In the Higuera street food market in Coyoacán, Rogelio has been making hot cakes with a twist for nearly thirty years. His is the second generation in the family; his nephews man the hot-cake stand on weekends.
He can execute a portrait of any child’s favorite cartoon character with pancake batter. In fact, he can do a portrait of any child (or adult) as well. When the kiddies aren’t around, Rogelio is more than willing to take a little poetic license.
He begins by drawing the outline, which he lets cook until it is quite brown. Then he fills in the details — sometimes highly exaggerated — of the subject’s, shall we say, secondary sexual characteristics.
Here is the result of one of Rogelio’s most recent works. The subject was quite pleased, perhaps because of the correspondence between the pancake and the way she sees herself.
Labels: street food
Featuring a series of photographs by several friends of mine, there is now on You Tube a multimedia presentation of First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, Capital of the 21st Century. The narration was written and read by yours truly. I asked my editor, Sean McDonald, if Riverhead had a budget to spring for Terence Stamp or Malcolm McDowell for the voiceover. He told me on no uncertain terms to dream on. My own voice is usually a little steadier and less stiff; I guess I got stage fright.
My first job in journalism was at a trade paper called Women’s Wear Daily, where the managing editor, Mort Sheinman, taught me some lessons that, all these years later, still stand me in good stead when I sit down to write a newspaper or magazine story.
One day Mort and I went out to lunch and he confessed to me that his dream job would be city editor – not at the newspaper, but literally walking around the streets of New York correcting all of the mistakes on street signs, on menus, on movie marquees and so on.
I thought he might be interested in the writing on the wall outside this store in the Colonia Roma Sur, which sells all sort of light bulbs and light fixtures. It would appear that they are selling some lamps with the brand name “Slime Line.” I’m assuming they are actually called “Slim Line.” But maybe they’re just dirty lamps. What do you think, Mort?
Labels: Mexico City
In the mid-1980s I saw John Malkovich on Broadway twice – in Death of a Salesman and Burn This – and have been a fan ever since. So when Guillermo Osorno, editor of Gatopardo magazine, called to see if I would write a profile of the actor, he didn’t have to ask twice.
Malkovich is in Mexico City directing a play in Spanish called El buen canario (Good Canary). It was actually written in English by an American named Zach Helm, but as of yet has never been produced in its original language. (Malkovich directed it in Paris in French last year, and for his efforts won a Moliere Award.) It starts a limited run at the Teatro Insurgentes on November 28, with Diego Luna and Irene Azuela in the principal roles.
I spent quite a bit of time with Malkovich over the course of two days in Los Angeles, where the first couple of weeks of rehearsals were held. He struck me as exactly like he is in the movies, minus the menace – thoughtful, funny, intelligent, intense, charming, and enigmatic. He was so nurturing to the actors that it was as if he were their mother rather than their director. The issue of Gatopardo with my story is on the newsstands in Mexico City, but those of you who can read Spanish can find the article on the Gatopardo web site (www.gatopardo.com). Or else, click right here and you’ll get there directly.