Here's me about two weeks ago, looking somber (I was tired), in the garden of Frieda Kahlo's house in Coyoacán in front of the pyramid her on-again, off-again husband Diego Rivera built to place some of his favorite antiquities. Photo by Susana. I'll be reporting on our recent Mexico trip in more detail on my Spanish-language blog, Lecturas y Lectores. Here, I just want to say that we had a wonderfully productive time, thanks mostly to the hospitality and generosity of many Mexicans. We visited many architectural sites that we plan to discuss in our coming book, Architecture and Urbanism in Latin America (W. W. Norton, probably 2007), spent a highly productive couple of days in the Archivo General de la Nación (examining the voluminous files of Carlos Lazo, who oversaw the building of the Ciudad Universitaria and other things in the 1950s), and nearly a week in the XI Seminario de Arquitectura Latinoamericana, which took place this year in the state-operated resort of Oaxtepec, in the hills south of Mexico City.

Travel tip: For a very economical, friendly and centrally-located place to stay, try the Casa de los Amigos, run by English-speaking Quakers, right near the Metro stop "Revolución" and easy walking distance from the Alameda, Palacio de Bellas Artes, etc. They have several simple rooms, some with bath, and -- real luxury -- a single apartment (el departamento) with kitchen, bath and separate sleeping and sitting areas, currently for just 320 pesos a night (less than US$30). Because of the kitchen, we were saving money even though we were paying about 60 pesos more than in our first, kitchenless and bathless, room. The young volunteers running the place are really sweet and thoughtful. Saludos a Sol, Nick, Lis, John, y Reya.


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