MEXICO: Roll Out the Barrel

Under the stress of such 20th century imperatives as industrialization, swift-flowing traffic and civic cleanliness, many fine old institutions have been erased from the Mexico City scene. Gone are the dog sellers of Madero Avenue, the guitar-strumming trios who once worked the suburban bus lines, the evangelistas (professional letter writers) who held forth in a plaza near the presidential palace. The mosaic-tiled promenades in the parks, where boy met girl in evening roundabout strolls as stylized as ballet, are deserted; nowadays, boy blows auto horn summoning dark-eyed beauty to drive off...

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