Mexico City Journals

Mexico City, This Small Little Town

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A January 2006 trip to Mexico City by JesusW

Los Tradicionales de Don Ray Photo, Mexico City, Mexico More Photos
Quote: A city so inmense that even taxi drivers get lost, so many of everything it´s a difficult chore to see everything.

Mexico City, This Small Little Town

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Overview

Felines, deities of the Aztecs Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This Small Little Town as I affectionately call it, is one of the largest cities in the world, competing with Shanghai, Tokio, New Delhi. The size of its population is a big debate, politically there are two different states involved the D.F. (Federal District, like Washington, D.C.) and Estado de México. The city is composed of parts of both entities and it makes a joke to tell how many inhabitants compose Mexico city, the average figure is 20 to 25 million persons, depending on whom is saying the number and for what purpose. The DF part of the equation should be around 15 million, and about 10 million should be distributed in the sleep areas of Nezahualcoyotl, Satelite, Cuahutitlan, Ecat...Read More

Los Tradicionales de Don Ray

Restaurant | "Tacos El Pastorcito"

Los Tradicionales de Don Ray Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
I know this restaurant since it´s beginnings. It started with the owner making the Al Pastor meat by himself and a very skinny (but very tasty) "trompo" (we call it in Mexico, like the namesake toy).Today, on a Friday night there are 4 trompos and each one is heavier and wider than the guy making the tacos. And there are no leftovers for the next day, just imagine the amount of tacos they serve every night!!!This place is extremely popular as people from different and distant areas of the city drive all the way to eat here, something not very usual with tacos al pastor as normally people stick to their neighborhoods to have a quick taco, in this case the flavor and quantity is ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 1, 2006

Los Tradicionales de Don Ray
Congreso de la Union
Mexico City, Mexico

Doneraki Tacos Arabes

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Restaurant | "Don Eraki "

Doneraki Tacos Arabes Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
You are here to have tacos mainly, and Tacos Arabes specially, since there is a difference between both: Al pastor normally have a pineapple roasting on top of the meat and you get a chunk of it in each taco, and the meat is normally marinated with achiote and other secret recipes so it will look orange-reddish on the rotisserie; Meanwhile Tacos Arabes won’t have neither of those, is the plain meat on a vertical rotisserie served on a tortilla or more correctly on Pan Arabe, which is very similar to a Flour Tortilla but larger and thicker, almost like a mini-pizza.Today I had a Quesadilla Arabe (thick flour-tortilla and larger, with lots of meat and melted cheese) one Taco Oriental con ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 17, 2006

Doneraki Tacos Arabes
Cumbres De Maltrata 263, Narvarte
Mexico City, Mexico
56-39-86-91

Helados Roxy

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Restaurant

lots of natural flavors to choose  Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This ice-cream parlor has been made a legend in Mexico city, all around Mexico you will find La Michoacana, but there are only four** Roxy's, they prefer to keep control of the quality and hasn't grown too big. **Update March 2009. They opened two more branches, Polanco and Lomas, the first at Emilio Castelar and the second at Prado Norte, should be quite easy to locate them, but I haven't gone around yet. Price in March was 10 pesos for a small ball and 15 pesos for a big one. I never can leave the place with less than two or a milkshake.In Roxy they make their own ice-cream with the traditional recipes and haven´t got into mass producing with cheap fake flavors. This is what I l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2006

Negrita

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Restaurant | "La Negrita, carnitas"

Negrita Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Carnitas, carnitas Michoacan style.In the state of Michoacan, there is a big tradition of making carnitas (little meats), and there are many recipes to roast the pig. Each restaurant has its own secret, and you will have a hard time figuring out which was it. I had a friend from California who had a stay over of several hours in Mexico city, and he is a lover of carnitas, so it was an easy choice to take him here.At La Negrita (the little back female) you are greeted by a lots of friendly smiles, starting at the parking valet (free for customers) and all the way to your table. The restaurant is decorated with stuffed animals--mostly deers--on top of the walls and be...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2006

Negrita
Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, Num. 950
Mexico City, Mexico 15900
+52 5751-3770

