I have one more day left in Mexico City and I’m starting to get a little sad about leaving.  I love it here.  One thing that I really want to point out is that the media back in the states really tries to portray Mexico as being a dangerous country filled with crime and drugs, and I can assure you that this glorious country is not all about the war on drugs.  Mexico City is comprised of people who are proud to call it home and who are interested in sharing their culture with others.  They are welcoming, interesting, influential, creative, and humble.  From visiting the artisan markets to the food markets to wandering the streets and exploring cafés and boutiques, I honestly haven’t left a single place without feeling inspired.  Hopefully the photos below can articulate just how unique and special this country is.  More of my Mexico City adventures next week!

The architecture alone in Mexico City is worth writing about.  There are many Colonial buildings, like this one in Roma, that still have original details intact.  Although some are dilapidated and many are covered in graffiti, there are some seriously cool architectural designs like the above.  The alternating brick sizing that surrounds the blue and white zigzag tiles really made me gasp, not to mention the red doors and window frames.

An apartment building in Roma

This is the kind of thing that makes me embrace color in my home even more.  How can you be mad at this blue?!

Walking around all day when traveling makes you work up an appetite, as I’m sure you know. My aunt Siobhan’s friend, Victor, had a few of my family members over for homemade hot chocolate and Mexican sweet breads.  And of course, it wouldn’t be the same without a tequila offering.  I opted for the sweet breads and hot chocolate.

A big pot of hot chocolate on the stove, courtesy of Victor

As I mentioned above, we’ve been hitting up some markets. Every neighborhood has their market where they shop for produce, meat, seafood, candy, flowers, etc.  There are also many food vendors cooking up some dee-lish dishes of the day.  These markets are the real deal.  I love all the displays of flowers in each market I’ve been to.  Some of the shops in each one are even creating major flower arrangements for weddings, funerals, and parties.

I have never seen chicharrónes this big, much less a chicharrónes sculpture!  Chicharrónes are dried pork rinds and you can find them this big at the markets.  I ate them a lot when I was younger with lime and chili powder, a popular way to eat them in Mexico.

This is Darryl squeezing lime on his ceviche at one of the restaurants in the market.

One of the vendors selling lots of yummy dishes like nopales (cactus) salad, molé, grilled chiles and…

FRIED GRASSHOPPERS!

Walking into the markets is like having the biggest visual freak out ever.  Imagine a hundred colors colliding and trying to absorb it all.  I forgot to mention that there are a plethora of piñatas to be purchased.  I love them all, especially these huge metallic ones with streamers and cones.

Ok, so this is where things started to get amazing x 1,000.  At the Mercado de Artesanias Ciudadela (an artesan market), I came across a tribe of Huicholes, a group living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range who originated in the 16th century in San Luis Potosi, located in North-Central Mexico.  Once a year, the Huicholes go back to San Luis Potosi to perform peyote ceremonies.  They eat peyote, have psychedelic visions, and create the most insane beaded artwork, embroidered pom pom bags and leather sandals.  AND, their clothing is custom made, as you see above.  Don’t think I didn’t ask where I could get those pants.  I am certain I will have my own one day soon.  How inspiring is his dress code?

I know, I know. Beyond. I am fairly certain a few of my peeps are freaking over this – HBT? JLW? JPD?  Holla if you hear me.

These bags take hours and hours to make.

And these, my friends, are the beaded works of art created by the Huicholes.  Those are tiny little beads glued onto the shapes of skulls and animal heads.  Wow.

Moving further inside the market, I stopped at this spot.  Money was spent on the following: a colorful woven round basket purse, a paper mache’ doll, and beaded necklaces.

How adorable is this woven basket purse in the shape of a pig?

I had to stop myself from buying baskets (other than my purse) because I have so many already that I’ve picked up on my travels.  But man is it hard!  I really love the ones on that top shelf!

Oh hi, textiles.  This is where things get crazy exciting.  Textiles are a dream.

Most of the textiles in Mexico City are from Oaxaca and Chiapas.  The embroideries and the use of color are completely fascinating to me.  Definitely some of my favorites!

I say YES to the above.

Embroidered bags

This is a shop located right on the outside of the market filled with pottery, antiques, lamps, figurines and…

Acapulco chairs.  These are the best and I plan to bring a few back home on my next trip. Such perfect outdoor furniture and they come in a myriad of colors.

And of course, all that shopping made me work up an appetite for fried zucchini stuffed with cheese and topped with a spicy sauce, served with beans, rice and tortillas.  This was SO good.

And how could I say no to dulces?  Mexican candy is seriously addicting.