Last year we were in Rome for St. Patrick’s Day. Wow, does that seem a looooong time ago. Our lives are packed with new experiences. Anyway, we tried to go to an Irish pub, but it had lost power and was closed, so we ended up at a wine bar. No complaints, but no green beer either.
This year we had more luck, although the pub, Wallace’s, is probably Scottish? Nevermind, the actual Irish pub a few doors down was crammed with Americans, some of them a bit obnoxious. Who would have thought? After deciding that wasn’t the scene for us, we went back to Wallace’s and lucked into a table.
I couldn’t bear the thought of drinking green Corona (maybe it was Modelo, but still) so we ordered a couple of Guinesses. We noticed a guy sitting next to us completely alone. He was waiting for friends, he said. St. Patrick’s Day and Friday of a three-day weekend (more on that in a minute) and the traffic coming from the south was rough. As he nursed his beer, he said it would be about another 40 minutes. It’s common in Latin America. Yes, time is flexible here.
An hour later, I asked again. One friend was having work trouble, but the other would be there in 40 minutes. She was getting ready. In Spanish, there’s a different word for getting decked out and just getting dressed. He used the word for getting decked out. Finally, Natalie did arrive and she was very gracious. She thanked us for talking to Abner and we all ended up chatting. They both spoke great English (although I tried to speak Spanish!). They had a lot of ideas for where we should go and Abner even invited us to his nephew’s 15th birthday party. Too bad we will be in Oaxaca (not that I’m upset about being in Oaxaca, but I would have loved to go to the party). They both had interesting life stories and we exchanged information. Maybe we’ll see them again before we go.
Side note: Everywhere I have been, I have heard “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and Wallace’s was no different. In fact, a whole contingent of revelers sang along with it. Can’t beat ’80s American hair bands, I guess.
Monday is a federal holiday here and while they don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they do celebrate the day in 1938 that President Lázaro Cárdenas kicked the gringos out of the oil industry here and created Pemex, the Mexican oil company. (My friend, Perla the librarian, explained it to me in Spanish: “Adios gringos, esta es nuestra dinero!” or something like that.) Oil expropriation day is technically March 18 and coincidentally the third Monday in March is the commemoration of the birthday of Benito Juarez. I guess you can pick which one to celebrate.
Sunday, we decided to get out of our neighborhood. We headed to Coyoacán, which is where Frida Kahlo lived, but we didn’t visit her home again. We started at Parque Nacional Viveros de Coyoacán. Viveros means nursery and the park is really a 38.9 hectare tree nursery for reforestation projects in Mexico City. It’s a beautiful, shaded park (as you can imagine) with lots of joggers and nature lovers.
From there, we wandered the area, stopping into the Mercado de Coyoacán, which is a food market, but also sells lots of clothes and Mexican tchotchkes or in Spanish, tanteria. In fact, there is a ton of tanteria for sale on the streets, in the alleys, and in bazaars cluttered around the main tourist routes. If you want churrios or elotes, you’re in luck here. We bought yummy chocolate and some all natural face lotion and shampoo. We like to support local business. There are some very touristy areas of Coyoacán, including its central square, but it’s also a neighborhood that feels more like old Mexico City with beautiful and colorful architecture.
When we made our pilgrimage to Casa Azul, Frida’s house, we ate at a tosada restaurant, Amatista Tosadas, and went back this time as well. It’s still delicious! Then we wandered aimlessly for a few blocks and found a small, peaceful square out of the fray. When we were tired of sitting (after about 30 seconds), I found there was an alley nearby that housed a shrine to the Virgin Mary (not at all an unusual find here) and a mural, but the real reason we walked over there is because it is supposed to be haunted. We found no spectral evidence, but the walk was lovely.
By then we were ready to head home, so we called an Uber. We Ubered over there because it is a long walk, but somehow we still managed to get in more than 14,000 steps. I have no idea how that happened!
Side note 2: For some reason, a concrete platform is being constructed in the middle of the intersection on our corner. Anyway, the street is closed, which is nice from a noise perspective, but I’m not sure what the plan is.
Side note 3: I finished the puzzle and guess what????? There are THREE pieces missing. I would blame myself, but there are also two repeated pieces. I have complained to customer service and so far have not heard back. In case you are wondering: Don’t buy puzzles from the Italian company Clementoni unless you want to be sorely disappointed.