Historical Images of the Week: Mexico City by Hot Air Balloon

This is the title page of a book, published in 1869, called “Mexico y Sus Alrededores,” or “Mexico and its Surroundings.” The book includes illustrations by C. Castro, G. Rodriguez and J. Campillo. The book contains a number of fantastic images. For instance, check out this 1875 map of Mexico City: Or Castro’s aerial lithograph of Mexico City: Or there’s this lush image of the Palacio de Iturbide, a building I have peered into many times (in the Centro Historico […]

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Historical Image of the Week: The Occupation of Mexico City

A battle in the war between Mexico and the US.

First published in 1850, this lithograph depicts the US Army occupying the zocalo in Mexico City’s Centro Historico. The image was originally published in The Mexican War and its warriors : comprising a complete history of all the operations of the American armies in the Mexico . . . illustrated with numerous engravings. Image courtesy of NYPL digital collections.

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Saints in the City

Emo kids carry statues of San Judas de Tadeo, or St. Jude

I am sitting on a rock hard bed at the Hotel Isabel, in a high-ceilinged room with pink and grey walls. I first came to the Isabel when I was only 23, and I still put up with the rock hard beds because the hotel is clean and has just the right mix of actual beauty (twenty-foot-high ceilings in this room), crazy Mexican aesthetics (a gorgeous Colonial lobby painted bright orange and bright blue; pastel furniture that’s straight out of […]

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