The worst laid plans

You may know that we walk. A LOT. And when we walk, we pass restaurants and other places and we say, “We should go there,” and then when we want a place to go, we have forgotten every one of them. No worries, we figure, we will just walk the way we walk and a restaurant that we have been meaning to try will appear before us. Except when we’re really hungry and tired and then all the restaurants are gone.

Apropos of nothing: This is the Mexican version of lawn chairs to save your parking spot.

Are you getting the idea that this may have happened to us recently? You’re correct! Friday night we went for a stroll without a dinner destination. Bad idea. One of us may get hangry and a little lightheaded if they don’t eat. Guess who that is (not me! I keep a sufficient store of fat with me at all times, just in case). I managed to hold off the hangry, but after wandering around and even sitting down at one place that Google said was Mexican but really wasn’t, we headed back home to a place we had seen that looked crowded.

Yes, it was crowded, but we’re really not sure why. I didn’t imagine that one could make nachos worse than the ones at the ballpark, but I was wrong. At least there was food in my belly. Steven said his burger wasn’t very good either, but the beer was fine.

Lesson learned: Always have a food destination in mind because if you do, you will pass a dozen other worthy places, but if not … bad nachos! (We have started to take pictures of places we see and hopefully, will remember to look at them the next time we need a place – like tonight.)

Friday wasn’t all aimless wandering. I met a woman who is also from the US and is here for a while and we went to Casa Lamm, a cultural center with a courtyard, art galleries, and a restaurant. We wandered around getting to know each other and then walked down the block to Casa del Poeta, or the former home of Ramón López Velarde, who is famous in Mexico. If you’re curious, his most famous poem is “Suave patria” or “Sweet Homeland.” When we walked by it, it looked like there was simply a salon and a bedroom (where he died), but the guide showed us through a hall of mirrors into a space full of art (see below). It was unexpectedly interesting. Thanks Catherine! I never would have known about it.

Saturday, we had an errand to do and I remembered that there was some kind of fair around the corner from us, so in we went. It was local, natural goods and mezcal makers plus a band. We tried a couple of the mezcals and bought one. Then, another woman roped us into trying beer made with heirloom (or pseudo-heirloom) recipes. We bought three. Gotta support the local economy! Oh yes, and I got six chocolates made with mezcal, too. Best purchase of the day.

I also tried pulque, which I figured I had to do because, well, I’m curious. No me gusta! Pulque is a fermented drink made from the sap of agave. Do not think tequila. NO. It’s nothing like tequila. It tastes and has the consistency of the juice from canned corn if you left it out a long time. I do not recommend. It was so bad, I spilled it into the sink. We did get to keep the clay cup, so I guess that’s something.

The plan for the day, before we got sidetracked, was to go to the Palacio de Bellas Artes to see the murals again. We had been once before, but we had a mix-up with the closing time (read about it here) so we wanted to go back. Did I mention that we went to the gym in the morning before all this? We did, but that did not stop us from walking 3.6 km (2 miles) to the museum. We didn’t realize it, but the route took us through Barrio Chino, which was VERY crowded and full of street vendors selling fried noodles and sweet bao. There were restaurants, too, but most were not listed in the best Chinese restaurants in Mexico City lists I perused.

We wandering around the museum, taking our time this time. The murals are well worth it and I don’t mean to pat myself on the back (but I am going to anyway), I understood way more of the Spanish guide’s explanation of the 1934 Diego Rivera mural “Man at the Crossroads,” originally commissioned for Rockefeller Center. Let’s not get too excited — I didn’t understand everything, but I’m getting there.

We also saw an exhibit of works by Federico Silva, who began as an assistant to muralist David Siqueiros, and became interested in kinetic sculpture and geometric art. I enjoyed that, too.

Of course we decided to take the slightly longer way home, turning 3.6 km into 4.6 (2.8 miles). Magic! We did stop at a tiny beer spot which, of course, was playing 1970s-’90s US rock. I’m not sure we would have made it the extra 10 minutes home without the carbohydrates from the beer.

Because we had not the best dinner Friday night, we decided to go for a sure thing Saturday night — Thai food kitty corner from our apartment, Kiin Thai-Viet Eatery. Delicious and spicy! Even the papaya salad was spicy delicious. I highly recommend the lemongrass soda as well.

We must be getting old because after a mere 10-mile Saturday (plus the gym!!!!), Sunday we mostly did nothing (preseason baseball!) and were happy about it!

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