Well, I would never have guessed it when I started, but mikesnotes just had it’s 10,000th pageview.  It’s not quite 1,000 tacos, but, still… it’s pretty cool.

México, D.F.

Rains Signify the Symbolic Start of Summer

The seasonal drought that affects Mexico City (and Spring) came to a spectacular end today about 530pm, when the skies above Escandón let forth a torrential rail and hail storm.  The afternoon clouds have been building for weeks, and even let forth a few showers in the southern, and wetter, part of the city recently — but this was the first real drencher since September or October.

I’d have a few pictures of the hail… but the power (and internet) decided to quit just after the first of the booming thunderclaps… perhaps in a few days.


Monterrey, México

Overcoming Cabin Fever

The last few days of the shut down here in Mexico City have led to some significant bouts of boredom.  Across the city, many people have been dealing with the effects of cabin fever and life is starting to stir, with a subtle energy on the street that wasn’t present during the frist few days.

Suffering my own bouts of boredom, I took off for a series of long walks the past few days, winding my way from San Angel and Coyoacan in the south (7.6 miles) to the Basilica de Guadalupe in the north (8.0 miles).  It was, in some sense, the perfect time to head out, with fewer people and fewer cars on the roads.

Given the free time I’ve got, I bothered to add both to the (now quite busy) map up top.  Despite and because of the chaos, Mexico City is a great walking town.


México, D.F.

A Trip on the Tren Suburbano

Mexico City recently opened its first suburban train line, the tren suburbano.  There’s only one line currently and it leaves from Estación Buenavista, near the city center, and ends in Cuautitlán, a suburb located to the north in the state of México.  Talking to those who take the line, it’s reduced the commute time to get to the city by over an hour each way.  There are plans to extend the first line several stops, as well as to add other lines serving different areas.  If any get built in the next two months, mikesnotes will be sure to report.

Buenavista is one word...

Buenavista is one word...

Recently, we took a trip out on the tren suburbano to see what it’s like.  One-way to Cuautitlán on the electrified line is 16.3 miles.  The journey takes about a half hour, has frequent service up to 9 trips per hour, costs $1 (or so), and passes five in-line stations.  There are some pictures below.  Most of the stations look pretty much the same.

Cuautitlán, at the end of the line, has a pleasant zócalo, with shops and restaurants and a bustling marketplace.  The local station, like others on the line, has space for a transit center and includes a massive concrete warehouse.  This open space seems intended for use by small shops, but, true to form, it hasn’t been finished yet and is quite bare (security objected to our request for a picture).  It’s not clear how building such a massive new commercial area five blocks from the zócalo will impact the existing businesses.  Then again, given the substantial reduction in travel time to all-parts-Mexico-D.F., I’d have to assume that business will grow.



México, D.F.

The La Malinche Challenge

La Malinche is a 14,600-foot dormant volcano near Puebla and I intend to climb it.

La Malinche, as seen from Zacatelco, Mexico

La Malinche (14,635'), as seen from Zacatelco, Mexico (~7,300')

La Malinche is also known as Matlacueitl, Malintzin, and Matlalcuéyetl and named in part after the infamous Nahua woman, concubine to Hernán Cortés, who is simultaneously portrayed to as a traitor, mother, and heroine of Mexico.  Seems intimidating, though, from the picture above, the 7000’+ difference might as well be a molehill.  More soon….


México, D.F.

The World Baseball Classic in Mexico City

On Sunday, the World Baseball Classic started the first of six games to be played here in México, D.F., at Foro Sol.  They day was actually a day-night double-header, with Cuba playing South Africa at noon and Mexico against Australia at 7pm.  

the pricey seats behind home plate were not.

...the pricey seats behind home plate were not.


I couldn’t tell the final score, though it was definitely a lot (Cuba) to one (South Africa), with fans giving a standing ovation when the sudafricanos broke the shutout with a run-scoring single with two outs in the top of the ninth.  Baseball in México looks a lot like baseball in the U.S.  


México, D.F.

Late Night Tacos at La Copacabana

It’s been a while since I gave an update on the great taco challenge.  In a moment of foolishness some time last September, I had suggested a fanciful (and mildly disgusting) goal of eating 1000 tacos during the roughly 8.5 months I’m spending in México.  Well, less than half-way through that time, I’ve hit the half-way taco mark, too.  My own reaction is a simultaneous “ewww,” “cool(!),” and “hmmm, I could use a taco.”

On Friday night, after a few bowls of pulque at Novo’s, a bar within walking distance of the Coyoacan Metro station, we headed over to La Copacabana (not walking distance), a popular, late-night taquería.  There are, apparently, three such named joints, all relatively close to each other, possibly owned by a feuding family; this one is on Division del Norte, near Pacifico.  So, here is #500, a taco de cabeza, which is thin slivers of meat cut from the head of a cow:

Taco (#500) de cabeza at La Copacabana.  (Blame the pulque for any image fuzziness!)

Taco (#500) de cabeza at La Copacabana.

For the record, this was a first both at La Copacabana and eating a taco de cabeza (it’s meaty, with good flavor).  La Copacabana will likely not rank among the best places in town, but for late-night eats, hand-made, fresh tortillas, and a little avocado to top off a steak taco, it’s not bad.  In particular, the tacos al pastor, which are seasoned differently than most I’ve had, might make a return visit necessary.  The count so far: 507.


México, D.F.