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Lavanda

Sep 17, 2002, 11:50 AM

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Mexico City questions

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Believe me, before I ask these
questions I have searched exhaustively
online, in books, and in the library.<p>Never dreamed I would want to go to
Mexico City, but I do now, guess it
relates to becomeing a tostona today
or something.<p>
1.
Does anyone have ANY clue how to find out information
about teatro Blanquita, including upcoming events?<p>2.<p>Can anyone suggest a map of Mexico City listing
ALL the street names inthe zona centro/zona historico?<p>3.<p>Is the zona historico/zona centro the same exact area?<p>4. <p>Is the zona historica/centro a colonia, or comprised
of several colonias, or it is partly colonias &
partly not?<p>5. <p>Is there a guide or something availabel for all of
the zona historica?<p>I want to see and do as much as possible in that
small area, but information is very sketchy.<p>Thanks is advance,
Lavanda la confundida<p><p><p><p><p>



Denis

Sep 17, 2002, 12:42 PM

Post #2 of 9 (2746 views)

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Relax, have a great time

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Lavanda,<p>Your best bet if you want detailed street maps is the Guía Roji map in book form. I make do with a map I found at Sanborn's; it covers the whole city and has a street index in tiny type on the back. It also has a map of the Metro system on the back -- handy, since the map is rarely displayed in stations or on the trains.<p>There is some sort of distinction between colonia Centro and the Centro Histórico, but as far as I'm concerned it's all a fairly compact area. There is a lot to do and see there. I've used the Lonely Planet guide to Mexico (the whole country) and have not been led astray yet. I'm sure there are more detailed guides, but you may not need one.<p>As for the Teatro Blanquita, I'm afraid I have no information. Listings of current cultural events can be found in the weekly publication "Tiempo Libre", which comes out Thursdays. The listings (but not the reviews) are also available online at www.tiempolibre.com.mx. <p>Now, what's a "tostona"?<p>Denis


