Chapter Nine: Conchas, Churros, Crisscrossing & (Near) CatastropheAugust 19, 2023
Epilogue – Marvelous, Magnificent & Memorable Mexico City
I wouldn’t say it was a surprise we had such a wonderful time in Mexico City, but even our high expectations were exceeded. The overwhelmingly positive vibe of CDMX was certainly infectious throughout our nine-day stay, making it even more enjoyable. We were fortunate enough to have chosen three spectacular places to stay. The Red Tree House and Hotel Villa Condesa both in picturesque and charming Condesa were welcoming, and their outdoor patios were a nice respite after our busy days meandering through Mexico City.
I would give the nod to The Red Tree House because of their free social hour every evening on the patio and its delicious breakfast (also included).
In Centro Histórico, Gran Hotel Ciudad de México wowed us from the time we first walked upstairs into its lobby and gazed at that stupendous Tiffany stained-glass ceiling. Its location perched overlooking El Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución) was a perfect spot to relax, and the service from start to finish was impeccable.
You can’t talk about Mexico City without mentioning its murals and street art. Traversing its neighborhoods by foot or by car, a stunning visual display of magnificent murals were seen wherever we were.
The murals and street art ranged from the abstract to mesmerizing.
You will find Diego Rivera’s imprint on this city no matter where we traveled in Centro Histórico. From the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Palacio Nacional to the Secretaría de Educación Pública to Museo Mural Diego Rivera, his iconic, vibrant murals bring Mexican history to life.
Los Tres Grandes (Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco), were on full display at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Rivera’s famous El Hombre Controlador del Universo (Man, Controller of the Universe) takes center stage.
Speaking of Diego, don’t miss his Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central) at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera. The mural he created in 1947 stretches nearly 50 feet. Figures included are of Cortés, Juárez and Díaz, along with a Catrina.
You can’t speak of Rivera without thinking of his wife, renowned painter Frida Kahlo.
Her museum in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán chronicles her artwork and tortured life. Casa Azul explores her life in depth.
Our day trip to Teotihuacan and its impressive pyramids (remember, bring sunscreen and a hat) taught us even more about Mexico’s history.
What surprised me most about Mexico City were the numerous green spaces sprinkled throughout the city. Parque Alameda Central, Parque Lincoln and Parque México were just a few of the many parks and expansive open spaces we explored.
Speaking of parks, Bosque Chapultepec needs more exploring on our next visit.
The remarkable Museo Nacional de Antropología, which traces the history of Mexico through its various galleries, is a must-top for anyone who comes to Mexico City.
Make sure to check your calendar.
We also took the short hike up to Castillo de Chapultepec where more astounding paintings and murals awaited us.
So did a number of gorgeously decorated rooms and a stained glass hallway you need to stand in to fully appreciate and admire its sheer beauty.
Our favorite of all the wonderful neighborhoods was Condesa.
Maybe our corgi Remi could visit some friends at Parque México on our next visit, while Tracy and I could have fun (to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen) “even if we’re just dancin’ in the park.”
And checked out more church interiors in various parts of the city.
Inside is an eclectic mix of statues, sculptures and paintings. In this collection, that reportedly contains more than 65,000 pieces, you’ll see numerous paintings by Mexican artists, but also be on the look out for works by European masters and a vast selection of Rodin sculptures.
Walking through the many markets and tiny shops, Mexico City is ablaze with color.
I guess it is part of the fabric of Mexican culture.
Fortunately, Tracy kept Stephen and I in relative check.
Finally, the food. Oh my goodness, the food! Even if history and art is not at the top of your list, you have to come here for a sampling of spectacular meals.
… each neighborhood is full of gems serving spectacular cuisine and libations to satisfy your palate (and thirst) while not depleting your vacation funds.
And, of course, always leave room for the “Three Cs” … conchas, cappuccinos and churros.
Mexico City’s welcoming spirit grabbed our attention as soon as we arrived, and Tim, Sheila, Stephen, Tracy and I felt secure no matter where we walked (or in Tim and Sheila’s case, “ambianced”). CDMX citizens take such pride in their community, and we were impressed by the cleanliness, the open spaces, the cuisine, the history and the passion of the people who live here. Those nine days flew by, and there is still so much more to explore in North America’s most populous city.
… and as always …
Enjoy The Journey! Attitude Is Everything!