La Buena Tierra

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a healthy place to eat and it doesn´t mean boring nor tasteless, they do the vegetarian with a big Mexican influence which is very tasty, but also have fish and chicken dishes for those who are not vegetarian. The name translate into "Good soil or Good Earth." And I like their motto: "La naturaleza lo creo todo, nosotros solo lo hacemos más rico"—"Nature created everything, we just make it tastier."The main attraction that stands out from other vegetarian places I have visited is that you enjoy the food as the ambience is fresher and so the menu, is not just greens and roots, here you find a wider range of healthy preparations, it may be torta but with whole grain and m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 3, 2006

La Buena Tierra
Atixco 94, Col. Condesa
Mexico City
+55 5211-4242

Parque Nacional Desierto de los Leones

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Attraction

Parque Nacional Desierto de los Leones Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This National Park used to be the meditation retire for a religious group, thus the name Desierto(Desert) not meaning an arid place, but empty of people. And a lot of people still believe that Leones had to do with the animals, but it was the family name of the first owners of the land.In these days, Desierto de los Leones is one of the last forests around Mexico City, the trees are fighting against pollution and timber groups, not to mention the urban developers who are eyeing this property to build luxury condos and villas, the way it happened in the surrounding area but this area is off-limits thanks to it´s status as protected area.There is an old convent in the center of the park and is a nice pl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2006

Parque Nacional Desierto de los Leones
Camino al Desierto de los Leones
México, Mexico 03310

Pirámides de Teotihuacan

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Attraction

Pirámides de Teotihuacan Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The residence of Gods, that is the name the Aztecs gave to this area, as they found the remains of a culture that spawned this zone a thousand years before. Lot of people make the mistake to think that Teotihuacan and Tenochtitlan belong to the same people; in fact the Teotihuacans were contemporary of the Mayans and ruled around year 900 B.C., while the top of the Aztec Empire is dated to 1300 B.C.A walk amid the ruins of Teotihuacan is invigorating as you have to reflet on how it was all this constructed (and much more that is lost in the history of time) without metal tools, with no wheel and pulleys, and with no cargo animals involved. That is the amazing part of the pyramids....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2006

Pirámides de Teotihuacan
Carretera México Teotihuacan Km. 46 (zona Arqueológica De Teotihuacan)
San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico 03010
+52 5 9560052

Pirámides de Teotihuacan

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Attraction | "Pirámides de Teotihuacan - The most important one"

Pirámides de Teotihuacan Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Everybody aims to climb the highest pyramid in Teotihuacan, unfortunately the temple at it´s top is no longer there, but you can visit a very short pyramid (not climb it), is not the Moon (the second largest) but dedicated to a guy with feathers, Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent God.He is also known as Kukulcan in the Mayan areas, but here in the central area of Mexico, is associated with Tlaloc God of Rain, whose representations are unequivocally with some kind of goggles, which is unique, only him wears them no matter if in Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza or Copán (Honduras).In the pyramid you find a richly decorated facade where you will find the head of the serpent with a collar of fe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2006

Pirámides de Teotihuacan
Carretera México Teotihuacan Km. 46 (zona Arqueológica De Teotihuacan)
San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico 03010
+52 5 9560052

Pirámides de Teotihuacan

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Attraction | "Pirámides de Teotihuacan- Temple of the butterfly"

Pirámides de Teotihuacan Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
In the side of the pyramid of the Moon you will find a small area, you have to climb some steps to get into the Temple of Butterflies "Quetzalpapalotl"—named because of the decoration carved in the columns and patio.Everything here is original, walls, columns, paint and even the stucco floor, so they ask you not to use high heels out of the wood walkways. The stucco is dyed red, and just looks like it was plastered last year—it´s in such good conditions it would be a shame if you damage it.The columns have carved pictures of butterflies and birds, some of them still have the eyes made of obsidian—a local precious stone that is black-grey and shines in the same way a hologram viewed fro...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2006

Pirámides de Teotihuacan
Carretera México Teotihuacan Km. 46 (zona Arqueológica De Teotihuacan)
San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico 03010
+52 5 9560052

Museo del Templo Mayor

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Attraction

Museo del Templo Mayor Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
It began with the discovery of the Coyoxáhuqui stone by a Power & Electricity Co. employee digging some holes to place a new pipe. He realized that something with this beauty was important, so he stopped all diggings in the area and gathered his supervisor, who also was aware this was an important finding. After many years of excavation by professional archaeologists, the Mayor Temple of the Aztec culture was re-discovered, sadly only the basements as the Spanish conquerors razed the mayor structure to the ground.This is a really fine archeological site. You walk in the middle of the original site, close to the real thing, pyramid foundations, temples, artifacts, etc., before entering ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2006

