leisure 06.3.04

Mexican Dossier

Alma, 187 Columbia [Degraw/Cobble Hill W.] 718.643.5400. Get a view of downtown Manhattan from the roof deck of this Carroll Gardens favorite as well as Gary Jacobson's imaginative pan-regional Mexican fare.

Kitchen/Market, 218 8th [21st/22nd] 212.243.4433. negro peppers, herbs and spices, habanero hot sauce, and tortillas are some of the 400 products offered here to prepare authentic Mexican food at home.

Maya, 1191 1st [64th/65th] 212.585.1818. Green mole braised lamb shank and pan-roasted salmon enchiladas are just two of Maya's first-rate dishes, courtesy of chef Richard Sandoval.

Mexicana Mama, 525 Hudson [Charles/W. 10th] 212.924.4119. The chicken mole alone would make this tiny, crowded spot one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the city, but everything's good.

Mexican Radio, 19 Cleveland [Kenmare/Spring] 212.343.0140. While we like the offshoot up in Hudson, NY even better, this joint's a good time, fueled by potent margaritas.

Sueños, 311 W. 17th [8th/9th] 212.243.1333. Sue Torres turns out vibrant and interesting south-of-the-border fare in the old Alley's End space.

Zarela, 953 2nd [50th/51st] 212.644.6740. You can always count on a joyful noise at Zarela Martinez's, along with absolutely delicious cooking.

Look for MoMa at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 5th [104th] 212.831.7272, where a current exhibition of Latin American and Caribbean art from MoMa's collection runs through July 25. You'll find major works by los tres grandes: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros as well as Frida Kahlo and many other notables.

La Vitrina, a hub for Mexican culture in New York, has an interesting list of Mexican artists living in the city, including Norma Márquez Orozco, whose painting is included in our composite image.

Calpulli, a Mexican dance company, was formed last year to promote Mexican folkloric dance. Check the site for upcoming performances or hire them for an event, 917.693.8265.

The Nelly Furtado-ish Natalia Lafourcade, the popular 19-year-old Mexican singer-songwriter, plays SOBs, 204 Varick [Houston] 212.307.7171, on Thursday, July 8 at 9pm. $20 in advance.

You don't need to know who Malcolm Lowry is or be able to locate on a map to enjoy the over 40 tequilas available at the cantina called Under the Volcano, 12 E. 36th [5th/Mad] 212.213.0093.

The Pamilla resort at Los Cabos is so extraordinarily beautiful and restful, according to a recently returned colleague, that reentry into the real world is commensurately painful.

Mary Teresa Giancoli, a photographer based in Sunnyside, is of Mexican and Italian descent. She documents Virgin of Guadalupe pilgrimages, Puebla villagers, and the Mexican community in New York. You can see her work
, where it is on sale through the Biddington's Art Gallery.

At the AIGA National Design Center, 164 5th [21st/22nd] 212.255.4004, there's an exhibition called "Sensacional!", which includes images of Mexican street graphics, labels, flyers, and other vernacular pieces. It runs through August 13.

Sirena, E. 3rd [2nd/Bowery] 212.780.9113, sells all kinds of engaging folk art. You'll find artwork, handmade crafts, clothing, masks, among much else.

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