Return to Centro Histórico

2009 March-April

I have yet to see a photograph of Calle Jesus María when it was populated by Jews. Maybe that’s why, as my imagination emitted snapshots at high speed, I myself wanted to manufacture them, to stamp in photographic words the elusive moment/images of the past, to freeze them so I could study every single detail in them: the ghost of an abonero eating a quesadilla, a housewife baking burekahs, a teacher reading the news of Communist Russia in a Yiddish newspaper, an organillero playing music on a mechanical boom box while a parrot sits on his head, a policeman shining his pistol, a yeshiva boy discussing a Rashi argument near a cantina…

As I saw all this in my mind, I was overtaken by a genuine feeling of kinship and empathy that was beyond words. Maybe I was indeed in communion with the dead. I felt whole, rooted. I was home.

 

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One thought on “Return to Centro Histórico

  1. Goldie Nijensohn says:

    Having been born and raised in Mexico City, attended the same Jewish Day School, and with a very similar background, I was very touched by this excellent article of one of my favorite writers! I also felt a deep kinship with all that was described and will perhaps try to do “the tour” on one of my return trips. Thank you!

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