Museo del Templo Mayor
Seminario 8
México, Mexico 06060
+52 5 5424784

Antigua Basilica de Guadelupe

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Attraction | "Basilica de Guadalupe"

Antigua Basilica de Guadelupe Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This is the most visited temple in México, people from all over the country come in pilgrimage and even from countries as distant as Australia!The story of the Indian Juan Diego and his encounter with the Virgin of Tepeyac (the name of the hill where the sanctuary is located) dates from the era of the Spanish conquest, over the years the sanctuary has been changed because of the multitudes can´t fit in the older temples. The original chapel is at the top of the hill, where Virgin Guadalupe asked it to be built, but you will find a modern building in the huge plaza at the feet of the hill, with an older big one being salvaged from sinking.On the way from the newest temple to the origina...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 17, 2006

Antigua Basilica de Guadelupe
Plaza de las Americas 1
Mexico City, Mexico

Xochimilco´s Floating Gardens

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Attraction | "Xochimilco´s Floating Gardens."

Xochimilco´s Floating Gardens Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The name is misleading but it has stuck in everybody´s mind, the gardens are not floating at all.Chinampas. This is the proper name of the parcels where people grow from vegetables to flowers all year round (the area is extremely productive, with as much as 3 crops a year). The word comes from the Nahuatl word chinamitl, meaning "square made of canes." A chinampa is an artificial patch of soil, a man made island, it starts with a wooden barge that is steadily filled with soil until it slowly sinks to the bottom of the lake, in the sinking process the "walls" of the parcel are kept above the level of the water by adding more canes on top and more soil. The lake was ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2006

Xochimilco´s Floating Gardens
Xochimilco
Mexico City, Mexico
+52 5 676 0810

Plaza de las Tres Culturas

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Attraction

Plaza de las Tres Culturas Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:

This plaza is special because in the same view you get three different cultures: Aztec, Spanish, and Mexican.
Yes, there is a difference between Mexican and Spanish, the Mexican culture is a blend of the Mesoamerican people with all the Spanish word. There are things unique to Mexican culture that has not been reproduced in other conquered countries in Latin America or the Caribbean.

In Plaza de las tres culturas you find the encounter of these differences with the Aztec ruins of Tlatelolco, the Spanish temple, and the Mexican modern (1970s) buildings, and concepts.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 20, 2006

Plaza de las Tres Culturas
Eje Central & Ricardo Flores Magon
Mexico City, Mexico

Palacio de Bellas Artes

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Attraction

Palacio de Bellas Artes Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This is a heavy thing, so heavy with Italian Carrara marble that this colossal building is sinking!!!The architect had a great, grandiose idea, but it was too much for the terrain sustaining it, every year the building sinks a few millimeters, but the sum over the years is more than a meter. The sinking problem is nothing from this century, it began during the initial phase of setting up the metal structure, but the architect thought that with some corrective procedures it would be enough, he was so wrong but still decided to continue with the edification. In 1908 some engineers suggested some corrective measures but as the administrators considered it too expensive...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 20, 2006

Palacio de Bellas Artes
Avenida Juárez y Eje Lázaro Cárdenas
Mexico City, Mexico 06050
+52 5 5122593; +52 5

Day of the Dead

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Attraction | "Day of the Death"

Graveyard at Main Square Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The celebration of the Day of the Death "Día de los Muertos", dates from the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica and has been transformed over the pass of time with a blend of Christian faith and the original ideas of polytheism.

There are two different days the 1st and 2nd of Novembre, the first is for the Little Death or Children (Pequeños Difuntos) and the second is for the grownups. In ancient Aztec customs there were more distinctions: The warriors that passed away in war; The mother that died while giving birth; And more.

The Aztec god for Death was Mictecutli, and is represented as someone with an all bone head (you can clearly see the jaw).

