“The Ambiente in Public: Sex, Socialization, and Modernity in Mexico City’s Parks, Plazas, and Streets, 1895-1950,” Ryan Jones
This chapter explores the ambiente—queer social world—in Mexico City’s centrally-located Alameda park and Zócalo plaza, 1895–1950. Local, national, and global processes of modernity converged around these crucial sites, and they, along with the streets between, served as the primary east-west axis around which sex, socialization, and community building was oriented. The chapter features how working-class Mexicans experienced modernity intersectionally through the public ambiente and new technologies including illumination and tramways that, unintentionally, enabled its growth. How those in the ambiente used public space overlapped with mainstream uses, but also fostered new forms of urban kinship.
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