Mexico City or ‘DF’ (Distrito Federal) and pronounced ‘ehl deh ehfeh’ as those in the know say…
A shrooming megatropolis, I didn’t manage to see everything on my list due to rainy weather conditions, but I did my best to maximise the time I had.
If you are thinking of taking a city break in the ‘ehl deh ehfeh’ (DF), I hope my tips will help or inspire you to go!
I stayed in an AirBnB in Roma South. La Mansion was a great location and very cool set up. There are ten rooms in total, so always a fellow traveller or someone to chat to at the end of your day.
Married couple, Pablo and Fernando run the house and have a flair for recycled and imaginative interior design.
Before arriving in Mexico City, most people I spoke to recommended staying in Roma, Condesa or Polanco. These are upscale neighbourhoods with a European vibe, all in walking distance from one another.
I walked a lot during my stay in Roma and always felt safe, I realise how much I miss walking along small tree lined streets after the urban sprawl of LA.
Uber is available in Mexico City and a much safer alternative to regular taxis. I used Uber without problems.
Tuesday 8th November 2016
Arrived at my AirBnB, took a hot shower and relaxed
Went to meet a friend of a friend at ‘Covadonga‘ – very traditional Spanish style restaurant. Average food, but good for talking and nice to be in unpretentious surroundings.
Wednesday 9th November 2016
Walking tour of Roma Condessa with the lovely Laura from ‘Style Walk‘
Laura is from New Zealand, she has lived in Mexico City for 5 years, previous to this she lived in Equador for many years and therefore speaks perfect Latino Spanish. Laura knows many locals in the neihbourhood, who made us feel welcome in their shops. We browsed street art, discussed the architecture, ate a delicious croissant at Panaderia and chewed the fat on life direction, spirituality and cultural differences.
I highly recommend StyleWalk with Laura. Do it early in your stay so that you immediately get your barings and feel at home. I have to say, I never quite got my barings, something to do with grid systems (I know, should be easy) and being blonde.
One of the many Street Art paintings you will see in Roma Condesa
Traditional Toy Maker
I loved this place and bought my niece Winnie a handmade doll. Heart warming to see the craftsman making things inside of the shop. He was delighted I liked his work and bought something to take home.
Below is a photo taken in an old Mexican home full of treasure that was all owned by one lady who has now died. Her son’s have spent years sorting through all her things and now sell them from the home. Notice the volcanic rock wall in the back ground, apparently highly fashionable back in the Victorian era.
Below is the lovely Laura from Style Walk
Impromptu stop at a small private gallery ‘Licenciado‘
The piece below is by the gorgeous Orly Anan who we met in the gallery. I should have asked for a photo with her, but felt a little shy.
A rainy afternoon was spent wondering around art museums in Polanco
I loved the Kazuya Sakai exhibition
Since the late sixties, Rufino Tamayo (Oaxaca, 1899 – Mexico, 1991) began to acquire artworks to form a collection of international contemporary art. The architecture of the museum is art in itself.
Museo Jumex was the first building in Latin America designed by renowned British architect Sir David Chipperfield. It was opened in 2001 with the mission to house contemporary art and find innovative ways to approach it.
I saw the exhibition, General Idea: Broken Time.
I love modern art, despite not always understanding whats going on!
Drinks at awesome little bar, El Traspatio, which is open air and very tranquilo.
Dinner at Indian restaurant Taj Mahal, owned by a hardworking Bangladeshi man who used to roam the Condesa area selling clothes out of a suitcase. We fancied a break from Tacos.
Thursday 17th November 2016
Another grey rainy day, I found local supermarket, cooked at home and wrote blogs. Sometimes when travelling, not doing any sight seeing and having a day to catch up on emails, calculate finances is a welcome break from researching places to of and things to do. Regular life still resumes.
In the evening I hit Mama Rumbas for Salsa and Tequila with Nan and Fee, fun Mexican Irish chica’s I met in Oaxaca. Yes, after a Tequila or two, I reluctantly succumbed to invitations to Salsa. No doubt they were more embarrassed than I was when I finally got moving and I could feel them inside, cringing, thinking ‘God, this girl is so white, there’s not a rhythmic bone in her body!’
This is an awesome bar with a big band playing live music to the local Salsa loving crowd. Even if you have no desire to Salsa, this is great for people watching and having a drink.
Friday 18th November 2016
Fried Kahlo Museum – a tip if you are going – buy a ticket on line before you go. This is Mexico Citys most visited museum.
I woke up with Tequila hangover at 9.15am and managed to get there in an Uber from Roma just before 10am which is a miracle at rush hour, the museum is quite far south in the Coyoacan neighbourhood. There was already a line of people, but once the door opened, I walked straight in.
I felt highly emotional here. I think it was the mixture of a very inspiring and strong woman, and a hangover.
This is the house where Frieda Kahlo was born, lived and died. It is called Azul, because, hey guess what, its blue, an amazing cobalt blue. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings and arranged as close to how they would have been since it was lived in.
I loved the bohemian feel, I imagined all the parties, the passion, the angst and pain that housed the lives of such artists. Frieda Kahlo has become Mexico’s national treasure, and rightly so. This woman is a fighter who over came major set backs in her life. Kahlo had a rare determination to squeeze every last drop out of her life and I love the way she broke taboos of sexuality and conventional relationships.
At the end of the the museum there is a video. I strongly recommend you take the time to watch it. It is packed full of information about the life of Frieda Kahlo and lasts around 30 minutes.
After the video don’t miss the exhibition of Frieda’s clothes at the back of the garden.
After this, I needed to take a work call from the UK and I was recommended coffee at Ruta de La Seda Cafe in Coyocan. Excellent coffee and what looked like delicious food.
I then jumped into an Uber to San Angel which I loved! Charming cobbled streets remain rooted from the Colonial times and I stumbled across a really cool shop, ‘Sheva’s Heart‘ selling awesome art, jewellery and fashion. I’m now regretting not buying poncho by Colombian designer, ‘Summer Romero,’ worn by very gorgeus shop owner in the picture below!
This place almost got me wanting to play shop again…
Cute tea set anyone?
Kid in a candy store…
Fortunately I don’t know where home is, or I’d be buying a painting..
I just can’t get enough of all the colours…
After this I went to get some lunch and felt like I was in Shoreditch at Mercado Del Carmen. Small booths serve everything from Dim Sum to Sausage rolls and you eat on communal tables in the middle. I went for fish Tacos from Caja De Mar