El Nigromante Cultural Center
Our hotel was very close to the Cultural Center. We took some time to walk through and take photos. The building was originally built as a religious convent in 1775. In 1938, it became El Nigromante Culture Center, popularly known as Bellas Artes. It is affiliated with the National Institute of Fine Arts Cultural Center.
The slides show the different art structures seen in the courtyard:
Completing our tour, we continued walking down the street. Our goal was a jewelry store called Maria Belen Nilson. The artist is from Argentina and she has lived in Mexico since she was 21 years old. Her designs are inspired by Mexico and Frida Kahlo. She has a website and I think her prices are reasonable. At least, they were in her shop. We took a lot of street photos along the way. I made a slide show so you can see what I saw as we walked along.
We came upon a shoe store inside a courtyard. It was a teeny shop right near the entrance. There were some really cute, colorful sandals. The shoes were also on sale which is always a plus. I ended up buying two pair – flats and heels. It is really hard to find shoes in my size and these felt comfortable as well.
We finally discovered the Maria Belen Nilson silver jewelry shop. The sales clerk was very accommodating. She helped me choose and try the earrings on. I found several pair for a reasonable price. So another happy purchase! It was a good day for shopping!
It was getting late and very hot at this time. We walked back to the hotel. We hadn’t had anything to eat for lunch, yet. We rested and put away our purchases.
Fabrica La Aurora Center for Art and Design
Our next excursion was the Fabrica la Aurora Center for Art and Design. Originally a textile factory during the 20th century. It was built by an English company in 1902. It has 12 stone arches and wrought iron gates that have remained virtually unchanged since that time. Now it houses numerous art galleries, about 40 artists, restaurants and even a library.
The building is on the edge of town so we went by taxi. Taxis are pretty cheap – about $3-4 dollars for most places. We were starving when we arrived. The only two restaurants were right at the entrance. One was all about burgers and the other was international. We opted for the one called the Food Factory. Shawn had a tortilla soup and I had a caprese – tomatoes and cheese in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We were eating out that night, so did not want to over do it as it was about 2pm by the time we arrived. The food was all right.
We started walking through the design studies. The building is massive and so many rooms – all with unusual designs and products for sale. I enjoyed it immensely. One area we came to was a whole room of Italian products; tableware, textiles, table cloths etc. We thought it a bit odd to have an Italian store when every other place were products and design pieces made in Mexico. The Italian owner was very nice. She had traveled quite a bit in Thailand and had been here for just a few months. We spoke in English. We talked a little about traveling and I told her about my blog and she wanted the address. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take many photos inside the buildings, so we took a few on the outside. I didn’t realize I had taken so few photos. One unusual place was huge with all kinds of antiques and mammoth furniture pieces. At the entrance, on the way out, I saw two framed ink drawings and below them it said “Diego Rivera”. I called the sales person over and asked what the price of the drawings were. They were $13,000 US. dollars a piece. It was strange because they were not in any special place – just sitting near the entrance on top of a lot of other things.
Luna’s Rooftop Tapas
We were excited to go to this restaurant because we read that the view was supposed to be magnificent. We took a taxi as it was too far to walk at night. It is located on the rooftop of the Rosewood, a very posh hotel. We were seated right away and had a wonderful panoramic view of the city. The Arcangel Church was featured prominently in the view. After taking the photos, I made one of them my first feature photo and took off the one I had on there originally. We ordered mojitos and they were huge and delicious but as we noted, not much liquor. They also brought some kind of peanut with a hard candy covering and a dish of celery with chilli spice. We ordered two tapas – Coconut ceviche shrimp and calamari rings. The shrimp came right away but the calamari didn’t come for an hour. The waiter said the electrical fryer broke down.
We had a great time taking photos of the view and even stayed until the sun went down to get some sunset shots. Meanwhile, we really enjoyed listening to the band, who mostly sang American songs. At first, I thought they were American but Shawn said they were speaking to each other in Spanish.
We decided to go after the sun went down. We had to catch a taxi back to our hotel. Just as we walked out, we caught one. The taxi driver knew exactly where our hotel was located so that was good. Most of the taxi drivers never heard of our hotel. That was probably the latest we stayed out. Well, the next day we didn’t have anything pressing in the morning, so we could sleep in. The heat was exhausting, so most of the time we stayed in the hotel room during the hottest part of the day. It probably got up to 90 degrees most days.