When you hear about Mexico, you probably think tequila and mariachis. Sorry friend, but you’re depriving yourself of a whole bunch of amazing and unexpected things. Because you probably think we all wear sombreros to work, we compiled a list of stuff that Mexico is totally kicking ass at. Don’t blame me if you’re trying to spend your latest paycheck on a plane ticket before you hit the end. BEING A CYCLIST ISN’T A DEATHWISH
If you like bike riding (who doesn’t?) Mexico is the place for you. Every Sunday, bikers have the opportunity to follow a 26.5km route through the city. The route goes from Julio Verne Street, near the National Auditorium, to La Villa where the Basilica of Guadalupe Virgin is located. The scenic tour also passes through Reforma, one of the main and most beautiful avenues in the city. Besides doing exercise, you can enjoy the magnificent architecture located along the path.
Chilangos – as Mexico City locals are known, are becoming increasingly aware of excessive driving in what used to be one of the most polluted cities in the world. The use of bikes for transportation is a consequence and part of the constant search for alternative ways to avoid the intense car traffic. Last Sunday World Car Free Day took place, where participants choose from two different bike routes and had the chance to learn more about rules and security measures for a better coexistence between drivers, pedestrians and bikers. Additionally, yoga and work out classes were carried out at points along the cycle path. Fun.
OUR MUSIC SCENE IS PROBABLY BETTER THAN YOURS If you are human then chances are you enjoy the combination of music, dance and beer. Mexico has become an important stage for foreign artists wanting to break the massive Latin-American market; so international gigs are a frequent happening in the different arenas around the city.
Recently named as one of the ten favourite festivals taking place in October by Resident Advisor, Corona Capital Music Fest gathers the best of international rock and electronic artists for two days of partying. Now in its fourth year, it will be hosting Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Travis, Stereophonics, The XX, Vampire Weekend, Jake Bugg, Grimes and Savages among others. Catch them on the 13th and 14th of October at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. MEXICAN INDEPENDENT FILM IS AWESOME
Being so close to the U.S, Mexican cinemas are pretty much flooded with Hollywood blockbusters; however that has by no means wiped out the independent film industry. The Cineteca Nacional (National Film Archive) shows film series on ten screens with at least one exclusively for Mexican cinema. It has hosted international film festivals and foreign film displays for 38 years and new installation in November 2012 include an outdoor theatre, a cinema museum and a digital restoration laboratory. Independent Mexican Cinema Week is happening under its roof until 29th September. You can also enjoy films from the French Cinema Tour, the Short Shorts Film Festival, Women in Films and the Television International Exhibition. THE CITY IS SEXY AS ANYTHING
Mexico City has become a blend of architectural styles ranging from the remains of the Aztecs’ Greater Temple which lies beside a beautiful 16th century colonial cathedral, to the imposing Bellas Artes Palace and Torre Latino, a 597ft skyscraper jutting out of the crowded streets in downtown Mexico City. Over the last few decades there has been a rise in unique and inspired architecture, making its mark on the urban landscape. Although some traditional sights like the Toreo over the Periferico Avenue have been demolished, new Mexican structures are on the up. City within the city Santa Fe, a wealthy area to the West, currently holds the third largest mall in Latin America and the famous Torre del Pantalón—the Trousers Building. Not so far away in Polanco, a stunning stretched, twisted aluminium cube has emerged: the 183,000 square-foot Soumaya Museum, designed to house the art collection of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
MEXICAN FOOD. NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION.
Although Mexicans are fiercely proud of having one of the most varied cuisines in the world and the city has virtually a food stand in every corner hosting an immense variety of cheap and delicious goods, locals are becoming more adventurous and exploring with flavours. In modern Mexico City you can find traditional dishes with a twist: tortas de chiles en nogada (a white bread roll filled with poblano chile stuffed with minced beef, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices in a white sauce made from walnuts, sprinkled with pomegranate – yum), tortas de pastor (an alternative to the tacos), chilli or tequila ice cream (yes I am also going to DIY this tonight) flavoured pulque (an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the agave plant with strawberry, banana, pistachio or chocolate added) and anise tamales to name a few. Mexico is getting well-deserved recognition from the international modern food scene too; this year two of its restaurants in the capital: Pujol and Biko were named among the 50 best in the world.