The Mighty Peatonito! Mexico’s Masked Hero Making Streets Safe – for Pedestrians

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Peatonito and the clowns from the civic association the Claustrofobos are among a wave of activists fighting uncivil behavior and bad urban planning. 

Mexico City (AFP) – On the mean and traffic-choked streets of Mexico City, a fearless superhero is fighting to protect the planet from the worst the internal combustion engine can throw at it.

“Pedestrians are happy because they finally have a defender. We live in a car dictatorship. Nobody had fought for pedestrian rights until some activists emerged a few years ago.”

— The mighty Peatonito

The mighty Peatonito (Little Pedestrian) pushes cars blocking the path of pedestrians, creates crosswalks with spray paint, and climbs on vehicles parked on sidewalks — though his mother has begged him to stop stepping on them.

Six philosophy graduates founded the group "Ponte la del Metro" to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Six philosophy graduates founded the group “Ponte la del Metro” to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

“We think that giving information through art and culture makes information more fun.”

— Co-founder Aldo Giordano

“Pedestrians are happy because they finally have a defender,” Peatonito said, his face covered by a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and wearing a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing.

“We live in a car dictatorship. Nobody had fought for pedestrian rights until some activists emerged a few years ago.”

Meanwhile, below the city streets five clowns are on a similar mission to send up urban incivility, barging into a metro carriage making monkey noises and holding a sign saying “It’s better without pushing.”

As he goes about his mission Peatonito wears a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

Peatonito wears a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

“Six philosophy graduates founded the group ‘Ponte la del Metro’ to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos.”

Peatonito and the clowns from the civic association the Claustrofobos (Claustrophobes) are among a wave of activists fighting uncivil behavior and bad urban planning in this metropolis of 21 million people, four million cars and five million daily metro commuters.

In 2013, around 30 groups from across the country formed The Pedestrian League, which published a “Mexican Charter for Pedestrian Rights” and lobbies against public policies that favor cars.

Some groups post pictures on social media to shame drivers illegally parked on sidewalks or in handicapped spots. With buckets of paint, they create crosswalks or trace sidewalks.

But humor is the weapon used by Peatonito and Claustrofobos. Read the rest of this entry »


Frida Kahlo: Self-Portrait with Monkeys, 1943

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“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life”

The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY

first solo presentation of Kahlo’s work in New York City in more than 25 years, and the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Kahlo’s intense interest in the botanical world. Featuring more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and works on paper, this six-month engagement also reimagines the iconic artist’s famed garden and studio at the Casa Azul, her lifelong home in Mexico City.

pictured: Frida Kahlo. Self-Portrait with Monkeys. 1943.

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Senator Sessions: Zuckerberg Spent $30 Million on Four Houses to Secure HIS Borders

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) blasted pro-amnesty billionaires whose fondness for open borders ends at the doors of their “gated compounds and fenced-off communities,” noting how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bought other four houses surrounding his own just because he wanted “a little privacy.”

“Well, the ‘masters of the universe’ are very fond of open borders as long as these open borders don’t extend to their gated compounds and fenced-off estates.”

Sessions began by rebuking Zuckerberg – one of the billionaire elites he has dubbed “Masters of the Universe” – for going to Mexico City and giving a speech claiming that America’s immigration policy is “strange” and “unfit for today’s world.”

“Well, the ‘masters of the universe’ are very fond of open borders as long as these open borders don’t extend to their gated compounds and fenced-off estates,” Sessions said.

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As an example of the hypocrisy of these “Masters,” Sessions then recalled how Zuckerberg bought four houses surrounding his own to keep people from crossing his borders and secure “a little privacy”:  Read the rest of this entry »


7.2 Earthquake Strikes Mexico’s Pacific Coast

People gather in the street after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, Thursday, May 8, 2014. A strong earthquake on the Pacific coast shook the capital, sending frightened office workers streaming into the streets away from high-rise buildings. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

People gather in the street after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, Thursday, May 8, 2014. A strong earthquake on the Pacific coast shook the capital, sending frightened office workers streaming into the streets away from high-rise buildings. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

AP 5/8/2014 6:22:35 PM

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A strong earthquake shook the southern Pacific coast of Mexico and several states, including the capital on Thursday, sending frightened people into unseasonal torrential rains that were also bearing down on the coast.

The 6.4-magnitude quake in southern Guerrero state had an epicenter about 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Tecpan de Galeana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was felt about 171 miles (277 kilometers) miles away in Mexico City, where office workers streamed into the streets away from high-rise buildings.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

Tecpan, near the epicenter, shook ferociously, causing a “wave of panic” and some roofs to cave in, said Mayor Crisoforo Otero Heredia. But there were no injuries. Read the rest of this entry »


Author Gabriel García Márquez Dies at 87

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Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Gabriel García Márquez, Novelist and Exponent of Magical Realism

For the NYTimes, Jonathan Kandell writes:  Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” would sell tens of millions of copies. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called it “the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since ‘Don Quixote.’

Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House, confirmed the death. Mr. García Márquez learned he had lymphatic cancer in 1999, and a brother said in 2012 that he had developed senile dementia.

Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.

“Each new work of his is received by expectant critics and readers as an event of world importance,” the Swedish Academy of Letters said in awarding him the Nobel.

Mr. García Márquez was a master of the literary genre known as magical realism, in which the miraculous and the real converge. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half-century apart. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Person of the Year’ Pope Francis Defends Life in the Womb

Pope Francis, Time magazine's Person of the Year, 2013, says America should be a land prepared "to accept life at every stage, from the mother's womb to old age." (AP)

Pope Francis says America should be a land prepared “to accept life at every stage, from the mother’s womb to old age.” (AP)

(CNSNews.com) — Barbara Boland writes:   In a message sent to the Americas on Dec. 12, a day the Catholic Church celebrates in honor of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Pope Francis, who was named Person of the Year this week by Timemagazine, said that America is called to be “a land prepared to accept life at every stage, from the mother’s womb to old age.”

The Pope made his remarks during the course of the weekly general audience on Wednesday, and the message for the Americas was subsequently broadcast on Vatican Radio.

Dec. 12 is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe because the Church approves and millions of Catholics believe that the mother of Jesus appeared to a Mexican peasant, Juan Diego, in Guadalupe in 1531.

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, who is honored on Dec. 12 by the Catholic Church, and particularly in Mexico City, Mexico.

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn

Commenting on the special day, Pope Francis said, “When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, her face was that of a woman of mixed blood, a mestiza, and her garments bore many symbols of the native culture. Like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life.”

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, who is honored on Dec. 12 by the Catholic Church, and particularly in Mexico City, Mexico.

He continued, “She shares all the joys and hopes, the sorrows and troubles of God’s people, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation. When the image of the Virgin appeared on the tilma [woven poncho] of Juan Diego, it was the prophecy of an embrace: Mary’s embrace of all the peoples of the vast expanses of America – the peoples who already lived there, and those who were yet to come.” Read the rest of this entry »


Best Day of the Dead Costume Ever

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Goli Mohammadi reports:  We spied this amazing Day of the Dead costume online today. The dress is skillfully made of “cups, plates, and plastic utensils,” and it looks like the suit is made of garbage bags. Not sure how “recycled” the materials are, but a great re-imagining of those form factors nonetheless. Do you know who these makers are? If so, let us know in the comments so we can give them the credit they deserve. It was just too good not to share. (Contact goli Mohammadi at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.)

Goli Mohammadi – MAKE magazine