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David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2019/12 Moments December 2019

First half of December in finishing up course assignments and preparing for exams; second half on 11-day family vacation in Mexico City.
Toronto, Ontario; Mexico City, Mexico

Delicious Paradise Kitchen
Delicious Paradise Kitchen: Schedule for family lunch at congee-noodle restaurant diverted, as grandfather decides his driving on the day of the first major snowfall is imprudent. Alternative plan to pick up takeout food from the local stall, and bring it to his apartment. Six dishes made-to-order with rice, complemented by barbeque duck and rice noodles ordered at the adjacent shops. (Delicious Paradise Kitchen, Silver Star Boulevard, Scarborough, Ontario) 20191201
Lambert Lounge:
Lambert Lounge: Book launch #SystemsThinking Ontario @allennaleonard coauthor #VanillaBeer on #StaffordBeer: The Father of Management #Cybernetics. Illustrated life history by artist daughter, glossary by his life partner. Causal question-and-answer session on research contemporaries, development of ideas and world travels. (Systems Thinking Ontario, Lambert Lounge, OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20191209
Design with Dialogue + Systems Thinking Ontario retreat:
Design with Dialogue + Systems Thinking Ontario retreat: End of year annual reflection and planning host by @redesign for #DwDTO Design with Dialogue and #st-on #SystemsThinking Ontario. Surfaced some interests and opportunities across overlapping social communities in the city. DwD is the grandfather with spin-offs, now in at least its turn as members learn together. (Design with Dialogue and Systems Thinking Ontario, Playter Estates, Toronto, Ontario) 20191215
Microsoft Reactor Toronto:
Microsoft Reactor Toronto: Following notesbooks at Python for Data Science course @MSFTReactor @MaRSDD led by #DavidJeppesen @ProwessConsult. Python indexes strings starting from 0, but then the last character is indexed as -1. Full room said to be larger than last session. Many university students attending, learners don’t rest during school term breaks. (Microsoft Reactor Toronto, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20191216
Maple Leaf Lounge, Pearson T1:
Maple Leaf Lounge, Pearson T1: Still enjoying benefits as a Million Mile @aircanada flyer. Family beginning first true non-conference vacation since our sons were children. Escaping winter by flying south for 11 days. (Maple Leaf Lounge, Pearson Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20191217
Calle Rio Lerma:
Calle Rio Lerma: Apprehension of accessing keysafe at the AirBnB at 1 a.m., having been dropped off by an Uber from Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez. Wide door is beside two interior parking spaces, security key allows access to 5th floor apartment and 6th floor bedrooms. First time in Mexico City, neighbourhood appears to have life, even after dark. (Calle Rio Lerma, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City) 20191218
Zocalo:
Zocalo: Higher vantage point of skating rink on Plaza de la Constitucion, from @Turibuscdmx upper deck. Federal District building decked out for Christmas one week away. We started Circuito Centro Historico from Reforma 222 to Auditorio, and then changed to the Circuito Chapultepec Polanco. Sitting upstairs with temperature dropped after sunset, city traffic at a crawl, we abandoned the loop at the Museo Del Nino, and hoped an Uber ride would be more direct. (Zocalo, Plaza de la Constitucion, Mexico City) 20191218
Cochina Licha:
Cochina Licha: Noticed Mercado Medillin lit up en route to vegan tacos, so we circled back for additional courses as samples. Selected a busy curbside kitchen, friendly waiter pulled two tables in the back together, and gave us menu. Enjoyed tacos carnitas, tamale mole, tostada bacalao. Followed by dessert at Neveria Paleteria with mango and coconut popsicles. Some stomaches with regrets a little later, could be altitude, jet lag, or too much variety in foods. (Cochia Licha, Mercado Medillin, Roma Sur, Mexico City) 20191218
Tortilleria Cuauhtemoc:
