Postcard from Mexico City: A street art sampler

Our headquarters during our stay was in Roma Norte, but we wandered afoot a far piece from there. These snapshots of street art were gathered during those ramblings.

My grandmother, Thelma Virginia Tarrall Williams (1899-1999), did not believe in keeping her hands idle. She lived a long, long time so had plenty of time to crochet. Afghans. Afghans for her children, her grandchildren and even some of her great-grandchildren before retiring her needles. Aside from one that burned in our house in 1975, most of the coverlets probably still exist, cherished as family heirlooms.

Whenever I see a contemporary take on knitting or crocheting, such as the one cloaking the tree trunk above, I think what fun Grana would have had liberating her craft from the confines of domesticity into public spaces. I can almost hear her chuckling with pleasure over transforming a tree for all to see.

The serendipitous pleasure of encountering street art lies in the exuberant freedom of expression of its creators.

Postcard from Budapest, Hungary: Elevated artistry for heating a home

Tile stoves were favored for home heating in Hungary since medieval times, with the radiant heat stored by fired clay capable of keeping things surprisingly toasty.

Aristocrats commissioned fancier tilework than the common folk. Most of the tiles featured here are from the Budapest History Museum, also known as the Castle Museum, and originally were used in the royal palace itself.

The 15th-century stove with jousting knights was reconstructed from surviving pieces. The fish-helmeted knight above appears poised to be speared.

The blue tile stove housed in the Hungarian National Museum dates from the 17th century.

While not as aristocratic as the palace’s tile stoves, we once had a handsome, upright Godin stove we employed to warm up our home in the Monte Vista Historic District years ago. One small load of wood would last all day in the efficient parlor stove. The outer walls grew fiery hot, and we used it on cold days until about 29 years ago when our Niña suddenly darted straight toward it and placed both hands flat against it.

After the return from the emergency room, the Godin was retired from service.

As eagerly anticipated as the Academy Awards. Not.

Thanks so much, John Branch, http://comicskingdom.com/john-branch

Okay, the biannual roundup of what posts you read most during the past year is not exciting, but it always interests me.

As usual, he Alamo floats up near the top. While lots of you read my “Dear Mayor” post, it seemed to have little impact at City Hall despite its direct delivery to the inboxes of the 11. I actually was writing about the Alamo some yesterday, slipping Alamo politics into the historic fiction manuscript on which I am focusing. The passionate stands and debates about the Alamo and its plaza a century ago differ little from those of today.

You hold the King William neighborhood and Brackenridge Park dear as well. And am hoping some of our recent travels help serve as inspiration or guides for yours.

The numbers in parentheses represent the rankings from six months ago:

  1. Dear Mayor and City Council: Please don’t surrender Alamo Plaza, 2017
  2. The Madarasz Murder Mystery: Might Helen Haunt Brackenridge Park?, 2012 (2)
  3. What’s up top counts, 2017
  4. Brackenridge Park: ‘Is it still a postcard place?,’ 2017
  5. Postcards from San Antonio a Century Ago, 2016 (3)
  6. Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Wishing these dining spots were not 600 miles away, 2016 (12)
  7. How would you feel about the Alamo with a crewcut?, 2011 (6)
  8. Thanks to the Mister on his day for persistence in obtaining my Mother’s Day present, 2017
  9. Introducing Otto Koehler through a Prohibition politics caper of yesteryear, 2016 (11)
  10. Postcard from Bologna, Italy: Volunteering to eat at E’Cucina Leopardi everyday, 2016
  11. Please put this song on Tony’s pony and make it ride away, 2010 (4)
  12. Postcard from Campeche, Mexico: Sittin’ on Campeche Bay, 2017

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