You probably know that the entirety of Mexico City’s Centro Histórico is walkable, with a concrete grid of sidewalks connecting every inch of the city’s storied, teeming humanity between Lázaro Cárdenas (Eje Central) in the west, Anillo de Circunvalación in the east, Granaditas (Eje 1 Norte) in the north, and José María Izazaga in the south. If that isn’t enough, no fewer than 10 metro stations, one metrobús route, and a cable-powered trolebús (not to mention countless peseros) pass through those same storied streets, ferrying commuters hither and yon.
Wider, better-maintained sidewalks link the Centro Histórico with the city’s green lung, Bosque de Chapultepec, via Palacio de Bellas Artes and Paseo de Reforma, the city’s grandest thoroughfare. Plans are underway to build a seventh metrobús line that will supposedly run along Reforma, but since public transportation improvements move at a caracol’s pace in CDMX, I will believe it when I see it.
My casual stroll this past February along the Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca, a railway line-turned-walking and cycling path, prompted me to wax further nostalgic about the walkability of Mexico City in general…not just in the aforementioned city center area, but in outlying sections of the city as well. Traffic congestion has become such a problem that a recent CNN Money article named the city as having the second-worst traffic on the planet! To me, any chance to walk, rather than drive, is a welcome one.
Continue reading “The Walkability of Mexico City”
I have decided to introduce a new feature on this blog that I hope to turn into a monthly recurrence: the Photo Locale of the Month.
Each month, I’ll highlight a particular place from my travels – not just a city but a specific site within that city – and I’ll introduce it to you through pictures.
As always, all images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise.
For the first month, I thought I’d feature a favorite place from what is perhaps my favorite city in the world. The place is Chapultepec Castle and the city is Mexico City.
Continue reading “Photo Locale of the Month – January 2015”
Mexico City is filled with a variety of lovely green spaces. Internationally, they are not as renowned as, say, New York City’s Central Park, Munich’s English Gardens, or Beijing’s Summer Palace Grounds. But they are glorious places in and of themselves – green lungs for a city that needs as many as it can get.
Nearly every neighborhood has a park of some kind. Usually the park has a fountain or two, a statue to some local or national hero, park benches, jacaranda or pine trees, and a playground. Some, like Parque Hundido along Avenida Insurgentes, feature tourist trains on a fixed circuit. Others, like Parque de los Venados in Colonia Del Valle, feature small ferias (amusement parks). The best of the best of Mexico City’s public parks – Chapultepec and Bosque de Aragón – feature trains, ferias, and much, much more.
The grand daddy of Mexico City parks is Chapultepec Park. “Chapultepec” means “hill of the grasshoppers” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. This park, located due west of the Centro Histórico, is divided into three sections across 686 hectares (1,695 acres). The first two sections are especially lovely, and Sección 1a is a veritable treasure trove.
Continue reading “Mexico City Parks: Chapultepec and Bosque de Aragón”
A few years ago I came up with this random travel goal: for my country count to always be at least twice the number as I am years old. I am now 38, and have set foot in 70 countries at last count. I have hardly traveled at all this year, and most of my 2012 travel was to Mexico, so I’m six countries behind my goal as a result.
But it doesn’t matter so much anymore. I don’t feel the hurry-up-and-travel clock ticking the way I once did, and frankly, the exhaustive travel pace that allowed me to visit so many places – most of them over a single eleven-year span – was starting to wear me down. I won’t make it to anymore new countries for the remainder of 2013…and I doubt I’ll hit up any new countries in 2014, either. (The money has finally run out, Loyal Reader, the money has finally run out.) If this makes me sad, I at least take some degree of comfort knowing that I’ve seen more corners of the world than perhaps any of my crazy traveling friends…the majority of whom are no travel slouches themselves.
Continue reading “My Crazy Traveling Friends…Whom I Love”
I love top ten lists. Call me a geek if you want, it’s okay. Whatever the list, if it’s a top ten something, there’s a good chance I’ll read it. I probably have read it. Top ten Presidential quotes. Top ten “Seinfeld” episodes. Top ten ballparks. Top ten Chicago hot dog shacks. Top ten one-hit wonders (yes, 80’s emo band A-ha is in there). Top ten movies of the year. Top ten movies by genre.
And don’t even get me started on travel top ten lists. Lonely Planet has dozens of them. Travel + Leisure has dozens more. From “Top Ten Places to Ring in the New Year” to “Top Ten Multi-Day Hikes” to “Top Ten Places for Wildlife Watching,” you really can pick your poison. (Note: If I named any of those without crediting the actual publication in which they appeared, please accept my apologies. I really just pulled ‘em out of thin air.)
For my blogging (and your reading) pleasure, here’s my own top ten list – city-specific, to keep the list manageable.
Continue reading “Top Ten Mexico City”