Tuesday, November 19, 2019

After the Ballet

After the ballet on Sunday morning, I wanted to show Gail and Annette the mural paintings which are on display on the upper floors of the Palace of Fine Arts.  Admission to the murals is free, but we had to go outside and join a long line waiting to see the murals.  I had never seen a line like that before.  It must have been because it was a holiday weekend (Monday was the observance of Revolution Day), and there were many Mexican tourists visiting the capital as well as residents seeing the sights in their city.

While we were waiting in line, a young boy (probably in elementary school) and his parents asked if I would mind being interviewed.  The student had an assignment from his English teacher to ask questions of an English-speaking visitor.  While he interviewed me, his mother recorded the conversation on her cell phone.  This has happened to me several times on my trips to Mexico.  As a former Spanish teacher, I am more than happy to cooperate with their assignment.  

The line moved fairly quickly, and we went upstairs to see the mural paintings by some of Mexico's best-known artists.  The most famous mural is "Man, Controller of the Universe" by Diego Rivera.  In 1932 Rivera was commissioned to paint a mural for the lobby of  Rockefeller Center in New York City.  Nelson Rockefeller objected to the portrait of Lenin which was included in the painting, and when Rivera refused to remove it, Rivera was paid for his work, and the mural was plastered over.  Rivera returned to Mexico and using photographs of his original painting, did another version in the Palace of Fine Arts.

   In this portion of the painting you can see Lenin to the right.

From the Palace of Fine Arts we walked a short distance to the National Museum of Art.  On Plaza Tolsá, in front of the museum, local groups who are dedicated to preserving pre-Hispanic traditions were gathered there as they are every weekend.

In the museum, we concentrated on the newly renovated galleries of 20th century Mexican art since I knew that Annette's interest is in modern and contemporary art.

This painting by Gerardo Murillo (who went by the name of Dr. Atl) is called "The Shadow of Popo".  Murillo was obsessed with painting volcanoes, and this interesting picture shows the shadow of the volcano Popocatépetl stretching across the landscape.

An early painting by Diego Rivera

A canvas by Rufino Tamayo

We then walked over to a branch of "El Cardenal" located in the Hilton Hotel.  The original restaurant, located near the Cathedral, is in a lovely old building, but there is always a long wait on weekends for a table.  At the Hilton, we were seated immediately.  

This was Gail and Annette's last dinner in Mexico City, so I wanted to take them to one of my favorite places.  "El Cardenal" serves very good traditional Mexican cuisine.

Gail had a beef "Milanesa"... a breaded cutlet.

Annette had something more uniquely Mexican... "mixiote"... meat baked within a bag made from a leaf of the agave plant.

I had a dish which I had never ordered before on my many previous visits to "El Cardenal"... a pepper stuffed with pork and covered with a "mole" known as "coloradito".  It was delicious.

After dinner it was time to head back so that Gail and Annette could pack their bags for their flight home the next day.

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