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Photographer's Note

In a rough neighborhood on the far south side of Mexico City, a concrete colossus sprawls amid the foothills that ring the metropolis. Like the nearby volcanoes, it is usually dormant, cold and quiet, but echoes from past eruptions reverberate down the dusty streets and through the far-off valleys.

“The Colossus of Santa Ursula” is Estadio Azteca. The soccer matches of the 1968 Olympics were played here. The finals of the World Cup have been played here — twice. Pele has played here. Diego Maradona scored the fabled “Hand of God” goal here. Paul McCartney and U2 have played here, and Michael Jackson packed the house five nights running. Julio Cesar Chavez has boxed here for a crowd of more than 130,000 fans.

Saturday afternoon, 6 Oct 2012, archrivals Club America and Chivas Guadalajara took the pitch for a hundred and five thousand screaming partisans. Two of those fans were wide-eyed gringos from Austin, Texas. Our minds were completely blown.

Mexico City is a FABULOUS place, although it has its challenges. It is 7300 feet above sea level, so any staircase will leave you winded. It is the 2d or 3d largest city in the world. Many of its 21 million inhabitants are very poor, and a few of them think that tourists are fair prey, so you should be as cautious as you would be in any big city.

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Additional Photos by Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 223 W: 76 N: 433] (1890)
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