Aspire To Inspire

A VIEW OF MEXICO CITY THRU MY EYES

This last week I took a trip to Mexico City for the first time and I have returned greatly inspired and with a new appreciation and love for one of the largest cities in the world. This is a city that can’t quite be described for those that have not had the pleasure of visiting its grandeur. The culture is rich, the people are spirited and their perspective on the arts and architecture is mind blowing.  There is so much to do in this city it is hard to accomplish it all in one trip but I was able to see enough to grasp its magnificent energy.

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Mexico city from above

In this post, I will show you an overview of what I saw and experienced during my travels. In the next few posts, I will give you a more intensive look into my special visit to La Casa Azul (The Frida Kahlo museum) and a few of the other amazing museums I was able to visit including the Museo de Arte Moderno and the Museum of Anthropologie. 

My trip was grounded by my stay at the beautiful Condessa DF, a small boutique hotel in the Condessa neighborhood which is known as the trendier part of the city. The hotel was magical and I loved its simple design and style.

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The entrance

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The main dining area and lounge

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The library

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The roof top lounge

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How can you not love a hotel that has tequila sitting out for you at all times in the lobby?

The streets of the city were bright and happy showcasing their love of rich and vibrant colors and their culturally rich history.

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I visited a few of the traditional markets in the city, including the Mercado de Medellin in Roma that showcased all of the local food sources and best street food you can find. The booths in the market were so fantastic, the full spectrum of color showcased in their produce and foods for sale. From meats to mole ingredients, they had it all.

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I also made a stop at the Mercado de Ciudadela in the center of the city for traditional crafts and wares made by local artisans. I did all of my Christmas shopping here including some gifts for myself!

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Great handmade chairs made my a local artisan

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A musical instrument craftsman working in his studio

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Beautiful inlay in his guitars all made by hand in his little shop

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How cute is he?

I also found out about a modern market, the Lonja Mercantil, that happened to be going on over the weekend during my visit. I was very excited to be able to attend an event that gathered some of Mexico city’s newest designers and artisans allowing me to compare their style to what I have been seeing at these markets in Los Angeles and Austin.  I met so many great designers and artists and made many new friends and discoveries that I am very excited about.

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A view of the market scene

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I took home one of these beautiful handmade blankets by Colorindio

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Chocolates by Unelefante, taking chocolate to next level with artistic expressions such as these one of a kind bars inspired by Jackson Pollock. 

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Hand crafted jewelry by Avocet Jewelry. I was lucky enough to come home with an amazing ring made by Michelle, the designer.

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BOCA sunglasses, a partnership between Italian makers and Mexican artisans.

The food in Mexico city is spectacular and we visited many wonderful restaurants including Rosetta, Azul Condessa, El Contramar, El Parnita and Sabor Amor to name a few. Azul Condessa presented me with the best Oaxacan mole I have ever experienced in my lifetime. El Contramar was THE happening spot for Mexico’s 4 plus hour lunches and Sabor Amor provided an eclectic perspective on the city’s cuisine. If you visit, I highly recommend all of the above.

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The Italian restaurant Rosetta

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Azul Condessa

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El Parnita

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Sabor Amor

We were lucky enough to find an amazing taxi driver on our visit, Luis Mondragon, who also served as a tour guide during our trip. We found Luis on the first day at the market and he has been living in the city for 65 years and he knows whats up (and can speak English very well). From taking us around to some of his favorite restaurants, to driving the best routes, this is the man you want to know when you visit Mexico City. Expect for him to arrive in some excellent get-ups, this man has some style folks. You can reach him at +52 5514-6369.

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Our driver, Luis sporting his fine fashions.

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Luis and I outside of the hotel on my last day. He said he dyed his shirt recently to give it a new life. 

I can’t say enough great things about this city. It has the feel of a big metropolitan city but the energy is relaxed, just as you would expect in any place you visit in Mexico. Although the traffic is insane, it is easy to escape the crowds by exploring some of the neighborhoods on the outside of the center of town. As with any city, using caution and street smarts is essential and an important factor in keeping yourself away from harm. As a whole, it is a magical place and one that I would highly suggest you visit in your lifetime as it cannot be described in this short post. For anyone in the design and arts industry, a visit to Mexico city should be on your radar.

Stay tuned for a view into all of the amazing art that I spotted on my trip in the next few posts.

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