Monday, April 25, 2016

Condesa y Roma

Condesa and Roma are two of the trendiest neighborhoods in Mexico City. While not as upscale as Polanco, walking around this area made me understand why the city is occasionally compared to Buenos Aires. Beautiful Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings, lively parks, and on-trend restaurants and markets make these neighborhoods a treat to walk around. I'd done a little research using Google Street View before leaving home, and marked some of the oft-photographed buildings on a map (at the end of this post), but I also stumbled across some interesting finds of my own.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Parque Alameda Central - the Heart of Mexico City

Before I arrived in Mexico City, I thought of the Zocalo as the heart of the city. But after staying at Hostel Suites DF in Colonia Tabacalera, I began to have a sneaking suspicion that at some point the city center shifted west to the Parque Alameda Central. I started my Sunday morning sitting on one of the many benches on the edge of the park, facing Avenida Juárez. Like the Paseo de Reforma, the street is blocked off to traffic on Sundays and is an excellent place to watch the city go by. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Templo Mayor

Mexican students posing in front of a reproduction of the Coyolxauhqui monolith

My first afternoon in Mexico City was spent at the spot where modern-day Mexico was born - in the heart of Tenochtitlan, at the ruins of the Templo Mayor. But before we talk about that, a few observations:

First observation - Aztec myths and gods have always seemed so "foreign" to me. When I went to Egypt, I was well-versed in their ancient mythology, which is no less convoluted than that of the Aztecs. But I think loads of people get at least some exposure to Egypt in school, thanks to it being one of the building blocks for Western civilization. In the same history, the Aztecs were a people conquered. We learn about their defeat at the hands of Cortés and practically nothing about their stories and beliefs. (Difficult names like Coyolxauhqui and Huitzilopochtli probably don't help.)

Second observation - I've seen - both online and in person - lots of confusion about Mexico's different indigenous cultures. (People saying Teotihuacan is a Mayan or Aztec site, when it isn't either, for example.) The Aztecs were the last great Pre-Colombian civilization at the time Cortés arrived, but they'd only been in that position for about 200 years.

Third observation - Aztec is a misnomer. Mexica is the proper name, and is used on signage throughout museums and historical sites. So, from this point on... Mexica.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What I Ate: Mexico City Edition

I knew I wanted to do a food post for Mexico City. (After all, Mexico's cuisine is listed on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list.) At first, I wasn't sure how structure it - by category? Should I include or leave out things I wanted to go more into depth on? I ended up taking the easiest out, by listing everything in chronological order. Trying to remember what I ate on which day started to feel like 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', aside from the fact that I didn't turn into a butterfly at the end. So let's go with that theme and see the things (ALL THE THINGS) I managed to consume over a week's stay in Mexico City...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Salvaging Your Pictures with Photoshop

I recently got back from Mexico City. While I love solo travel, one of the downsides (for me, at least) is an album full of awesome shots of buildings, food, people, food, fauna and flora, food, etc... but little proof of you in them. Camera phones and selfies have made this less of an issue, but it's still nice to have some pictures of you doing something other than holding your phone aloft to get the most flattering angle. I try to make a point of relying on the kindness of strangers in hopes of getting a decent picture of myself each time I travel. But often, the results can be disappointing...