Monday, June 6, 2016

Coyoacan



On Wednesday, I had a couple of missions, and they were working against one another. While I wanted to see the Ballet Folklorico perform at Bellas Artes, I hadn't wanted to lock myself into an expensive(-ish) ticket and then have to plan my day around it. Wednesday was my last chance to see the show (they perform 2x per week, Sun & Weds). Trip Advisor had said you're safe buying day-of, and I went with their advice, even though it was Holy Week. I considered waiting at the box office till it opened, but that wouldn't be till noon. My other, more important objective - the Casa Azul (Blue House), where Frida Kahlo was born, lived, and died. Advice was to get there ASAP, as the line gets long. There was conflicting advice online as to whether it opened at 10:00 or 11:00, but most sites said 10:00. I decided to shoot for 9:30.

Took the subway to Vivieros, one stop after Coyoacan. Walked through the park, once I found an entry. Ten blocks, at least, on all four sides, and only five entrance points (the rest surrounded by a high fence). Came across a couple of guys practicing Bull Fighting in the center - cape, wooden horns, etc. The guy who seemed to be in charge was wearing a US soccer jersey, lol. They stopped before I could take any pics, sadly.

The other side of the park was pretty cute, as I'd heard was to be expected. Frida lived in the 'burbs'! I found the house - there was already a short line, at about 9:35. I got in it. There was a kid selling churros. I felt bad that I didn't want any, but I snuck a pic with my cell phone anyway, between a few selfies. (Only appropriate at Frida's house.) More and more people continued to join the line. As the time ticked closer to 10:00, I checked my phone for opening hours. Sure enough, Weds, 11:00. I sat. The couple behind me figured out the same thing a few minutes later. Over the next 20 minutes or so, the line got ridiculously long. And while I was glad I was near the front, I also really had to pee. I asked the couple behind me to watch my place, best as I could in Spanish, and hurried a few blocks south toward the market.



When I found it, I asked a kid sitting at a stall where the bathroom was. Little brat goes, "En Español?" I'd asked him in Spanish - it's the one phrase I have down wherever I go. His sisters giggled. After repeating myself and more laughter, his Mami came over scowling - at me. At least she pointed me in the right direction.

Relieved, I returned to my last 20 minutes in line. Then we started moving, and it was chaos. People who'd pre-bought tickets were in another line to the left, and they let us all through at the same time. Plus, baggage check required cutting across both lines. We were funneled into the Casa Azul (which gets its own post).  



After the Casa Azul, I returned to the market, in search of Tostados Coyoacan. Found it - was okay, but not worthy of internet raves. Had a Cochinita and Bistek tostada as well as watermelon juice. Ceviche tostada order was cancelled for some reason I couldn't understand. From there, I bought some candied pineapples at another stall (and was certainly overcharged for them) and headed for the main square with the coyote fountain.



On the way, I passed Cafe el Jarocho. I dumped what was left of my watermelon juice in favor of a coffee. The Jarocho Especial was good and strong with a hint of cinnamon. There was something unidentifiable in it - like the chicory-tinge to coffee in New Orleans. Google brings up Café de Olla as a possibility.



I continued toward the park, passing a number of small stalls selling pastries and sweets. One lady was making what looked to be mini-pancakes and I caved. Bought a small bag and took them to the park, where I found a bench in front of the church. Lots of families, some 20-somethings practicing their instruments (the girl had a xylophone in a box!). The pancake things were amazing - halfway between breakfast and a cookie, and needed with the coffee, as I'd forgotten to ask for sugar.



After about ten minutes, the threat of rain had people moving on. I went over to the coyote fountain, snapped a few pics, and decided to head for the metro in case the skies opened up. As I walked on, it became clear a deluge was not imminent. I came across a lovely little courtyard with another church and benches, and finished the rest of my coffee there. It was perfect. 

 

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