Mexico City Firsttimer...Tell me all about it!

Old Aug 26th, 2002, 10:00 AM
  #1  
Gigi
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Mexico City Firsttimer...Tell me all about it!

I am taking a week to Mexico City. Thrilled to be going. I love art, opera, architecture, etc.
Where should I stay?
What are you favorite spots?
I am looking for tiles and home decor.
Thanks in advance! Can't wait to read your suggestions!
Gigi
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #2  
Susan
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I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time, Gigi. Mexico City is a wonderful destination. We spent a few days there in March. It wasn't our first time, so this time we tried to see new things. We went to the Frida Kahlo museum in Coyoacan (a neighbourhood of Mexico City). The museum itself is quite interesting and the area is pleasant. We wandered into a tile store quite close to the museum - I can't tell you the address, we were just wandering around and found it. It wasn't a 'tourist store', more a place for residents and it was filled with beautiful decorative tiles.

We stayed around the zocalo, so did some exploring in that area. One place I enjoyed seeing was a building with a lot of Diego Rivera murals - I believe it was the institute or ministry of public education and it's within a few blocks of the zocalo. Rivera was commissioned to paint most of the murals (a few were done by other artists) and they cover the walls of 3 stories around the central courtyard. There was also another gallery or museum - the artist is Jose Luis Cuevas. He's a contemporary artist, described as the enfant terrible, and there was an 8 ton bronze statue of a woman in the courtyard. The building was a former convent. Again, it was just a couple of blocks from the zocalo. (He also had a room with some erotic etchings - there were 2 or 3 school kids trying to see those!)

A trip to the pyramids was also interesting - the site is immense. Lots of school children visiting and some of them practiced their English with me. Same thing at the Archeological Museum.

There was a restaurant very close to the zocalo - Casa de la Sirena. (It's listed here in Fodors.) Very pretty restaurant and wonderful view.

Personally I liked staying near the zocalo. Lots to see and do there. A few years ago we stayed in the Zona Rosa. I know that Polanco is one of the more upscale areas, and obviously more expensive.

We weren't there on a weekend, but I hear that the Bazar Sabado in San Angel is pretty good for shopping. We liked La Ciudadela market, which had good handicrafts. Prices weren't cheap, but the quality seemed ok.

You'll have a great trip. We'll be back there in February for a couple of days and I'm excited just thinking about it!
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 06:52 PM
  #3  
Marilyn
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Hi Gigi -- Well, I made it over here from the Europe forum (you are absolutely right about it being the kickin' place here). Only to find that Susan, bless her heart, has told you just about everything I would say.

If you are into pre-Columbian ruins (I am in a big way) then you cannot miss Teotihuacan ("the pyramids") or the Templo Mayor (a block from the zocalo).

The Diego Rivera murals at the Ministry of Education are some of my favorite art in the whole world. There is more of his work around the city if you like it.

Frida's house is fun to see, and we loved Coyoacan. There was a terrific street market there on the day we went, but I don't know if it's on every day.

San Angel is a well-to-do neighborhood and the market reflects that, but it's also fun to walk through. Lots of non-tourists there.

We have stayed near the zocalo (but I would not recommend our hotel) and like that location a lot. You might want to get tickets to the Ballet Folklorico and see what else is on at the Bellas Artes.

Yes, the pollution can be bad. You might want to schedule your trip to Teotihuacan (which is quite a ways out of the city) for the middle of the week, to give yourself a break from the Mexico City air.

Also, do be careful about petty crime. If you are alone, be extra careful. We have been told to only take the official taxis, but I must say we've never had a problem. But it only takes once. If you ride the subway, keep your valuables close to hand.

Have a great time and let us know how it was when you get back!
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 05:57 PM
  #4  
nycjeanne
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another place off the beaten path is the Dolores Olmeda Museum. This woman was Diego Rivera's lover and has quite a bit of his work, as well as an impressive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts (all authentic, but of dubious origin...) The Museum is actually her home, and she still lives in a wing of it (well, she did when I was there in 1/00). The grounds are fantastic, with peacocks and native dogs and it's really a great little trek (need to take a cab there though).

Also, you shouldn't miss the Anthropology Museum, which is just fantastic.
 
Old Aug 28th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #5  
Susan
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I think I read recently (last few months) Dolores Olmeda died. But I did hear that the museum really was worth seeing. I think it's near Xochimilco?
 
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