Mexico City metro area is gigantic. Not only it spans over a large area but it’s also over-populated. There is a Federal District, locally known as DF — Mexico City proper. Surrounding it is the other metropolitan area in the State of Mexico.
Outside the DF limits there are 22 municipalities, to explain each one is a hard task (perhaps for another post). Each has its goodies and its bad sides, as with any place.
The northern municipalities of Mexico City’s metro area is the more vast, it encompass Teotihuacan pyramids for instance. We could divide it in Northeastern and Northwestern, all beyonf the Guadalupe Sierra mountains. Tepotzotlan and Cuautitlan are here. Before the mountains there are other municipalities as well.
Then you have the western municipalities, more posh and upscale. They’re best attractions are the pine forests. Yes, in Mexico we have forests, sorry to dissappoint Hollywood.
On the East, behind the airport we have small towns that also have ancient ruins and yearly fairs.
Finally there’s the Chalco region and volcanoes, where the main attractions are obvious although there are also beautiful colonial towns and breathtaking landscapes.
If you’re interested in Mexico, check out my novel set in Ancient Mexico. Till Stars Shut Their Eyes, a romance and political thriller based on true events.
Mobile photograph I shot at a small patch of garden on the sidewalk, in Mexico City.
It is amazing how one can easily find worlds within our own world. As I was walking, an activity which I am so fond of, I discovered these mushrooms still with morning dew. Perhaps our own world is also embedded within a colossal one, one so large the entire cosmos wouldn’t suffice. After all, for ants their world seems large enough, ignoring there are supernovas and black holes bending space-time.
Street photography I shot at Mexico City metro area, in public transportation.
There is beauty that goes beyond expensive cosmetics or posh clothes, a beauty that emerges from the soul and youth. And youth just like a flower is gorgeous for an ephemeral time, and then fades leaving a wake of mementos. But the young don’t care, they just anticipate the future without realizing it is they who are at the pinnacle of life.
Mobile Photo I shot at Mexico City’s downtown, in the Alameda park.
It is located within walking distance from the rest of Mexico City’s historic downtown — what was once the Mexica Aztec capital — and upscale Reforma Avenue. The Alameda has the Fine Arts Palace in its grounds, and posh hotels around it.
One of the oldest parks of Mexico City, it once went to a deplorable state for many decades (as with all forgotten urban jewels in the world). Just last year the Alameda was recovered to what it might have looked in its full glory during the last centuries.
The towering Latinoamericana Tower is the tallest building that stands in the downtown area of the Mexican capital — the reason — the dangerous marshy land in which the area is located. Once an island, the Aztec Mexica capital of Mexico Tenochtitlan was surrounded with water. Actually the Aztec Mexica streets were water causeways like in Venice, except for the few connecting roads to “mainland”. As the city sprawled, the marshy lands and Aztec ruins became the foundation for the new city. This part of the city can’t have tall buildings for that reason, and to have the Latinoamericana Tower standing there, already sustaining strong earthquakes like the one in 1985, is called by architects and engineers a feat.
But fate shall not be tempted, and so taller and shinier buildings are standing in Reforma Avenue (and still more being erected) away from the zone. One can walk from Alameda Park to the nation’s most famous avenue, locally known as Paseo de la Reforma, where more hotels, shops, malls, and monuments are located.
The past is about discovering who we may become or accomplish, the good and the bad.
I tend to write, research, paint, and talk about the past — a lot, especially of indigenous Mexican history. Many don’t see the point of bringing to the light about things and people from years past. It may well seem as if I may be stuck in the past, when in fact it is about discovering who we may become and what we can accomplish — the good and the bad as well.
If our ancestors were able to overcome the obstacles of their time way before the Internet, why can’t we?
To glance into the past is to see what we are capable of. We are surprised to see how Sumerian cities were organized, Egyptian pyramids erected, ancient Chinese achievements, otherworldly amazing artistry from India, and the sculptural and writing feats of the Olmecs… well before iPhones, laptops, the internet, or electricity for that matter! If our ancestors were able to overcome the obstacles of their time, why can’t we? It is safe to assume that if they did those things we can do better, and yet we don’t.
Newsflash, the future can actually be more awesome that we imagine.
The key is in our past. People dream of a future with flying cars, floating cities, space rockets coming and going, and magical pills. Reality check, this isn’t the 1950’s anymore. Newsflash, the future can actually be more awesome than we may imagine (literally!). We don’t need magic pills because in Mexico there were ancient remedies for todays maladies, and it is not that much of a secret. We just have to delve into our past.
Before hipster lean meals there was amaranth.
Prickly pear cactus (yes, like the thousands that grow in the Northern Mexican desert) can control diabetes and lowers cholesterol. Aspirin is an artificial ripoff of remedies done with salicylic acid from Mexican Willow trees called Huexotl. Way before over-processed powerbars there was (now called) Spirulina, a rich algae from Lake Texcoco that the Mexica Aztecs considered it gold (than actual gold) for its stunning nourishment effects. Before hipster lean meals there was amaranth, which today’s experts say it has the properties of cereals… plus everything else, without the fat. Our ancestors used to be so cool, that not only they knew how to cure illness or take care of a fit body, but also invented chocolate for dessert (originally it was called xolocolatl and it was a beverage) way before the Belgians added sugar into the frankenstein-ish thing we now know as chocolate.
It’s not about getting stuck in the past.
We need the past in order to have a future. We need to see what worked and what not to “move on” as hip progressive and conservative people tend to say. Many problems that afflict us today were those of our ancestors, how they solved it or not is important to us (or it should be). Climate issues, food shortage, social issues, technological hurdles — our ancestors around the world had the same troubles. It is not about getting stuck in the past, it is about letting our past light our future.
Photo I shot at Tepojaco, Mexico.
If you’re a history buff, you may enjoy my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes. Set in Ancient Mexico based in true events, a story of forbidden love.