Sunday, January 06, 2008
It's 3:17 pm on any given day.
A Mexican man with a cowboy hat has his arms interlocked with his mother's, as they walk to church.
A taco truck is surrounded by herds of hungry construction workers and covered with fluorescent poster boards and chicken scratch – patiently waiting for their $1.25 delicacies from all parts of the cow and pig.
Four Mexican children wearing Catholic school uniforms hold both of their backpack straps as they await the bus. Taking pictures of each other with their silver cellphones.
A teen-aged Mexican girl hooks shiny new piñatas across the front entrance of her parent's gift shop with a pole.
A weary, sweaty Mexican man yields two heavy bags of oranges and paces up and down the corner of a busy boulevard.
An older Mexican woman dispenses fresh tamarindo and horchata juice from large plastic barrels resting on milk crates into styrofoam cups for $1 each.
A group of Mexican guys pull up to the intersection in an '88 Honda Civic, pumping the latest regatón beats.
On any given day, this is the life in Mexico. But it's also happening where we live. Here, in Los Angeles.
Ever since moving to the Silver Lake area, I drive through the Pico/Union and Koreatown area to get to work. If you weren't a native Angeleno or familiar with those areas, one might experience a sudden time travel to our Southern neighbor of Mexico. And that is the beauty of Los Angeles... large representations of many ethnicities. There is a close relation between Mexico and Los Angeles. You see it in forms of music, art, businesses, jobs and of course, food. There is the old adage: you can take a person out of their country, but you can't take the country out of them. It's so true. And for this Christmas break, J & I wanted to see just where the Latino part of LA stems from.
The first part of our trip took place in the Yucatan/Quintana Roo side of Mexico, by the Caribbean. To make a long story short: powdery sand, turquoise water, underwater caves, expensive taxi rides, expensive touristy food, fantastic seafood soup (caldo de mariscos) and lastly, the loss of our Nikon D70 (including the 450 photos we took), which was stolen from my backpack while on a bus ride to Cancun. But all of that changed once we stepped foot into Mexico City. With the purchase of a new Canon SD750 point and shoot digital camera, it was time to make up for what we lost. I think the majority of this posting can be done with minimal explanation , so enjoy the silence. My goal was to really demonstrate the vibrancy of this beautiful city.
Casa Comtesse in Condesa Area
Not bad for a listing on Hostelworld.com. This was not a hostel, but more so, someone's house. There are only 3 rooms in this 2-story condo. Full access to kitchen, food, alcohol and washer/dryer. All for only $50 a night. Even Crazy Gideon would be taken back by this deal. The guy running this is a French national and is totally cool. We didn't get to meet him, but his demeanor was well understood in his many check up emails. The Condesa area is almost synonymous with NYC's East Village. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars in this area.
Condesa DF Hotel
A few blocks away from Casa Comtesse is the ultra-stylish Condesa DF Hotel. J & I walked over here on New Year's Eve for a drink at the bar. Unfortunately, we did not make the "Rico Suave" list. Oh well, next time.
Should I Spend 2 Pesos or Walk?
At 2 pesos per subway ride (that's 20 cents!), Mexico City has the cheapest method of transportation. Even cheaper than those stupid carousel/car rides outside of supermarkets which really don't get you anywhere but a free ride to Dorkland.