January 24, 2015

The Governor's Mansion

This is the current governor's mansion:

 and it is totally open for you to wander about with no security at all! I love that access.

Two stories, with a nice galley view from above:

and nice open corridors:

And their history is told in art.

Here is the exploitation of the peons by the elite on the sisal haciendas.

This is the sale of the Indians as slaves:

This is Galvez, as in Galveston. (well, maybe not. But I said it, so I will stick with it) This fellow was assassinated when he was 53.


A great take on the Mexican Flag:

 A battle between the Mayan and the Spanish:

The Jaguar.

Quite a place. Quite a Palace. 

Sunday in Merida

It seems there are many cities that now have Bicycle Street days on Sundays. When I was living in Caracas (1992-1994) they shut down the "Cota Mil" (thousand meter line) a freeway that skirted the national park El Avila. I believe that it started in Bogota in the 1980s. (Why Latin America? ¿Quien Sabe?) These events are usually characterized as Ciclovías. We have them in Houston!

And, of course, Merida!

 We saw this group of "low rider" bikers along the route. They had music that trailer being towed by the fellow on the right.

We were able to rent some bikes that I would characterize as "usable, no brakes" Who needs brakes?

The route was along Paseo de Montejo, which has some great houses on it:

I won't go into the history of Merida (you can do that yourself) except to say that Sisal was the basis for the fortune of Merida. It has been said that around the turn of the 20th century, because of sisal, Merida had more millionaires than any other city. Of course, I have heard this said of Neenah, Wisconsin, Nederland, Colorado, and Waco, Texas as well. So I would say that that with a grain of Celestun salt.

That top mansion now houses the archaeological museum. It has some cool stuff:

You'll notice she is watering the corn with her tears.

 All these guys are trying to get into heaven. Note the wings on some!
This is a roulette wheel using different types of pots as the icons! Wow.
 Second from the left is Zapata (Tierra y Liberdad!) and the third from the left is Pancho Villa

Chickens are my familiar.
 Look at that guy riding a chicken!

The Trojan Horse!

I'll do a different post on the Governor's Mansion by and by. 

January 23, 2015

Ku'uk. Eating Modernist in Merida

A number of our friends said that we had to eat at Ku'uk, a restaurant in Merida with a "Modernist" take on Yucateco food.

So we did.

Here is what we had:

Chicxulub: Ginko, Pollen, Nopal, Smelt, Seaweed Fossil on a meteorite. The meteorite is, of course, meant to represent the Chicxulub impact that hit the Yucatan 66 million years ago - some say causing the extinction of the dinosaurs

 Here is another view. You can see the fish as well as the grain of the polished meteorite.

K'uum To'obil Chay: Pumpkin seed tamale, chaya leaf, tomato sauce, avocado, fennel

"Cloudy" Mayan Jungle: Green salad with butter, sour orange, chili ashes, cashews. It is a little hard to see, but there is smoke inside the bell jar.

 A view without the glass. All the food was very good looking!

 Tomato: In a veil and distilled pibinal corn potato

 Mayan Octopus: Black chili ashes, "skin", olives and freeze dried tomato, burnt habanero, grilled onion foam. The octopus was so black it was hard to photograph.

 Sacred Natural Well: White fish in "natural well" clarified chlorophyll juice, white cucumber, citrics, clovers, and offering to the Mayan gods (gilded pea). Before the broth

 Sacred Natural Well: White fish in "natural well" clarified chlorophyll juice, white cucumber, citrics, clovers, and offering to the Mayan gods (gilded pea). After the broth.

 Turkey "Marquesita": Yucatan Street Snack with anatto. Free range turkey and suckling pig chorizo, corn, fava bean mousse, charred leek, green salt

 Pib Bread: Underground Mayan style cooked with cochinita oils and anatto, orange leaf, sour orange butter and chaya.

 Castakan: Creole suckling pig with avocado, salipcon salad, beans, wormseed.

 Palate cleanser. Cold snack of seasonal fruits.

 Sweet Nopal: Freeze dried nopal leaf, peppermint and sourmilk ice cream, lemon and habanero flowers with nopal "soil"

 Honeycomb. Meliponin stingless bean honey biscuit, passion fruit and pollen cream, dehydrated mushroom impregnated with Dzidzilche honey, fiber, and soft rice with Balchee (mayan fermented honey)
 Cocoa Chip. Burnt tortilla ice cream and freeze dried Papantla'ss vanilla "flan" custard

Treats. Chocolates, Alfajores, Cookies, Empanadas with dulce de Leche.

It was a good meal. The wines we had were all Mexican with the exception of one from Argentina.

Go there if you get to Merida.

Saturday in Merida

We started the day with a nice walk to the Momoto Cafe. A "momoto" is a type of bird, what we call a Motmot in English, and the logo:

is an abstraction of the bird. They also had floor tiles made with the logo. Nice place to start the day.

 The part of Merida where we were staying had plenty of these nice, big mansions. We are hoping that Gaye buys the one above and renovates it for a nice vacation home.

As with many large, old Latin American cities, Merida has a nice selection of churches and cathedrals. They are all still in use, well in use. Many of them had masses in process as we were wandering about the city.

Many nice plazas are in the neighborhood as well. This one was taken while we had lunch outside.

 The green building is the Governor's Mansion. I have more photos of that I will post by and by.

The above is the Cathedral.

And this is a pretty typical gallery of one of the buildings on the Plaza Grade.

It is a nice city.