Mexico City

Mexico City

Mexico City is huge, overwhelming, chaotic, loud, totally insane and absolutely spectacular. The entire city feels like an edgy work of art done by some artist who is destined to be completely misunderstood for life. Perhaps that’s why until our visit, I completely misunderstood one of North America’s greatest destinations.

Yes, it’s polluted and, at times, dangerous. But it is arguably the culturally richest place in the Americas. Mexico City is literally built on the ruins of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. One of the oldest colonial cities in the new world, the inhabitants of Mexico City were strolling past Spanish Baroque while the first colonial Americans were patching the holes in their drafty log cabins with mud. Some cities would be content to rest on their historical laurels, but Mexico City is a constantly evolving work of living art.

Mexico City

Art is everywhere. It’s in the graffiti, the ancient churches, the food, the drag queens, the modern architecture, the 10-inch stilettos, the street performers, the gyrating hips and the whispers in indigenous tongues that echo through the city. Awesome.

Mexico City

For me personally, the highlight was the murals that decorate many of the public places. The incredibly prolific Diego Rivera left his mark across the city. DO NOT MISS his epic multi-story socialist statement in the Edifice of the Secretaria de Educacion Publica. Genius. The mammoth mural by Diego and David Alfaro Siqueiros also adorn the stunning Palacio de Bellas Artes, which itself doubles as a theater and an art museum. Keep your eyes peeled for a cameo appearance by Lenin. The ultimate example of mural mania is Siqueiros psychedelic Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros, a massive 60’s-era exhibition space which doubles as a walk in 3-D mural.

Gay Pride Mexico City

If 20th century socialist murals don’t do it for you, there’s always the largest cathedral in the Americas or the National Museum of Anthropology, the ultimate collection of pre-Colombian art featuring the world-famous Aztec Sun Stone. Hate churches and museums? Then just get out in the street and start walking. Who knows what you might find in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Our surprise discoveries included street after street of gay pride celebrations and a great little authentic Korean restaurant where we stuffed our faces with dolsot bibimbap.

Mexico City

We spent nine days in Mexico City and we barely scratched the surface. We can’t wait to go back. But next time, we intend to stay MUCH longer.

Mexico CityThomas stands in the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros

Mexico CityFamous Sun Stone

Mexico City

Mexico CityIdols strewn across steps in ruins of Tenochtitlan

Mexico City
Mexico City


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Topics: Architecture, Art and Ritual, City Life, Mexico, UNESCO World Heritage Sites | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Mexico City”

  • avatar Jerry
    August 12th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I don’t really understand the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros picture. Is that a wall or a building?

  • avatar jose
    August 13th, 2014 at 9:58 am

    So many people describe mexico as violence, traffic, pollution. I am so happy you see beauty and art and life in my city. Thank you for so good writing on mexico.

  • avatar Tony
    August 13th, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    @Jerry The Polyforum is a large multicolored building (very 60s) which was designed for cultural, social and political events. Then entire interior of the event area is lined with an amazing 3D mural done by Siqueiros. The picture above shows Thomas standing in front of a wall within the building. That is just a tiny part of the larger mural.

  • avatar Tony
    August 13th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    @jose I have to admit, we didn’t expect to like Mexico City so much because we had heard many people complain about the traffic, pollution, danger and the size of the city itself. But we did really love it.

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