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Old December 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #4781
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México, Distrito Federal

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Old December 31st, 2012, 05:48 AM   #4782
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México, Distrito Federal

The once great floating gardens of Mexico City, which filled the bellies of the Aztecs, are dying of serious neglect.

On this point, everyone sadly agrees.

The ancient plots and their life-giving canals are weedy and abandoned, overrun by cattle, invaded by exotic fish, sucked dry by urban sprawl — and a dozen agencies of government have failed to save one of the wonders of the world.

A few farmers continue to till their little corners of Eden. They grow marigolds for El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

“Which is appropriate,” said Luis Zambrano, a biologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who is trying to save the indigenous life of Xochimilco, “since the place is dying.”

The gardens have been sick for a long time, ever since the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 and began draining the lakes.

The problem is that they are now dying quickly, and there are worrying signs that the ecosystem is crashing.

Asked whether the place can survive, a respected historian of Xochimilco, Gloria Valek, answered, “I would like to think so, but it might be impossible.”

The canals that once fed 50 square miles of gardens are overwhelmed by foreign fish, African tilapia or Asian carp, thriving in the dirty waters. The fish are loaded with heavy metals, fed by wastewater treatment facilities — the lake’s only water source, now that the 2,500 artesian springs have dried up, trying to slake the thirst of the megacity. Maybe half the original wetlands used by the Aztec vassals here remain, much of them degraded. But the land could bounce back.

Fisherman Roberto Altamirano has been working to save Xochimilco (pronounced so-chi-MIL-co), which is a U.N. World Heritage Site. For two years, he has been netting exotic species from the canals. “We have removed 650 tons of fish,” he said, “which is a lot of fish.”

But people don’t want to buy the tilapia and carp the fishermen net when they learn they come from Xochimilco, which has a bad reputation because of the pollution.

In one of the experimental reserves, the farmers had to stop using the tilapia as fertilizer — because they were too toxic.

The Valley of Mexico is a bowl surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. The Aztecs built their empire in the middle of a series of interconnected lakes. Their capital of palaces and pyramids, Tenochtitlan, reached by causeways, was an amazing sight to the conquistadors, who said it was more impressive than any city in Europe.

For a thousand years, farmers staked out small rectangular plots in the shallow lakes around the Aztec capital. They built their artificial islands of wattle and willow and filled the gardens, called chinampas, with fertile muck.

The farms were irrigated by an immense grid of miles of shallow canals, just wide enough for a canoe. The gardens produced a bounty: five or six crops a year, an abundance of chiles, greens, cactus and herbs. The canals were exploited for crayfish, frogs, fowl, fish.

It was an ingenious system, and what is amazing is that a visitor can see a glimpse of the old ways even today.

Bird watchers still come to look at the white pelicans, in one of the last big green spaces in a metropolis of 22 million. There are bicycle paths and an underwhelming ecological center. The area continues to shrink.

The gardens and canals were filled with rubble from the 1985 Mexico City earthquake; the wetlands were cut in half by a perimeter highway; after the springs dried up, wastewater was rerouted from the sewage treatment plants.

On the weekends, the canals are packed with hundreds of gondoliers poling their brightly painted launches through Mexico City’s version of Venice. The boats are packed with revelers, drinking beer and eating tacos, as barges filled with mariachi bands pull beside them and sing for $8 a song.

But beneath the surface of the water, scientists fear that the rare and endangered axolotl (pronounced ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl), a foot-long salamander that can regenerate its lost limbs, is nearly gone from the wild.

“We are very sad,” the biologist Zambrano said. “In 1998, we surveyed 6,000 axolotl per square kilometer. In 2008, there were 100 per square kilometer.”

They haven’t been able to find one in months.

The remarkable salamanders were once so abundant that locals remember them well. “There were axolotls everywhere 20 years ago,” farmer Anastacio Santana said. “We used to eat them, wrapped in corn husks, cooked with onion and epazote herbs.”

“Some studies suggest they will be extinct in the wild in 10 years,” Zambrano said.

The university scientists have erected several refuges for the salamanders — small stretches of canal that they empty of exotic fish and cover with netting to keep the birds away.

“This is it,” said Zambrano, pointing to one small ditch where they have placed 20 axolotl raised in the laboratories. “It is not much. But it is a start.”

Martha Teresa Delgado, the environmental secretary for the Mexico City government, said that the solutions for saving Xochimilco are well known, but that funding has been elusive and that there are too many agencies with too little responsibility, all making promises and passing the blame. She said there is a proposal to create a kind of czar to coordinate recovery efforts.

“Things have been bad for a long time. But now we fear that the destruction is accelerating, that within our lifetimes this very special place will no longer exist,” Zambrano said. “It will just be a few dirty canals for the tourists and will mean nothing.”






