architecture

CDMX: Chapultepec and Paseo de la Reforma

If Chapultepec is the lungs of Mexico City then Paseo de la Reforma must be its pulmonary artery.

The Bosque de Chapultepec is a very large park. One of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. Much larger than New York’s Central Park. Big. And very busy with 15 million visitors each year, 250,000 each day. Yet, as soon as we pass through the gates of Section 1, the oldest part of the park, we are engulfed in a deep forest that transports us far away from the congested, noisy streets of Mexico City. In here, the visiting hoards quickly dissipate down networks of paved paths, finding quiet corners, a park bench to rest awhile and take in the songs of 20 to 60 species of birds that also call Chapultepec home. Chapultepec is not just a park but an ecological preserve with forests playing a vital role in returning oxygen to the city’s strained atmosphere.  (more…)

CDMX: Coyoacán Walks

Place of coyotes. That’s the likely translation of Coyoacán, an apt image for a colonial era village that began life as a distinct and remote village not yet subsumed into the megalopolis of Mexico City. Cortés lived here from 1521 to 1522, waiting for the demolished Aztec city of Tenochtitlan to be rebuilt as colonial Mexico City. While here, the parish church of San Juan Bautista was built and, adjacent to the church, Plaza Hidalgo. This is the historic centre, Villa Coyoacán.  (more…)

Little White Walks: An In-Spired Walk

The seventh of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a walk to the top of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. 

This post is dedicated to Gail, my partner for life. Together, may we continue to climb towers of hope for years to come.

 

From high above, Gail and I can see the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers on the horizon. We can trace the River Trail’s course as it winds along the surface of those frozen waterways. Below us, a blanket of snow stretches across the broad plain of a territory known, these last few decades, as The Forks but, for centuries before that, as the home of First Nations people. All around us lies Winnipeg with its high-rises and bridges and train tracks, a belt of development tightening its buckle around the city’s earliest settlement.

This is our view on this wintery afternoon. We are about 100 metres above the rivers, perched atop the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHC) on a slender circular platform surrounded by a delicate mesh of steel and glass.  (more…)