Though I would have rather stayed home and continued to work on my novel, today was cleaning day. Rosa didn’t come last week, so she came two days early this week. At 11am I headed out, so as not to get under her feet. I really didn’t need to go shopping today, but figured after wandering around town long enough for Rosa to get the job done, I could make a pass at the Mega market and get a few things, which weren’t pressing to have, but I might as well get while I was thinking about it.
When I headed out I had no idea of where I would go, so I walked down to near the Museo De La Alhóndiga De Granaditas. There is a street stand nearby where I bought seafood soup before. This time I wanted to try the ceviche. When the vendor asked me what size I wanted, I said that I wanted the medium. He made up a plate of ceviche, which I forgot to photograph, and asked me if it was what I wanted. I told him it was. It wasn’t until I was eating that I noticed that the posted menu had large and small ceviches. I wondered if I had the large one or the small one. It looked too big to be the small. When I was finished and ready to go, the lady who was helping the man told me that I owned 37 pesos, which was halfway between the price of the large and the price of the small. He must have made me up a special plate to give me the medium I asked for. Next time I stop there I am going to have the Coctel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail).
The Ceviche was mild, but I added some of the hot sauce, which was at each stool around the street stand, so when I went wandering off again, I was in search of something to cool my mouth down. Eventually I found an ice cream shop, Estación Gelato. It was really quite good, though the scoop of ice cream cost more than my lunch. Yes, was having such a nice time talking to the young man who was manning the place that I forgot to photograph the ice cream. I bent his ear until a young lady came in. Was she a customer? Was she his girl? I don’t know, but either way, I left him to his job, and continued on my way. (I finished the mojito sorbet, which I had planned to walk with, while we were talking.)
I published photos of the shop in the two photos above in an earlier post. I took these photos because the shop has changed their skull planters. I liked the old ones better. Also, today the light wasn’t as good for photos as it was before.
After all the hours I spent on the internet trying to find the artist whose works impressed me so much at the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, I noticed this sign as I was walking by the museum today. He is Alan Peñalta. Check out his website gallery to see just why I was so impressed with his work.
I think I have photographed this window dog before, but he was too cute today to pass by without taking one.
Two works of stenciled graffiti on opposite sides of the street.
For every photo I take of the beautiful buildings and streets, there are twenty times that I have managed to refrain from pulling out my phone.
Bug of the day
As I wandered around I decided the the best way to waste time before heading home was to go to the Museo De La Alhóndiga de Granaditas. It turned out that today was a really good day to go. Today is Constitution Day. The Museum was quite lively. When I bought my ticket (52 Pesos) the lady made a point to make sure I understood that I could use my cellphone camera. I wonder if they restrict professional photography?
I usually don’t go crazy taking photos in museums, but the display of the historic train, was something I couldn’t resist. It consisted of an engine and little train cars, about four feet long. Each of the cars held a diorama illustrating a part of the history of Mexico. Some of them brought tears to my eyes. It interesting to see history from the viewpoint of a country other than the one in which you were raised.
The figures on the train were done mainly in the traditional imagery of skeletons.
Each of the cars was accompanied by a placard explaining what historical event was being portrayed. I think I am going to go back and do a series of photos of the pacards, and add them to this blog. I read spanish very slowly, and not all that well. It would be nice to have the explanations in photos so that I can look up the words I don’t know or are not sure about.
The detail of the coffee service, and the little books was quite amazing.
In the two photos above, the figures are not skeletons, but are wearing skeleton masks.
I was fascinated at the detail in this crowd scene.
The skeletal dog, made me laugh. I guess when I do a blog post pulling out all the dogs I have seen here in Guanajuato, I should add this one in.
This diorama shows the attack of the building that the museum is now in. I had gone to the El Pipila monument before, and had walked by this building many time, without making the connection.
“El Pipila, not fearing for his safety strapped a large stone on his back, picked up a bucket of tar and grabbed a flaming torch and ran at the only weak point of the structure, the wooden door.” For the full story click here.
This is one I really want to learn more about. It wasn’t until I examined this photo on a large screen that I realized that it was one snake with two heads. While I was looking at it in person, I was trying to figure out if I knew anything about the female sculptors.
