Remembering Colonia Roma, Mexico

Remembering Colonia Roma, Mexico

just past 7am when I wake to a sound that is indisputably

. “Tamales, tamales oaxaeños, acérquese y pida sus ricos
tamales oaxaeños.” A standard morning wake-up call and breakfast
offering in this corner of the city, I pass on the tamales but
embrace the rambling alarm clock and get up.

I start to make my way across La Roma towards my favourite
bakery. The sun is peeking through splintered tree branches as I
walk along Avenida Obregon. Shadows dress the old colonial houses
in lace-like patterns. I’ve made this walk dozens, if not hundreds
of times. This time is different. I have Alfonso Cuarón’s latest
film, Roma, to thank for that.

Set in the 70s, the film tells the story of Cleo, a young woman
of Mixtec heritage working as a live-in maid for an
upper-middle-class family in Mexico
. Shot in digital black and white, the film showcases the
beauty and intricacies of Colonia Roma at that time – and today I
can’t shake it.

Where I once fixated on the vibrant colours and street art that
La Roma has become known for, I’m now noticing the shadows and
contrast of the neighbourhood. Trendy cafés live within old
colonial homes; a gluten-free bakery coexists below a tiled street
sign that is decades old; a high rise pops up in front of the
Iglesia de la Sagrada Familia.

“Te puedo ayudar?” Can I help you?

So fixated on details of the city, I fail to realise that I am
at Panaderia Rosetta and completely blocking the entrance. I order
a Guayaba-filled sweet bread, take a seat on one of the outdoor
benches and reflect on the black-and-white world that Alfonso has
introduced me to.

@andrea.x.campos |

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