“Palacio de Bellas Artes”

Mexico City, Mexico. October 2017 (22 photos)

This is part 1 of my Mexico 2017 photo series.

Is it safe?

I’ve been asked this question multiple times when telling people I was going to or have visited Mexico. I guess Mexico does have a bad reputation.

After visiting San Francisco I headed southwest to Mexico City. I originally planned to go for 2 days but in the end I spent 4 full days in Mexico City before heading to Cuba. It was my way of bypassing the US embargo against Cuba. To be honest I was a bit uncertain about visiting Mexico given its reputation, more so because two major earthquakes struck Mexico City in September 2017 just before my arrival, resulting in the collapse of more than 40 buildings. 370 people were killed by the second earthquake and related building collapses, including 228 in Mexico City, and more than 6,000 were injured.

I thought I’d present a photo story summary of my time in Mexico City (Ciudad de México, also known as CDMX).

“Story time”

I spent a lot time just wandering the streets of Mexico City and felt very safe.

After all, there’s a big police presence throughout the city.

Street food seems to be very popular in Mexico City. I indulged as well, although I stuck to foods I recognised. In particular, I enjoyed the freshly made Churros, especially the ones injected with caramel.

I headed off the beaten track quite often.

Witnessed many of the cultural offerings.

Street art is particularly abundant in Mexico City.

Took a peek into a local boxing gymnasium

“Burning Rubber”

The medic at the shoe hospital.

“Biblioteca Vasconcelos”

Not your average local library.

“Do it yourself”

I met this local council worker. He’d picked those reeds from a local park and was in the process of making a broom so he could do his job.

“The finished product”

“Dance, in the old fashioned way”

Saturday afternoon in the plaza, watching people dance.

“Dia de los Muertos preparations”

The Day of the Dead wasn’t until November 1, but preparations were under way.

And some people can’t help but start the celebrations early.

“Precaution”

A visual reminder about earthquakes. See the Sears building on the right covered in mesh because of earthquake damage? And see how the neighbouring building is tilted and separated from the Sears building?

See the people on the deck of the 8th floor of the Sears? That’s an open air coffee shop. I went up there amongst all the debris, despite the earthquake damage and from there I took the photo of the Palacio de Bellas Artes at the beginning of this post. Best views of Mexico City, for the price of a coffee.

There was a major street art festival at the time. Many new murals were created, including this one. I saw it 2 days earlier before it was finished. The same girl was there as well. It turns out she is an Australian from Victoria, there to document this street art creation.

I visited Mexico City’s largest flower market.

Saw many murals, this one at Castillo de Chapultepec.

Strolled the Paseo de la Reforma, said to have been modelled after the grand European boulevards such as the Champs-Elysee. You can see the famous Angel of Independence in the background. You may have seen television footage of it actively swaying during the September 2017 earthquake.

Would I go back to Mexico City? Absolutely. It’s a very cultured city with lots to see and do. Apparently, Mexico City ranks second after Paris as the city with the greatest number of museums, with more than 150 at last count. The food is terrific, provided you don’t mind a bit of chilli. And it’s a very affordable city. A shame about the earthquake risk though.

This is part 1 of my Mexico 2017 photo series.

This is Part 2 of my North America 2017 photo series.

This is part 11 of my photo series of my 2017 trip to the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

The Streets of Mexico City

Image

95 thoughts on “The Streets of Mexico City

  1. You went to Mexico City too? Is there a place you haven’t been to?
    This all looks great to me, the people, street food, museums, all those colors. I didn’t know about so many museums, though. Did you go to any?

  2. Well, that has opened my eyes. Still don’t think I will ever go there, but it obviously has more to offer than you would think. As for earthquakes, well people still go to California and New Zealand don’t they?

    • Exactly, every country has its own natural disaster/weapon of choice. I paid particular attention to the signs in my hotel about what to do in case of an earthquake.
      I think the popular news about crime and poverty in Mexico masks the large cultural richness of the country. Once I’d read a bit about Mexico, I had to increase the amount of time I would be there.

  3. Thank you for this lovely tour of Mexico City, which brought back happy memories. We were there in 1993 for a one day stop on our way to Oaxaca and it felt very safe and friendly then, although the traffic fumes were overwhelming. The air looks cleaner in your pictures and hopefully this has improved. So sad to hear about the earthquakes – it barely made the news over here and my heart went out to all the people.

