Today was a jampacked day. We started early with breakfast at Cafe de Raiz. Rachael ordered her daily serving of chilaquiles and I ordered huevos huastecos. They were good, but Lalo on our second day was still better.
Frida Kahlo’s House
After breakfast, Rachael and I went to Frida Kahlo’s house. Frida Kahlo’s house is a big attraction in Mexico City and people frequently need to buy tickets for later in the day or even days later. Rachael and I arrived expecting to buy tickets for later in the day and come back. However, we lucked out and were able to get tickets immediately. So far, we’ve been quite lucky with crowds and nothing has been too busy so far.
The house is a small complex of a few different buildings in a brilliant blue color. Frida was a Mexican artist known for her painting. She was married to Diego Rivera, another Mexican painter/muralist. I also learned she was in a bus crash, had one leg shorter than the other, had polio, and was a communist. I managed to get a few pictures from outside. However, pictures inside were not allowed unless you had a permit.
Conchas, how they were meant to be
Our next stop was at Coyoacán market nearby. We got another concha, and I must say, this was much better than the last one we had. In fact, the more I think about the last concha experience I had, the more disillusioned I became. It was far away, and I question its freshness. But I digress, this concha was fantastico (pictured below). It was lighter, more flavorful, and the cream was even creamier and sweeter.
Trot Trot to Trotsky’s house
While waiting in line for tickets at Frida Kahlo’s house, I stumbled across a fun fact. Leon Trotsky lived in Mexico city. I had no idea. He’d even lived with Frida and her husband in their home for a short while before moving up the road. I decided we had to go. So after our concha snack at Coyoacán market, Rachael and I walked the few blocks over to his house, and surprise. It’s red.
The ticket was only a few dollars, how Trotsky of him. The first gallery was all in Spanish, so we weren’t off to a great start comprehension-wise. I imagine there was some important Trotsky information that we missed out on. After walking through the short gallery, which included a timeline of his life, we were led out into a courtyard with Trotsky’s house and garden. The garden had a few bunnies in cages and a small memorial to him marked with a hammer and sickle.
The placards inside of Trotsky’s house had descriptions in both English and Spanish, and I learned that Trotsky enjoyed collecting cactuses in and around Mexico City (there were several paragraphs devoted to how good he was at collecting cactuses). I also learned he had two assassination attempts on his life. The first was by a muralist and there were still bullet holes in the walls following that attempt. The second assassination attempt he did not survive. He was ultimately killed by Ramón Mercader with an ice ax. His assassin was a Spanish born Soviet agent who was nearly beaten to death by Trotsky’s guards after he injured Trotsky. Trotsky died days later in a hospital. Mercader ended up in a Mexican prison for 20 years for his crime.
My friend Avi, from the Flatiron School, recommended Rachael and I see a luchador wrestling match. We took him up on his suggestion and bought tickets for a match at 7:30 that night. We arrived 30 minutes early and bought tickets in the 7th row, not so close that we would have luchadors landing on us, and not so far away that we wouldn’t be able to see.
I’d read online that the crowd was half the entertainment, and I was not disappointed. There was lots of yelling and hand gestures and I learned lots of new words in Spanish.