dusk near Cuernavaca

dusk near Cuernavaca

Friday, January 29, 2016

Take a Walk with Me

As I have mentioned before, Condesa, the neighborhood where I am staying, is quite well-to-do.  However it is not a bastion of Mexico City's uber rich. Tiffany's and Gucci do not have their stores here.  I am sure that Condesa has its fair share of snobbish Mexican yuppies, but the general atmosphere here is one of eclecticism rather than stuffiness.  In fact there are buildings here and there that in the U.S. would be considered characteristic of a blighted neighborhood rather than a solidly upper-middle class district.  

 A modern apartment building towers over an older building that has seen better days.

You will even occasionally see an abandoned, derelict building.

Come take a short walk with me to see some of what you will find within just a couple blocks of my apartment.

I am staying on Amsterdam Avenue.  The street runs in an oval in the heart of Condesa.  A tree-lined pedestrian walkway runs in the middle of the avenue for its entire circuit.

Azaleas blooming in the middle of January

Right across the street from my apartment is a cabaret which puts on musical shows.  I can hear the music in my apartment, but, fortunately, it never keeps me from falling asleep at night.

If you want to ride around the city on a bicycle (something that seems a bit dangerous to me!) there is an EcoBici bike stand just around the corner from the apartment.  This program of the city government is intended to reduce automobile traffic.  You can purchase a card and use it to rent a bicycle from one of the many bike stands in the city.  (I have only seen the stands, however, in the nicer neighborhoods of the city.)

You can have a workout using this exercise equipment located along the pedestrian path.

I suspect that the equipment was placed there for public use courtesy of the gym located across the street.  Many young people in Condesa seem to be quite fitness oriented.  You see a lot of people jogging along the pedestrian walkway and in the parks, and there are a number of private gyms in the neighborhood.

You can also see in the above picture a feature of the neighborhood which created a good deal of resentment in Condesa...  the "parquímetro" machines.  You are required to pay to park along the neighborhood streets.  You must go to one of these machines which are located at intervals along the street, feed it some coins, and then put the ticket you receive on the dashboard of your car.  If you don't pay, you may return to find a lock placed on one of your tires.

Condesa is loaded with restaurants representing many different cuisines.  This one sells grilled hamburgers and "chivitos".  I had to do some research on what a "chivito" is.  I thought that it might be grilled goat meat, since "chivo" means goat.  In fact it is a Uruguayan sandwich filled with steak, cheese, ham, bacon, tomato, olives and mayonnaise.  It sounds good!  I'll have to give it a try sometime.

On the next corner is a Middle-Eastern restaurant.  I don't care much for Middle Eastern food though, so I haven't been there.

Along the walkway is a small shrine in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico.

Continuing down the street is a little shop called "Abbey Roc" which specializes in Beatles memorabilia. 

And a couple doors from the Beatles shop is a bizarre little store that sells "Magic Remedies".  According the sign they have "the legitimate and original gadgets of power"  "All your ills have a remedy".  But since another sign says "Laughter is Magic", perhaps it's just for fun rather than being a serious store of the occult.

"Cassava Roots" is a chain of stores that sell a wide variety of teas in unusual flavors.  I've have been there several times, and their teas are very good.

Next up is the "Gran Vía" bakery, which I have been known to frequent upon occasion.

Finally, at the busy intersection of Sonora and Amsterdam, if you crave the familiarity of home, if you really must, I suppose you could visit one of the ubiquitous Starbuck's. 


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