    • Thank you. I would have loved to have gone onto Oaxaca but I’ll save that for next time. The earthquakes were shocking news. During my time there it was the main topic of conversation daily and I met some people made homeless by the earthquake. Very sad situation.

  4. I drove from Toronto to Puerto Vallarta, twenty years ago and spend 5 weeks camping hiking, laying the beach. It was lovely at times, tragic at other, frightening often an extremely annoy too.
    I had my fill of it on that trip and I can honestly say I have no desire to return but it make for great stories now. Good on you and travel safely.

  5. I love your virtual tours of places I have never been and seeing dancing in the streets. The image of the skeleton with the pink hat is an absolute classic and the one where the wall art is imitating Cupid, targeting a passer-by with a calla lily tickled my sense of humour. The earthquakes must have been terrible to experience – nature can be very cruel.

  6. The street art looked very good, but the mural at CdC looked different and interesting. The library looks a bit like what I imagine Borges’ Library would look like. Lovely photos; make me want to buy a ticket and head out.

    • Yes, the murals inside CdC are works of Art with a historical basis. There are many of them around if you have the time to find them. The library was very impressive. I wish I had a library membership there.

  7. I’ve heard how vibrant Mexico City is, and your photos only reinforce this. We hear so much about how unsafe it is, but I know a few people who are from there or live there and they absolutely love it.

    • Yes, my immediate concern was safety before going to Mexico City, but I couldn’t resist extending my time there during the planning. Life is a calculated risk. I’m glad I went.

  8. Awesome images of the city! Enjoy the tour of these streets, and they look pretty safe. Not your average local library, for sure.
    Dragon, you sure made huge waves from Houston to Mexico, the worst storm ever in Houston and the horrible earthquake in Mexico City!!

    • That’s a tough one for me to answer but you seem to be a very experienced traveller, so a visit there shouldn’t be a problem, taking the usual precautions. Thanks so much. 🙂

      • Ok! I may have to take the plunge. I have been thinking about it for months. I may see if I can find a private driver to and from the airport at least and then explore everything else on foot. The cabs are what I worry about – of all things!

        • Everything I’ve read indicates you are right to be concerned about taxis. Being on my own, I did not catch any street taxis. I walked or took the Metro during the day.

          At the airport after passing Customs you will pass an area with taxi and rental car stalls. I went to the Sitio 300 desk and paid for a radio taxi into Mexico City. This service gets good reviews online. This was very fast and efficient.

          I stayed in the Historical Centre. When I wanted to go to dinner in Roma Norte and the Polanco, I got my hotel to get me a hire car. When my meal was finished I asked the maitre D to get me a hire car. The higher end restaurants all hire their own security guards to assist guests.

  9. Glad you had a fun and safe trip. Our only experience with Mexico was driving from Phoenix to San Carlos back in 1988 to a friend’s condo. It was fun on the beach but going into the small town was not fun. And driving our own car for five hours into Mexico and back out was not fun. We did make it back safely but it’s a trip we’d never take again.

  10. Such a good question. Is it safe? Lovely to hear you could walk freely about. Generally for me a police presence makes me a bit nervous, as I usually feel safe when there’s less people around. Picking reeds to make your own broom is something, very humbling. You don’t hear of anything like that hear in Australia.

    As usual, top notch street photography 👌

    • Thank you very much. I may have been lucky but yes, I had no trouble with safety in Mexico City. I understand what you’re saying about police and crowds. As for me, police don’t concern me unless they’re in riot gear and carrying machine guns – I saw a few of them in Mexico City. The Canadian PM was in town at the time.
      I wouldn’t have believed that man needed to make his own broom if I hadn’t seen it for myself.

  11. Lovely photo tour – I lived in Texas for 6 years but never made it South of the Border. So, this is a good introduction to the city.

    I love street food – caramel churros sounds so yummy!

    The street art looks fabulous! And I didn’t know that MC is 2nd only to Paris for the number of museums!

  12. I love all your virtual tours, the portraits you take, your compositions, your eye for the colors. But this one is very special to me as my youngest son goes to university there at the moment. Thank you very much for all these vivid impressions!

  13. I loved this post LD a city that has been given a very bad press and by your account a very undeserved one. I did find, in the past (1980/90’s) that the common people are more than happy to help all round the world. I do wish I had been to some of these places you are travelling in. So I am enjoying this virtual tour with you. A fascinating place. I think Mother Nature is to be more scared of than the locals.That leaning building looks very scary…

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