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2006

Day of the Dead

Mexico City, Mexico

Mausoleo del Angel de la Independencia

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Attraction | "El Angel de la Independencia"

Mausoleo del Angel de la Independencia Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This monument was built in honor of the Independence of 1810. Construction began in 1902 and was developed in 1910.Everybody calls it "El Angel" (the -male- angel) which is completely wrong, as you can clearly see the breasts of a female character, but nobody cares. Although the real name of the monument is the Winged Victory (La Victoría alada) almost nobody knows it, so don´t use that name to get directions to get there. The Independence from Spain dominance was fought by many important leaders, some of them are honored at this monument and even a few of them are buried here.The structure of the column is made on white stone and the statues at the base represent L...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 3, 2006

Mausoleo del Angel de la Independencia
Paseo De La Reforma Y Florencia Colonia Juárez
Mexico City, Mexico 06600

Tianguis

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Attraction

Google Earth view of a Tianguis Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Tianguis is the equivalent of "flea market" but not quite. It indeed is a street market held every week on the same spot but here you don´t go for second hand items, but for your weekly grocery supply maybe a shirt some toys or electronics, everything is available on a tianguis (a Nahuatl—language spoken by the Aztecs and still available in little towns—word).Every week there is a pink-roofed invasion, taking place on the same street. Every week they come early, take the whole street, and by dusk they are picking their chairs and brooming the street to move to a different area of the city. This tradition is so strong that even big supermarkets like Wal-Mart has to copy the strategy and hold sa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 4, 2006

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora

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Attraction | "La Diana Cazadora"

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This sculpture of a pretty attractive female archer has suffered a long history of scandal and prudish controversy.The popular name is "la Diana Cazadora" or Diana the huntress, but the original name given by the sculptor is "La Flechadora del Norte" or The Northern Arrow thrower (not archer, by the way).The story goes that the sculptor had different models posing for him and that he copied different parts of each depending on each girl´s best attribute, another story (the most believable) says that there was one very beautiful and athletic girl and she was the wife of a very powerful guy in the petroleum (oil) industry and she didn´t want her identity to be revealed.Anyw...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 13, 2006

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora
Paseo de la Reforma
Mexico City, Mexico

Turibus (sightseeing bus)

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Attraction | "Turibus"

Mausoleo del Angel de la Independencia Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The turibus is the red double decker bus that makes a 30km circuit in the touristic downtown area of Mexico City, you have to take it to enjoy a worry-free ride around one of the largest cities in the world.It's a bargain if you plan to make severals stops and visit lot of places, as you can board the bus again, there are 1 (around usd$10 or 2 us$18 day pases and the prices are extremely reasonable for what you get. Besides just the ride around the city, there are automated explanations in several languages (Spanish, English, French, German Japanese and Italian) via headphones that relates interesting facts of the buildings or monuments the bus is passing.There is not a real ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 13, 2006

Turibus (sightseeing bus)

Mexico city
(55) 5563-6693

Mercado de Coyoacán

Attraction | "Mercado Coyoacan"

Mercado de Coyoacán Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This market is very local but also safe for tourists.

Near the Coyoacan main square you will find this market. It has nothing that can't be found in other markets in Mexico City, so you won´t miss anything you were looking for, but in a very safe environment and within reach of lots of cultural surprises.

In the Mexican markets you will find a blend of food and goods, all kinds of them, from watches to shirts to plastic toys to electronics. The nice part of Coyoacan market is that there are more stands that sell souvenirs for tourists, but at a very good price, nothing like the prices you get at expensive tourist traps.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 1, 2006

Mercado de Coyoacán
Centro de Coyoacán (entre Hidalgo y Malitzin)
Mexico City, Mexico 04100

Villa Coyoacan Historic Center

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Attraction | "Centro de Coyoacan"

Villa Coyoacan Historic Center Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
If you want the whole enchilada, go on a weekend; otherwise, you have the risk of finding it charming, quiet—without many vendors.The charm of Coyoacan (the place of Coyotes) is the architecture, completely colonial with some hints of Mexican taste, especially the colors. You will find very European-looking buildings with tall wood doors and narrow cobblestone streets, something not seen in the Valley of Mexico before the conquest.You may think that the streets are too narrow for a car to pass, and in some cases you will be right—the Spanish didn´t have the sense of orthogonality and the need for wide streets that ancient cultures had.The main square in Coyoacan is compos...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 1, 2006

Villa Coyoacan Historic Center

Mexico City, Mexico