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Old December 31st, 2012, 06:54 AM   #4783
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Old December 31st, 2012, 12:19 PM   #4784
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:51 AM   #4785
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México, Distrito Federal


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Old January 2nd, 2013, 12:30 PM   #4786
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco





Xochimilco Floating Gardens
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:22 AM   #4787
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Historical Center



The Historical Center is the oldest part of Mexico City and it’s also the area that contains some of the most appreciated cultural treasures of the country. The Center, as the inhabitants of the city call it, is an area of streets which invites us to travel to the past and remember its times of splendor, times in which viceroys and high-ranking officials traveled upon horse-drawn carriages, whilst merchants, friars and nuns, craftsmen and other characters walked through the famous and beautiful streets of the “City of Palaces”.

In the Historical Center of Mexico City you can find true architectural treasures like the Metropolitan Cathedral; built over three centuries, it comprises different styles of the viceroyship. Just a few steps away from the Cathedral, you can find the National Palace, seat of the Mexican Executive Power, and the City Hall, both of them in front of the city’s Zócalo (public square) or Square of the Constitution (second largest in the world after Moscow’s Red Square).

Walking towards the area of the Alameda Central, on the street 5 de mayo, we find ourselves surrounded by outstanding examples of porfirian eclectic architecture. Not far from there, on Tacuba Street, we can find some of the city’s traditional places, like the Tacuba Café, a pleasant restaurant; decorated in excellent Mexican style with Talavera mosaic and where they serve exquisite traditional Mexican dishes. Tolsá Plaza is found on the same street, it’s a place of great architectural harmony; it holds buildings like the National Museum of Art, one of the most beautiful buildings in the Historical Center, and also the Mining Palace, of austere Neoclasic sobriety which houses the Mining Palace Book Fair, one of the most concurred of the city. Almost in front of Tolsá Plaza, to one side of the Mining Palace, there stands the beautiful Mail Palace (or Post Office Palace), a building of refined style inspired in Venetian architecture.

Right in front of the Mail Palace, on the other side of Eje Central Avenue, we can find the wonderful Palace of Fine Arts, one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world; decorated with impressive Art Nouveau style sculptures on the exterior, which contrast with the sober elegance of its Art Deco interior, decorated with prehispanic and geometric motifs. It’s in the front of this Palace, from where we can appreciate another of the city’s most symbolic buildings, the Latinamerican Tower, the first skyscraper in the city and, in its time, the highest construction in Latinamerica; which houses in its peak a viewpoint, a lookout from which, in clear days, we can get beautiful views of the entire city.

The Historical Center of Mexico City is such an amazing place that we could never finish mentioning all of its great features and legends; same of which have come to be part of a national legacy, which has led the UNESCO to declare it “Cultural Heritage of the World”. An intense campaign of restoration has been undertaken over the last few years to regenerate the zone, giving it back the splendor and dynamism that characterized it in earlier times.






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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:27 PM   #4788
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Old January 4th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #4789
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco



Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco






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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #4790
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Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal



Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal




Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal




Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
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Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal






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Old January 5th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #4791
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:41 AM   #4792
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Fountain of Diana the Huntress

e Fountain of Diana the Huntress, one of the most representative sculptural works of Mexican art, has an interesting history; it reflects political, social and cultural changes in Mexico City, a city that has adopted it as one of its most precious urban symbols.

The sculpture of Diana the Huntress, whose real name is “The Northern Star Shooter”, begins its history in 1942, when the president of Mexico Manuel Ávila Camacho, through the Federal District regent Javier Rojo Gómez, started a program to beautify the city; this program included the creation of several monumental fountains that would be placed on roundabouts or important street corners. Among the ones that still remain, there is one in Plaza California in the Del Valle district and another, the Petrol Fountain, in Lomas de Chapultepec. The architect Vicente Mendiola and the sculptor Juan Olaguíbel were commissioned to build one of these fountains for a roundabout that was located in Reforma Avenue, near the entrance to Chapultepec. The theme that was selected was Diana, the roman goddess of hunting, but in this fountain, this goddess, instead of hunting beasts in the forests with her bow, would now hunt the stars of the northern skies, hence the name of the sculpture. As a model for the sculpture, Helvia Martínez Verdayes was selected, a 16 year old girl that worked in the afternoons as a secretary in the offices of PEMEX. The sculpture was made from April to September of 1942, month in which it was finally cast in bronze. During all this time, Helvia Martínez Verdayes posed nude for the sculptor without receiving other payment than the vanity of seeing her body immortalized in one of the most beautiful avenues in the city.

The Fountain of the Northern Star Shooter, was inaugurated on October 10th 1942 and from that moment gained the public’s affection, who started to call her “Diana the Huntress”, but in that time it also received criticism from the most ultraconservative sectors in Mexican society, being the “Decency League” which a year later, after a series of protesting acts that included putting fabric underwear on the sculpture, accomplished their goal by forcing Juan Olaguíbel to put bronze underpants on his work. Nevertheless, anticipating more liberal times, the artist fixed it by only welding three points, in hopes of being able to remove them later.