Richard Ferguson

Sep 17, 2002, 3:52 PM

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Mexico City questions

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The only source that I know of on line for what to do in Mexico city is Tiempo Libre. They cover theatre, etc. It may not be great but it is something. <p>http://www.tiempolibre.com.mx<p>Enjoy your visit to Mexico City, Lavanda, but be careful, especially with the passing taxis. More info below.<p>Richard<p><p>MEXICO CITY TAXI ROBBERIES<p>For tourists, perhaps the most serious crime problem in Mexico is taxi
robbery in Mexico City. This problem is more or less unique to Mexico
City, so many tourists are not aware of the problem. The governments
of the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia warn travelers of taxi
robberies. I have also read several first person accounts of taxi
robberies, via the internet and in the media. Taxi robberies in
Mexico City have been covered in US and Mexico media, both TV and
newspapers. Basically, anybody who knows Mexico knows that taxi
robberies are a problem in Mexico City, and takes certain precautions
to prevent themselves becoming a victim. The exact recommendations may
vary, but it is unwise to ignore the problem and pretend that "It
can't happen to me."<p>A taxi robbery generally works something like this: The victim or
victims get into a taxi, usually a green VW beetle taxi. After a few
blocks, the taxi stops, and one or two armed men enter the taxi and
rob the victim. In many cases, the victim is held for hours while the
robbers use the victim's ATM card to get more money. This is
sometimes called a "fast food" kidnapping. In a few cases, the victim
is held overnight to allow withdrawing more money the next day. The
taxi driver is part of the gang, and may have stolen the taxi. In
some cases, a waiter or hotel employee may also be part of the gang.<p>In one article that I read, the robbers found out that they were
robbing a reporter. While he was being held at gunpoint on the floor
of the taxi, they told him not to write anything bad about Mexico! An
American resident of Mexico City was killed in a daylight taxi robbery
in December 1997. An American reporter was shot in a taxi robbery
April 20, 1998. The personal accounts that I have read indicate that
a taxi robbery, even if you are unhurt, is a very traumatic
experience.<p>So, what can you do to protect yourself from taxi robberies? Use the
official sitio taxis at the airport and bus stations. Buy a ticket at
the window, and take that ticket to the official taxi stand. If there
is no taxi stand (sitio) where you are, call a radio taxi. Get the
taxi number so you get into the correct taxi. According to an article
about taxi robbery in the November 1998 issue of US/Mexico Business,
radio taxis have become so popular that it is difficult to get a radio
taxi after dark on a weekend. Generally, the roving taxis are the
problem, not the ones that work from official taxi stands, which
should have a supervisor with a clipboard logging taxi departures.
You can use the metro (subway), but pickpockets and robbers are a
problem.<p>I was in Mexico City in January 2002, and I was very satisfied with
the radio taxi company "Radio Servicios Moviles de Transporte", and
got their card, which showed numbers 5771-4012, 5771-0130, 5760-4696
and 5551-7710. One of the taxi drivers told me that the company was
founded more than 30 years ago, partly at the instigation of the then
US ambassador, because American visitors were being robbed in those
days also. If you call yourself, you will need to give your location
and what you are wearing. I am not sure if their dispatchers speak
much English, I did not put them to the test. They will give you the
color of the taxi and it's unit number. One time they asked me to
move to the other side of the street to simplify a pickup, I did, and
the taxi was there in five minutes. These taxis are not marked. <p>There are many other radio taxi services. The US government suggests
the following phone numbers. 5271-9146, 5271-9058, and 5272-6125.
You can ask your hotel for a recommendation.<p>The Canadian government in their March 1998 advisory said that you
should leave your credit cards and ATM cards in the hotel safe, to
minimize the risk that you will be held prisoner while the robbers use
your cards. (The current warning is worded more mildly). The current
Australian government also advises you to leave your credit cards in
the hotel safe. Only carry the cash that you will need that day. Some
people, including the French government, say you should carry 20 or 30
dollars US, to prevent a robber from becoming angry with too small an
amount. Consider using your ATM cards only at ATM machines inside a
bank or other commercial facility during regular banking hours, as
recommended by the US government. Even the Mexican government
recommends that you not carry your ATM card with you unless you plan
to use it.<p>If you are robbed, comply and hand over your valuables immediately.
This will greatly reduce the risk of violence. Your life is worth
much more than your camera or your credit cards.<p>Official statistics show that crime in Mexico has doubled since the
start of the economic crisis in 1994. However, I should note that
victim surveys and many government crime statistics indicate that
crime rates in Mexico City are similar to or lower than rates in urban
areas in the US. In private correspondence with a university
professor working in statistics, I have been told that Mexican crime
statisics are a little primitive, and are not really worthy of
confidence. I have seen few crime statistics for visitors and
tourists, just overall statisics or surveys of residents.<p>In a brief visit to Mexico City in July 1999, my friend Miguel, a
lifelong resident of Mexico City, said that he felt that the crime
situation was exaggerated. When I was with him, I did get into a
couple of roving taxis, somewhat against my better judgement. I still
feel that roving taxis should be avoided, and I did avoid them for the
rest of our time in Mexico City. I also carefully reviewed the ID for
the driver before I got into a tourist taxi outside a museum. We did
see one noteworthy thing on that trip, relating to the police. There
was a police car, running red lights and siren, so overstuffed with
police officers that neither of the rear doors could close. It looked
a lot more like the Keystone cops than a professional police force. Of
course, the Mexican police are often critized for being ineffective
and corrupt.<p>Should you go to Mexico City? Of course, the decision is yours. There
are lots of things to do in the largest city in the world, but it is
not a place to relax and let down your guard. Mexico is a big country,
and most areas of Mexico are much safer than Mexico City. If you do
decide to go to Mexico City, read the various government travel
advisories before you arrive, and practice security while you are
there.<p>Richard Ferguson<p>February 4, 2002<p>
There are several web sites with security information for travelers
and tourists. The ones that I am aware of are listed below. I urge
people to review the information on these web sites, compare the
recommendations of the various countries to each other, and compare
the various government recommendations to any personal opinions
expressed on the internet. The government web sites include security
and other travel information for virtually all the countries in the
world, including each other.<p>USA - http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html<p>UK - http://193.114.50.10/travel/default.asp<p>Canada - http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/graphics/cosmos/cntry_e.htm<p>Australia -http://www.dfat.gov.au/consular/advice/advices_mnu.html<p>The French government has a web site with security information, in
French. http://www.diplomatie.fr/voyageurs/etrangers/avis/conseils/<p>The Mexican government has their own web site on tourist security -
www.safemexico.com<p>The following web sites offer personal views on security.<p>Mexico Mike gives his views about security in Mexico at
www.mexicomike.com<p><p>: Believe me, before I ask these
: questions I have searched exhaustively
: online, in books, and in the library.<p>: Never dreamed I would want to go to
: Mexico City, but I do now, guess it
: relates to becomeing a tostona today
: or something.<p>:
: 1.
: Does anyone have ANY clue how to find out information
: about teatro Blanquita, including upcoming events?<p>: 2.<p>: Can anyone suggest a map of Mexico City listing
: ALL the street names inthe zona centro/zona historico?<p>: 3.<p>: Is the zona historico/zona centro the same exact area?<p>: 4. <p>: Is the zona historica/centro a colonia, or comprised
: of several colonias, or it is partly colonias &
: partly not?<p>: 5. <p>: Is there a guide or something availabel for all of
: the zona historica?<p>: I want to see and do as much as possible in that
: small area, but information is very sketchy.<p>: Thanks is advance,
: Lavanda la confundida<p><p><p>


