What happened to week 7??? Bill and Katiti hogged part of it and Roma finished it off.  We start off week 8 looking for a new running route.  Avenida Amsterdam is a beautiful shaded oval circuit that used to be a horse racing track, thus this area is known as Hipódromo.  It is close to home, beautiful, flat and clean but we are getting bored with it.  Jim maps out a new route for this first day of week 8 which will take us directly to the midpoint of Chapultepec Park where we can explore some new territory.  The first mile is a straight shot down Alfonso Reyes and Gobernador José Maria Tornel which are both shaded.  We do have to cross three very busy thoroughfares, but there are crosswalks and lights at all of them.  Once in the park we have a few miles of relatively flat and shaded  roads and trails to explore.

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Jim’s first destination was Tótem Canadiense, a totem pole given to Mexico City on the 150th anniversary of its independence on 16 September 1960.
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We then ran up a short gentle hill to this Glorieta de la Lealtad, or Circle of Loyalty.
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Santa Fe Aqueduct.

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An outdoor museum of old Presidential cars.

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We then ran back down the hill to Los Pinos the official residence and office of the President of Mexico from 1934 to 2018.

In 1934, President Lázaro Cárdenas took office but refused to use the Castle of Chapultepec as his official residence as he thought it too ostentatious. He was offered use of Rancho la Hormiga (The Ant Ranch), which he accepted. He changed its name to Los Pinos (The Pines). Los Pinos was home to thirteen of the fourteen presidents in office between 1935 and 2018, with the exception of Adolfo López Mateos (1958–1964).  In 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he would not live in Los Pinos if he won the election and would instead open the residence to the public.  López Obrador, known as AMLO won the election, and Los Pinos was opened to the public on December 1, 2018, the day of López Obrador’s presidential inauguration. López Obrador moved the presidential offices back to the National Palace, and lives in his own house in Mexico City.

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The grounds surrounding Los Pinos are beautiful and like all gardens in México are meticulously maintained.

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We really enjoyed our self guided tour of Los Pinos.  Its architecture is described as Neoclassical, French and eclectic.  It has wonderful windows, floors and woodwork.  Many of the rooms are completely empty but the furniture that is there is quite fitting.  This place will be on our recommended list, not necessarily must see though.

IMG_7186After touring Los Pinos we walked home through San Miguel Chapultepec which is a sleepy labyrinth of tree-lined streets, snaking highways, stately homes, and decrepit buildings.  It is in the process of gentrification and is probably the next hot neighborhood.IMG_7189IMG_7191As we hadn’t eaten anything yet we stopped at a small cafe which turned out to be vegan and ordered two tamales and hot chocolate which were very tasty.  We finished off our breakfast with vegan ice cream, not so good.

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Sandy had a mushroom tamale, foreground and Jim’s was nopales, cactus.

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When Walter was here we met Tom O’Toole from Boston who has been traveling México for a few weeks exploring the idea of doing what we are doing.  He has already traveled extensively, but never alone.  He is recently divorced and retired and is considering selling his loft in The Leather District of Boston which would enable his travels.  He returned to CDMX from Vera Cruz and stayed with us for a few days and introduced us to a few more of his friends who happen to be here.  Saturday night March 2 we met Noel Reid who is on his first foray into travel and seems to be adapting well and really enjoying México.  The four of us went to dinner at a nearby French restaurant Rojo Bistro which is just a simple place with not even a website but the food was fantastic.  Noel liked us so much that he suggested another dinner so that we could meet his friends, Tom Stearns and Bill Docker from Provincetown on Cape Cod Massachusetts. Tom and Bill, like us, travel extensively and have even built and owned a home in Brazil for a while.  We really bonded and related to all of these new friends.  We had a great meal together at Cedrón which is classified as a Traditional Brasserie.  We shared appetizers of tacos, foie gras, lentil soup and salmon.  The foie gras was the best.  All of our meals were outstanding, the second French meal we have had here that was as good, if not better, than in France.  This is not a cheap restaurant but Tom O’Toole was treating us, so thanks Tom.

