Culture

You Can Visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Right Now With This Incredible 360º Tour

Thanks to Coronavirus, you’re likely not hopping on a plane any time soon to go and visit one of the world’s top destinations – Mexico City. Most of us are still following stay-at-home orders and the rest of the world is pretty much off limits to us all right now. But thankfully, we do have access to the World Wide Web, right?

Sure, we could pass the time binge watching our favorite TV shows, but why not take a little time to go on a little museum tour of one of the most famous Mexicans of all time?

Thanks to some super cool tech – and the magic of Google – Frida Kahlo’s famed Casa Azul Museum is at your finger tips. You can pay a visit from your living room, bedroom, patio – where ever you wanna be.

Frida’s Casa Azul is one of the most popular attractions in Mexico.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Before the pandemic, la Ciudad de México had become one of the world’s top destinations. With it’s rich mix of foods and cultures and tons of attractions and museums (the city reportedly has the highest count of museums in the world!), it was at the top of tourist’s lists.

And at the top of the recommended sights to take in – the famous Casa Azul. Located a bit south of the central city in the beautiful colonia of Coyoacán, is the house where Frida Kahlo was born and spent much of her life.

People would often wait in line for several hours to pay a visit to this venerated museum and garden complex. In fact, it was rated by Salma Hayek as one of her favorite things to do in the city, in an interview with Vanity Fair. But now, Google is bringing the museum to you and it’s incredible. You can follow along with the following tour using this link.

With this virtual tour, you get the chance to pop into the artist’s famed studio.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Inside Frida’s studio, you can truly visualize her experience as an artist. The space is filled with giant windows letting in all sorts of natural light. There’s also a large collection of books and prints that likely provided her with inspiration for her pieces.

Visitors also get a glimpse of her workstation, filled with paints, brushes, canvases and other supplies.

You can visit her kitchen…

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Easily one of my favorite parts of the house, is the cocina – which is beautifully decorated in traditional Mexican style. It’s home to a large collection of pottery and woodworking which lends it a very cozy feeling.

Take a look at the thousands of art pieces that are located inside the museum.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Several rooms of the house and its hallways, are now dedicated to displaying thousands of Frida Kahlo’s works. In fact, Casa Azul is home to the largest collection of Kahlo pieces in the world – which makes sense since this was her actual home.

From photographs and writings, to famed paintings and sketches, a Frida Kahlo fan could easily spend hours walking through these galleries.

Along with many of her iconic fashion looks.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Perhaps one of the most popular exhibits at the museum, is the dress vault. This gallery is home to some of the artist’s most famous looks. And let’s face it: Frida Kahlo is a fashion icon in so many ways.

The museum often rotates the clothing that is on display so visitors are often treated to new looks.

And the museum is well-known for its gardens, which you also get the chance to visit.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Casa Azul is also well-known for it’s beautiful gardens. Often home to roaming peacocks, it’s a tranquil setting in the midst of the bustling city and likely one of the top draws for visitors.

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Peeing On Escalators: The Curiously Gross Case Of Mexico City’s Subway System

Culture

Peeing On Escalators: The Curiously Gross Case Of Mexico City’s Subway System

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Mexico City subway users often complain about malfunctioning escalators that keep breaking down continually. In any given CDMX metro station, you’ll find that escalators are out of order more often than they are functioning. And city officials have offered an explanation that shocked no one—people are peeing on them so much that escalators are corroding. Yup, you read that right.

Of the system’s 467 escalators, 22 are out of service on any given day.

Travelers on the Mexico City subway system often blame authorities for broken-down escalators at subway stops, but Metro officials have another explanation. Somehow, urine is penetrating and corroding the drive wheels and mechanisms of the escalators that carry riders up from underground stations.

One-quarter of escalator breakdowns on the Mexico City Metro are caused by people urinating on them, according to authorities.

The deputy manager of mechanical installations, Fermín Rafael Ramírez Alonso, said that Tacubaya and Chabacano are among the most affected stations.

Maybe—just maybe— stop peeing on escalators?

Ramírez urged users not to urinate on escalators or other Metro installations, because of the damage it causes. “When we open up escalators for maintenance, there is always urine,” Ramírez said.

But another issue is that there are no public bathroom facilities available.

Most stations have no public bathroom facilities, a fact Twitter users were quick to point out, noting there are not even any pay toilets. “More than this being an issue about ethics or manners, I think that this is happening because of a lack of free and accesible bathrooms in the city,” tweeted one user.

