Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Getting Out of the House

Yesterday I didn't have to cook for Alejandro's family, so I ventured out on my own.

Fortunately, Line 6 of the Metrobus, the most recently completed line, passes just a couple blocks from the house.  As with most of the Metrobus lines, the bus stops are built in the middle of the avenue, and to each side are lanes reserved for the bus.

I took the Metrobus just a couple stops down the road to a nearby shopping plaza which includes a Walmart, where I did some grocery shopping.

After returning to the house, and putting the groceries away, I then decided to take a walk around the neighborhood.

Alejandro lives in a section of the city known as San Juan de Aragón which is in the northern part of the city about half way between the airport and the Basilica of Guadalupe.

It is not an elegant or beautiful part of Mexico City, but is more typical of the vast bulk of the city than the areas with which the typical tourist is familiar.

One of the commercial streets of the neighborhood is Camino San Juan de Aragón (not to be confused with Calzada San Juan de Aragón which is the thoroughfare along which the Metrobus runs).  The street is lined with all sorts of small businesses, from auto repair shops to opticians to corner grocery stores.  Many of them are little hole-in-the-wall establishments.

Along the residential streets, the houses face directly on the streets.  There are no front yards or back yards, and the houses are built right up against one another.  (This is typical throughout Mexico.)  Some of the homes look quite nice and are well maintained... others not so much.  Along the sidewalks there are bushes and small trees, some of them pruned into geometric shapes.

I once wrote in another post that the names of the streets within a neighborhood often have a theme.  Here most of the streets are named after Mexican port cities.

Puerto Acapulco is another commercial street.

Along Puerto Acapulco Street you will find the neighborhood market building.  

It is not an especially large market, but it has the typical variety of stalls selling food, clothing, housewares and many other products.  As always, the produce stands are the most colorful.

Hanging from the rafters are piñatas for sale.

All along the side street that runs by the market are outdoor stalls selling a wide variety of merchandise.  Alejandro says that this is technically not a "tianguis" (outdoor market) because these stalls are here all the time and are not just set up once a week.  On Monday, many of the merchants had not set out their wares, but on weekends it is a very busy place.
Although the street is open to vehicular traffic, it is the pedestrians who pretty much control the street.

Carry-out chicken (pollo) establishments are very popular.  KFC does exist in Mexico, but I didn't see one in this neighborhood.

A number of times Alejandro and I have gone to this bakery for bread and pastries.

But during my walk, I came upon this pastry shop which looked quite tempting.

The menu posted outside of this little corner restaurant made me hungry.  They had all sorts of tamales and crepes.

But I didn't try out the restaurant.  It was nearly 2:00, and there would be dinner waiting for me at the house.  


  1. It looks a lot like Agrícola Oriental, where F lives, a completely plain neighborhood with zero touristic interest. Are people surprised to see you there? I always drew a certain amount of attention in Agrícola Oriental as I was the only Gringo around.

    By the way, you could do worse than go buy a kilo of cochinita pibil one day instead of cooking dinner.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we miss the hubbub of city life.

    1. I do get some stares, but I have been to Alejandro's house enough times over the years, that I think his neighbors are used to seeing a gringo around.
      Good suggestion about the cooking, but the problem is that I am also cooking for a 7 year old who doesn't like spicy food.

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