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Noel Reid, on our terrace.
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Tom O’Toole, Bill Docker, S & J, Noel Reid and Tom Stearns at Cedrón.

Tom’s last night with us we grilled veggies and a 5$ steak on our terrace while enjoying a thunderstorm with wind, rain and rainbows.  The steak was not bad, flavorful, no gristle but not juicy or thick.

IMG_2181IMG_2185Tom’s last day here he took us to the Condesa Tuesday market which is a medium sized street market selling an assortment of produce, meats, poultry, fish, kitchenware, Mexican handcrafts and prepared food.  The markets are so colorful and most of the produce and other food looks soooo good.

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That’s $2.50 for 2.2 pounds of limes.  They use a lot of limes here.  We use a lot of limes for our homemade margaritas.
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Our last meal with Tom at our favorite Taco joint just across the street El Tizoncito.
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This is El Tizoncito, our most visited eatery/taco joint.  Picture taken from in front of our building.

Jim found a new and intriguing museum for us to walk to 6.2K away.  The walk started well going through Chapultepec Park but then we followed Google maps shortest route advise rather than Jim’s intuition and it degenerated into a shadeless walk along, over and under multiple major highways.

IMG_1121IMG_1122We finally reached a bike and walking path which led us into Polanco which is the fanciest and most upscale neighborhood of the city.  Unfortunately there was still no shade so we summoned an Uber and sat in traffic for the last leg of the trip.IMG_1123IMG_1125

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This is a beautiful modern walkway but unshaded.

We finally arrived at Museo Soumaya which was built by Carlos Slim and dedicated to his late wife Soumaya Domit Gemayal who died in 1999.  The museum holds his personal collection of over 66,000 works from 30 centuries of art including sculptures from Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, 19th- and 20th-century Mexican art and an extensive repertoire of works by European old masters and masters of modern western art such as Auguste Rodin, Salvador Dalí, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Tintoretto.  The building itself was designed by his son-in-law Fernando Romero, an award winning Mexican architect.  Some of the engineering of the building was done by the architect Frank Gehry.

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A large marble sink in the men’s baño or sanitario.
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We took the elevator to the top and then walked the ramps on the periphery to the ground floor.
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There is an extensive collection of Rodin’s sculptures.  We have a copy of this one, “The Kiss”  on our fireplace mantel.
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Top floor is where all the sculptures are.
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This is the sculpture from the top of Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”.
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This kiss is more passionate and erotic than the other. This one is titled “The Eternal Springtime”.
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Wrestlers.

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London Bridge.
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This is the ground floor with Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”.
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A bronze copy of Michelangelo’s Pieta.

We really enjoyed this museum and would like to go back for another visit with some of our house guests.  Highly recommended.

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Calling the next Uber.

We booked an early lunch at 1:45 at the Cipriani Masaryk which is a part of the very expensive Cipriani chain which started with the world famous Harry’s Bar in Florence and has now become a worldwide enterprise.  1:30-2:00 is when most restaurants open for lunch and 3:00-4:00 seems to be the peak of the lunchtime crowds.  It was very quiet with a lot of staff just standing around when we arrived and by 3:00 the place was buzzing with all of the staff scurrying around.  We had veal piccata and tagliatelle with a lamb bolognese sauce which we shared.  The pasta was better than anything that we had in Italy and the veal was equally scrumptious, all at affordable prices.  After lunch we walked a bit through Polanco being amazed at the high end restaurants, luxury shopping, beautiful homes and exotic auto dealerships.IMG_7260 (1)

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We have gotten in three 5K runs in Chapultepec park this week, had a lot of really good food, explored two new tourist sites and met a few new friends that we will probably continue to run into around the world in the coming years.  What more could we ask for.    We are here for just one more month and have one day in that month without houseguests.  It should continue to be memorable.IMG_1137

One Reply to “CDMX week 8”

  1. How wonderful to have this document of our time together in Mexico. Thank you both for your easy friendship, generous hospitality, and lifestyle inspiration. See you back in Boston and many more stops along the way.
    Hugs,
    Tom

    Like

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