Photo Walk Nº3 – Polanco’s Plaza Carso
Photo Walk Nº3 took us to Plaza Carso in Polanco, an area replete with modern architecture, including the highly photogenic building, the Soumaya Museum.
Once an old industrial sector, this area has seen a complete makeover, thanks in great part to Carlos Slim, and is on its way to becoming Mexico City’s mini Manhattan. Soaring office and residential buildings, shopping centers, museums and restaurants all rub shoulders comfortably with each other in a space the size of a small village.
As we walk around, it’s hard to believe that a dozen meters below our feet there are large sharks and manta rays swimming around in the underground Aquarium, right opposite the Soumaya Museum, but as they say here, anything is possible in Mexico. Within a stone’s throw is the new Jumex Museum, which hosts contemporary art exhibitions, with its recognizable serrated roof. This is the new upscale area, commonly called New Polanco, very different from other parts of the city. Lets hope the chaotic traffic situation gets a complete makeover very soon too.
One of our photography tasks was to capture some of the different shapes of the Soumaya from varying angles. The shape of this glittering architectural icon literally transforms under your very eyes as you circle it. We also took a quick look inside at its unique interior architecture (and a selection of the new exhibits). Some of the mini assignments were to look for geometric patterns and shapes, reflections and contrasts between man-made structures and natural elements.
Perhaps one of the oddest moments was when the old cargo train passed through this oasis of glass and metal and modern architecture, puffing its way through to one of the last factories still working in the area, Harinas Elizondo. No need to describe the chaos as it shuffled back and forward bringing traffic in this business area to a complete standstill for far too long. With no barriers or fences, the train nonchalantly seemed to invade a territory that’s no long its own, seemingly oblivious to the massive metamorphosis of Plaza Carso and under the disbelieving gaze of tourists.
We also discovered some vertical gardens, a new idea springing up all over Mexico City. These wall gardens are not only beautiful to look at but also have an environmental role to play. The most spectacular one was outside the Cinemex site where we also fitted in our coffee stop and got to know each other a bit better. Finally, we took photos of the nearby Pergola, a brightly colored set of rectangular bars with interesting perspective, a tribute to Carlos Fuentes and a character in one of his books.