Tortilleria Cuauhtemoc: Masa dough feeding into a press at small stall of #TortilleriaCuauhtemoc in back of our local #MercadoCuauhtemoc for fresh flatbread packaged to go, with salsas and guacamole on the side. From our apartment, we walk a few blocks for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as sampling the centre aisle of open kitchens. The neighbourhood otherwise has convenience stores, but we haven’t encountered any major chains, since we arrived. (Tortilleria Cuauhtemoc, Mercado Cuauhtemoc, Calle Rio Lerma, Mexico City) 20191219
Museo Nacional de Antropología:
Museo Nacional de Antropología: Stone of the Sun (Piedra del Sol) from Aztec early 1500s, buried mid-1500s under the direction of the Archbishop of Mexico to forget ancient sacrifices. Uncovered in 1790, transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral, then in 1851 to the Archeological Museum. Monolith has face emerging from earth hole, surrounded by four sons, with serpent on the outside edge. (Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City) 20191219
Mercado Roma:
Mercado Roma: Enjoyed bonus of live musicians at food hall first opened in 2014. Variety of food sampled included ceviche, beef with nopale, vegan tacos, paella and churros. Dining quality is considerably higher than street food we’ve had over the past 36 hours. Venue seems popular with tourists and local residents alike. (Mercado Roma, Calle Querétaro, Roma Norte, Mexico City) 20191219
Museo Soumaya:
Museo Soumaya: Rodin bronze (1886) The Three Shades (Les Trois Ombres) centered under skylight on the 6th level, is unusual because such (i) heavy castings are usually on a lower floor, and (ii) The Gates of Hell (La Porte de l’Enfer) (1885) is at the ground level. Our family recognized the pieces, as they’re on the campus of Stanford University (placed in much closer proximity). This privately-owned museum has a strong European permanent collection, we saw them in between temporary exhibits at the Museo Jumex next door. (Museo Soumaya, Polanco, Mexico City) 20191220
Arena Mexico:
Arena Mexico: Lucha libre tag team wrestling with aerial acrobatic moves thrilling the audience. We arrived after the show had started, and were pursued by scalpers up to the ticket window. Not the usual style of family excursion for us, we noticed other parents with young children donning the máscaras (masks) of their heroes. (Arena Mexico, Colonia Doctores, Mexico City) 20191220
Callejon de Mesones:
Callejon de Mesones: Mural by #SebastianBastardo @540c487671dd40c in Centro Historico rejuvenated in recent years. Five-hour walking guided walking tour starting from Templo Mayor, to National Palace, San Juan Market and Pulquería Las Duelistas. Did our best to avoid big Saturday crowds, but wall-to-wall shoppers coming up to Christmas. (Callejon de Mesones, CentroHistorico, Mexico City) 20191221
Pulqueria Las Dualista:
Pulqueria Las Dualista: Saw agave succulents earlier in National Palace, so finished the guided tour with a taste of the beverage. Venue was packed, we eventually got a ledge with pulque in natural flavour, then with passionfruit and with guava. Sons declared it as Mexican kombucha, but not worth finishing. We were advised that natural tastes best within a day of harvesting from the source, thereafter the low-alcohol drink is better with a sweetener. (Pulquería Las Duelistas, Colonia Centro, Mexico City) 20191221
Foro Del Tejedor:
Foro Del Tejedor: Our plans were not for a concert bellydancing with @sonorabalkanera, we had right venue but tickets for the wrong night. Usher was gracious to seat us in the balcony for this show. Voiceover that Bridging Mexico to Yugoslavia is Difficult reflected some of genre with modern instruments. Small theatre was intimate, couple on the ground floor energetically dancing. (Foro Del Tejedor, Roma Norte, Mexico City) 20191221
Palace of the Jaguars, Teotihuacan:
Palace of the Jaguars, Teotihuacan: Family tour with a native Teotihuacan guide, starting with the living areas for the priests. Learned that the Teotihuacan constructed the site 200-900AD, at which point the city collapse due to bad harvest and disease, survivors moving on to more fertile lands such as Yucatan. The Aztecs arrived after 1300AD, and didn’t add much to the pre-existing structures. Impressed by the engineering on square columns, stucco painted with natural pigments, and aqueducts for fresh water and sewage. (Palace of the Jaguars, Teotihuacan, Mexico) 20191223

