Station / Estación # 100: Bellas Artes

What child in Mexico has gone to the Alameda and not felt joyful and happy?  What youngster has not felt their imagination run wild, given over to the sweetest deliriums, to dreams of blissfulness?

Francisco Zarco, 1849, plaque near the station

Exhale, 100 stations.

Mid afternoon a storm rolled across the city.  Thunder reverberated with hollow intensity.  Plump drops of rain combined – a deluge.

I hunkered down indoors (wiser now, I almost used ‘bunkered down’).

Urban Dictionary states:

1. Bunker Down

A term morons use, particularly when bad weather is afoot, to which they confuse the meaning of “hunker” with.

Excuse me.

I digress.

Anyhow, while I was HUNKERED DOWN, I was wondering whether I was even going to bring up my century today – qualify to receive, on behalf of the project as a citizen of the Commonwealth despite being staunchly pro -republic, a telegram from the Queen.

Such was the ferocity of the tempest.

Again I digress – in inane ridiculousness.

I actually drifted off for a bit there but when I came to, the rain had ceased, the cap went on and I was out the door.

Fittingly, within the station that bears the name ‘Fine Arts’ there is some fine art.

Exiting the station the first thing I saw was the Mexico City General Post Office standing regally and tall overlooking the damp streets.

Lo and behold its stately elegance is overshadowed by the ostentatious (and rightly so) beauty of ‘El Palacio de Bellas Artes’ (Palace of Fine Arts) from which the station takes its name.  It houses murals by Rivera and Siqueiros.

At the front of the palace there is currently an outdoor exhibition of sculptures  by Colombian figurative artist Fernando Botero.

The Alameda, a spacious public park adjoining the palace, referred to in the opening quotation, is currently closed for restoration.

The nearby Torre Latinoamericana peers down above all.  A lookout provides great panoramic views of the city.

Several museums dot the area including, Museo Franz Mayer, Museo Mural Diego Rivera and Museo de Memoria Y Tolerancia, which impressed more then almost any other museum in this city and that’s saying something in a city that has more museums than any other city in the world.

For me, only Museo Nacional de Antropologia, colossal and incredibly impressive and the hands down winner in Mexican anthropological history and actuality lies above.

I believe the Museo de Memoria Y Tolerancia rivals it for its comprehensive illustration of its subject matter.

Perhaps not for everybody, the museum primarily focuses on the history of genocide in the world (Holocaust, Rwanda, Ex Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Sudan).

Not far on I wandered into Mexico City’s small China Town hosted on Dolores Street. Briefly continuing on the beat generation theme featured in Station # 96 Insurgentes the street is mentioned in Burroughs’ first novel ‘Junky’;

‘I was in a cheap cantina off Dolores Street, Mexico City. I had been drinking for about two weeks.  I was sitting in a booth with three Mexicans, drinking tequila.’

That’s all for today’s visit.

Now with 100 stations under the belt I am maybe, just maybe, qualified to give an introductory course on the subway system here.  Either way I’m going to try.  So, make sure you’re back tomorrow to enrol in:


¿Qué niño en México no ha ido a la Alameda y no se ha sentido allí gozoso y feliz?  ¿Qué joven no ha sentido allí vagar su imaginación entregadas a dulcísimos delirios, a ensueños de felicidad?

Francisco Zarco, 1849, place cerca de la estación

Exhalar, 100 estaciónes.

Al medio de la tarde una tormenta pasó por la ciudad.  Truenos reverbeaban con intensidad hueca.  Gotas gordas de lluvia combinadas – un diluvio.

Me escondi en casa.

Mientras escondía en casa me preguntaba si hoy iba a poder alcanzar a 100 estaciones y por lo tanto celebrar el logro.

Así fue la ferocidad de la tormenta.

De hecho me quedé dormido un ratito y cuando desperté la lluvia había parado – me pusé la gorra y salí.

Apropiadamente dentro de la estación que lleva el nombre ‘Bellas Artes’ hay arte bello.

Al salir de la estación la primera cosa que vi fue el Palacio Postal, regio y alto mirando a las calles mojadas.

Sin embargo su elegancia se eclipsa por la belleza ostentosa (con toda razón) del Palacio de Bellas Artes del cual la estación toma su nombre.  Aloja murales por Rivera y Siqueiros.

Al frente del palacio actualmente hay una exposición de escultura al aire libre por el artista colombiano Fernando Botero.

La Alameda que linda con el palacio y a cual se refiere en la cita de apertura, está cerrada por restauración.

La cercana Torre Latinoamericana mira por abajo arriba de todos.  Un mirador proporciona vistas panorámicas de la ciudad.

