May '13 - Feb '16
I took the metro to the centro and walked along Eje central towards the historic center. The entire Eje is lined on both sides with all kinds of cheap stores, including a staggering number of electronics vendors. The are several massive warrens of nothing but narrow stalls selling cell phones, tablets, computers, game systems, and associated paraphernalia. And lots and lots of pirated software.
My goal, however, was skyward. I paid the $6 to go up to the observatory on the top of the Torre Latinoamericano, skyscraper of 43 floors, like a miniature Empire state building.
The tower stands at the edge of the giant historic center, with great views of the center- including a view down into the Zocolo. You can see the airport in the distance. Around to the south, the mountains fade into the haze, growing larger even as they become less clear in the smog. To the west, you can see the towers and the commercial centers along Paseo de la Reforma. It’s a big city, but it doesn’t look as big as Tokyo or Sao Paolo did from up on high.
Perhaps its because the smog conceals the stretch of the city. Perhaps its because the towers are so few and concentrated. Mexico City really is a low-rise, high density city, paradoxically as that sounds. Far in the distance, I could see the silhouettes of the towers in the business and financial new masterplanned suburb of Santa Fe, built on an old massive landfill.
I used their bathrooms and free internet, and for me, that alone was worth the price of admission.
Back on Eje central, just a few blocks south of Torre Latinoamerica, I finally found Churreria El Moro. As the name implies, this is a cafe devoted solely to churros, coffee, and hot chocolate. Tons of tables. The gracefully arcing churros are made right up front, and the rich, thick drinking chocolate is ladled out of massive cauldrons. I ordered four churros and a chocolate. I have a new addition to my list of favorite places in Mexico City.
Urban and architectural explorations from Mexico City to Stuttgart Germany through the eyes of a iterant architectural designer