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Maesonna

Jun 19, 2011, 8:30 PM

Post #26 of 61 (6938 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Apart from going to visit specific targets like museums, restaurants, etc. I very much like walking around the streets near downtown (particularly around the Zócalo, and mostly to the west and south of it, also a bit to the north/north-west. Each street is a story in itself. Many the streets have clusters of similar businesses for several blocks, so you can visit, for example, the tools and hardware street, the wedding dress street, the craft supplies street, the small appliance repair street, the camera and photographic supply street, the tailor and suit fabric street, the shoe street, the industrial sewing machine street, the musical instrument street, and the bookstore street, to name just a few and to give you an idea of the variety. I could happily spend several days exploring around there.

You can do some bus exploring by simply getting on a bus with your Guia Roji map and seeing where it takes you. With a whole month, you can afford a few days to try that if you’re feeling adventurous. An example: Once I had to go to the Plaza La Flores mall way up north in Coacalco in the Mexico State part of Mexico City. We took a bus from Metro Indios Verdes and rode through a grey industrial wasteland with k after k of unbelievably huge warehouses, endless suburbs of drab cookie-cutter shacks and mysterious structures. It wasn't a touristy trip of pretty sights, but it was extremely interesting. Any random trip in any direction has the potential to be interesting.

Some more not-to-be-missed museum recommendations: San Ildefonso, Templo Mayor, and Castillo de Chapultepec.


tashby


Jun 19, 2011, 8:39 PM

Post #27 of 61 (6932 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Here's a list of "594 Things to Do" in Mexico City, courtesy of the Lonely Planet website. It's an eclectic list, and the rankings appear completely meaningless on a relative basis, but it's a nice list to scan for ideas. It includes a LOT of different things to do, of every variety, so I thought I'd throw it into this thread for future reference. (I'm always amazed at the number of views MexConnect threads get, but with little active participation.) Another nice thing is each listing gives just a paragraph overview, but then you can click on it and dig a little further, which then includes address, a google map of location, etc., and sometimes a personal reviews from travelers.

Lonely Planet's "Things to Do in Mexico City" List: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/...co-city/things-to-do

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on a listing of a Churro Mecca and saw a review by MexConnect member Anonimo. Okay, that didn't surprise me at all, really. 8-)


tashby


Jun 19, 2011, 8:46 PM

Post #28 of 61 (6927 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Thanks Maesonna. I've done the "let's see where this bus takes me" thing....just to see....'cause there's always another bus going back in the other direction. Fun stuff that....sometimes!


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 8:42 AM

Post #29 of 61 (6895 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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OK, if you're up for semi-random bus rides, I like to recommend a trip to Milpa Alta. One way to get there is from the Tasqueña metro station, take a #36 pesera marked “Milpa Alta” (platform L or M, approximately, which you reach by exiting the metro station at the South exit). At the end of the route, you'll be across the street from the main market of Milpa Alta. There are also RTP buses that go to Milpa Alta from Tasqueña. The entrance to the main market is at the corner of Jalisco and Yucatan Sur streets.

Some of the vendors (mostly the informal ones outside on the sidewalk) come down from the mountains and this is as close as they get to Mexico City, so you can get some produce that doesn’t make it farther in to the city. For example, in the rainy season they offer a great variety of mushrooms and toadstools. Inside, you can get tasty tlacloyos, gorditas and more to eat on the spot or to take home. Also, there is a great quantity of nopales for sale in season, as this is the center of a nopal farming district.

Besides the market, there isn't much else to see in the town, but we like to take visitors to walk around and see the inside of the main church and of the Guadalupe chapel located on the side of the central square beside the church. Inside this chapel you can see a painting that depicts Virgen of Guadalupe hovering over the actual landscape visible outside the chapel, and to the left (as you're facing the chapel) there's a tiny garden depicting the appearance of the Virgen of Guadalupe to Juan Diego.

Back to the market, if you walk downhill towards the left (while facing the market) about 3 blocks to Puebla street and turn right, you will get to a place where you get a spectacular view of the valley spread below you. If the day is clear enough, you will also get a great view of the volcano.

