Goodnight sweet prince


Phil Kelly died on Monday. An Irishman who arrived in Mexico City in the early 1980s, he looked at the city assiduously, and through sheer powers of observation, made it his own. No one who wrote about Mexico City influenced me as much as Phil's painting did. I venture to guess that if I had never met Phil, I may never have written my books about Mexico. In my book Las llaves de la ciudad, there is a long profile about him. Here is a link to an earlier post about him.

Apart from being a brilliant painter, Phil read in three languages, and had a huge store of literary references in the recesses of his brain. There is a dish served in Mexico called chamorro. It's pork shank -- basically the whole calf on the bone. Once, we were in a cantina and I ordered the chamorro. When it arrived, it was enormous, a huge piece of meat. Phil looked at it and said, "Chamorro and chamorro and chamorro."

Many of us will miss him.