1 Here we are approaching Mexico City.
2 Here I am with Kevin Sharkey and our airport escort.
3 Daisy Shwartzberg, Sarah Carey, Kevin Sharkey, and I traveled together on this tour of Mexico City.
4 The entrance to Xochimilco, known the 'Venice of Mexico'. It has a network of canals and artificial islands, a testimony to the efforts of the Aztec people to build a habitat in the midst of an unfavorable environment.
5 A street vendor near the entrance of Xochimilco
6 Kevin on the dock near the trajineras, which are colorful boats that float visitors through a portion of the canals.
7 More colorful trajineras
8 Here I am ready to go - With more than 50 miles of canals, known as Floating Gardens, this system of waterways was the main transportation venue, especially for goods from the pre-Hispanic period until the 20th century.
9 This is Alejandro Luna, my security guard in Mexico.
10 Sampling Mexican corn from one of the floating vendors at Xochimilco
11 This fellow was selling colorful bracelets outside Xochimilco.
12 Tostadas de atun (tuna) at Contramar, where we ate one evening. We did not shoot here, but it is one of the top restaurants in Mexico City and well-worth trying.
13 Daisy and Kevin at Contramar - We were happy customers!
14 Seared ahi with jalpeño
15 A house specialty - Pescado a la talla Contramar - a split snapper, one half topped with a dry red spice rub and the other half with green
16 The kitchen at Contramar where handmade corn tortillas are constantly being griddled
17 One of many cathedrals in Mexico City
18 Kevin and I enjoyed the view from Chapultepec Castle, located in the middle of Chapultepec Park at a height of 2,325 meters (more than 7,500-feet) above sea level.
19 The castle dates back to the 14th Century when Nezahualcoyotl, the King of Texcoco, ordered a palace to be built at the foot of the hill.
20 The castle acquired its current look during the second Mexican empire when Emperor Maximilian I and his wife, Empress Carlota established their residence here in 1864.
21 The view from the castle - The castle fell into disuse after the fall of the second Mexican empire in 1867. It became the Museo Nacional de Historia (National Museum of History) in 1944.
22 A wonderful pergola at the castle - The museum houses the collections of the former National Museum of Archaeology, History, and Ethnography.
23 Lovely gardens and fountains
24 We shot a segment at Maggie Galton’s studio. Maggie works with artisans in indigenous and mestizo communities to revive dying craft traditions and develop new products that strike a balance between modernity and tradition.
25 The majority of Maggie's work is textiles, but she also features amazing baskets and ceramics.
26 Posing with Maggie Galton - Maggie started her own product line two years ago and now works with interior designers. She believes it's crucial to preserve a piece’s cultural identity so that any history will not be lost.
27 Carolina Garcia and Adolfo Esccidero Mejia are artisans who specialize in lacquer products. Maggie helps artisans build profitable businesses modeled on traditional craft techniques and ecologically respectful practices.
28 Inez Melquiadis Cruz is a weaver in Maggie's studio. Inez uses a back strap loom, an ancient weaving technique, where the tension of the loom is controlled using the weaver's weight.
29 Associate producer Paige Goudey, Cameraman Frank DeJoseph, audio engineer David Pliskin and my director of photography Gary Nardilla (in a lovely hat) ready to shoot the artisans in Maggie’s studio.
30 Maggie’s studio is piled high with beautiful fabrics and textiles.
31 I loved these handmade cloth napkins.
32 And these colorful pillows
33 Izote de Patricia Quintana is another restaurant that we visited. Izote is named for the orchid-like flower of the yucca plant.
34 We sampled goat tacos with tomato salsa and hoja santa leaves.
35 And a great guacamole
36 One of the many churches in Mexico City with street vendors set up outside. I met with restaurateur Martha Ortiz outside this church and we visited some of the street food vendors.
37 This vendor was selling prayer cards and books.
38 Another was selling prayer candles.
39 The entrance to the church is very ornate.
40 The handsome interior
41 With street vendor Bernandina Feliciano Garcia and Martha Ortiz. Bernandina makes delicious Mexican corn, which is served on the cob with mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime or cut off the cob and served in a cup.
42 Dulce Patria is another top restaurant in Mexico City. Chef/owner Martha Ortiz, who took me on the street food tour, treated us to a wonderful meal here.
43 We had these flavorful dried vegetable chips.
44 This is aptly called the 'He loves me, He loves me not' margarita at Dulce Patria.
45 The condiments that accompanied the meal from mild to hot
46 Two of the sous chefs in the kitchen at Dulce Patria
47 Some of the Dulce Patria breads - some of the bread is flavored with roses and mole.
48 More of the wonderful employees at Dulce Patria
49 The menu for our dinner at Dulce Patria - Martha Ortiz and her staff personalized the menu just for me and my traveling companions.
50 One of the delicious ceviches served to us at Dulce Patria
51 First entrée - Achojile sea bass with tender hoja santa tamal and fresh purslane
52 The second entrée - Duck in mole negro with banana plume
53 We also shot a segment at Azul Condesa. Here I am with chef/owner Ricardo Munoz Zurita.
54 Ricardo is committed to serving true national cuisine. His menu is a recreation of the oral traditions he has gathered from across the entire country.
55 Buñelos rellenos de pato rostizado (roast duck stuffed into deep fried wonton like wrappers, served with Oaxacan black mole, thin slices of zucchini, and fresh blackberries)
56 Mole amarillo con venado o costillas de cordero (lamb chops in yellow mole)
57 Almendrado Huasteco, veracruzano con venado acompañado de puré de camote y verduras variados (Venison with almond mole, served with mashed sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables)
58 Camarones con pipian verde (shrimp in a sauce of tomatillo and pumpkin seeds)
59 Espuma de guanábana (soursop mousse with chocolate sauce)
60 Pastel de tres leches (three milks cake) served with rompope, Mexican eggnog
61 We also shot a fun segment with Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard in Chapultepec Park. We rode eco bicis (bicycles) through the park. These bicycles are helping to reduce car traffic and improve air quality.
62 Here I am with Mayor Ebrard and my wonderful production crew after our bike ride through the park - David Pliskin, Sae Wook Oh, Kelli Hill, Gary Nardilla, Laurie Hepburn, and Paige Goudey.