hadn’t been back in 45 years. What I remembered was no longer the same. The
old city had been dug up near the Zocolo and the beautiful modern museums
made Mexico one of the most art oriented cities I had seen. From modern art
to anthropology, from quaint neighborhoods to broad boulevards, Mexico City
had entered the modern age, For me it was new as memory fades. What I
carried away this winter was surely to stay with me wherever I went.
There were broad boulevards, double-decker buses, a region
spilling over with upscale residences, modern hotels, a new subway and
parks, churches, craft sales and tourists on every route we took. This city
of well over twenty-four million inhabitants can hold itself up to most of
Europe and Asia. It is a cultural magnet and I will certainly go back.
I could easily fill pages with descriptions of our meals
(at extremely low prices), things to see and do. I can describe Aztec
dancers or craft sellers on the main square. There is something for every
mood, for every interest and for every budget. And a word about safety might
surprise you. Yes, there are problems near the US border and isolated crime
in many cities, but in the seven weeks we spent in Mexico this year we never
came across anything that made us in the least bit nervous or frightened.
True, we were cautious about where we walked late at night or what we should
be wary of. But it was the perfect holiday with temperatures in the 70’s and
80’s and people who were proud to show us their beautiful city.
Part of a fresco Showing
|One particular day we decided to visit the
unearthed ancient city and the Rivera frescoes at the Zocolo. or
main-square. Much of what we saw were works done by Diego Rivera
which taught the viewer the troubled politics of the world of
political turmoil when Communism was in a state of flux.
Most people know that Leon Trotsky lived in Mexico
City while he was hunted down by Stalin in a competition for the
reins of the Post Lenin Communist era. We know that Rivera and his
wife Frida Kahlo gave shelter to Trotsky and his wife at Frida’s
family mini estate. Trotsky was in Mexico City for some time and
finally left the safety of Kahlo’s home after a falling out with her
Most people know that Leon Trotsky lived in Mexico City
while he was hunted down by Stalin in a competition for the reins of the
Post Lenin Communist era. We know that Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo gave
shelter to Trotsky and his wife at Frida’s family mini estate. Trotsky was
in Mexico City for some time and finally left the safety of Kahlo’s home
after a falling out with her and Rivera.
He moved into his own home within walking distance of
Where Leon Trotsky was actually murdered
|But the Stalin guided hunters set out
to destroy him and at one point a group attacked the Trotsky family
him and riddled the house with bullets. Trotsky and his family were
left untouched but it was decided to build a higher wall around the
property and erect guard houses at the entrances. This protection
didn’t last long.
Someone known to Trotsky
arrived to visit. The guards recognized him, waved and opened the
The man entered Trotsky’s office and while they
were going over some papers, the visitor hit Trotsky on the head
with an ice axe.
He died a short time afterwards. The Stalinists
had removed the only man who might have returned to head up the
government of Russia.
His final home is open to the public with countless
photographs showing his life in Mexico.
Statue of Trotsky on the property
|Trotsky and his wife are buried in the garden of
that house. I stood about 3 feet from the spot where Trotsky was
murdered. I stood at the foot of his grave. My mind raced back to
the McCarthy Years and the plight of this man whose life ended so
The Museo Casa De Leon Trotsky
is open from 10 AM to 5 PM with an admission of $15 pesos
Tel for information 5658-8732
Freda died in 1954. She had been married to Diego
Rivera in 1929, later divorced and remarried. He was a large man
with bulging eyes. The couple was referred to as the Elephant and
the Dove. She was born in 1907. She had a tragic accident with a bus
and streetcar. A metal rod made a debilitating abdominal wound that
fractured two vertebrae. She spent a life of suffering, often
wearing special apparatus to allow her to sit up, paint and have
some relief from the pain.
Diego had spent time studying in France and Italy
before he finally returned to Mexico. He had befriended some of the
great artists in Paris at that time, including Modigliani. At that
time he embraced many of the ideas of Braque, Picasso and Cezanne.
|Museo Mural Diego Rivera offers a complete
history in one mural Call 5512 0754
painters are revered by Mexicans today for their contribution to
art. They are today’s icons. It was conceived in a dream and can be
seen a as part of Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda
Entrance $15 pesos
Museo Frida Kahlo is at 150, San Pablo Tepetiapa
Tel: 5617-4310 Admission #55 pesos.
As an ex-teacher of History I had a memorable look
at the actual places where these people of history actually lived,
worked and died. A fast moving taxi returned us to our residence. It
seemed hike a very long taxi ride for an amazing $4.00 US.
Barbara Kingsolver The Lacuna, Harper Collins, USA
This book goes into great description of life
among the people surrounding Trotsky while he was in Mexico. It is
an excellent read and a wonderful account of the events before and
after Trotsky’s death.
The book is available at most major booksellers’.
I was fortunate to be present at a public
lecture Barbara Kingsolver delivered this winter in San Miguel. A huge
audience heard this talented women talk of her work and her philosophy. The
Lacuna was her first book after nine years of research.
Reading any of her books is a treat.
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)