Palace of the Blue Butterfly | Episode 16
. . . A quick, little tour of Monte Piedad, the National Pawn Shop.
If you go to Mexico City, this is must stop shopping.
You want to find some of those fabulous gold Oaxacan earrings? Monte Piedad.
Antique Silver bracelets? Monte Piedad.
Art Deco coffee service? Ditto.
Perhaps, like me, you just want to wander around and think of all the stories behind the jewels and silverware.
Or maybe you’ve gotten this far in Palace of the Blue Butterfly, and you want to know what Monte Piedad looks like. Well, here it is. Mysterious, huh?
And if you have gotten this far in the story, you’ll know why I asked my friend Frances Miller to take the photograph on the right. No need to explain further. Here it is, and we’re lucky to have it, because no sooner had she taken the shot than the guard ran out and told us “No Fotos, por favor senoras. No fotos.”
Well, here it is—the line at the payment windows at Monte Piedad. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.
A brief bit of history. Monte Piedad—the building on the left— is on the southwest corner of the Zolcolo, facing the Palacio Nacional and right across the street from the Catedral Metropolitana.
The setting is where Moctezuma’s father had his palace. “More of a city than a palace,” the Spaniards said. After the conquest, the building housed Cortez’s offices. That’s what I love about Mexico. Just go shopping and you pass through centuries of history.
Frances took a picture of the tile marker on the building. Translation: Here were the old houses of Moctezuma until 1521.
A little explanation. Moctezuma lived in the “new houses” a huge palace where the Palacio Nacional is today.
And speaking of shopping . . . just in case you’re in need of that special little witchcraft item, that potion, root or herb, there’s always the Mercado Sonora—the sorcerer’s market. And if you’ve gotten this far in the story, well, you know why this picture’s here.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy the rest of Lili’s journey. We could all use a little witchcraft and magic in our lives these days.
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