I HEART MEXICO CITY

Trip Start Oct 10, 2007
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Trip End May 15, 2008


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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dios Mio!!!!  Anyone that says Mexico City is not worth visiting, get in and out, no need for more than a few days, surely did not spend time truly getting to know this city.  Mexico City is full of art and culture.  There are museums everywhere, art and music is its heart and Lucha Libres is its fun crazy laughing soul.

In two weeks, taking a day or two to relax, I went to multiple museums and cultural venues and still feel there is so much more I would like to see. 

If you like Prada and such you are in luck here.  If you like pirated
CDs and DVDs you are also in luck.  People walk up and down the subway
cars trying to sell candies, pens, CDs and DVDs, they even have a fine
speaker system and lil tvs to advertise the CDs and DVDs, always
10pesos.  Sorry, no Prada on the subways.

The Metro system, by the way, is the same one as in Atlanta, GA and other worldwide
cities.  Completely infuriating during rush hour, it is otherwise quite
convenient and only 2P which is about 20 cents (there are roughly 10
pesos to 1 US dollar).

The Zocalo is always going, there are always events of one type or
another.  Earth Day is not just a day but an almost week long event,
including traditional Aztec dances, information on composting,
reforestation and animal rights.  Actually, the Aztec dances could be
seen about every evening with folk selling jewelery.  Of course there
is the magnificent Catedral which is the larges in Latin America.  With
many masses a day it was difficult to find a respectable time to enter
but I succeeded and took some great pics.

Multiple parks both in and around the central city and each one with
its own market and minnie festivals, churches mixed with fabulous music
and scrumptious nieve and other foods.  It seems that wherever you walk,
wherever you go there is a life sized sculpture and outdoor art
exhibits.  You just can't avoid them!

There was an international traveling exhibition, Ashes and Snow, which was incredible.  Starting in 2002 it continues to visit cities throughout the world and Mexico City blessed me with this experience.  Also this fabulous orchestra from somewhere (will have to add it later) the performed which was amazing!! 

The Bellas Artes theater is incredible and I went on a free tour to see
the Tiffany built glass curtain in the theater.  I tried to get some
picks but really hard to capture.  You'll just have to go and see it
yourself.  The Government  building which name I have forgotten is full of Diego Rivera murals as well. 

The
Frida Khalo museum is in what was once her and Diego's home.  In it one
will see everything from scribbles on bits of paper, letters between
Frida, Diego and others.  Mostly personal, some political and
translated into English.  The art not only includes the one of a kind,
unique art of Frida that we've all seen but also some pieces never
seen before.  Some of her clothes, including the orthopedic girdle she
needed to wear are on display.  Many photographs of Frida, Diego and
some friends.  Being in this house, walking around it what feels like
someones personal space I gained a much stronger sense of one of the
most revered women artists in our time.

I went to an
International Dance Festival with a few people, where I saw regionally
traditional Mexican dances, Arabian dances and Flamenco.

One of my favorite things about Mexico City were the people.  Once you got the city out of people (you know the rushed gotta get there don't know where but gotta get there) they were very friendly, willing to speak spanish to you and everyone had their own style.  The youth have the punk rock and/or emo styles dowwwnnn.  All types, all ages come to join at the same events. 

It has also become a leading capital in legalizing same-sex civil unions.  In the midsts of a strongly catholic nation Mexico City is far ahead of many other cities throughout the world in terms of "religiously controlled" rights or lack there of.  In addition, abortion has also been legalized within the first 3 months.

The men, in spite of an infamous "machismo" reputation (personally I think this is a fancy name for sexist and/or macho guys which are everywhere) men carry their novia's (girlfriend's) or esposa's (wife's) purses, hijas (daughters) pink sparkly backpacks, push the strollers and carry babies in pink slings. Not to say that all is equal, far from it.  Every street corner has a magazine stall with porn galore mixed in with typical magazines.  No hiding it, your three year old will see some reality suspended naked women.  I also had my ass grabbed in a crowded store, if I was in the states I would have said something to the guy kind of like "when you disrespect one woman you disrespect all and that includes your mom, sister, cousin, grandma, aunt and even the beloved, otherworldly Virgin de Guadeloupe" but I was not and thus I said nothing but gave him an evil stare and kept closer watch on my buttocks! 

My couchsurfing guy was fabulous as was his father, uncle, and friends.  I got to practice my spanish a bit, he provided me with some food, invited me out with his friends reignited my commitment to animal liberation and organized a Lucha Libre night on my last night!

The city itself is built over ruins of Cortes time which is built on ruins of Aztec times which means both have been and continue to be found and excavated.  Most interesting to me is that the types of buildings seem to match.  Church over church, government building over government building.    You can see some ruins under the Catedral and near the Zocalo at anytime.

On my last night I went to a Lucha Libre.  These are the wresting matches between the guys with those fancy masks on.  Fabulous, filled with people, changing famous names  "fatasmo" "mistico"  or "MI STI CO"  He's my favorite 'cause he wears pink and he has a little baby with a tiny pink Luchador outfit.  Plus he won:) If I lived in Mexico City I think Lucha Libres would be a monthly if not weekly ritual!

Yes there is crime, yes there is smog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smog, yes there are those neighborhoods you want to avoid but that is true in Boston, NYC, LA etc. as well. 

Mexico City is Art is Culture is Mexico City.  Any visit to Mexico would be lacking without some time in one of the most incredible cities in the Western Hemisphere.
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