Varios museos estan desperdigados por el área incluyendo Museo Franz Mayer, Museo Mural Diego Rivera y Museo de Memoria Y Tolerancia , que me impresionó más que casi  cualquier otro museo de la ciudad y eso dice mucho en una ciudad que tiene más museos que cualquier otra ciudad del mundo.

Para mí, solamente Museo Nacional de Antropologia, colosal y increíblemente impresionante, el ganador sin duda de la historia y actualidad de antropogia mexicana, es mejor.

Creo que el Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia se lo rivaliza por su tratamiento detallado de su tema.

Tal vez no apto para todos, el museo principalmente se concentra en la historia de genocidio (Holocausto, Ex Yugoslavia, Ruanda, Guatemala, Camboya, Sudan).

No lejos de allí llegué al pequeño barrio chino de la Ciudad de México en la calle Dolores.  Continuando brevemente por el tema de la generación beat, el foco de la entrada de estación # 96 Insurgentes la calle aparece en la primera novela de Burroughs ‘Junky’;

‘ Estuve en una cantina barata cerca de la calle Dolores.  Había estado bebiendo alrededor de dos semanas.  Estaba sentado con tres mexicanos, tomando tequila.’

Eso es todo por la visita de hoy.

Ahora con 100 estaciones hechas, quizas, tal vez, estoy capacitado para dar un curso introductorio sobre el sistema de metro de esta ciudad.  En todos casos voy a intentar.  Así no faltes mañana para inscribirte en:


13 thoughts on “Station / Estación # 100: Bellas Artes”

  1. If there is one restaurant you have to visit, it’s my baby: El Cuadrilatero. It’s on Luis Moya, passing Calle Ayuntamiento. Luis Moya is the street that is nearly in front of the Hemiciclo in La Alameda. The chilaquiles there are pretty damn phenomenal.

    1. Is it your restaurant? I will definitely come by for the chilaquiles if you’re recommending them so highly. I enjoyed checking out your blog, thanks for stopping by my page…!

      1. I wish it was my restaurant. The guy who owns it is Super Astro, an ex lucha libre guy. He’s got to be about 5’1 but is pretty wide and brawny. If you’re looking for a meal, you have to eat the Gladiador: 1.2 kg of a torta with hot dogs, pierna, milanesa, chorizo, fried eggs, tomatoes, lettuce and onions and if you can eat it in 15 minutes, it’s free! But the chilaquiles are where it’s at, man. Get it with chicken. You will not be disappointed.



  3. En el día a día por estas calles, me preguntaba cuando habría espacio para esta estación y es que llegar al 100, fue una gran elección.

    Considero como su nombre lo dice, Palacio de Bellas Artes, es lo más bello, es icono de lo que es este México moderno, con un acervo cultural que deberiamos aprovechar todos los mexicanos.

    Palacio de Bellas Artes, imponente, de mármol de Carra italiano, estilo ecléctico con una gran influencia europea, a semejanza del Gran Opera de París.

    Construido inicialmente por el Arq. Adamo Boari (Italiano) e interrumpida su construcción a causa de la Revolución Mexicana en 1810. Fue entonces que 9 años más tarde el Presidente Pórfirio Díaz encomenda al Arq. Federico Mariscal (Méxicano) la culminación de este recinto en 1934.

    Botero, la unica escultura que me agrada es el Caballo.
    Tus fotos son únicas.

  4. I was a little underwhelmed by the Holocaust Museum. I’ve never quite been convinced that Mexicans ‘get’ genocide. Despite their own history.

    Top museums? These sorts of lists are subjective. The Anthropological museum is definitely up there. The Franz Meyer too. I also really like the San Ildefonso behind the cathedral. And for location, tranquility and for simply being a ‘bit different’, Dolores Olmedo in the south is one of my favourites. It’s near La Noria on El Tren Ligero. Are you doing the tram line?

    I also really like Anahuacalli and Arte de Carillo Gil in Coyoacan. But perhaps my favourite, purely because I love 20th century history, is Trotsky’s house/museum.

    Alameda is closed? Whenever I saw that park I though of Don Juan de Zavala. that was such a fun book…

    1. Hey Gary, museum opinions are certainly subjective. I have been interested in the history of genocide, especially Cambodia and Sudan so I found that really interesting, the depth of sources is pretty impressive. I haven´t been to the Trotsky museum but will definitely go sometime soon. I was surprised to see La Alameda cordoned off yesterday, it seems they are doing a lot of work there, unsure of when it is going to reopen. Thanks for the comment, I have been enjoying the mexile too. too. cheers.

      1. I guess, to be fair, I did go to the Museum of Memories and Tolerance just a few days after it opened. Maybe they’ve put more stuff in it since then.

        I had no idea that putting in a simple link to that book would generate such a mammoth advert! Ah well. It was a good book.

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