This is the final installment of a series of posts by artist Mark Barry from his recent trip to Mexico City. Here are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Our final day in the city. What I have saved for last is the best, the downtown historic district. Zocalo is the main plaza, also the former halls of Montezuma, although I didn’t see any Marines. Along with some great architecture, the Metropolitan Church for one, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which has what I have been looking for my whole trip, the big stuff. Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, three of Mexico's best ever, and you can even take pictures inside! The ultimate prize of the week is at the National Palace. Diego Rivera's Epic Of The Mexican People In Their Struggle For Freedom And Independence, a fabulous fresco depicting the history of Mexico (shown below)
One thing that I'll remember well of my trip to the museums in Mexico City will be the row upon row of buses loaded with school children, everyday! I know it happens in the States, but this seemed to be a more common occurrence. It was nice to see. A second thing will be all the walls, fences, gated communities, and security guards. I felt very safe during my stay and as in any city felt free to roam with common sense.
Along with the traffic, a city sprawling in all directions and surrounded by mountains, pollution is visible everyday. You can feel it in your pores at the end of the day, and the damage to historical sites is evident.
History is everywhere, and it is acknowledged and appreciated. Along with development, the Mexican government has made preservation a priority. I've seen only a small part of the city in four days. There are many more sites with great art and outdoor markets everywhere. I would love to tour the city's underground. This is a must-trip for anyone in search of art and, just as important, great food.