Art and the Turibus

One of the best ways to become acquainted with a city is by taking a ride on the double-decker tourist buses, seen in most cities. For a first-time visitor to a city the size of Paris, Buenos Aires or Mexico City, the buses are great for getting to see the highlights and getting an idea of where they are located.

 

Botero Sculptures in front of Palacio de Belles Artes

The Turibus in DF (Distrito Federal) costs $140 pesos, runs for about 12 hours a day, with about 45 minute intervals between departures. In DF, there are two routes and you can see a lot of the city and suburbs in one day. The stops are cultural sites, museums and parks. You could avoid riding on Monday since the city’s museums are closed, but we chose Monday for that reason. The tour will give you a greater appreciation of the rich history and the vibrant old and new architecture in the second largest city in the world.

Facade of the Post Office

Scene from the upper deck.

Our visit was enhanced by a huge exhibit of the paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, a popular Columbian artist, who is celebrating his 80th birthday with the largest retrospective of his work ever. He has the distinction of being one of the most copied (ripped-off) artists in the world. Seeing the original, large paintings and sculptures from his 65-year career in the majestic Palacio de Belles Artes was one of the highlights of our trip. The exhibit is scheduled to be on display until June 17, when it will move to Bilbao, Spain.

Inside the massive Catedral Metropolitana

Along the bustling Plaza Mayor

Facade of modern shopping center in Polanco

Another art find is the Centro de la Imagen, in centro on Avenida Balderas near the Centro de Artesanías La Ciudadela. One of the best spaces for photography that I have seen in a long time, it occupies part of the Biblioteca de Mexico (which appeared to be in the process of renovation). High ceilings and a well-lighted exhibit space, make this a perfect showcase for photography. The current exhibit, “Looking at the U.S. 1957 – 1986” by well-known documentary photographers Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin, was quite good.

Coming soon: Part 3 in the City – Mercado San Juan and La Roma