S is spending the week collecting documents from archives here to flesh out chapters of her dissertation, and I'm working remotely from the comfort of our room's balcony or in the shade of the courtyard, so it was very nice to have the two full days of the weekend to relax and explore the city again. Saturday we headed south via the metro first to an art market near San Angel and then for a wonderful walk through the park Viveros, which has a large forestry nursery, a well labeled section with every kind of pine tree found in Mexico, and long tree-lined paths all of a type - Calle Palmas intersects Calle Eucalipto and then opens up into a nice evergreen-spotted field. We continued walking east through the Coyoacan neighborhood to La Bipo for micheladas clamatos (beer and clamato, my preferred drink here), a nice informal bar mostly filled with students from nearby UNAM.
On the walk back to the metro there was some nice stencil graffiti for the Zapatistas. Back near our hotel we had another wonderful meal, Albondigas en Chipotle for me - pork and beef meatballs with hardboiled egg in the middle in a spicy tomato and chipotle sauce. Topped off with some sweet cinnamon-tasting coffee, we called it a good day.
On Sunday we walked up towards the bosque, to the National Anthropology Museum. It's huge, with an amazing fountain under a cantilevered roof as you walk in. Sunday every national museum is free to Mexican citizens, sometimes we can just walk in but today I was looking too white - still quite reasonable. It's organized by region, with pre-colonial artifacts and history on the first floor and more modern cultural history on the second. I liked these the best. We also walked back up the hill almost to Castillo Chapultepec where the museum El Caracol (the snail) is located. It's a big spiral retelling of Mexico from Independence to Revolution through dioramas. Pretty good, very packed on Sunday, and as with the Anthropology museum, filled with people of all ages writing down the placards and captions in their notebooks. Strangely, there were also two people making line-by-line cellphone videos of the placards here.
Also every Sunday, the Paseo is closed to vehicles and turned into a bike path. Since we were last here Mexico City has created a bike sharing system, covering particularly the neighborhood we're staying in with large racks of bikes every few blocks in every direction - these make up at least half of the bikes I've seen people riding around this time. It appears quite easy to use if you live here, with a simple proxcard and trucks balancing out the racks so you don't need to return it to the same spot. They also have a great basket area (that you can put a five gallon water tank on) and lights. I'm pretty impressed.
We're already halfway through our trip, S had a very productive day in the archives today as did I from the balcony, here's hoping all the snow melts in Chicago again by the time we get back.
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