Thursday, October 19, 2017

Venturing Out

Today was the first full day of this trip to Mexico City.  As usual, the first day consisted of running errands, such as going to the bank and to the supermarket.  Here in the immediate neighborhood, everything appears normal, and you would never know that one month ago today the city suffered a devastating earthquake.  According to the owner of the apartment, this area is built on bedrock and is rarely effected by seismic events. 

However, I had another errand that took me a bit farther afield.  I had to go to a city office to pay the water bill.  It is a pleasant walk of about fifteen minutes that takes me across Insurgentes Avenue into the neighborhood of Colonia del Valle.  I was only a few blocks away from my apartment when I began to see signs the earthquake... no collapsed buildings, but definite damage.

This building was cordoned off and had some serious cracks.

This upscale apartment building has lost some of the stone facing of its façade.

This apartment lost even more of its facing, and a pile of rubble sits at the corner.

I have no idea how serious the damage to these buildings is, whether or not they can be repaired or if they are now structurally unsound.  There are many buildings in the city which are still standing, but which will have to be demolished.

I arrived at the office where I was going to pay the water bill.  I found that it was empty and closed.  A sign on the window said that due to the events of last September 19th, this office will remain closed until further notice.

The sign also listed three other offices where the utility bills may be paid.  However none of them are within walking distance.  I am going to have to ask Alejandro if any of the locations are easily accessible by public transportation.  Or perhaps one of them is close to his office, and he can pay the bill for me.

On a more cheerful note, on my walk back to the apartment I explored a neighborhood market building.  Mexican markets are always interesting and colorful.

There were a variety of pumpkins for sale.  Halloween customs from the U.S. are merging with the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead (November 2nd), and jack o' lanterns have become more common.

This stall had a wide selection of the comical skeleton figures known as "catrinas" and "catrines" which are a big part of the Day of the Dead celebration.

These sugar skulls which are given to children are another traditional part of the Day of the Dead.

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