Day 3: Awesome apartment, rain, and “Why Mexico?”

(Still catching-up on a few days here…)

 Chris booked us this amazing apartment, right in the middle of town. Literally steps away from everything:

Here’s the view from the balcony:

 
The apartment includes continental breakfast, has WiFi, a full kitchen, comfy couches and a garden terrace. It’s been a great place for us to retire after outings and sightseeing, etc.
 
It has rained on-and-off since we got here, but so far it hasn’t messed-up any of our plans. One night we did venture out in the heavy rain to find some dinner… here’s Chris:

Some of my American friends have asked “why Mexico City?” Well for one thing, this is where Chris wanted to go for his birthday. But a lot of people don’t know that Ciudad de México is a very important cultural, historical and economic center; it’s one of the largest cities in the world; and it is simply a fascinating place.
 
I don’t think Mexico City looks the way most Americans might imagine it. It’s not like Tijuana, for one. And, it feels relatively safe. (Well, perhaps as safe as traveling in New York City, for example.) Don’t get me wrong… I watch for pickpockets, and we lock our doors at night. Nothing so different from *any* big city.
 
Many of my own assumptions were incorrect, too. I expected to see a lot of buildings made of plain cement (“chunky” looking, as Dan put it.) But the city actually has lots of interesting architecture, both old and new.
 
While riding around in cabs, both Dan and I remarked that many of the residential streets wouldn’t look out-of-place in Los Angeles. (Some neighborhoods were nicer than others, obviously.)
 
And there is art everywhere. Museums, murals, graffiti, sculpture, architecture, you name it.
 
Independence Day is a big deal here, and I think the hyper-patriotism here actually exceeds that of the U.S. around the 4th of July. There are Mexican flags everywhere!
 
We’ve managed to find some really great restaurants. Dining-out is relatively inexpensive, though I must admit I expected food prices to be even cheaper, for whatever reason.
 
A ride on the subway is super cheap at just 2 pesos, or about 15 cents. It’s pretty efficient; we’ve never had to wait more than 5 minutes at the platform for a train.
 
My hair is getting shaggy.
 
The cellular phone signal here has been a solid 5 bars, just about everywhere… the roaming provider bounces between Telcel and Movistar.
 
They use the $ symbol for pesos here, so I keep giggling when I see price tags, or ads that hawk Big Macs for $35!
 
More soon.

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~ by Mike Y on September 18, 2009.

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