Tags: ,
Cross in Cuautitlan

Cross in Cuautitlan, Estado de Mexico

Saw this on my excellent adventure on the Tren Suburbano with Mike a couple of weeks ago.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get the film of my $5 camera developed this week and have some shots of my trip though Jalisco up soon as well.

To taco or not to taco, there is no question
March 31, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Update | Tags: , , ,

It’s all been building up to this point, and it hasn’t been easy. Months spent acclimating to the city, making contacts, identifying locations, and becoming familiar with the necessary materials is all about to come together into the ultimate accomplishment of my time in Mexico. No, I’m not talking about my Fulbright project. I’m talking about “Taco Week”.

Yes, the humble taco, a tiny pair of tortillas, some meat, and a little chopped onion and cilantro, will be the focus of my attention for an entire week as I search high and low for the Perfect Taco. Will it be suadero in Del Valle? Pastor in Condesa? Tripa in Xochimilco? Carnitas in el Centro? There is only one way for me to truly find out.

My friends, I plan to eat a full 100 tacos in 7 days… and enjoy every last one. That’s more than 14 a day—easily two meals; a taco practically every hour and a half; enough corn flour, animal parts, and salsa to kill a weaker man. Stay tuned: I’ll post my notes and totals online from this epic challenge against fullness, intestinal parasites, and future coronary artery disease.

Ambitious? Yes. Delicious? Clearly. Completely and utterly disgusting? Absolutely.

“Taco Week” is simply a working title, by the way, so please, send some creative suggestions as to what I should call this timeless pursuit of glory…

I know it’s been a long time since I actually updated you all on what I’ve been doing, so here’s the last month and a half in abridged form: I finally made it to Michoacan for my project, and had a very productive interview with the director of Seguro Popular (the program I’m studying). After that, I took a couple days after that to travel around the state, enjoying both the historic, Spanish-influenced capital and the heavily indigenous island-village of Janitzio in mystical Lake Patzcuaro. Our midterm Fulbright reunion was towards the end of February, complete with each of us giving a presentation on our research (and other experiences). I spent about a week earlier this month back in Chicago, partly to take care of taxes/financial aid/a haircut, but mostly just as a birthday visit. The past few weeks have involved a few short trips, one hell of a soccer game, the same contacting-of-interviewees-problems on my project as before, many coffee shop hours spent relearning medicine, and, of course, many, many delicious tacos.

Fun Mexican Word: Porra – The serious fans at soccer games, as well as the cheers they do. A-mer-i-ca! AGUILAS! A-mer-i-ca! RAH RAH RAH! (not that I’d ever cheer for the NY Yankees of Mexican Soccer…)

Picture: Unfortunately, some fool left his camera in a cab at O’Hare when flying back to Mexico City. Lucky, that fool’s sister and girlfriend rescued the camera, though it remains in Chicago.

Statue on Janitzio, from the last Mexico set I have

Statue on Janitzio, from the last Mexico set I have

Something I miss (aside from all of you, of course): Vegetarian food. I enjoy meat, and I love Mexican food (after all, why else would I do “Taco Week”?), but various vegetarian meals while home a few weeks ago reminded me how much I love those, too. While it’s not impossible to find the sort of vegetarian foods I like here, it’s definitely not particularly easy, either.

Something I like about DF: Art Deco buildings. They aren’t skyscrapers like most of the cool art deco in Chicago, NYC, Detroit, and other American cities, but smaller residential and commercial buildings stretching from el Centro through Roma, Condesa, and up and down much of central Insurgentes. Less cluttered than the heavily decorated colonial facades, with more character than the sleek modernism of newer buildings, and often painted bright colors, they make for very attractive streetscapes.

Saludos, wish me luck,