Ancient Artifacts, Temple Ruins and 248 Stairs: Mexico City Residency, Part 2

By Garrett Cook (MFA 2014)

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since my last update. Two weeks ago I misstepped and sprained my foot, rendering me unable to walk for a couple days. It’s certainly a little frightening suddenly finding yourself immobile in a foreign country where you barely speak the language! Thanks to Motrin, bandage wraps and ice, I was up walking again in a few short days. Plus, the down time afforded me some extra time to work on my paintings.

A quick bike ride down to Chapultepec Park last week revealed a vast cornucopia of museums and sites, most notably the world famous Anthropology Museum. I can honestly say this is one of the most impressive museums I’ve visited. Focusing primarily on Mesoamerican history, the museum's sheer size and number of artifacts is awe-inspiring. The layout is extremely well thought out, with exhibition halls dedicated to each major tribe and geographic area. The museum has everything from small trinkets to temple ruins--truly extraordinary.

The expansive courtyard of the museum

Across the main road that runs through the park is the Museum of Modern Art. It is a small museum, but the collection is formidable, and it is curated flawlessly.

work by Martha Pacheco

Seeing this work in person was a real treat.
Outside is a wonderful sculpture garden.

Inspired by my experience at the Anthropology Museum, I took the hour-long bus trip north of the city to Teotihuacan to visit the ancient city and temples. 

The Temple of the Sun
Treacherous steps
I was immediately blown away by the sheer size of the site. Constructed 2,400 years ago, the site was home to over 125,000! I know that there has been construction over the years to keep the site open for visitors, but it seems to have been preserved marvelously all this time. The main attractions here are the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. The 248 steps to the top of the Temple of the Sun were treacherous at best, but the end result was totally worth it. Here I am at the top:

My diet has remained a steady rotation of tacos and tortas. While I will say I’m looking forward to a slice of New York City pizza in a couple of days, I’m going to miss the amazing street food here. It’s the best combination of delicious and cheap.   

This has truly been an incredible trip. Traveling alone is such a unique experience, and I’m grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to do so for an entire month. I truly hope I will be able to return to Mexico City in due time, as it is an incredibly stimulating city.

On May 31, Garrett Cook (MFA 2014) arrived in Mexico City for a one month residency made possible by Stephen Henderson and James LaForce. This is one of two posts written by Garrett about his experiences there.

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