#TBT The Mexican Mercado

Everytime a television program comes on about Mexico, Mrs P and I make a strict appointment to be seated in front of the screen at the annointed time. The latest show was a series by celebrity chef Rick Stein, The Road to Mexico. We enjoyed it greatly, particularly when the road crossed from the US into Mexico. If you can access the Beeb’s iPlayer from your part of the Continue reading “#TBT The Mexican Mercado”

Blast From The Past

I don’t sell many photos these days. In fact, I don’t sell any photos these days. It’s been a year at least since the last one. Maybe two. I used to sell a handful each year, almost entirely through Flickr. It was never my biggest source of online income, but the half dozen or so shots that I flogged in a good year added some useful pennies to my bank account.

But I may have sold the one below. I say may, because I haven’t received the cash yet. Never count one’s chickens till they hatch. But I live in hope. Does anyone care to play a guessing game? A point for the person who can name the artist. Two points if you can name the location you’d find this mural. No clicking on the image through to Flickr though. That’s cheating.

Super Medicine

Abelardo L Rodriguez Market

My continuing search for hidden gems has, after a forum request for hidden gems I haven’t yet found, turned up another little treasure. In a fairly non-descript street, slightly off the beaten tourist trail stands a fairly non descript building. Although, it has to be said, more people venture through this once seedy and slightly risky part of the Distrito Federal these days than just a year or three ago. The Sunday ciclothon route goes past this building most weeks.

But you perhaps wouldn’t stop and venture inside unless you knew what to expect. You’d be far more likely to stop and venture inside the Church of La Nuestra Señora de San Loreto, which sits on the very next block. And so you should by the way. It’s one of the most fabulous interiors of any religious structure in the city.

But back to the mercado in question. Bland it may be from the outside. And it’s steel and plastic 1930’s  interior construction is nothing that would particularly catch your eye either. What it does have to offer visitors though, are huge murals painted on the walls and ceilings at the many points of entry into the market place. Are they by Rivera? Orozco? Siqueiro? No, I don’t think so. They decorate palaces when they aren’t busy constructing artistic monuments to themselves.

The murals in this market were painted by students. But before you lose interest, they were students of Rivera, working under his supervision. And jolly good work they did too. I’m sure Diego was impressed. Although artists do tend to be a bit temperamental, so maybe not. Anyway, the mercado has now duly been added to my Bing map as place 32, and the photos are here on Flickr. You can read more about the mercado on Wikipedia.

Machine And Muscle

A Fly On The Wall

I’ve recently started taking my photos in widescreen format, something which doesn’t seem to have taken off much in photography, unlike television.  And I like the results. And I’m going to continue snapping in 16:9.  There are pros and cons attached to each format, depending how you use or display the images. For me, 16:9 is perfect, for several reasons.

Reason one. Flickr’s newly redesigned photo pages display larger standard sizes than before, and the widescreen format fills the vertical axis nicely, without disappearing off the bottom of the screen. Assuming you are using a widescreen screen. Most people I know have widescreen monitors these days. Secondly, I use my photos for my PC screensaver. Just looks a ton better when it fills the screen.

Thirdly, it just looks nicer in my opinion. It doesn’t suit all photos, especially in portrait. But by and large, a little space on either side of the main subject often gives the photo more context. It’s also a different format to those more commonly used (4:3 and 3:2) and perhaps a little more eye catching. Anyway, most cameras these days come with the ability to shoot in widescreen. I say give it a try!

The photo below, by the way, is of a building on Alvaro Obregon, one of my favourite parts of the city. Enough peeling paint and cracked tiles to give that olden times charm to a neighbourhood. Enough freshly painted cafes and restaurants to make it modern, busy and safe. There’s a mutants museum or exhibition around somewhere. The fly is the main logo. This is a hell of a way to market it. I must investigate.

And before I finish off, a little about Flickr’s redesign. I like it. A lot. Makes better use of monitor real estate, reduces clutter by utilising a new button system, and gives more options and useful info than before. Not using Flickr? That’s another thing I recommend. Not just because you should be sharing your photos. But because, if your house burns down tomorrow, you’ll still have your photos…

Fly On The Wall

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Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park

I posted a piece about the Haiti earthquake last week, and mentioned (at length) the earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985. I included a photo of a monument put up at one end or Alameda park, marking the spot where a hotel came down, killing many of those inside the building. I looked around the net for more info on that hotel, and discovered that behind the park is a small museum, Museo Mural Diego Rivera. All these years I’ve been living in Mexico City, all those times I’ve walked past that spot, and I’ve never once noticed it.

It is, in my defense, a fairly plain and innocuous building. Not a place to catch your eye.  From the outside, anyway. On the inside…that is a different matter. It houses a huge mural, one of Rivera’s finest. One I’ve seen images of many a time. But never the real thing, till today. I parted with the 15 peso entry fee, paid an extra 5 pesos to allow me to use my camera, and checked it out. The (rather poor quality) panoramic photo I took of the famous mural is below. It was previously housed in the destroyed hotel, and was one of the few things salvaged, restored and put back on display. The photos I took can be seen on Flickr by clicking here.

Palace of Modern Art

Every now and then I don’t just pass under the Centro Historico on the metro without poking my head above ground. I get off and have a little wander. And it’s amazing how many times I find something new, bizarre or otherwise cool. Or all three. Today I had time to kill after my early morning class, so I stepped off at Belles Artes and found a temporary wall alongside the full length of one side of Belles Artes.

This grand old landmark normally hosts the more classical arts. Ballet, theatre, folk dance. But the wall was covered, from end to end, in graffiti, Of the better, more artistic, variety. Some would call it a mural. Perhaps even Rivero himself would be so kind. Others might simply refer to it as art. But seeing as it appears to have been done (one would assume with permission, probably commission) by some of the cities younger citizens, with spray paint, and has been ‘tagged’ – I’d call it graffiti.

Not that that’s an insult. Whilst the city is absolutely covered in crappy, unimaginative, head ache inducing graffiti with little to no artistic merit whatsoever, there are plenty of genuinely creative works. Lot’s of little Señor Banksy’s. I photographed most of it, but it was simply to long to do a panorama, so I’ve split it into 20 plus individual snaps. Click here to see the photos.

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