Got Lost the Other Day…

Christmas Day evening, we got lost on the way to a birthday party in the southern part of the city.  It’s amazing how quickly nice areas here en el D.F., with gardens and wide, planted, recently-repaved avenues can turn into the poorer, dusty, unkept, graffitied housing tracks that are sprinkled throughout the city.  While much of Mexico City could be described as blue-collar, with small, adjacent houses and plodding public services, the desolation and widespread graffiti of this part of Calle Diez Sur Pedro Henríquez Ureña (map) (which seems to be alternately described as the neighborhoods of Fraccionamiento Pedregal de San Francisco, Colonia Pedregal de Santo Domingo, and Fraccionamiento Copilco Universidad) was striking.

Perhaps my impression was promoted by the holiday, in which so few other people were out, and perhaps it was only along the very wide (and presumably very busy) thoroughfare of  Diez Sur and isn’t indicative of the inside of these neighborhoods.  For example, I can attest that other parts of Colonia Pedregal de Santo Domingo, are much more well-cared for.  The sharp contrast, however, between the wealth along Miguel Angel de Quevedo, a boulevard just to the north, the prim, quaint order of San Angel to the west, and the university-minded collective of Copilco was startling.  That said, despite the down-trodden nature, it didn’t feel unsafe, only desolate and uncared-for.  Perhaps any other night I might have felt different, but on this particular evening, I was given the fortune of seeing part of the world I would never otherwise experience.

Mexico City is both a good city to get lost in and a bad city to get lost in.  It’s fear of the latter that keeps many away, sadly, though a little common sense, the company of a few friends, and an inquisitive nature, will help ensure the former.

 

México, D.F.

 


This might also be a good time to point out the new map feature that’s been added to the blog.  Look up!  It’s hard to miss.  The map is focused on Colonia Escandón, but you can zoom/move to find quippets and links to entries about the places in Mexico City I’ve mentioned in this blog, plus a few others.

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