Centro is steeped in history, but the city is good at expressing modernity as well. The endless modern-art galleries at the Museo Macay wore us out, but we were delirious with pleasure at its exhibits. More and more contemporary architecture is out there, and I don’t need to list the practitioners here who are unmatched in any larger city.
And at street level, we can’t but help take great pleasure from the city’s cosmopolitan coffeehouses.
The latest one to catch our eye is Café Libertad, which opened on Calle 60, off 55, in May. After a long day that culminated at the Mérida English Language Library MELL-o night, we stopped in at Cafe Libertad on the way back to our quarters. The owner came right over and introduced himself to us, and he explained his vision. The cafe is to be a haven for open exchange of ideas about art, culture and politics.
We had cappuccinos and some quiche under the watchful gaze of history’s big thinkers and revolutionaries — in a pair of murals high up on two facing walls. We plotted no coups, however, sticking strictly to small talk.
To see how much the local coffee shop scene has evolved, check out Yucatán Living’s 2008 coffeehouse survey. Mérida has come a long way.