April 30, 2007 Off

Mexico City: San Angel + Coyoacan

By in Travel

DSCN0057South of the center of Mexico City are San Angel and Coyoacan, two cozy picturesque towns that still presevered their colonial-era charm with tree-lined cobblestone street, plazas, old churches and Spanish mansions. Many parts would definitely make you feel like you’ve time traveled to the past. I absolutely love these two areas. If there’s a chance I ever get to stay at Mexico City they would be on top of my list to live in.

DSCN0047San Angel and Coyoacan are also known for their weekend craft markets. The Plaza San Jacinto at San Angel offers the usual Mexican folk crafts (quality varies, some crappy some pretty good) as well as painters and sculptors displaying their works. I end up buying two little cute storybook-like paintings from a painter. There are several handicraft markets at Coyoacan as well, I got some pretty nice lacquered gourd boxes for a good price.

Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo’s artist studio at San Angel. The red/white one is Diego’s and the blue one is Frida’s. For some reason Frida’s weren’t open. They’re designed by Juan O’Gorman (who’s also known for the amazing UNAM Library building) around 1931, the buildings are very modern “artist loft,” a must check for modern architecture fan. Inside you can see the artist’s personal belongings (love the giant paper mache!)

DSCN9997I just love walking around Coyoacan. It’s filled with little charming cafes, restaurants, cantinas, boutiques and interesting people (i.e. artists, musician, hippies, hipsters, bohemians…etc). A perfect neighbourhood to hang out. I didn’t make it but a local from the Mexican production company strongly recommended us El Jarocho, an old time family owned coffee shop that’s famous for amazing good and cheap coffee. It’s so popular that people line up in long queue on the street. Coyoacan also known for many good ice-cream shops.

DSCN9836This charming bright blue house at Coyoacan is where Frida Kahlo was born and then shared with her husband Diego Rivera till she died. Now it’s turned into a museum that house some of her works and they kept the interior decor as they were. Unfortunately I did not have time to go inside to check it out 🙁 It’s also interesting that Leon Trotsky lived in Coyoacan as well (just couple blocks from Frida’s), after being expelled from the Soviet Union till his assassination in 1940. You can still see many bullet holes on the outer walls (didn’t get to take pix since I was in a Taxi cab).

More pictures on San Angel and Coyoacan on my flickr.

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