On the way to Milpa Alta and on the way back, you'll pass through the town of San Pedro Atocpán, the mole capital of the region. There are so many mole shops here that the air is fragrant with spices. It would also be a nice place to get off the bus and explore. Many of the mole “factories” are little storefront operations crowded with open bins of all the spices, chiles, nuts and fruit that go into a mole. There are many restaurant options here, but the particular one we like to take visitors to is La Cabaña, slightly off the beaten track at Prolongacion Guadalupe Victoria 27 (just around the corner from Atzayacatl street).


tashby


Jun 20, 2011, 9:32 AM

Post #30 of 61 (6879 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Wow, wow, WOW!!! What a spectacularly generous and informative post. Thank you Maesonna! I already know somebody who wants to "go with" on this!

Sounds like a fun day, for sure. I really want to try to do it on a clear day for the views. I'll cross my fingers on that part.

Quick question. The RTP bus versus the pesera. About how long does the bus ride take, one versus the other? I'm guessing that in order to get off at San Pedro Atocpán, I'd need to take the pesera.

Thanks again!


(This post was edited by tashby on Jun 20, 2011, 9:33 AM)


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 10:58 AM

Post #31 of 61 (6861 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Sorry I can't answer specifically about the bus details. I guess it might be about an hour and a half. If that's not accurate, at least it's roughly correct. The RTP gets really crowded because it's an attractive deal for many people to ride all the way from Tasqueña to Milpa Alta for only 2 pesos. I'm not sure there would be a significant difference in the times between RTP and pesera. I didn't go into detail about the RTP also because I'm not sure where it leaves from in the metro station. There are other pesera options from Tasqueña, but my powers at describing how to get to where you catch the bus aren't up to it. One of the bases is on Miramontes at (or near?) the corner of Taxqueña avenue pretty much outside the metro station. That pesero is also a #36.

There are also buses to Milpa Alta that you can pick up in the center of Xochimilco, i.e. do the trip in more than one stage. In that case, the tren ligero is also an option for getting to Xochimilco, then it's just a couple of blocks from the last stop to where you catch the Milpa Alta buses (which is on Francisco I. Madero between Morelos and Hidalgo).


tashby


Jun 20, 2011, 11:22 AM

Post #32 of 61 (6852 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Thanks. And hour and a half-ish is fine....I just didn't have any sense of how far it was. And I mistakenly assumed the "RTP" was a larger busline with fewer stops than the pesera. Thanks for all the rest of the info and I won't bother you about it again. Sounds like there's several ways to skin the cat, as ever. Cheers.


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 12:24 PM

Post #33 of 61 (6843 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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It's no bother; I like to be able to steer people to the lesser-known facts. Express RTP buses exist, but most RTPs aren't express. Also, unlike peseras, even the regular non-express ones only stop at their designated stops, so in effect they do have fewer stops.

BTW, RTP stands for Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (Passenger Transportation Network). Unlike the privately-owned peseros, they are part of the municipal transportation network that includes the metro, tren ligero, Metrobus and trolleybuses (and commuter trains? this is getting to the edge of my sphere of knowledge).

(This post was edited by Maesonna on Jun 20, 2011, 12:29 PM)


La Isla


Jun 20, 2011, 12:46 PM

Post #34 of 61 (6837 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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In Reply To

BTW, RTP stands for Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (Passenger Transportation Network). Unlike the privately-owned peseros, they are part of the municipal transportation network that includes the metro, tren ligero, Metrobus and trolleybuses (and commuter trains? this is getting to the edge of my sphere of knowledge).


I didn´t know there were any commuter trains in this part of the country. In fact, I´ve always heard that only freight trains travel the rails in Mexico these days.


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 2:04 PM

Post #35 of 61 (6827 views)

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Re: [La Isla] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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“Commuter train” is what I think the tren suburbano would be called in English. (“Suburban train” would be a calque.)


La Isla


Jun 20, 2011, 3:44 PM

Post #36 of 61 (6808 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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“Commuter train” is what I think the tren suburbano would be called in English. (“Suburban train” would be a calque.)


But is it a real train or just glorified subway service, like the "tren ligero" you take to get to Xochimilco?


