Today began with at 9:00 p.m., with us meeting Manuel and Sol at El Rosario.  This station borders a pedestrian community, a one of a kind project constructed during the 1970s.  The small houses with doors and fences face an interior pedestrian walk, their multi-colored hues creating a Mexican rainbow that stretches into the perspective distance.  Their cars remain outside the block, allowing for the pedestrian community to function as it is.  The new project aims to connect the two neighborhoods.  A half finished concrete, three story structure will be renovated to make room for an anchor to the station, comprised of a hospital, university, and other social programs.  A raised floor level will contain retail above the existing bus stations.  The riders, however, will not be led through a retail space as they are in Ciudad Azteca.  There are a number of challenges completing such a project entails.  First, a temporary bus transit area is created so that the current space can be renovated.  It is important that investments in even temporary infrastructure be re-used to be of most value to the client.  When asked about the most important improvements to be made to the subway station, accessibility is a prime concern, promoting access by people both able and disabled.  Furthermore, Manuel mentioned the guidelines for the station, and also the opportunity to create a station with character.  We discussed at length the graphic design of the stations, and the hype created by the high caliber of the design for the 1968 Olympics.  There are a number of groups that must be dealt with for the project to continue forward.  The authorities are the entity slowing progress down the most.  The vendors have their own leader who the cetram station team must deal with. Meanwhile, each of the communities require certain concessions for the project to go forward, whether this be office space, recreation areas, or other amenities.

After our visit to El Rosario, we head to Bellas Artes for wonderful lunch of seafood Spanish dishes, as a good favor to Maria Arquero.  We had wonderful paella, the shrimp, rice, and clams making for marine tasting dish.  We had spicy pork of a reddish orange sauce, breaded fish with a yellowish mayonnaise sauce, fish with vegetables, desserts of rice pudding, an egg dish, chocolate pudding. I had white asparagus, with tomatoe, and a mix of crab, fish, and onions put on crackers.  We even had steak, with sangria to drink.  I feel very grateful, but as a group, we are not communicating this well.  After this great experience, we walk down Madero street, the new pedestrian street leading to Zocolo, the most important plaza of Mexico, bordered by the church, the city government, and the national government, a symbolic unification of these three, as Sol mentions.  It some ways it is similar to Beijing’s Tianemen Square, as there is traffic that flows around the perimeter.  But it is at a more intimate scale.  Maya, Sol’s sister, leads us through one of the palaces, showing us the mural’s by Diego Rivera of the history of Mexico.  The narrative wraps the walls, its bright colors flowing up all of ones views, only stopping as the wall springs into groin vaults, capturing the space of the stairs.  And like any great building, it tells a story, a narrative about people: the Parthenon, Ankgor Wat, among others, all tell a story about the people, because the people are the country.  The bright red of the walls shows through the collonades of the palace.  We emerge into the street, while the Mexican sunset shines into the plaza, flowing into the most vibrant orange colors chosen by Diego Rivera.  All around us swirls a crowd of people, selling all kinds of food, clothes, and wares.  We look by the church, seeing the Mayan temples sinking into the soft Mexican soil.  We continue down Madero street, the newest pedestrian street created by the Espacio Publico.  Finally reaching the Palace of the Belles Artes, a theater  for performances.   Embedded lights in the columns, stretch up to the ceiling while flowering lights frame the theater entrance.  Sheets of glass suspend from the ceiling, and I am brought back to Vienna, to Otto Wagoner’s Post Office Savings Bank, where technology and the industrial progress become a celebratory aesthetic; the Palace of the Belles Artes shares similar aesthetic principles.  Sol and Maria leave for lunch with Sol’s parents and we head back to the hotel via the metro.

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