My “Hermano” Eugenio Lopez’ Museo Jumex

This morning starts extremely well; I wake up in at my dear friend’s Eugenio Lopez’s gorgeous penthouse in Polanco, to the most beautiful view of Mexico City from the 20th floor! After a one hour swim and steam room in the glamorous residence SPA that seems to be used only by me; It’s time for Lupita’s, Eugenio’s chef, best Chilaquiles west of Mississippi! Though she kindly reassures that she made them “Gringo” style (meaning not to spicy), my entire face is on fire…but most definitely worth the pain. Today’s activities are definitely all about ART, so off we go to Eugenio’s Museo Jumex (www.museojumex.org).

The Museo Júmex in Polanco, opened on 19 November 2013 and it was designed by famed architect David Chipperfield with its distinctive saw tooth shape. The museum is the love child of Eugenio Lopez and I was lucky to be part of the whole process that started over seven years ago. I saw the original architectural design, the first miniature model and watched this project developed into one of the most amazing museums’ of contemporary art in the world. Eugenio has amassed one of the most important collections of contemporary art and always dreamed of building a museum in his hometown that would be the pride of his family and his country…he has succeeded in both and with it, he has cemented his legacy forever and has given Mexico City something to be really proud of! Sadly, his amazing permanent collection is not here today, but I am pleased to see that in its place stands one of Alexander Calder’s best exhibits I’ve seen in years. I believe the exhibit continues through June; so if you’re in Mexico, do stop in…it’s worth it!!!

 

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Museo Jumex front view

 

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The big man’s office…he’ll probably kill me for taking this photo!

 

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Alexander Calder exhibit hall

 

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Alexander Calder mobile piece

 

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Alexander Calder wire face with Kass shadow play interpretation…

 

Just across the plaza is Carlos Slim’s (world’s richest man) Museo Soumaya. The building was designed by the Mexican architect Fernando Romero, who is married to a daughter of Carlos Slim. Though I consider it an architecture masterpiece, the interior leaves a lot to be desired! Even the collection is far less impressive than it’s neighbor Jumex. Mainly filled with old masters, the collection seems to have all the pieces that all the other museums or collectors didn’t particularly want…It’s messy and just doesn’t flow. Even more bizarre is the Sophia Loren exhibits in the top floor. Now…I want to make very clear that I am a huge fan of Sophia Loren and thrilled that I had the opportunity to meet her a few times, but what are her dresses, magazine covers and awards (yes, her Oscar from La Ciociara, is there!) doing alongside the Tintoretto’s, El Greco’s, and De Chirico? Hummm…call me crazy! Anyway, visual overload…time for lunch.

 

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Carlos Slim’s Museo Soumaya

 

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Soumaya detail

 

My favorite lunch spot in Mexico City is El Contramar (www.contramar.com.mx). They specialize in seafood and I’m telling you, it’s incredible. I start with the lobster tacos, served with an infernally hot green salsa, then the king crab legs with chili aioli (which are a bitch to crack open) and a margarita on the rocks…perfection! This eatery does not come cheap, but worth every peso…which reminds me, I need more!!

 

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El Contramar entrance

 

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El Contramar main dining room

 

To finish off the day, we go to Mexico City’s oldest and biggest attraction: The Museo de Antropologia in Chapultepek (www.mna.inah.gob.mx). This is the real deal possums; here you get to see, first hand, the evolution of the most important civilizations of the Americas: the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incas and some of the most amazing pieces of antiquity you can imagine. It’s overwhelming and jaw dropping; the massive carved stone Aztec calendar took my breath away! The place is huge and you really need an entire day to cover it, but Mr. K is on a tight schedule so 3 hours will have to do…not to mention I’ve been here a hundred times before and I can’t feel my feet anymore…time to go home.

 

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Maya head

 

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Detail of a mural

 

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The massive stone Aztec calendar

 

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Posing under Montezuma’s headpiece. He sure knew drama…even then!

 

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One of the many amazing rooms at the museum

 

After a much-needed siesta it’s time to whip it up and get ready for the evening. Tonight I am invited by my hilarious and super-charming friend Santiago Fuster, a Mexican entertainment TV host, to the opening of the high-end Italian restaurant L’Osteria del Becco (www.losteriadelbecco.com) at the newly refurbished Four Season Hotel (www.fourseasons.com/mexico); with me are also my brother David Kass (the nicest of the 3 brothers) and Raphael Tessier. The opening is a total mad house and way to packed for my likes…though one of the chicest crowds I’ve seen in Mexico. I find a way to befriend one of the servers who insures a continues flow of drinks to all of us along with delicious little cups of Risotto at tartufo, Prosciutto di Parma wrapped on a grissini and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano. After a few Negroni’s, the massive crowd of beautifully dressed and accessorized Mexican guests suddenly seems to be just what the doctor prescribed!

It’s getting late so it’s time for a late night snack and nothing is better than the famed Taqueria El Califa (www.elcalifa.com.mx). This places serves up some of the best tacos in the city, most of which I can’t pronounce; the energy is amazing and the line to get a table is long…patience is definitely needed. Here I finally get a chance to catch up with my brother David, who recently moved to Mexico City from Lugano, Switzerland, to open a chain of Texan delicious hamburger joints named: Mooyah (www.mooyah.com); as you can see, food runs in the family! Six tacos and four cerveca’s later, its time for bed!

 

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Robert Kass and Raphael Tessier at the opening of Becco at the Four Season Hotel

 

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The amazing Taqueria El Califa

 

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David Kass (my brother), Raphael Tessier and the hilarious Santiago Fuster

 

 

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