Anna

Sep 17, 2002, 5:08 PM

Post #4 of 9 (2745 views)

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Mexico City questions

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I found a Mexico City map at Borders.It covers the areas you mentioned. It is covered with plastic and in English. It has all the attractions and hotels.<p>:
: 1.
: Does anyone have ANY clue how to find out information
: about teatro Blanquita, including upcoming events?<p>: 2.<p>: Can anyone suggest a map of Mexico City listing
: ALL the street names inthe zona centro/zona historico?<p>: 3.<p>: Is the zona historico/zona centro the same exact area?<p>: 4. <p>: Is the zona historica/centro a colonia, or comprised
: of several colonias, or it is partly colonias &
: partly not?<p>: 5. <p>: Is there a guide or something availabel for all of
: the zona historica?<p>: I want to see and do as much as possible in that
: small area, but information is very sketchy.<p>: Thanks is advance,
: Lavanda la confundida<p><p><p>


Lavanda

Sep 17, 2002, 5:28 PM

Post #5 of 9 (2744 views)

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Mexico City questions

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Thanks. Who publishes it?<p><p>: I found a Mexico City map at Borders.It covers the areas you mentioned. It is covered with plastic and in English. It has all the attractions and hotels.<p>: :
: : 1.
: : Does anyone have ANY clue how to find out information
: : about teatro Blanquita, including upcoming events?<p>: : 2.<p>: : Can anyone suggest a map of Mexico City listing
: : ALL the street names inthe zona centro/zona historico?<p>: : 3.<p>: : Is the zona historico/zona centro the same exact area?<p>: : 4. <p>: : Is the zona historica/centro a colonia, or comprised
: : of several colonias, or it is partly colonias &
: : partly not?<p>: : 5. <p>: : Is there a guide or something availabel for all of
: : the zona historica?<p>: : I want to see and do as much as possible in that
: : small area, but information is very sketchy.<p>: : Thanks is advance,
: : Lavanda la confundida<p><p>


Lavanda

Sep 17, 2002, 5:45 PM

Post #6 of 9 (2745 views)

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tostona? Relax, have a great time

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A toston is a fifty cent piece.
I will turn fifty years (thus,
una tostona) tonite at 10:55 pm.<p>I retired over five years ago,
and have decided to start all over
living life to its fullest as much
as possible.<p>
: Lavanda,<p>: Your best bet if you want detailed street maps is the Guía Roji map in book form. I make do with a map I found at Sanborn's; it covers the whole city and has a street index in tiny type on the back. It also has a map of the Metro system on the back -- handy, since the map is rarely displayed in stations or on the trains.<p>: There is some sort of distinction between colonia Centro and the Centro Histórico, but as far as I'm concerned it's all a fairly compact area. There is a lot to do and see there. I've used the Lonely Planet guide to Mexico (the whole country) and have not been led astray yet. I'm sure there are more detailed guides, but you may not need one.<p>: As for the Teatro Blanquita, I'm afraid I have no information. Listings of current cultural events can be found in the weekly publication "Tiempo Libre", which comes out Thursdays. The listings (but not the reviews) are also available online at www.tiempolibre.com.mx. <p>: Now, what's a "tostona"?<p>: Denis<p>


Joel Ruiz

Sep 18, 2002, 9:13 AM

Post #7 of 9 (2745 views)

