Sunday, August 14, 2016

[MEXICO CITY] I Live at the Artsy Artsy District

You know the drill. ihcahieh moves to a new city. ihcahieh snubs the new city because he lives there anyway. ihcahieh realizes that it’s his last week in the city. ihcahieh realizes that he has not seen much of it yet. It’s always the same thing all the time. Perhaps the worst casualty was Vienna because it’s a really beautiful city that really has to be seen. But cramming works most of the time. In the case of Mexico City, though, cramming is just not enough because of its sheer size. You defo need more than a week for this.

I moved here last May. Almost four months of stay somewhere makes you believe that sightseeing would come easy, but life just happens. I also have this weird feeling that I am only here in this continent for a while and I won’t come back anymore. Maybe it’s the long wait that made me feel that way. And so I prioritized the neighboring countries when I had the chance, instead of focusing on getting to know this country more. Four months and I’ve only been to the Zocalo, Teotihuacan, and Morelos! Hahaha. Fail.

But even if you don’t really have the time to travel far, living at DF is already a good consolation, because there’s a lot to see in this city. When I was looking for places to rent, my first choice was Polanco, because I love living in fancy fancy districts. But its location an hour away from the university by metro was a deal breaker. As such, I ended up closer, in an area called Coyoacan in the La Concepcion district at the southern part of the city. This zone is not fancy fancy, but I can assure you that it’s artsy artsy.

And now for some requisite namedropping! Gabriel Garcia Marquez moved to Mexico and lived here until his death. But the most popular ex-residents are power couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. No, FriEgo is not the Mexican equivalent of Brangelina. Perhaps, to some extent. I don’t have to introduce them to you. Google is your friend. Suffice it to say that Frida is the art chick with the unibrow. Salma Hayek portrayed her onscreen once and got nominated for an Oscar. As for Diego, I don’t know much, except that he’s fat.

The house where the couple used to live is still standing and is now a museum at the northern part of the district. I’m not a big fan of either art or the two of them, so I no longer bothered. If you are, then just search for the place on Google Maps. It always appears when you search for Coyoacan. After all, they have contributed a lot to the art scene not just of this area, but of the entire country as well. As for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s house, I have no idea where it is. I can show you where the bars are, though. TEQUILA!

Ah yes, if you are the party party type, you won’t get lonely in Coyoacan. Five minutes walking distance from where I live are roads lined up with bars, pizza places, cafes, and restaurants of the hole in the wall variety. Getting hungry and thirsty is not really a big issue here, bruh. If you want to party or just socialize with another human being, get your ass off the bed and head to one of the bars. Friends say that they are usually open until the wee hours of the morning seven days a week.

But this does not mean to say that Coyoacan is all about parties. Before the parties comes the art. Street murals and graffiti can be found everywhere. Sometimes the lines are blurred between the two, but what it guarantees is a colorful experience, bombarding you with different shades and hues that are just difficult to get out of your head. The houses are colorful. The walls are colorful. And then you also have the ubiquitous colonial architecture courtesy of the churches and some old commercial buildings.

The center itself is really lively on weekends, and one of my biggest regrets is not discovering it earlier. I love long walks around the city, and Coyoacan’s parks have plenty of space for that. I don’t know. Perhaps I just love my room that much that I no longer care to see the outside world. If there’s one adjective that I’d use to describe what has been my daily life here, it’d definitely be convenient or comfortable, NOT dangerous, like most people think it should be.

I suggest going to the center on weekends just to feel the vibe of the crowd. They do lend a lot of character to the overall feel of the place. It’s weird because it appears as though you were suddenly transported to some small town in a far-flung area of Latin America, but then you only have to go back to the main road to see that you never left Mexico City. Anyway, don’t forget to take a souvenir photo with the showering wolves. That animal is the emblem of Coyoacan and is almost always incorporated in many designs.
[MEXICO CITY] I Live at the Artsy Artsy District

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