The Dance Halls of Mexico City Show Off a Different Side of the City

 

man and woman dancing in prom apparel near man singing
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10/14/19 – Conde Nast Traveler

By Megan Spurrell

From the moment I stepped into Salon Los Angeles, a cavernous pink auditorium decked out in shimmering streamers and neon Art Deco signage, thrumming with a crowd that could really move, I knew I had come to the right place. The energy filled the out-of-the-way Guerrero dance hall like helium in a balloon, expanding with the buena onda of people spinning and smiling. I watched a middle-aged man in a bright red zoot suit step onto the floor, a long peasant feather stuck into his hat, wingtip shoes shuffling to the beat, and I knew this was more than a place to dance—this was a scene.

Salon Los Angeles opened its doors in 1937, and it’s been a mainstay dance hall for a tight-knit community since. In fact, it’s the oldest dance hall in all of Mexico City, and through the ebbs and flows of musical trends, it has remained a place to tap your hand-stitched oxford shoes to the clap of claves, catch world-famous bands, and mingle with others who love to dance. While the club has long catered to a steady set of regulars and serious dancers, a new wave of younger Mexicans—and travelers with an ear to the ground—are stepping onto the dance floor.

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Mexico City’s secret underground world

10/14/19 – BBC Travel

By Susannah Rigg

As we descended 7m below Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral, I could feel my heart race. I had heard whisperings about the temples buried under this iconic cathedral – one of the largest and oldest in Latin America ­– but since their discovery in the 1970s, it had not been possible to see them. Now, I was part of a public tour that lets visitors explore the ancient secrets that lie just below this church’s depths.

Nearly 500 years after Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés toppled the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, the remains of the ancient metropolis continue to lay hidden mere metres under modern-day Mexico City. The Spanish started building the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1573 above the sacred Aztec (or as they called themselves, “Mexica”) temples as a symbol of their conquest.

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Saving Mexico’s Native Corn With Sustainable Furniture

red and black corn
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

10/08/19 – Clean Technica

By Anne-Sophie Garrigou

As creators of desire, we are in a privileged position to change what people want and what they ask from the market.” — Fernando Laposse

Fernando Laposse is a Mexican designer who is drawing most of his inspiration from Mexico, its people, its craft, and their relationship to the natural world. Fernando strives to transform cheap and often waste materials to create gorgeous furniture. His projects aim to raise questions regarding whole system thinking, ephemerality, patterns of consumption and the politics of food production. We talked with Fernando about the role of design in raising awareness towards sustainable issues and he introduced us to one of its latest project: Totomoxtle, which showcases the range of species of native corn that exist in Mexico.

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An indigenous community in Mexico finds its voice — and strength — in wild mushrooms

 

small hut in a lush mountain clearing with fallen trees and lush vegetation
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10/07/19 – LA Times

By Michael Snyder

Every morning from June through October, Héctor Campanur Sánchez leaves his home in Cherán, in the central Mexican state of Michoacán, to hunt for wild mushrooms on the steep slope of an extinct volcano.

For the duration of the rainy season, those mushrooms dominate the indigenous Purhépecha town’s Saturday and Tuesday markets, laid out in geometric piles among fistfuls of wild greens and opaline stalks of blue and pink corn.

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Airbnb Rentals Are Displacing Mexico City Residents as Rents Surge

 

people near indian flag
Photo by Ricky Esquivel on Pexels.com

October 2, 2019 – Truthout

By Tamara Pearson

In the neighborhood of Juárez, a vibrant artistic and historic area of Mexico City with LGBTQ bars and restaurants and a large Korean population, long-term renters are losing their homes as apartments are being converted into more profitable day-rate Airbnb rentals.

No studies have been conducted, but former residents say rental prices have more than doubled to prohibitive levels of 20,000 to 30,000 pesos per month. Before, 10,000 pesos (U.S. $520) was the norm, Dario Martínez told El Big Data after he had to leave his place in Juárez.

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Mexico asks French auctioneers to halt sale of artifacts

Teotihuacan by Flikr user Laura Rush09/17/19 – AP News

The Mexican government is asking a French auction house to halt the planned sale of a collection of about 120 pre-Hispanic artifacts, saying some are fakes and others should be returned to Mexico.

The relics are being offered by the French auction house Millon at a sale scheduled for Wednesday in Paris. The auction house did not respond to a request for comment.

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Singer Belinda Hit for Involvement in Mexican Politics

09/20/2018 – The New York Times

dt.common.streams.StreamServerPop singer Belinda may have illegally interfered in Mexico’s politics because she’s a Spanish citizen and campaigned for President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, authorities said Wednesday.

A rival party filed a complaint because the singer gave out articles with Lopez Obrador campaign emblems.

The singer, whose real name is Belinda Peregrin Schull, also appeared in his campaign.

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Mexico Celebrates 208th Birthday

09/17/2018 – Bloomberg 

flag StarrGazrWATCH: Mexico celebrated it’s 208th Independence Day with a parade, fireworks, and President Enrique Peña Nieto ringing a bell on the balcony of the National Palace, in a traditional that began in 1810 #VivaMexico

 

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Turning waste into bioplastics, Mexico strikes green gold

09/12/2018 – Reuters 

photo-1529972984645-5e5fec186e90Tequila, avocado and corn are proving their worth beyond Mexican fiesta staples as key components for a fast-growing bioplastics market, with companies transforming waste from processing food crops into products such as bags, plates and even car parts.

Bioplastics make up less than 5 percent of the millions of tonnes of plastic produced each year around the world.

But as governments and consumers fret about the damage plastic is doing to the world’s oceans, scientists are experimenting by converting materials from cactus to shrimp shells and human waste into alternative greener plastics

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Experts restore what might be oldest house in Mexico

09/12/2018 – The Washington Post

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(Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press)

The plain, one-story stone-linteled structure sat hidden in plain sight for hundreds of years behind generations of street vendors hawking goods from stands outside its thick old walls. But experts have now concluded the building at 25 Manzanares Street is the oldest house in Mexico City, and one of the oldest in all of North America.

Its survival is a testament to the largely poor residents who inhabited it for centuries and to the builders who used a savvy mix of pre-Hispanic and Spanish construction techniques when they constructed it sometime between 1570 and 1600.

There are a few churches in southern Mexico and a few palaces — like the House of the Montejo in Merida, Yucatan — that may be a few decades older. But churches say little about how people lived, and the Montejo house is largely a facade whose interior has been re-done over the centuries by wealthy families.

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