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 5:51 PM

Post #37 of 61 (6791 views)

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Re: [La Isla] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Sort of in between. Commuter trains are trains that link cities with their outlying suburbs or provide regional travel between cities within a single conurbation. They’re smaller-scale than inter-city trains, and larger-scale than internal light rail transit. This is the Mexico City one. To compare with the US, this is a list of US cities with commuter train systems.


La Isla


Jun 20, 2011, 6:33 PM

Post #38 of 61 (6780 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Not bad. It looks better than the Metro or the Tren Ligero.


RickS


Jun 20, 2011, 7:40 PM

Post #39 of 61 (6765 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Well, that Wikipedia page, which says it lists ALL the commuter rail systems in the US, ..... does not. Denver has a nice light rail commuter system that continues to expand. Been around for several years. Certainly more miles covered than some of those listed. I'm just saying......


Maesonna

Jun 20, 2011, 8:51 PM

Post #40 of 61 (6752 views)

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Re: [RickS] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Either Denver's system is considered more light rail than commuter rail, or you should edit the Wikipedia article to correct it!

Back to the topic of things to do with a month in Mexico City, there’s also this.


judithnpups


Jun 22, 2011, 9:22 PM

Post #41 of 61 (6673 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Travis, Have you read David Lida's book, First Stop in the New World? It's a great read and highlights non-tourist, extremely off the beaten track places in the DF. I loved it. Here's a link, but we may have a copy.
http://www.amazon.com/...308802575&sr=1-1

Also, for pedestrian streets, not too far from La Condesa is the Zona Rosa with Calle Genova, a touristy pedestrian street you won't want to miss. Take the MetroBus up to Glorieta Insurgentes (about 3 stops). Genova starts at the glorieta and runs NNW, I think.

Nos vemos pronto,
Judith
Judith in the DF (formerly in Morelia)


tashby


Jun 23, 2011, 7:36 AM

Post #42 of 61 (6641 views)

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Re: [judithnpups] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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It took forever, but I finally got my hands on a copy of First Stop in the New World. Just finished it a few weeks ago. Great book. Am reading his other one, Travel Advisory - Stories from Mexico now, which I think he wrote first.

Thanks for the tip on Calle Genova. I've never been to the Zona Rosa, so sounds like that's an easy way to give it a whirl. I'm hoping there's some kind of monthly pass I can buy for the Metrobus. I remember seeing prepaid cards being used by others while I was fumbling for change.

And thanks for the link to the Gary Dennis blog, Maesonna. I think I already have too much I want to do!


judithnpups


Jun 23, 2011, 7:46 AM

Post #43 of 61 (6637 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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RE: MetroBus pass
There are machines at the entrance to each MB stop and in other locations around town. Just follow the directions on the machine. Insert $$$$. ($20 pesos will give you four trips.) The machine will issue you a card that you can then recharge at any location. Easy. But be sure to follow all the steps. If you skip the last one, you'll lose the balance on your new card. (Don't ask me how I know this.) The cost for the MB is 5 pesos per trip. Swiping the card to enter the station is fast and easy. I love the MetroBus.
Can't wait to see you.
Judith in the DF (formerly in Morelia)


La Isla


Jun 23, 2011, 8:48 AM

Post #44 of 61 (6629 views)

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Re: [judithnpups] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Maybe because I remember the Zona Rosa from some years ago when it was much nicer and not inundated with fast food joints and bars blasting music out into the street on weekend nights, I can't recommend it as a must-see for visitors to the city. In particular, Genova is fast-food central and quite the most unpleasant street in the area, in my opinion. I would recommend the Plaza del Angel on Hamburgo, which is where high-end antique dealers have been located for many years. On Saturdays they place some of their less valuable items out of the stores and hold a sort of tianguis in the Plaza and at the Londres street entrance.


Maesonna

Jun 24, 2011, 1:05 PM

Post #45 of 61 (6540 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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I just went back to your original specs, and noticed that you asked about interesting bookstores. Depending on what interests you, here are some candidates:

Extensive selection, Spanish (also a small English section): Visit the Mother Ship of the Gandhi chain at Miguel Ángel de Quevedo 121 and 134. Maps here.

