Where Men Become Gods: The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, A Photo Journal (Estado de México, México)

Piramides de Teotihuacán, Teotihuacán Pyramids, Estado de Mexico

Last week we sat down to plan our final week in Mexico City. With the unstable political situation here, we weren’t sure how soon we’d return. So we made a list. All the places we wanted to be sure to visit before we left. Obviously Los Pirámides de Teotihuacán were on the list.

I can’t believe we didn’t visit the pyramids of Teotihuacán sooner, because it was definitely one of my favorites of our whole Mexico City trip. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you DON’T want to miss this.  Continue reading

Aerial Views of Mexico D.F. from Torre Latinoamericana’s Mirador: A Photo Journal (Mexico City, México)

Torre Latinoamericana: Views from the fifth tallest tower in Mexico CitY

As one of the city’s tallest buildings, Torre Latinoamericana is an affordable must-visit if you travel to Mexico City. Though it’s only the fifth tallest building in the city, it’s still quite famous, as it withstood the violent 8.0 earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 without damage. And it WAS the tallest building for almost 30 years (if you count the height of the TV transmitter on top).

Here you’ll find a brief overview plus our favorite photos from our visit to the top — the “Mirador” — of Torre Latinoamericana.  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Almost Famous (Dolcenero Gallery, Mexico City, México)

Dolcenero Gallery: Milky Way photography by Ian Norman, Mexico City, Mexico

I’m a little behind in posting our shots of the week, so this photo is coming at you a month late, but it represents a pretty exciting milestone for Ian as a photographer. It also proves why booking places through Airbnb is so awesome.

So why is this week’s shot of the week a photo of a photo (actually three photos)? Well, we met some seriously cool people in Mexico City last month. One of them, our new friend Rodrigo (whom we met through Airbnb), organized the printing and display of three of Ian’s Milky Way photos in beautiful light boxes — designed and manufactured by Rodrigo himself — in a lovely little gallery called Dolcenero in Mexico City. It’s the first time Ian’s photography has been on public display! This photo is from the opening day of the exhibit.

Note: The post date has been adjusted to appear in chronological order (by the date the photo was taken) on the blog, but I’m actually writing/posting this on May 10, 2015.

This photo was taken on April 12 with my Nexus 5 smart phone. Continue to view full photo and more photos from the exhibit.  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Just As She Left Them (Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Casa Azul, Mexico City, México)

Shot of the Week: Frida Kahlo Paints (Casa Azul, Mexico City, Mexico)

In all of our travels thus far, I’ve yet to encounter a story as inspirational as Frida Kahlo’s. Polio at 6. A horrendous bus vs. streetcar crash that by some miracle didn’t kill her but robbed Frida of her fertility. A brief affair between her husband and her own flesh and blood. To say that Frida Kahlo had a rough life would be an understatement. But she endured it all, channeling her pain into something beautiful: art.

Despite his unfaithfulness, Diego Rivera, Kahlo’s husband and another famous Mexican artist, clearly loved Frida dearly. After she died, he went to work ensuring that her life — her art, her individuality, her pain — would live on. And that’s what we found here at Casa Azul, the house Diego and Kahlo happily shared for years, now a museum open to the public for a nominal fee.

Upstairs in Casa Azul, we found Frida’s workspace, the place where she painted. A sign tells us that her brushes and paints remain just as she left them before she died. What a lovely, yet eerie thought…

This photo was taken with my Sony RX-100 III. (Continue to view full photo.)  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Between the Barrier (Mexico City, México)

Shot of the Week: Between the Barriers (Mexico City, Mexico)

I can’t very well blog about travel to Mexico without documenting one of Mexico’s less sun-shiney characteristics. Political protests and street marches are not an uncommon site in Mexico City these days. In fact, there’s a stream of protesters marching down Reforma outside of the Starbucks I’m sitting in now, preventing cars from passing through. The Mexican citizens aren’t happy with their government — more specifically, their president — and they’re speaking up. Though the protests are common and peaceful lately, they do make us feel a little uneasy, so we do our best to avoid them.

