Excuse My Dust*
By Karen Ocampo
Jose Emilio Pacheco said in his Panteones poem, “The horror (of being ) abandoned remains more durable than affection and gratitude.” This brings us to reflect on whether cemeteries are a perpetuation of forgetfulness or memory. Although this may cause uneasiness, it also generates a lot of respect for these burial grounds.
Although we know that talking about death can generate a bittersweet taste, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to evoke the contradictory feelings which are inherent in these celebratory days: nostalgia and celebration, death and life, tombs and sweet bread. Let’s start!
Start the day with pan de muerto at La Buena Vida bakery and then walk down Insurgentes to the San Juan de Dios cemetery. Declared a World Heritage Site, you can appreciate it on November 2. In disrepair until a few years ago, this cleaned and restored resting place emanates tranquility, so don’t be surprised if you run into a squirrel or cat hanging out with the departed in singular joy and calm.
Then take a walk to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe graveyard. This is near Real de Minas Hotel and more than once has been the site where you can watch horror movies. You can wander among the colorful tombs or the most interesting ones.
A place that you can’t miss on your visit is the crypt of San Miguel Parroquia, located in front of the presbytery. In the crypt are the remains of priests who were participants in the Insurgent Conspiracy in the year 1810, as are the remnants of the former President of Mexico, General Anastasio Bustamante.
After a day of reflecting on the dead and death, have dinner at Café San Agustin and finish it off with delicious, comforting hot chocolate.
Panadería La Buena Vida/Hernández Macías 72, Colonia Centro
Panteón Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe/Camino Viejo Al Panteón 46, Colonia Centro
San Agustín/San Francisco 21, Colonia Centro
*Epitaph for Dorothy Parker, writer and satirist from United States