Today I decided to do a dry run on my own, to make sure I really knew how to get around the city. Catching the combi from the street was easy, it took me straight to the metro station.
Actually, it bounced us around, sped, and slammed on brakes while blasting techno music and I thought, you know, this is kind of a fun city. There’s only one train to take the metro, so I jumped aboard and took the trains around to finally jump out at my destination.
However, as I approached Paseo de la Reforma, I saw a bicycle pass, then a small group, then a flood of bicyclists. In fact, the entire Paseo de la Reforma had been blocked off to traffic and in its place were thousands of bicyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders. Not competitively, but casually, for the enjoyment. Actually, most of the places I walked today were along the closed routes, so I was always in the serene presence of bicylists passing by, like koi in a pond.
Mexico city has also instituted a rentalbike system common in many other cities around the world. These are called Metrobici, and they were everywhere in Contesa and near la Reforma.
I picked up a Mexican design and architecture magazine at the Sanborns store by the Angel. These are fairly ubiquitous stores which are kind of like mini-Macy’s: a reduced selection of high brand products like top of the line digital cameras, brand purses and travel gear, a small bookstore, a small pharmacy, and a restaurant which are supposed to be pretty good.
I walked to Condesa which was a neighborhood developed for the wife of the Emperor Maximillian. It’s pretty and old and really laid back. I enjoyed it a lot actually. Ate an ice cream cone at store which turning a frantic business with all the bicyclists and the pedestrans who were out enjoying the beautiful day. I was sorely tempted by an Argentine restaurant selling empanadas and choripan sandwiches.
Catching the metro to Polanco, the hippest neighborhood in the city, I had to admit there were a lot of high end international stores. Condesa had an apple store, Polanco had one too, next to the Porche dealership.
Everywhere in the city, the jacarandas are blooming. These trees flower with amazing lavender canopies and produce a rich purple carpet below.
Walking around a roundabout in Polanco, I spotted a La Parilla Suisa, which has stores in Mexico city and a few other places, including Phoenix. We used to go there back when we were all living in Phoenix. The one in Phoenix was a realatively nice sit down restaurant, not a splurge, but definitalely nicer than your Chuy’s. The ones here are more taco oriented, more casual and straightforward with specials in the window. Today, 2 for 1 tacos al pastor (marinated pork with pineapple), so I ordered 2x2 and a coke. The total came to less than $5.
Also in Polanco, I visited a luxury chocolate shop to buy a gift for my host family of the next week or so. Apparently I was off of my own map, having taken a wrong turn, so I was directed back to the station. Actually, she also gave me bus directions, but the state of my spanish is still useless in that regard.
Coming back to the house was less successful. I took the right train in the wrong direction and went three stations too far before realizing my mistake. I found the right combi but didn’t tell the driver the stop early enough, so I had to hike an extra five minutes uphill.
I am an intern working for Tatiana Bilbao's office to supplement my architecture and urban tourism addiction. This blog will focus on my free time, which I mostly spend trying to get to grip on the astounding breadth and depth of the city via museums, taco stalls, parks, forgotten monuments, obscure corners, public space, and avoiding death by cars, death cults, muggings, volcanoes, and taco stalls.