It was when I got to this depiction of an execution that I realized that the installation wasn’t all lighthearted.
One of the few carts, which deviated from the general style of the skeletons.
This one looks like a celebration of peace.
The skeletal horses were great too. In the war scenes they looked vicious and in this scene of peace, they look happy.
I suspect that this is the signing of a declaration of independence. The black and white motif made it really stand out.
Notice that the cutout of Mexico, still has the part that of Mexico, which the US took.
The three branches of government.
War with Spain
Casting a long shadow on the future of Mexico.
You knew the United States was going to have to come into this story sometime.
The Battle of Chapultepec: This diorama had to be placed under glass since it is made from fraggle cut paper.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: It must have been heartbreaking to lose half your country. This is the point when I started to get embarrassed, looking around hoping people would think I was Canadian.
This is one that I was compelled to take a photo of the placard.
Celebration of the February 5, 1857, signing of the constitution.
A four part diorama of the life and death of Benito Juarez.
Maximiliano Crowned emperor of Mexico
The execution of Fusilamiento de Maximiliano
With the restoration of the Republic, both the rich and the poor are showed celebrating.
Above, the artist seems to be showing that the poor people are not fairing a well under President Diaz.
President Diaz is portrayed in a better light in this one. Note the skeletal baby looking around the woman’s shoulder (second from the left).
Los Científico: A group of advisors to President Porfirio Díaz.
The celebrations of the first Centennial of Independence in 1910: It looks as if the disparity between the rich and poor is coming to a head.
The University of Mexico is founded.
Land and liberty (slogan) of the Mexican Revolution: The poor working folk take up arms.
President Francisco Ignacio Madero
The Revolution Continues
The assassination of Madero
This looks like a celebration by the revolutionaries of the assassination. Note the newspaper announcing the news.
Above: Francisco “Pancho” Villa enters Mexico City. In this one, the skeletons are wearing masks of the living.
Francisco “Pancho” Villa and other revolutionaries.
Emiliano Zapata assassinated
Venustiano Carranza assassinated.
The Creation of the office of the Secretary of Public Education: After all the war and assassination, it was nice to see a celebration of education for the masses.
Here, we go again: The assassination of Villa.
And finally we come to an end with a woman and children signalling hope for the future.
But this hand car, shows that there is some baggage following the future. I really have to go back and take photos of the placards so I can understand more of the symbolism.
Once I finished studying the history train, I wandered around the rest of the museum. The other displays were interesting, but did not have the emotional pull and fascination of the train.
A monument to Mexico’s heros.
The courtyard of the museum.
The museum has two large stairways that have some great murals.
I looked into one gallery and saw the etching above and couldn’t resist dashing in and taking a photo.
Looking down into the courtyard. It is amazing that such an elaborate building was built to house grain. I wonder if the inside of the building is newer than the outside.
The tunnels of Guanajuato were built to control flooding. Here are some photographs of the damage from the 1905 flood.
We must never forget that one country’s villain is another country’s hero, General Santa-Anna
Above: A pre columbian catwoman. This figure was only a few inches tall.
The other stairway
Okay, I took some of these because they would make good jigsaw puzzles.
Yes, this is the door that Pipila attacked, under the protection of his stone.
The last of the dirt, where the ice rink was, is being cleared away from the plaza.
The facade of the museum. You wouldn’t think it looks so beautiful on the inside.
After leaving the museum, I ran into my upstairs neighbors. They asked me if I had enjoyed the basement of the museum. Basement? What basement? Okay, that seals it. I will have to go back. After I do I will update this post.
I wandered around town until it was late enough to return to my apartment. I went by the Mega market for a few things, then headed home. By the time I got there I was hungry. I stowed my groceries and walked down to the local pizza joint.
El Lugar de la Pizza has great pizzas. I like the way they taped the box for me to carry it home.
My mushroom cheese pizza cost less than $6USD. The little bags held hot sauce (upper left) and catsup. I mixed the two together to dip my crust in. The pizza was placed on plastic sheets, and more plastic sheets were draped over the top so that the box wouldn’t weaken from the steam.