Arturo Sarukhan, The Ambassador of Mexico, shares a few of his hopes, dreams, and favorite D.C. spots with WL.
Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan with his wife Veronica Sarukhan at the Trust For The National Mall Luncheon. Photo by Kyle Samperton.
Washington has a unique place in my life. I obtained a master’s degree here, worked at the Mexican Embassy during the 1990s as chief of staff to the ambassador, and met my wife, Veronica, in Washington. I picked up my allergies to pollen here, and now have a daughter, our second, who was born at Sibley Hospital. Veronica and I, in fact, were pioneers of Washington’s urban renaissance, when, after dating for some time, we decided to move into a brownstone at 14th and Corcoran Street NW in 1997.
Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th St. NW)
Washington boasts one of the finest collections of art museums in the world, but we also have a crown jewel in our landmark Mexican Cultural Institute.
Black Salt Fish Market and Restaurant
All that a great neighborhood restaurant should be: consistent, classy with a bit of edge and a fish-monger’s at the same time. I should not be sharing this secret.
Bridges on the Potomac and Over Rock Creek Park
I enjoy the stunning architecture of the Key Bridge, Dumbarton (or “Buffalo”) Bridge, Memorial Bridge and William Howard Taft Bridge. Can you imagine the sight if the city were to light them up at night?
The Bartholdi Fountain
The Botanic Garden on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (who later created the Statue of Liberty). It is in one of the city’s best urban spaces. Great for an evening date.
The Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress is the most beautiful building in Washington, and one of the most stunning in the nation. That Reading Room!
Three questions for Arturo Sarukhan
What is the most important part of your mission in Washington?
Underscoring how uniquely important Mexico and the U.S. are to each other’s prosperity, well-being and security, and that citizens on both sides of the border need to understand that they must become costakeholders of the strategic relationship we are developing.
What do you like best about living in the United States?
The sense of boundless energy and possibility and the Americans’ ability to laugh about themselves. I wish many more societies, including my own, would understand the bracing effects and social, political and philosophical underpinnings of a good roast like the Gridiron Club dinner or the Bill Mahers and Jon Stewarts of America’s public opinion landscape.
How have you been promoting Mexican art and culture here?
Aggressively and continuously, both through traditional mediums like art exhibits, film or gastronomy, and new social media platforms. As the first ambassador to tweet in Washington, I believe cultural promotion is a perfect fit for these new instruments of an interconnected world.