Descending Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Moon: Pyramid dating back to 200AD, the older of the two at the Teotihuacan heritage site.  All of us were able to climb this shorter structure despite narrower stair steps walking sideways.  On the subsequent ascent up the Pyramid of the Sun, DY got more than halfway up, before dizziness and nausea set in.  (Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Moon, Mexico) 20191223

La Gruta:
La Gruta: Family lunch in a cavern formed by volcanic activity, near the pyramids at Teotihuacan. Sampled pre-Hispanic cuisine, including caterpillars from agave plants, turkey and rabbit. Popular venue with many families on Sunday afternoon, shade welcomed after a sunny day up and down the nearby climbs. (La Gruta, Teotihuacan, Mexico) 20191223
Jing Teng:
Jing Teng: Village-style Chinese cuisine in the Viaducto district, far south and east of the typical tourist venues in Mexico City. Waitress spoke Toisan dialect of my family, sons did the order in Mandarin. Third world service, with teacups coming to table in a bowl of boiling water. First cooked green vegetables after a week south of the border, comfort food settles the stomach. Walked around a few blocks, but find didn’t strong evidence of Chinatown vitality. (Jing Teng, Viaducto Piedad, Mexico City) 20191224
Parque Mexico:
Parque Mexico: Slow stroll on Christmas Day at 21°C through Roma Norte, unseasonably cold streak over past week broken. Park established in 1920s in a modern style, with organically winding paths. Teatro al Aire Libre Lindbergh in disrepair was budgeted for repair in 2013, now seems popular with the roller skaters. (Parque Mexico, Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City) 20191225
Museo Dolores Olmedo:
Museo Dolores Olmedo: Peacocks spreading their plumage, turning front and back, in the orange garden of the 16th century hacienda. Came to see the largest collection of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings in Mexico, recognized many shown in the 2002 biopic. Dolores Olmedo, a businesswoman patron to Rivera and Kahlo, donated her home and funds for continuing upkeep of a museum featuring the works of her friends. (Museo Dolores Olmedo, Xochimilco, Mexico City) 20191226

Trajineras Xochimilco Mágico: Arrived at boat docks around 5pm, asking if an English-speaking pilot was available. Jonathan was just about to go off-shift, and agreed to take us out for an hour tour. We climbed over a series of docked watercraft to arrive at one of the two named Linda. Jonathan barge-polled the flat-bottom boat out of the parking area, and then turned to port. He said he is a 16-year old, on vacation from school in San Diego, and his parents have a house nearby on the canal. He recommended a specific mariachi band, that came on board for one song. (Trajineras Xochimilco Mágico, Mexico City) 20191226

Museo del Chocolate:
Museo del Chocolate: Raking patterns in the cocoa garden box, frequently levelled by a watchful staff. Museum tracing indigenous use of chocolate both as food and in ceremonials, through the popularization in Europe by the Industrial Revolution and into the 20th century. Guided tours in Spanish only, we were satisfied reading signs in English. Street outside filled with squatters, mansions were damaged in the 1985 earthquake and abandoned. (Museo del Chocolate, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City) 20191227
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo:
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo: The Labyrinth for Birds @muac_unam, @edgar_calel (1986) El laberinto de pajaros, an installation of 18 painted cardboard boxes. As a fan of contemporary art, enjoyed the multiple exhibitions and galleries of this museum more than historic art collections in the city. University campus was closed for holidays, our taxi driver circled around to 3 gates, and then found the destination of the Outdoor Sculpture Space with a lock on the gate. (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, UNAM, Coyoacán, Mexico City) 20191227
Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México:
Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México: Variation on Home Alone 2, Lost in Mexico City, as RDI extends his stay for three days, while the family boards a plane to Toronto. A Nexus card isn’t enough to board an international flight, and his passport was misplaced on a Saturday. Presuming a consultate visit on Monday, rebooked flight home for Tuesday, and reserved an AirBnB. It turns out that the passport was in the bag of AHI, who was on a flight to San Francisco 7 hours earlier. Documents on the way via courier. (Terminal 1, Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México) 20191228

Riverside neighbourhood:
Riverside neighbourhood: Back home in Toronto, DY down with delayed Montezuma’s revenge. Three of four sons also had symptoms around days 9 and 10 of our 11-day vacation. Pity for RDI recovering in Mexico City, flying back overnight. Minor jet lag for me, biked to Chinatown to stock up on groceries, temperature drop tomorrow with possible snow. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20191230
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