I stumbled upon a retrospective exhibition of this guy's work at the Bellas Artes museum. Pedro Friedeberg was born in Italy in 1936, but his family fled to Mexico soon after. He's lived here ever since. He studied architecture in college and went on to become a painter and furniture designer. In fact, he invented the hand chair!That was a surprise. (Growing up, my mom insisted on having a plastic hand chair prominently displayed in our living room.)
Here's a glance at his playful and meticulously crafted paintings:
He's been working consistently in this style since the 1960s. I highly recommend reading his artist's statement. Pedro Friedeberg is a true poet!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
At first glance, Mexico City has a flare for "the wacky" with its urban architecture. There doesn't seem to be one concentrated district of skyscrapers that collectively form a postcard skyline. Rather, the tall and spunky wonders-of-my-world stand alone, scattered throughout the city. I've made it my business to track down and research some of the more fascinating ones...
Amaranth is a remarkable plant with outstanding nutritional and medicinal properties. It was domesticated about seven thousand years ago by the Aztecs who considered it a sacred grain. When the Spanish invaded, they outlawed the use of amaranth in their attempt to weaken the foundation of the native culture. I’ve been asking around and looking everywhere for whole amaranth seeds to cook with, but they are extremely scarce (although the plant grows on the sidewalk). Puffed amaranth seed is everywhere, used in cold cereals and blended in smoothies, but lacks the nutrients due to its processing. More common is the treat known as “alegria” (happiness), a brick of sweetened puffed amaranth which recalls the Aztec tradition of molding amaranth and honey into ceremonial idols. More later...
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Our favorite curb-side snacks so far...
1. Warm corn kernals with mayonnaise, lime juice, crumbly cheese, chili powder served in a styrofoam cup.
2. A blue corn tortilla pocket stuffed with beans topped with sauteed spinach, Oaxaca cheese, and salsa verde.
3. Freshly fried potato chips.
4. A cup of fresh-cut fruit topped with salt/chili mixture and lime juice.
5. Fresh squeezed juice from green oranges.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Kenny pointed out this booth in the street market. Barrel-sized tubs of gelato? No, beauty and hygiene products sold in bulk.
I came back the next day (with the camera, of course) and made gestures to suggest "face cream". The salesman then motioned for me to dip my finger in the tub and test it out! I did, and it seemed to work just fine (although it could have been anything...)
I bought a sack and it squirts out like cake frosting.