Travelling companion: The lovely Katie Dineen
Hip & Happening
While styling in NYC, I stumbled across a company called DF Casa (DF stands for Distrito Federal and is the local reference to Mexico City) and was really surprised by all the cool designs I found there. DF Casa represents designers from all over Mexico who are a real isnpiration – my favourite piece was a white porcelain tree trunk.
I had been reading of the emergence of a young and energetic art community and wanted to see where the famous Acapulco chair originated. I wasn't disappointed.
Day Of The Dead
I have wanted to experience this for a very long time and the fact that I was going to miss it by five days was devastating. But to know I will witness all the crafts associated with it is exciting. On the Day Of The Dead, November 2, the sould of the loved ones who have died return to their friends and family, and is therefore a joyous occasion, and not a time for tears. Paper is the medium of choiceL gangly papier mâché string-connected skeletons in all sizes, hand-painted skulls aplenty, even in candy and chocolate. The word for skull in Spanish is calavera, or calaverita.
If only we could get great Mexican food in Australia! I crave bite-size soft tacos with shrimp and guacamole, which I first tasted in NYC, at one of my favourite restaurants, Barrio Chino, on the Lower East Side. I became addicted to those tacos, and the food at Barrio Chino was one of the reasons I wanted to visit Mexico City int he first place.
Mexico city is lined with street vendors squeezed into brightly coloured shacks selling fruit juice, mole and tacos, tortillas, guacamole & fajitas. I love the style and immediacy of the street fair, even the wrapping used. The chillis grown in Mexico do not exist in many other places – there is such a distinct flavour & fire.
While sitting in the library at Condesa df, at the Cherner I found a book of old Mexican trades: Los Mexicanos pintados por si mismos.
Frida & Diego's house has yellow floors, white walls and green gloss door architraves with matte green detail above the door. In Frida's bottles of sequins, volumes of Diego's works and boxed curios.
Votive offerings to cure a broken heart or a broken leg, pinned, or tied to a shrine. They're called milagros, Spanish for miracle.
Went to a market in a cobbled square in San Angel, still setting up but bought paper, peonies, some flags, some skeletons for Day Of The Dead. Amazing paper, a handmade length with knots.
Everything feels very open and sunny and spilling onto the street, and inviting you in.
All different age groups drinking coffee, beer, sangria, playing pool and dominoes.
There is such energy here.Tune in next week as I detail the colours I chose to define Mexico – it was hard to whittle them down!