mexico city, pt 1

So, this is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my last post: editing is hard, so I’m splitting the photos from my four (five?) day trip to Mexico City across three posts. I don’t even feel bad about it.

Any reportage like this is necessarily just a tiny fraction of a moment in the life of a city. W Eugene Smith, the famous, the legend, went to make a story about Pittsburgh. Initially, he was supposed to shoot for a month, come back with 100 pictures. He ended up staying for two years. He still considered it incomplete at the end.

No shade on Pittsburgh, it’s a fine city and I was happy to live near it during part of my childhood. But it’s a small city. And if that took one of the best documentary photographers to ever live a couple years to come away feeling like he hadn’t done the subject justice, then there’s no way I’m going to get anything but a tiny whiff of a place as big as Mexico City.

What was that like? Well, it was like every other place I’ve been in Mexico, but more. The Monument to the Revolution (next two images) was definitely built by people that had seen pyramids and were unafraid to build very large monuments. Very cool to go up in and see the view from the top. Friend/co-worker Maria was also there, which helped quite a lot as she’s fluent in spanish and I can never seem to not mix in portuguese. Also on the trip but not with us that evening was Josh, who’s been my boss’ boss for two jobs now, and Todd, who was speaking at a conference (which was also the nominal reason for the trip; the extra days were on our own dime and well worth it).

Also, just a lot of people? Think of Tokyo, or New York: millions of people living right up next to each other, doing every kind of human activity possible. There were definitely more and less dense areas, and the area we were staying in (Coyoacán) was definitely like, a nice part of town. Gardens and parks and good food, plus a nice plaza with those wolf (coyote?) statues in the fountain. Couple good coffee shops within walking distance of the hotel, that sort of thing. Also: great tacos. Everywhere I’ve been in Mexico that wasn’t a tourist spot has had its own unique take on tacos, and they’re all delicious.

These photos go through the first full day, plus the following morning (I think? the timeline is a little fuzzy and I didn’t keep field notes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). I know I took that photo of the tree in the morning, and then we went off and did stuff. But that’s in the next post.

Posted by Matt on 2023-05-18T07:18:54Z GMT