Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's amiss? DF gears up for 2010 Bicentennial...

What's amiss? The problem is that it is totally impossible to photograph these three Mexico City iconic landmarks in the same shot, as only the Cathedral and the Palacio Nacional are located in the Zocalo...

The Angel here is merely a replica temporarily exhibited in the Zocalo as part of Mexico's preparation for the 2010 Bicentennial next year. The real Angel flies much, much higher a few miles away down the road on Paseo Reforma...

Poised at the top of a 45m column, this gilded winged victory was originally sculpted and put in position to celebrate the first 100 years of independence, the centennial in 1910. She has since become a much revered and popular symbol for the city, although nowadays, she is more likely to be dwarfed by a very different brand of modern architecture...



HSBC, the Sheraton Hotel, Starbucks, American Express and the like, are not the only signs of the times heralding the changes from one centennial to the next. Compare this sepia portrait of the Angel Monument taken at her inauguration in 1910...


With this shot taken last week, nigh on a hundred years later....


Do you notice the extra steps?? Due to the subsidence of the city over the past hundred years, it has been necessary to build a whole new flight of twenty or so steps up to reach the base of the monument. Even though Mexico city may be built on the shaky shifting foundations of an ancient lake bed, for me it is a city that is firm and solid in its striking progress and endlessly fascinating appeal. Let's hope the tourists return sooner rather than later!!

First to check in with the correct answer was Gary from "The Mexile", but as a fellow resident of Mexico City, so he should have been!!

7 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

Right, I would never have guessed it in a million years and yet I've seen that angel so many time. I thoroughly enjoyed the article, though. And it was brilliant to put those two photos contrasting the mexico from a hundred years ago pre-globalisation and the new Mexico with HSBC in the background. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Bob Mrotek said...

Catherine,
Actually there are two Mexicos. One is Mexico City and the other is the rest of the country. Most people whom I know avoid going to Mexico City if they can. It may be fine for naive tourists and adventurers but for the average working class Mexican guy or gal it is very intimidating. There are so many negatives to deal with like traffic, pollution, crime, and the hard line "Chilango" attitude. I have been there several times. I enjoyed the things that I saw but not the tension. I am now content to look at the pictures that you and David Lida and Gary Denness so kindly provide. I think the best time to visit Mexico City was in the mid sixties. I doubt if we will ever see it like that again.

garydenness said...

Bob, I read a book a few years back called Mexican Jumping Bean by Pepe Romero. A very old book, set in, and probably written in, the 1950's. It wasn't the greatest piece of literature ever, but was entertaining enough and painted a very enchanting picture of the country back then. If I had a choice though, I'd have been here from 68 through to 70. Olympics, World Cups and the slightly less happy affair with the students...

Catherine said...

Bob and Gary
I am more than happy to be here right now!!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful snaps. The angel looks stunning.

kristine said...

things are changing fast......i like the angel!

Catherine said...

Cuban, Rajesh, Kristine - thanks for your comments and thanks for stopping by..