Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mexico City’s Ravishing Renaissance

by Ivan  Quintanilla
EDGE Contributor
Sunday Nov 11, 2012

When I mentioned to friends I was visiting Mexico City, I was told to not drink the water, to not get kidnapped, and to be careful with the pollution. I was told these things repeatedly by almost everyone... almost everyone who had never visited Mexico City. 

Well, I am happy to report that I did not get sick once on my trip, I was not the victim of any crime, and my lungs do not struggle any more during physical exercise than they did prior to my visit. 

Big and gritty and complex and glamorous, Mexico City defies categorization. El Distrito Federal or DF, as the city is commonly called, is far more nuanced than many of the country’s famous resort towns, where the tourism bubble stays easily intact. 

Here, you are in it; it’s real life in a real, big city. This is where people work, live, eat... and, yes, party. Spending a few days among DF’s 20 million people, you’ll discover a vibrant culture, delicious food, a hoppin’ gay scene, and a colorful whirlwind of unexpected surprises. 

Mexico City has come a long way, baby. The sky is clearing up more each year thanks to green initiatives that have included vertical gardens, emissions regulations, and the EcoBici bike-sharing program. Police presence is up, violent crimes are down and culture is everywhere. 

Beyond the 150 museums, the city’s monuments and public art projects make every step out the door an artistically fulfilling experience: high-perched sculptures sprout from busy intersections; artist designed benches dot Paseo de la Reforma, the city’s grand boulevard; and vibrant murals brighten commuting through the city’s crowded metro.

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