Ramirez also said that other causes for breakdowns include excessively heavy loads, running on the stairs, imbalance on the stairs and objects falling between them.

“There are even users who cut the stairs with knives or other sharp objects, of which we have examples in Tacubaya,” he said, surprising absolutely not one of Mexico City’s users. Many metro users know that vendors even sell knives on subway carriages, as was noted by this tweet.

The biggest problem, subway authorities admit, is that many escalators are old, or have been damaged by rough use.

The city plans to replace about 55 escalators over the next two years. With over 1.6bn rides per year, the Mexico City subway is considered the eighth largest in the world by some measures, and one of the cheapest: a 25¢ ticket will get you a single ride to any destination on the 140-mile (226km) system. Just remember to use the bathroom before setting out.

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‘La Chona’ Never Fails To Get People Dancing, Even If It’s While Waiting At A Stoplight

Culture

‘La Chona’ Never Fails To Get People Dancing, Even If It’s While Waiting At A Stoplight

Ashauri / Instagram

I’m a sucker for ‘La Chona’ and apparently an entire street in Mexico City also stan ‘La Chona.’ A recent viral video shows dozens of people turning a traffic light into a temporary dance floor with a car’s stereo as the DJ.

The video is exactly what the city needs right now as many worry that the city’s heart – it’s historical center – will never bounce back after the Coronavirus pandemic. But enter ‘La Chona’ – even though she hit the airwaves in 1994, 26 years later she’s still teaching us all life lessons.

A traffic light in Mexico City become a makeshift dance floor as dozens danced to ‘La Chona’.

Leave it to ‘La Chona’ to bring out the dancing queen in each of us and show how even a simple stoplight can become a packed dance floor.

In Mexico City’s historic center, just in front of the famed Palacio de Bellas Artes, a red traffic light became one of the city’s happiest little pockets thanks to the rhythm of ‘La Chona’ by Los Tucanes de Tijuana. In the now viral video, several pedestrians were seen calmly crossing the street when they heard ‘La Chona’ playing from a vehicle that was waiting for the light to change. Instantly, the party was raging among the Chilangos who jumped to dance in front of the cars.

There’s really nothing quite like watching a group of people set to go about their day get distracted by a great song. Distracted enough to just start showing off their dance moves in the middle of the street. The video gets even better when the drivers cheerfully encourage the dancers with their car horns and some even get out to join in on the dancing. Many street performers and windshield cleaners joined in and enjoyed the momentary festival.

The video was all the more meaningful because for so long the city’s historical center and been devoid of it’s usual energy. The Coronavirus pandemic has shutdown large swathes of the district and left many without work. So to see people return to the streets for such a fun video was worth it.

So to many, the viral video of “La Chona” reminds us that joy, little by little, will return to the streets of Mexico City.

But first, a brief history of the now viral hit ‘La Chona’.

Credit: LosTucanesdeTijuana / Instagram

“La Chona” is a song from 1995 by Los Tucanes de Tijuana — a norteño band from Tijuana. The fast beat and up-tempo song tells the story of a woman named La Chona. As the song goes, La Chona is a “city girl” who spends her nights out at the clubs dancing and basically living her best life. Think of “Hotline Bling” without Drake.

We stan a strong, confident woman. La Chona is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it — no matter what other people think about her choices. She isn’t afraid to leave her toxic husband behind and enjoy herself. We have to appreciate that level of self-confidence.

The band has sold more than 15 million albums to date, and even have several gold, platinum, and multiplatinum records. They’ve sold out venues like the Dodger Stadium, the Astrodome, and Estadio Azteca. They’ve definitely always had a place blasting from your mami’s car radio.

A few years ago, the #LaChonaChallenge was going viral.

Credit: @AndyG93_ / Twitter

It wasn’t long ago that ‘La Chona’ was going viral for a whole other reason.

People had started competing in the viral Internet challenge, #LaChonaChallenge. All you had to do was hop out of a cruise controlled, moving car and try to keep up while you bust a move. The trickiest part was hopping in and out of the car and people were eating sh*t. Don’t try this at home.

Even Snoop Dogg caught the “La Chona” craze.

We have to give props to La Chona. She lived her life on her own terms, was immortalized in a song and is still being talked about 25 years later. She’s a true feminist icon and we can all benefit from living a little more like La Chona.

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