Flying in Corsets, Dancing in Bars
Yesterday, visited a place that I had always wanted to visit since I heard about it: Frida Kahlo's Blue House, or Casa Azul. It was a beautiful compound of house and garden. The great paintings were not there, as they were scattered in the world's museums, but the material remnants of one's life were. The wheelchair in front of the easel in the artist's studio. The mirror above the beds in the day and night bedrooms that enabled the artist to paint while lying down in excruciating pain. The artist's ashes in an urn in the shape of toad, to recall Diego's nickname for himself, the toad-frog. The corsets—medical and decorative—that held the broken body straight. The song written by Patti Smith, painted on the garden wall, inspired by Noguchi's gift of a display case of butterflies to Kahlo. Famously, when Kahlo had to remove her gangrenous foot, she said, "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"
After Casa Azul, we walked to the lovely neighborhood of Coyoacán, taking in the busy Mercado de Coyoacán and the street artists in a small square. I regret not buying a small painting there. An ink painting of a man and a woman entwined in sex, the woman sitting in the man's lap, on top of the text of a poem by (?), translucently covered by a yellow wash. From the Centro de Coyoacán, we walked along the beautiful Avenida Francisco Sosa, with its brightly colored residences and art spaces, to the weirdly gridded park, the Viveros de Coyoacán.
In the evening, we had dinner at Alba, a small but very good restaurant that cooked with fresh local ingredients. The Jerusalem avocado soup was especially delicious. Then we hit the gay bars, dancing in a very crowded Cabaretito with a young Mexican whose grandfather was Asian. I was surprised that he was the only person really dancing there; the rest were just moving.