When we first saw the barricades a half block down from our apartment building, it was a Thursday, which seemed to be the choice day for a few weekly marches we’ve seen here. At least twice now we’ve witnessed protesters entering the area by the busload (executive tour buses were literally parked back to back on the block around the Secretaría de Gobernación building). And the Federales (the national police) are here, too. You can see one of their trucks parked on the left side of this week’s photo. There are always quite a few police men and women around (we see more of them than regular citizens on our frequent walk between the apartment and Starbucks), but there are a LOT more on the protest days. Though the Federales did come prepared on the day of a particularly large protest with classic clear plastic shields, we’ve yet to see one in use; they sat idly on the ground by the barrier that day.

The photo here was not taken on a Thursday, but there was still protest activity happening in the area. We’d nearly had to alter our route home as a similar barrier that stretched the full width of the street had been set up one block over (it’s been there the whole time we’ve been in Mexico). A large tented structure was (and still is) set up in the street, and as we passed we could hear slightly muffled mic-amplified voices inside. The doorway for the sidewalk that passed through that barrier was closed, but as we approached the policeman let us through.

This photo was taken on Sunday, March 29th with the Sony a7 II and 35mm f/2.8 lensContinue reading

Los Perros de Xochimilco, The Dogs of Xochimilco: A Photo Journal (Mexico City, México)

The Dogs of Xochimilco, Perros de Xochimilco, along the trajinera canals (Mexico City, Mexico)

Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Mexico is a time to stop working and spend time with family and friends. With a shortage of the former in México, we spent this day (Holy Thursday) with new friends! Seven of us in total hired a trajinera in Xochimilco — a popular activity for locals and visitors alike —  for a fun, relaxing afternoon… Passing the time floating up and down the canals with delicious grilled meat and veggies to eat… a plethora of alcohol to drink… and observing one particular species that kept stealing my attention…  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Encantada por el Mar, Enchanted by the Sea (Acapulco, México)

Shot of the Week: El Encanto del Mar (Acapulco, Mexico)

“Wait, what?… How did you….?” This is the typical response we hear when someone sees these photos.

Last weekend, we were invited to Acapulco by our new Mexican friends Rodrigo and Lu, and we met Mónica (the one pictured here) along the way. The five of us had an eventful weekend, complete with ocean splashing and wedding crashing, and the last sunset of our visit found us along the shore with bellies full of fish (we had a delicious dinner beforehand) and a plan to make some fun levitation portraits.

We raced the setting sun to capture the perfect shot, with no time to pause to review our results. In the end, we had some great shots to choose from. And let me tell you, that’s impressive — it’s damn hard to look relaxed when you’re floating four feet above the ground. This week’s post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of each of us being “enchanted by the sea,” so continue on to view them all!

This photo was taken on Sunday, March 22nd with the Sony a7 II and 35mm f/2.8 lensContinue reading

Shot of the Week: Leer es Entender (Historic District, Mexico City, México)

vintage used bookstore in Mexico City, Mexico

Somewhere in the historic district of Mexico City, tucked away from the busy streets, is the perfect place to lose yourself. This particular store was not unique — there were many others just like it speckled about the street outside — but this was the one we’d chosen to enter.

We planned to spend a few minutes searching for an old comic book, something to aid us in our Spanish language studies. Instead we explored for hours, surrounded by history and the dusty smell of aged literature.  In the end we purchased five books: two meant for children, a tourist guide, a Spanish dictionary, and Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, for a grand total of just 130 pesos (less than 10 bucks US).

The layout of the bookshelves in the back of the store begged me to take a picture. I didn’t have my RX-100 with me, so I pulled out what I did have — my LG Nexus 5 cell phone — and took this shot. I think it captured the feeling of this place perfectly. (Continue to view full photo).  Continue reading