THAT journey to Mexico City proved to be something more than an escape from the cramped environment of Chicago. It was more than the revolutionary pilgrimage I had dreamed of in the office of the International Socialist Review. There was color everywhere, dazzling sunshine, and the sharp shadows of eaves over narrow cobbled streets. If there was misery there, I did not see it at first glance. Even the sombreroed and seraped Indians trotting behind clattering burros seemed more lighthearted than the wage slaves of Gary or South Chicago.
The larger cities, Monterrey, San Luis Potosí, and even Querétaro, were saturated with the flavor of Old Spain. Between the cities were wide stretches of desert dotted with tiny adobe towns and weird clusters of cactus. Time after time, burning blue mountain ranges thrust upward little by little from a sandy horizon. How beautiful was this gracious and exploited land! And how I wished that someone were along to enjoy its beauty with me, Edith who could not be persuaded to accompany me, or the Count, who had shouted
"See you in Mexicol"when he saw me off at the depot after my brief stopover at Memphis.
My first glimpse of Mexico City was most impressive. It was just dusk. The coach had filled up with well-dressed Mexican families all chattering in Spanish. There was much laughter. A young army officer was strumming a guitar. From Tacuba to the Federal District it was like a picnic. From the Estación Central to Hotel Clark it was like riding into utopia. So deeply was I impressed with the charm of Mexico City that it took weeks before I became aware of the human misery in which much of that charm was rooted.
The studio was called Casa Americana Amplificadora de Retratos