Interesting architecture, Spanish: FCE Rosario Castellanos. Information here. The interest is the modern stained glass ceiling by the Mexico-based Dutch artist Jan Hendrix which represents a bamboo tree of literature/writing.

Discounts, Spanish: FCE Alfonso Reyes. The bookstore at the FCE head office has many books on discount. Located just off Periférico around Picacho (very south). Information, and link to map here.

English! Cheap! The downtown used bookstore street is Donceles/Justo Sierra (same street, different names along different stretches). It runs east-west about one block north of the Cathedral on the Zócalo. Start behind the Cathedral and work your way westwards. The used-book stores are all Spanish, of course, but almost all of them have an English section (I had to learn to ask for “novelas en inglés” so I didn’t get sent to the teaching-English book section) ranging from a single table piled 30 books deep with dusty paperbacks, to an entire section of shelves.


raferguson


Jun 25, 2011, 8:03 PM

Post #46 of 61 (6480 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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One obscure destination that I still talk about is the Museo de las Intervenciones. Mexico has been invaded many times in the last 200 years, many more times than you might think. If you can read Spanish, you will leave the museum with a complete understanding of Mexico's foreign policy.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Rolly


Jun 25, 2011, 9:01 PM

Post #47 of 61 (6470 views)

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Re: A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Did you know that there is a US Military Cemetery = México City National Cemetery?



Read more about it here.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Jun 25, 2011, 9:02 PM)


NEOhio1


Jun 30, 2011, 8:12 PM

Post #48 of 61 (6323 views)

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Re: [tashby] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Tashby, save that canal trip for Sunday, I think its the 24th, then you can have an enthusiastic group!


esperanza

Jul 4, 2011, 4:19 PM

Post #49 of 61 (6195 views)

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Re: [La Isla] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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OK, back to the talk about Café Tacuba. I and two others had comida there today . Let me tell you: it was AWFUL. I won't retract my prior glowing review, because the last time I ate there it was truly outstanding. Today, though, was horrid AND expensive. I wouldn't go back and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else go for comida.

Each of us ordered the menú del día, at 200 pesos per person, plus a pitcher of naranjada at 80 pesos.

We each had consomé con picazón (chicken consommé with chopped cilantro, onion, chile serrano, and avocado). It was very good, obviously made in-house from actual chicken.

One person ordered the fresh fruit cocktail, which she said tasted like it had been cut up two days ago and stuck in the refrigerator.

Two people ordered the appetizer of chicharrón with guacamole and panela cheese. It was just so-so.

We each ordered arroz a la mexicana, which was served with the soup and meant to be put it in. The rice was served cold, and not in a good way, but it went fine with the soup, which was very hot.

One person ordered enchiladas tapatías with green pipián. She said they were stuffed with white-meat chicken and were okay.

One person ordered costilla de res con chilaquiles (beef rib with chilaquiles). I tasted his totally flavorless, tough cut of beef. Ugh. He couldn't eat it and filled up on bread.

I ordered pechuga de pollo al horno (oven-cooked chicken breast). The bone-in half breast was very large and only slightly overcooked but without flavor and covered with an equally flavorless beige gravy. It seemed to have been poached and then stuck in the oven for a minute or two. Its side of calabacitas with tomatoes was terrible.

Desserts came with the menú. The desserts turned out to be a choice of pears in syrup, guavas in syrup, or arroz con leche. Not any good, any of them.

The total bill was $750 pesos, including our tip. It was way, way too much money for a less than mediocre meal. The maitre d' was deep in conversation with another employee when we left. I wish he had asked us how we liked our meal. Grrrrrrr.

I would still recommend Café Tacuba for a late Sunday breakfast. It is a jumping, fun place from about 11AM till 1PM on a Sunday.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tashby


Jul 4, 2011, 10:39 PM

Post #50 of 61 (6161 views)

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Re: [esperanza] A MONTH in Mexico City!

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Quote
One person ordered costilla de res con chilaquiles (beef rib with chilaquiles). I tasted his totally flavorless, tough cut of beef. Ugh. He couldn't eat it and filled up on bread.


"He" agrees with the above review entirely, down to the last note. Thank goodness for the soup. Too bad the Chinese Restaurant had packed bags/wasn't there.
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