Curiosity in Mexico City -- both morbid and affectionate -- is growing in the early 21st Century. Known officially as the "City of Palaces" but semiofficially as a worldwide capital of sprawl, pollution, and human brutality, the D.F. has become the city to know. A little trendiness can't hurt crosscultural exchange and understanding, right? (Just ask The New York Times or Paper.) Lucky for us, we can get to know the D.F. without leaving our desks. You can start by browsing these spectacular aerial images of the city shot from a private helicopter. Here are photographs of Mexico from the 40s and 50s, and the start of an article on the legacy of Casasola, the great early Mexican photographer. Read my post about current Mexican photography star, Enrique Metinides. And one about a recent NYT fashion spread from the D.F. More images via Google and Flickr. Emporis breaks down the city's skyscrapers. And Here, here, and here, Mark "The Cobrasnake" Hunter does the Aztec megalopolis.
Arts and culture media is exploding in Mexico City. Take a look at magazines Codigo, Replicante (technically based in Guadalajara), and Picnic, the blog HelloDF, podcast "The Chicklet Show", arts journal
Pazmaker, L.A./D.F. arts mag Rim, city mag Chilango, Mexico City Monthly (available at your local American Apparel store), news in English from The Herald, the blog VivirMexico, and TimeOut Mexico, D.F. (slightly beta online). Did I miss any? Here's the inside of the new W Hotel in Polanco, a terrific photoblog of D.F. architecture, and the awesome metro system. Feels like the city has everything, even a Mayan-esque Mormon temple.
Right after graduating college I got on a plane and headed to Mexico City for the summer, not knowing a single person there and having no concept of what sort of life I would find or encounter. That was 2002, and the city was just sort of maturing into its new internationalist self. What happens next? Not quite sure. I simply feel fortunate to be in the next most Mexican city in the world, Los Angeles, as I try to recapture that summer and my subsequent trips. Neta.
Finally, here is "Down and Delirious in Mexico City," the LA Weekly cover story I wrote in August that deals with the 2006 presidential election and the current cultural moment. Thank you Highwayscribery for the fine analysis.