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Mexico City questions

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: 1. : Does anyone have ANY clue how to find out information
: about teatro Blanquita, including upcoming events? There is not much information about the Teatro Blanquita programs you can check www.tiempolibre.com.mx <p>: 2. Can anyone suggest a map of Mexico City listing
: ALL the street names inthe zona centro/zona historico? www.guiaroji.com.mx is a good way to do it by net. You can buy guiaroji maps at big and small bookstores at the mexican airport or at Sanborns or cornerbook stands as well. You may find up to 3 different type of maps, choose the one that is for El Centro de la Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City's downtown map)<p>: 3.: Is the zona historico/zona centro the same exact area? The Zona centro is what we will call "dowtown area" and zona historico is part of it.<p>: 4. : Is the zona historica/centro a colonia, or comprised
: of several colonias, or it is partly colonias &
: partly not? The zona centro is a comprised of several colonias to the north, sourth, east and west from the ZOCALO (main central point of zona centro infront of the Cathedral and governmental buildings.<p>: 5. : Is there a guide or something availabel for all of
: the zona historica? Downtown Hotels normally have guides that will help you to make lovely visits within mexico city downtown area including the zona historica, you need time (days) to do this and be ready to walk a lot.


jennifer rose

Sep 18, 2002, 12:14 PM

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Mexico City is a great place to visit! I know that I could spend an entire year simply being a "tourist" and never tiring of it.<p> One of my favorite online guides is linked below.


John R

Sep 18, 2002, 9:49 PM

Post #9 of 9 (2748 views)

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You've already gotten some good suggestions. My offering:<p>Tiempo Libre (Joel mentioned the web site) is the most extensive guide to local entertainment. Major theaters, of which La Blanquita is one, also tend to advertise in Reforma, El Universal and some other newspapers daily. I'll try to see if I find something on it.<p>How are you arriving in Mexico City? If you are arriving by airport, at anything like daytime-early nighttime hours, there are some pretty darned good bookshops which carry very good maps. There are several maps and atlases of Mexico city published by Guia roji with indices listing every street in the city, let alone the Centro Historico. Those are very, very widely available.<p>Most of the maps I've seen that specialize on the centro are fairly inclusive. Colonias can be pretty small areas and a map that focused on just one would be extremely specialized and localized. You might find some like that for areas such as the Condesa, Roma, San Angel, Coyocan or the like -- areas with an upscale audience for local restaurants that advertise to finance such a map.<p>The Centro Historico is certainly interesting, but I'd be inclined to branch out if I had more than a couple of days. There were a series of pre-Hispanic or early colonial settlements that have been swallowed by the sprawl which are still fascinating in parts: Xochimilco, Coyoacan, San Angel to the south, for example, all have preseved quite a bit of their early architecture and have an interesting feel to them. Xochimilco, less self-consciously quaint than the others, still has extremely strong indigenous cultural elements to it. <p>I've lived in Mexico City for 11-12 years now and commute almost daily by taxi. I've probably taken between 3,000 and 5,000 taxi rides in the city. I still take them, so that says a lot. Even so, if Richard's point was a bit harshly drawn, there was validity to it. There is very little chance of any individual tourist being robbed in any given street cab, but it is still an unusually difficult problem in Mexico City. In all of those cab rides, I was kidnapped once (only four hours at knifepoint) and escaped at least one other extremely serious attempt, and I was catching cabs at the center of the problem (the Zona Rosa-Cuauhtemoc area). Quite a few acquaintances (most of those in my office on Reforma) also suffered such incidents four or five years ago. Friends of people I work with were murdered. It does make an impression on you. Those hijackings seem to be well on the decline, however. And I, personally, still take street cabs -- though only in daylight. The vast, overwhelming majority of cabbies are very decent, hardworking people.<p>Please do NOT let that scare you out of Mexico City. With very moderate bits of caution, there's still an overwhelmingly strong chance you'll have a great time, and I think the risks are higher in many other places now (if not five years ago).<p>Richard's suggestion of using radio cabs that you call is still an excellent one. They are listed in the yellow pages under "sitios." One (sitio 101) is 55 66 00 77 (easy to remember) but there are others that serve the city as a whole. You need to tell them the address and the nearest cross street. Regular taxis are probably safest in the mornings and early afternoons. There are a number of tips on how to chose a safe taxi, or at least on how to reduce risks, but that's another post altogether. I posted something on it years ago and you still might find it in the archives.<p>The subway is also an excellent system if you take obvious precautions against pickpocket-type crimes and if it goes close to where you are headed. I'd tend to avoid it at rush hour, if possible, just because of the crush.<p>
 
 
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