Day 9 Mexico City

I knew that I was going to love this place as soon as I left the airport. Mexico City has the best parts of traveling to any major European city and all of my favorite parts of going to places in the third world, without too many of the downsides of either (minus clean water and violent crime I guess…)

A retable found in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, in Mexico City.

Tacos for breakfast and roaming organ grinders. World class architecture and museums. A rich culture and history. Vendors selling worthless junk and no one hassling you to buy it. A vibrant street life, but no burning piles of trash. Good, cheap food and accommodations. It’s perfect as long as I don’t get robbed at gun point or a bad case of the runs. Who could ask for more?
I know that Baroque architecture was born in Rome, but it had to have been perfected in Mexico. The combination of classic proportioning and form, with the intermittent sensory overload caused by the Mexican retables and plateresque facades made one feel quite humble. As I sat and drew, the organ began to rumble. And then a boys choir. Before I knew it the old folks rolled in and I was in a matins service. Tourists were not allowed go past the pews, and they looked in on me as though I were part of the “exhibit”, but it was good to be reminded that the building was a part of a larger whole.
I spent the majority of my day staring at those damn retables (the big elaborate guilded things behind the alter). I’m hoping to wrap my head around them enough to able to draw one but it’s slow going. There is just too much going on. Between that and all of the museums I’m going to be busy.

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