With the passing years the mentality of Mexican society started to evolve and, taking advantage of the Mexico ’68 Olympic Games’ celebrations, the regent Alfonso Corona del Rosal, in response to a petition by Juan Olaguíbel, decided to remove the bronze underpants from the sculpture, nevertheless the statue suffered some damage. It was decided a new sculpture would be cast to take the original’s place, while the damaged one was sold to the regent by Olaguíbel so it wouldn’t be destroyed; the regent then donated the piece to Ixmiquilpan, his native town, where it has remained since 1970.

In 1974, because of the work being done in the Circuito Interior, the Fountain of Diana the Huntress was moved to its original location in Ariel Park, to one side of the place where the Torre Mayor stands today. In this place it remained practically hidden for 18 years, until in 1987 a group of artists and intellectuals demanded the re-location of Diana the Huntress to the roundabout that forms on the crossing of Paseo de la Reforma and Sevilla Street. This petition was backed by the citizens, and they all managed to convince the government to re-locate it on August 5th 1992 to its inaugural roundabout where it remains to this day.

This is how the history of this sculpture has developed, a monument to women, a monument to the beauty of the human body, a monument to freedom.


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Old January 6th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #4793
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México, Distrito Federal

Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal



Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal




Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal




Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal




Pedregal de San Angel in México Distrito Federal
Pedregal de San Angel en México Distrito Federal






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Old January 7th, 2013, 01:13 AM   #4794
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Old January 7th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #4795
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Old January 8th, 2013, 05:45 AM   #4796
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nice images.....Mexico city's modern crapers keep on multiplying.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #4797
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Old January 8th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #4798
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco



Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco



Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco






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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:50 AM   #4799
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Los Niños Héroes
Mexico has known many heroes through her long and eventful history. Perhaps none have captured the imagination and stirred the hearts to the degree that Los Niños Héroes (Heroic Children) have. In 1847, six brave young men fought valiantly for their country during the Mexican-American War. Tragically, they died defending her honor.

Ranging in age from just 13 to 19 years of age, these military cadets are remembered today with reverence and national pride. A great monument erected in their honor, Los Niños Héroes Monument, stands proudly at the entrance to Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. This historical memorial is visited by thousands of Mexican citizens and foreign travelers each year.

Los Ninos Heroes, Chapultepec

Los Niños Héroes

The Mexican-American War was in its final chapters when the Battle of Chapultepec took place. The date was September 13, 1847 and American forces were quickly advancing on Chapultepec Castle. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who was in charge of forces in Mexico City, recognized the strategic advantage that Chapultepec Hill held. Geographically, its value was enormous as it position protected Mexico City on its west side from invaders.

Unfortunately, there were not enough resources available for its defense. Rising some 200 feet above the surrounding landscape, the site was naturally fortified. However, American forces greatly outnumbered their Mexican counterparts, both in manpower and gunpowder. Many prominent Americans, including Abraham Lincoln and John Quincy Adams considered the war unjust and questioned the rationale for the invasion.

In the years preceding the war, Chapultepec Castle had been utilized as Mexico's military training academy. As a result, when the war broke out, there were dozens of teenage cadets in attendance. General Nicolás Bravo commanded the forces stationed at Chapultepec Hill and when it became apparent that the American forces were triumphing, he ordered his men, including the cadets, to retreat to safety.

Six young men, however, refused to relinquish their posts and bravely met the superior forces of the Americans. Their names were Juan de la Barrera, Juan Escutia, Francisco Márquez, Agustín Melgar, Fernando Montes de Oca and Vicente Suárez. They died that September day, defending their country. Their sacrifice has been forever etched into Mexico's history.

Monumento a los Ninos Heroes, Monument Mexico City

Monument to Los Niños Heroes in Chapultepec Park - postcard from 1940's

The names of the six military cadets live on in Mexico today. Streets have been named after them, as have schools and public squares. Their faces have appeared on Mexican currency and even Mexico City's public transportation (Metro Niños Héroes) has been named in their honor.

One of the cadets, Juan Escutia, is believed to have wrapped himself in the Mexican flag before jumping to his death. A great mural of this scene can be seen today at Chapultepec Castle. One thing is certain, all these young men died defending their country's honor. The great monument of Los Niños Héroes is a tribute to their memory and sacrifice.

President Harry S. Truman visited the Los Ninos Heroes monument in 1947, just months prior to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec. A moment of reverential silence was observed by the President as a sign of respect for the young cadets. When Truman was asked by reporters why he stopped to see the monument, his reply was Brave men don't belong to any one country. I respect bravery wherever I see it.






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Old January 10th, 2013, 12:49 AM   #4800
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México, Distrito Federal


Xochimilco Floating Gardens
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Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco



Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco




Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco



Xochimilco Floating Gardens
Jardines Flotantes de Xochimilco






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Visit this posts to get to know how the city of Los Angeles developed through the years

Visit the United States through pictures.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/newrep...e=1&p=24626612

Evolution through time of Los Angeles California
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=786986
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