Cover photo and video production by Kelly Lovemonster; Text by Caitlin Donohue
We’re telling you this because we like you and know you won’t ruin the scene; go to Mexico City. Download Whatsapp, join a credit union that doesn’t charge you big dollars for overseas moves, get some cute boots you can walk in. The city’s been a primary center of creativity in the Americas for centuries, is affordable enough to move around cutely in, enjoying a cultural renaissance by some standards, and we’re saying — nearly nine million people can’t be wrong.
KNOWING SPANISH is obviously helpful. But if a monolingual education system did you dirty, buy a guidebook so that you can at least order your food in restaurants and say “pardon me” while walking down sidewalks, because that’s manners.
NEIGHBORHOOD CHOICE IS KEY Centro Histórico is the spot you’ll be shunted to by gringo law, and though it has a lot of the traditional tourist attractions (El Zócalo, Templo Mayor, Museo de Arte Nacional, Museo de Bellas Artes) and plentiful American chain restaurants, AHDM4U readers will want to go further and hipper. Try Condesa for an upper-class, leafy green Upper East Side feel, or its neighbor La Roma for blocks of mansions dotted with hipster boutiques, darling bars, and top-shelf taco stands across the street from American Apparel eek. We’re not sure about the housing situation, but if you can find spots in Juarez or San Rafael, you’ll be like, cutting edge and that’s cute for you.
DON’T BE VISIBLY INTOXICATED Don’t swing your personal belongings about as if you were in the Sound of Music. This is an excellent opportunity to get sensitive to your own behavior and stop being a total jerk. If you’re a person of color, queer, or otherwise cool-looking you will get stared at in a low key way. It will be okay and for the most part, Mexico City is just being nosy. When people ask to take pictures with you, say yes to the first couple and then cut it cuz you have things to do and people to see.
NO ME MANCHES Is a cute way to say don’t mess with me. No me mames is the version you won’t say to your mom. Güey means dude.
TAKE THE SUBWAY Cabs are ridiculously cheap (make sure your dude turns on the meter), but during rush hours you may stuck in them for a minute, even on improbably crowded surface streets. The Mexico City Metro system is like the backbone of a mythically massive beast — you gotta see it to know how the beautiful monster works. Last year it served nearly 1.6 billion passengers. During peak hours the first two cars have been for women and children only since 1978, which makes for a mellow lesbian rave vibe. We’ve also heard accounts (translate this into English on your browser) of the last cars on the metro lines being used for gay and straight public sex, so that’s cute.
HERE ARE THINGS Everyone goes to see. If you see them, you will have adequately covered your historical bases which is nice in a city founded — by murderous European latecomers — in 1521. There are more of these things, yes definitely.
We get it we get it … stay tuned for part 2 of AHDM4U’s Mexico City Guía