April 21st, 2018

krazy koati

The woods are just trees

I was on my own for Tuesday in Mexico City; bunny_hugger would spend another day being all responsible and attending the conference. In figuring where to go I thought of the park that she'd mentioned was nearby, some substantial thing big enough that there were even some early-morning walking tours organized by the conference. A quick search on Google Maps revealed that it was practically in the hotel's backyard. And then zooming out revealed that oh, no, that wasn't the real park. The real park was far bigger. A bit farther away, but not as far as the pyramid I'd walked to twice now. And it would be easy to navigate: again follow the expressway, but turn off on the big road beside that modern church. Plus there was a museum right at the entry point of the park, the Casa de la Cultura Tlalpan. This all looked nice and comfortable.

I set out early enough that even Mi Gusto Es wasn't open and trusted that, well, there'd be someplace to get lunch around there. Walked past the church and even a pretty substantial gated-community entrance until I came to the Casa de la Cultura, this hefty-size stone monument built in that municipal church-or-museum architectural style. Stained glass windows, too, although of a sun rising through flowers or something like that. I fumbled my way through buying a chocolate bar and a Coke Light at a roadside kiosk.

And into the Bosque. A big, open forest area, with people jogging and walking dogs and squirrels sitting on the backs of bench seating. Signs warning people not to feed the squirrels; people feeding squirrels. Monuments to past managers of the park. Signs about the public Wi-Fi networks. And a lot of forest that looked natural and pristine and for all I know even is. (Well, I grew up near New York City. Central Park is wholly artificial, but it looks incredibly natural.)

Lots of plants. Lots of tall trees. Lots of walking paths. I started walking along to no particular goal, just sort of seeing how much of the path I could follow. Not a chance I could walk every trail; it was obvious the Bosque was too enormous for that. But I could do something. I got deep enough that I stopped seeing people, even. Sometimes a couple of people urging each other in their jogging. Sometimes a gazebo. Once, the remnants of a disassembled gazebo. Social trails leading into forests. A lot of shade. A hill, and signs pointing to the radio tower(?) at the top of the hill. Birds gathering in the bushes and looking suspiciously at my camera lens. Tree leaves that I realized were shriveled the way leaves on the edge of autumn would be at home, ready to fall off in the overnight-cool of the Mexico City winter. Chalk markings on the sidewalk that I think were explaining the path for a race or fun-run held recently.

In the absence of any particular goal I had to decide what I wanted to accomplish with all this walking. Well, walking, yes. But when would I know I was done? I was far enough into the park that there weren't maps guiding me to anything anymore. Just the occasional oddity like a swinging gate that didn't come near long enough to close off the path it stood on. Well, there were signs for Baños and a Zona de Comida. I understood both these ideas, the first from familiarity and the second from the pictogram of a fork and spoon beside it.

Maybe I got going in the wrong direction. I found myself finally at a playground high on the central(?) hill. There were things like swings hanging from the arms of a rusty and very abstract human figure (much like we'd seen at Tuscorah Park in New Philadelphia, Ohio, come to think of it). A maze the right size for kids to get lost in without their parents being unable to see them, if the kids stand up. Jungle gym. A stage. Hop-scotch boards and a trail of octagons numbered from 1 to 100. Sheltered picnic tables. Seats built into the concrete walls and some cute little reptile trying to run away from my attention. It felt very far from anything, maybe moreso than the nature trails at the pyramid of Cuicuilco did. It would be a great spot for a kid's birthday party, if you could shepherd enough kids to the spot. There must be some easier access point. It's just me that doesn't know it.

Trivia: The only part of the Polish Corridor/East Prussia region to have a postwar plebiscite about its national alignment following World War I was Allenstein/Olsztyn, which in 1920 voted 363,000 to 8,000 to stay with east Prussia.
Source: Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, Margaret MacMillan.

Currently Reading: The League of Regrettable Superheroes, Jon Morris.

PS: Back to a rainy day at Cedar Point!


Crews trying to dry off the stage for the nightly show.


The tracks for the Rougarou roller coaster, nee Mantis, and a lighthouse sculpture behind that must date to the days when this area was part of the jungle cruise.


View from the queue of Rougarou and looking down into the lagoon which covers a lot of the central area of the point.